Old Mission Mausoleum page of David G. Stuart's family history

Build $100,000 Mausoleum in ‘Old Mission’

American Cemetery Co. Announces Plans for Finest Structure of Kind in West

Change from Highland

The Wichita Eagle: May 18, 1919

page B-12

     A $100,000 mausoleum will be build by the American Cemetery Company in Old Mission Cemetery, corner of Twenty-first Street and Hillside Avenue, according to an announcement made by George A. Saxton, secretary of the American Cemetery company in Wichita. The complete working plans for the building were drawn during the winter of 1917-18, but because of the difficulty in securing proper material and labor, construction was postponed until now. (View mausoleum block location.)

     In the meantime, Old Mission Cemetery was started and with a large number of lots sold it has been decided to locate the mausoleum there instead of at Highland Cemetery as was first planned.

     The mausoleum will be somewhat similar to the one build in Highland Cemetery four years ago. It will have the same quality of marble for the interior, namely, green lined Vermont marble and Bedford limestone exterior.

     Mr. Saxton said a large number of private tombs for the new building have already been engaged. The original plans for the structure have proven too small and new ones for a much larger building are being prepared by Sidney Lovell, (View photo of Mr. Lovell) of Chicago. Among some of the features of the mausoleum are a permanent heating plant and a home for the care taker cemetery superintendent.

     Mr. Saxton and his associated are working toward an ideal to surpass the mausoleum built in Highland Cemetery.

Mausoleum Plans Are Now Complete

It Will Be Built in Old Mission Cemetery

Foundation to Be Laid This Fall and Finished Next Year

The Wichita Beacon: June 18, 1919

page 3

     Plans for the $200,000 mausoleum to be begun this fall in Old Mission Cemetery arrived in Wichita yesterday. The plans, which have been made by the foremost mausoleum architect in the United States, have portrayed and interpreted, the name of the cemetery in an exquisite structure, 128 feet long and 60 feet wide, with 500 crypts. The building will be of the Old Spanish Architecture. (View floor plan of unit one.)

     The foundation will be built this year and it will be allowed to settle during the winter. Next year the structure proper will be built. It will be placed in the center of the Old Mission Cemetery at Hillside and Twenty-First Streets. It will be of either Bedford or Carthage stone on the exterior, and the interior will be of polished marble. It is praised by officials of the cemetery as being the finest piece of architecture, although not the largest, in the mausoleum line in the country.

     Something of the magnificence of the Old Mission Mausoleum may be seen from the fact that the two largest of the rooms directly off the chapel, will sell for $10,000 each.

     In the cemetery proper, lots are selling faster than they can be prepared, according to the management. Lots are being sold to many of the most substantial persons of the community.

     There will be two entrances to the cemetery, one from the south, a sort of park entrance, and the main entrance from the southwest corner, which will have a beautiful gateway, costing $12,000. (View gateway entrance.) Plans for this entrance, which is to be of stone and 127 feet wide, have been made by Don Shuler, local architect. There will be three sections, and the style will harmonize with the mausoleum. In front will be a large marble lion, while some distance inside will be a beautiful Rock of Ages Monument. Within the gate itself will be rest rooms and offices.

     The City of Wichita has provided that 40 per cent from the lot sales of the cemetery shall be set aside for perpetual care until the fund reaches $20,000, and sufficient thereafter to create a fund of at least $100,000.

New Wichita Mausoleum Opened

The Wichita Beacon: July 2, 1922

page C-5

     Old Mission Mausoleum, Wichita’s newest mausoleum, erected at a cost of $250,000, was completed last week.

     Located at the corner of Hillside and Twenty-first Streets, there is no prettier mausoleum in the entire country, according to the statement made by those who have seen the new Wichita building. In the midst of the beautiful grass-grown lawns of Old Mission Cemetery, a mausoleum, designed in an adaption of the mission architecture, with exterior of Bedford stone, it presents a picture not only of attractiveness, but of durability thru the ages.

