Boot Hill Cemetery

Photo added by Colleen Sanders Broyles

Boot Hill Cemetery

Ogallala, Keith County, Nebraska, USA
Memorials 57 added (81% photographed)

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This cemetery, that at first had no name and later was called Boot Hill, was for most of its brief use a burial ground for people who were often forgotten even during their lifetimes. There is no certain record of when people first used this hill overlooking the South Platte River valley as a final resting place. Before Boot Hill was abandoned in early 1885, when the Ogallala Cemetery west of town came into general use, at least 48 bodies were laid to rest here and there were probably more. At least 14 murders occurred during the Texas Trail era and some pioneer memories counted as many as seventeen. Record keeping in those days was haphazard; certainly not all those buried on Boot Hill were noted at the time. Some of those, who were buried here, were remembered with a grave marker, usually a painted or carved piece of plank or rough cross. After the cemetery was abandoned, the residents of Ogallala ignored the cemetery. Although for some years it was fenced and the children of the turn of the century used it as a sledding hill; steering around the scattered grave markers was part of the fun. By the 1930’s weather had destroyed the few markers that remained. The town built up around Boot Hill. However, it wasn’t until the 1960’s that the local Jay Cee’s organized an effort to treat Boot Hill with some honor. They cleaned up the hill, planted trees, made new wooden markers and backed research into the early records for information. And when five graves were accidentally found in 1978 and confirmed as Texas Trail era burials, the community took more interest. With the help of a grant from Union Pacific Railroad, more thorough research and an upgrading of Boot Hill was made possible. The descriptions, based on the new research, for the 24 burials listed in the brochure have been added to each of these 24 memorials. There are some burials with no additional information or even a marker.


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GPS Coordinates: 41.1325, -101.7256

  • Added: 2 Jan 2000
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #100422