Before you visit the cemeteries, we invite you to familiarize yourself with the local history at the Barton County Historical Society. Two of the most famous stories you will learn of is Oscar Micheaux, the first African American film producer who called Great Bend home and of Great Bend attorney, Arthur Banta's murder. Other stories include those of frontier justice, lynchings, and Great Bend's "City of the Dead."
Self-Guided Tour. A cemetery guide publication is available to guide you through the Great Bend Cemetery and other area cemeteries. When exploring the cemeteries, sometimes the best gateways are the ones made up along the way. Go where the heart takes you, set your own direction and pace. Remember, each cemetery tells its own story.
The cemeteries include:
Great Bend Cemetery
St. John's Catholic Cemetery
Symbols. While visiting these sites, pay close attention to the engravings on the stones. Throughout the 20th century, etching symbols into gravestones became a trend. For example, hands on a stone represent partnership, and crossed swords or cannons often represent a persons military service. Other symbols to note are angels, doves, hearts, lambs, and gates. The meanings of these and more symbols can be found in the Cemetery Tours brochure which can be picked up at the Convention & Visitor's Bureau 24-hour brochure rack located at 3007 10th Street.
Download the Cemetery Tour for a complete list of historic cemeteries, and special points to note at each.