     The beauty of the interior, cool in the summer with the natural coolness of marble and warmed in the winter by furnace impresses one immediately upon entering the bronze entrance door. The interior is of soft gray Vermont marble, a happy selection, because there is nothing of the coldness which marks some mausoleums. Here and there are marble benches, unadorned, uncarved, but not in the least stern or forbidding. The lighting fixtures are of heavy bronze, and those with the gold letters on the outside of the crypts marking the names of those who rest there, give another touch of warmth to the place.

     In the center of the mausoleum is a chapel, furnished with soft gray wicker lounges and chairs. Overhead, a soft flood of electric light comes softly thru a stained window, making the whole chapel a ideal place for services. The softly lighted corridors terminate in stained windows with a touch of sunrise pink, which open upon grassy lawns. Along the corridors are the private rooms and individual crypts.

     The Old Mission Mausoleum contains a total of 500 crypts. Of this number 360 are individual crypts, eight are private sections, and there are 13 rooms of 10 crypts each, and twelve of five each. Thirteen carloads of Vermont marble and 120,000 pounds of reinforcing steel were required for the construction. The cost of the marble alone amounting to $100,000. The endowment on the building is $25,000, and the total cost of the building and equipment amounted to $250,000.

     Completion of this beautiful building marks the realization of the dream of G. A. Saxton who not only dreamed his dream of a beautiful mausoleum in Wichita, but who alone planned it, financed it, and carried thru its execution. Two years ago Mr. Saxton set operations in motion for building the mausoleum. Nothing was allowed to hurry the work unduly. The best materials were used in its construction. The best architects worked on the designs. Mr. Saxton superintended each detail in person, and today it is completed--a perfect tribute to those who rest there.

To Build Addition To Big Mausoleum Here This Spring

Will Have Capacity of About One-third of the Present Building Says Saxton

Is Finest In Kansas

The Wichita Eagle: February 13, 1927

page 5

     G. A. Saxton, who built Old Mission and Highland Mausoleums, Saturday announced plans for an addition to Old Mission mausoleum, work to start this spring. Sidney Lovell, architect of Chicago, who drew plans for the original structure, is working on plans for the addition, which will be placed on the west end of the present building.

     Old Mission Mausoleum is, by far, the finest building of its kind in Kansas and is said to be one of the finest in the entire country. It is 150 by 60 feet, with a chapel 28 by 44 feet, is heated and electrically lighted. It represents an investment of approximately $250,000. The marble alone cost $100,000. In the mausoleum are 33 private rooms and private family sections and places of burial for 600 persons. One hundred and twenty-two bodies now lie in the mausoleum.

     The addition to Old Mission Mausoleum will correspond in architecture and in quality of exterior and interior finish to the original structure. It will have a capacity of about one third the present building. Upon completion of the addition, Mr. Saxton says the entire building will be redecorated, the present heating plant taken out and either hot water or steam heat substituted. The plat will be redecorated and new walks laid in front of the building.

     The paid-in endowment fund on the present building is $25,000. Mr. Saxton says that 10 per cent of the gross sales for the new addition will be added to this fund. Upon completion of the addition he believes the increased earnings from the endowment fund will be sufficient to employ a full-time caretaker for the building.

     Old Mission Mausoleum was completed in 1922 and Highland Mausoleum in 1915.


The Wichita Eagle: September 11, 1927

page 32

Announcing The Construction of an Annex to Old Mission Mausoleum

At present there is only a limited amount of space left in the original building. Barely enough, past experience teaches, until the new annex is completed. The fact that so little space is available is ample proof as to favor the method of overground burial. To meet the demands of the immediate future, the new building is being constructed. (View floor plan unit two.)

The New Addition Will Contain One-Third of the Space of the Original Building

This Annex will adjoin the original building on the west and will extend northward, forming the western side of an eventual court. Later on the entire plan of a quadrangle will be carried out with the addition of a northeast wing and a north annex will be completed.

The Same Plan of Permanence and Beauty of the Original building Will be Carried Out

The contract governing the main building will govern all future additions. (View contract) At present an endowment fund of $25,000 assures the proper maintenance of the original building. Ten per cent of all money received for the new addition goes into this fund; eventually $90,000 will be the total of the endowment for perpetual care.

