In August of 1871, fifteen acres of land was purchased for the purpose of “procuring ground for a new cemetery for the dead of Edwardsville.” The first lot was sold to Christian P. and Frances Smith. On July 7, 1872, Woodlawn Cemetery had its first burial, Louis George William Smith, their nine month old son.
From the Edwardsville Intelligencer, Thursday August 17, 1871: CEMETERY ASSOCIATION – On Saturday last, a few of our citizens got together and effected an organization for the purpose of procuring ground for a new cemetery. The organization consists of ten members, viz: John A. Prickett, M. G. Dale, A. W. Metcalf, F. A. Wolf, Wm. E. Wheeler, Jos. Pogue, David Gillespie, Wm. H. Jones, A. L. Brown, John C. Burroughs. A committee was appointed to select a lot of ground and make the purchase. Since then arrangements have been made with Mr. F. A. Wolf for ten acres lying near the fair grounds, one of the most beautiful spots in the neighborhood. The price agreed upon is $1,000. Each of the members paid into the treasury $150, and the ground is to be improved and laid off into lots and alleys immediately. The Association has donated a handsome lot to the County Soldiers’ Monument association. Wm. H. Jones was elected secretary and treasurer, and the deed to be executed is to be made to M. G. Dale, as trustee, with power of appointment, Woodlawn is to be the name of the cemetery. Another meeting will be held on the 19th instant.