In the year 1843, there was a demand for a regularly established cemetery where burials could be made with more assurance of security. The city of Burlington was then the capital of the Territory of Iowa and a group of citizens asked the territorial legislature for permission to establish a cemetery. An act was passed on December 18th, 1843.
Abiathar White, Arthur Bridgman, George Temple, John Johnson and Levi Hager were the documented men who were instrumental in founding Aspen Grove Cemetery, little is known about these men. We are all indebted to these men for their foresight, and profoundly grateful for their efforts.
Some of the first burials in the cemetery are very interesting:
- John Morgan, who died in 1843. He was a soldier in the American Revolutionary War; fought in the Battles of Brandywine and Germantown.
- James S. Clark, who died in July, 1850. He was the founder of the first newspaper in Iowa; was a member of the First Constitutional Convention and Governor of the Territory of Iowa.
- John H. Gear, the tenth Governor of Iowa, the United States Senator from Iowa.