For Further Information and Prices Call At The Office Of

Old Mission Cemetery

123 South Main Street

G. A. Saxton, Manager

{End of advertisement}

A $75,000 Unit At Old Mission

Cemetery Mausoleum to Get 300 Crypts

The Wichita Beacon: January 28, 1929

page 2

     Another unit of the Old Mission Mausoleum, Hillside and Twenty-first, to cost $75,000, is to be built as soon as the weather becomes suitable.

     This unit will be of the same general type as the main building and about half its size. It will be of stone exterior and marble and bronze interior like the present unit, with much reinforced concrete.

     A contract was let Monday to the George H. Siedhoff Construction Company, which will place an order for the stone and marble at once. The size of this unit will be 30 x 120 feet. It will contain a corridor extending from end to end of the building with crypts on either side. There will be 300 crypts.

     The construction of this wing is part of the original plan by Lovell & Lovell of Chicago, who specialize in buildings of this kind. The plans contemplate another unit of the same size as the one to be built this year, with a building similar to the original unit, which together will enclose a large square garden and which when completed will give Wichita one of the finest mausoleums in the United States.

     George A. Saxton, superintendent, has been planning for this large addition to the mausoleum for several months. Mr. Saxton says that the original unit, which was built during the war, cost $250,000.

Work Is Started On Second Unit Of Old Mission Mausoleum

Finest Marble in Vermont is Being Used: Real Bronze for Gates, Fixtures

Plans Two More Units

The Wichita Eagle: April 14, 1929

page 5

     The second unit of the Old Mission Mausoleum, Hillside Avenue and Twenty-first Street, has been started and with its completion, which is expected by the first of the year, the dream of G. A. Saxton, builder, will have approached another step nearer reality.

     This dream has meant for Wichita one of the finest mausoleums in the United States, a memorial of impressive beauty and simplicity.

     The same plan of architecture will prevail in the construction of the additional unit, Mr. Saxton said. The finest marble in Vermont will be used in the second unit, this being the material used in the first building. Genuine bronze has been used in gates for the private rooms, locks and fixtures. The same skill that a jeweler would exercise in making a delicate piece of jewelry has been used in building the bronze fixtures for the mausoleum, Mr. Saxton said.

     In 1923 the first unit of Old Mission Mausoleum was finished. It cares for 600 in private rooms and individual crypts. The second unit will care for 300, Mr. Saxton explained. Although the first two units will represent an investment of approximately $450,000, Mr. Saxton’s dream will be but half realized. He looks forward to the construction of two more units, the whole structure at its completion to be one of the most magnificent buildings of its kind in the world.

     The new unit will be constructed much on the order of the first, Mr. Saxton said. The same general plan for lighting, heating, and ventilation will be carried out. Cathedral stained-glass windows will give a wealth of natural light during the day. Electric lights, specially patterned so as to be in keeping with the design of the building, assure perfection in this respect.

     All owners of the mausoleum have keys as well as a deed to the space they acquire, said Mr. Saxton. A caretaker is there at all times.


The Wichita Beacon: April 13, 1930

page C-2

Drive Out Today

Attendants in Charge All Day

Open for Public Inspection

"An Eternal Monument of Marble and Stone"

Old Mission Mausoleum

Wichita owes a debt of gratitude to Mr. G. A. Saxton, owner and manager of the Old Mission Mausoleum Company and his board of control composed of the following: F. A. Amsden, chairman, R. R. Vermilion and Howard E. Case.

These men have built in Wichita a structure of which every Wichitan should be extremely proud, for the Old Mission Mausoleum cannot be surpassed for beauty and workmanship by any building in the United States.

The Geo. H. Siedhoff Construction Co.

{End of advertisement}

Achieves Dream Of Lifetime In Mausoleum Here

Old Mission Rivals Most Beautiful Mausoleums in World, Declare Wichitans

The Wichita Eagle: February 17, 1931

page 2

     Standing out on the brow of the hill at the northeast edge of the city, is the Old Mission Mausoleum, where over 300 of Wichita’s most prominent men and women sleep the sleep that know no waking. It is recognized as one of the finest mausoleums in the entire country, and one not surpassed in beauty and durability in the world.

     The exterior walls of Old Mission Mausoleum are of stone and cement, which defy time and the elements in durability, the architectural lines of which are beautifully broken by offsets, indentations and stained glass windows. The interior is finished throughout in Vermont marble of harmonizing but contrasting shades, blending one into the other as life blends into death. The protecting doors, the gates to private rooms, the candelabra and lighting fixtures are beautifully designed in bronze.

     The building is lighted by a profusion of cathedral stained-glass windows in walls and dome of the chapel, giving a wealth of natural light which filters in and blends in perfect harmony with the shades of tones of the marble halls and corridors.

     In the crypts of this magnificent monument of marble, bronze and stone there is positive, permanent protection against the ravages of time and the elements, as the caskets are sealed in cement crypts, covered by Vermont marble, and enclosed in a building of the finest and most lasting stone.

     There is a quiet dignity and simple beauty surrounding the entire mausoleum which can only be appreciated by those whose dead it encloses, and which is unrivaled by any private mausoleum in this country or the old world.

     In the beautiful chapel of Old Mission Mausoleum the last rites may be said before entombment in the crypts or family rooms, where neither the heat of summer suns nor the cold of winter winds can add the unpleasantness of the weather to the sorrow and grief of the moment.

Plan Third Unit

     Old Mission Mausoleum was started in the latter part of 1919, and in 1920 the first unit was constructed. G. A. Saxton is the originator of the mausoleum, and the work of art and beauty, which today houses many of Wichita’s prominent dead, was a lifelong dream of his. To build a mausoleum that would stand the corroding of time, that would rival any mausoleum in the world, and that would be appreciated by the citizens of the city in which it was built, was his early dream. To partly fulfill that dream he has labored day and night for the past 11 years, and today he sees his dream being realized. Next year the third unit to the mausoleum will be constructed, and the dream of his youth will have come true.

     To perpetuate the Old Mission Mausoleum, Mr. Saxton, who is president of the mausoleum, set aside a permanent fund to forever keep it in repair. Today there is $40,000 in that fund, and when the mausoleum is completed, there will be a fund of $100,000 for it perpetuation.

     Mr. Saxton is president and manager of the mausoleum, but it is governed and controlled by a committee or board of directors composed of F. A. Amsden, R. R. Vermillion, Lon Powell, M. M. Murdock, and Albert Comley.

     Units are added to the Old Mission Mausoleum as they are needed to take care of Wichita’s dead. When the mausoleum is finally completed there will be 3,000 crypts.

     Dry, clean and beautiful, with ledges along the front for flowers, would be a fitting description for the crypts. Quiet, elegant and rich, would be a fitting description of the rooms which have been purchased by Wichita families. Built on sentiment and confidence would be a fitting description of the entire mausoleum.

     Old Mission Mausoleum itself is a memorial and monument to each silent form that sleeps within its walls. As each nation honors its illustrious dead by burial in some magnificent mausoleum, so Wichitans, too, can pay final and fitting tribute to departed loved ones by burial in Old Mission.

Old Mission Mausoleum Gets Third Unit Costing $100,000

The Wichita Eagle: March 8, 1936

page 16

     Work on the third unit of Old Mission Mausoleum, located in Old Mission Cemetery and one of the largest and finest equipped mausoleums in this section of the country, will begin late this spring.

     Plans for the new unit, which will join the first unit on the east, have been completed and the work will cost $100,000, making the total investment of $400,000 in the mausoleum. (View floor plan unit three.)

     G. A. Saxton, 204 North Market, who founded the mausoleum, built the first unit in 1920 and the second unit in 1929. With completion of the third unit nearly an acre of ground in the center of the structure will be landscaped into a formal garden.

     The new unit as well as the other units of the mausoleum is endowed so that the building will have daily care in the coming years. A caretaker now is on duty every day of the week and also acts as a guide for the hundreds of visitors who visit the mausoleum.

     The new unit will be built with an exterior of cut stone and the architecture will be in keeping with the other units. The interior will be of marble, and the metal trimmings of bronze.

     Ten private rooms, varying in the number of crypts, will be contained in the new unit, as well as individual crypts. The cost of burial in a mausoleum crypt is as low as burial in a cemetery lot when a metal vault is purchased, Mr. Saxton explains.

     The major part of the mausoleum is built by hand insuring perfect condition of the building for many years to come.

     The first unit of the mausoleum now is equipped with a chapel where final funeral rites are held before the body is placed in the crypt. A pipe organ will be installed when the new unit is built.

     At the present time approximately 600 families have purchased either rooms for family burial or individual crypts in the mausoleum and approximately 400 bodies are now placed in the two units now built.

Old Mission Built in 1919

The Wichita Eagle: October 12, 1947

page 2

     Founded in 1919 as an institution of service for the people of Wichita and the community. Old Mission Mausoleum is a permanent memorial to human faith and understanding.

     Ample care at the time the mausoleum was conceived by G. A. Saxton, owner and general manager, will assure its endurance thru the coming ages.

     Marble-lined corridors and quiet sanctuaries are subtle and peaceful reminders of the tribute embedded in this massive memorial. The finest of materials have been used in creating permanence and maintaining graceful beauty in Old Mission Mausoleum.

     As the demand arises, future additions will be made to the stately structure, one of the most beautiful and completely modern equipped mausoleums in the country. Operated thru a trustee, Old Mission Mausoleum will outlive its founder and his predecessors.

     Business administration of Old Mission Mausoleum is in the hands of a board of control, comprised of Carl Fisher, chairman: F. A. Amsden, Lon H. Powell, Charles G. Yankey, M. M. Murdock and Saxton with the Fourth National Bank as trustee.

     Visitors are welcome from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Old Mission Mausoleum

The Wichita Eagle: October 12, 1947

page 2

A million dollar structure provided with a perpetual care fund, is nearing completion with the beginning of construction at 21st and Hillside on the fourth and final unit of the building. (View floor plan unit four.) The architect's drawing of the  north end  of  the  fourth  unit  is  shown  above ( present day photo below. ) With completion of this unit there will have been expended on the building, with its perpetual care fund, over a million dollars. G. A. Saxton is president and J.E. Paup, secretary of Old Mission Mausoleum, Inc. Overend and Boucher are the architects and the sale of space and construction of the building is being done by Old Mission Mausoleum, Inc. Visiting hours are scheduled from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 2 to 4 p.m. on Sundays. First unit of Old Mission Mausoleum, Inc. was started in Wichita 30 years ago.

North end as it looks now, September 2001

Mausoleum Unit Open to Public

New, Final Section On View Sunday

The Wichita Eagle: October 23, 1954

page 2A

     Old Mission Mausoleum, North Hillside Avenue at 21st Street, will open its fourth and final unit for public inspection Sunday. The building, recently completed, will be open between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

     The mausoleum is know as “The Mansion of Memories.” Permanent upkeep is provided through a constantly growing trust-agreement fund in excess of $115,000 which is expected to grow to approximately $200,000.

     The building is constructed of heavily re-inforced concrete and the exterior is faced with Indiana limestone. Facing on the spacious well-lighted interior is Vermont marble. The building is roofed with copper.

     The plan under which the Old Mission Mausoleum was built and operates was initiated 35 years ago by a group of Wichita attorneys and business leaders. (View rules) An irrevocable trust agreement was drawn up and recorded with the registrar of deeds, Sedgwick County, fully outlining the duties of the builder (Old Mission Mausoleum, Inc.), the trustee (Fourth National Bank), and the hundreds of owners of space in the mausoleum.

     The present board of control includes Marcellus M. Murdock, publisher: Lloyd Bump, businessman: Judd Petrie, businessman: Walter Ash, air industry, and W. L. Gray, printing business owner.

     Suppliers and others credited with making the building worthy of its national recognition include: Vermont Marble Co., Fourth National Bank, Overend and Boucher, architects: Western Iron Foundry Co. Inc., Don Pray Plumbing Co., Service Foundry Co., and A. E. Riley Lumber Co.

Front as it looks now, September 2001

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