Burton Matteson

Director of Cemeteries,

Violett Sexton





Tabatha Smallwood

Assistant Director of Cemeteries,

Oakridge & West Goshen Sexton




All mail to:

Goshen City Cemeteries

202 S. 5th Street

Goshen IN 46526

In 2004, the City Council passed an ordinance which established a Department of Cemeteries combining the management of cemeteries under a Director of Cemeteries and a Board of Cemetery Trustees. The Board, consisting of five members, appointed by the Mayor, meets four times a year.

Official cemetery records are maintained, deeds are issued and payments are processed through the Clerk-Treasurer's office, 202 S. 5th St. Contact them at 574-533-8625.

The “Cemetery Information & Regulations” document contains decorating guidelines and other information pertinent to cemetery patrons.

Cemetery fees are set by the City Council.  Current fees were established in Ordinance 4746.

Our cemeteries:


The earliest known burial at Oakridge Cemetery was in 1832.  The trustees of First Methodist Church founded the cemetery in 1839 and passed it to the City of Goshen in 1859.  The 40 plus acre property, just north of the U.S. post office across the railroad tracks, contains numerous historic burials including eight mayors of Goshen and veterans from every major American war.  Unique sections at Oakridge include the Grand Army of the Republic and potter’s field sections and sections founded by Sharis Israel (Jewish congregation), International Organization of Odd Fellows and Eastern Orthodox churches. Burial sites are available at Oakridge.

Oakridge is just north of the U.S. post office, across the railroad tracks.


Settler John Cripe who died in 1831 is believed to be the first burial at West Goshen Cemetery.  The site was purchased and used by the German Baptist Church as a cemetery beginning in 1859.  After being a church cemetery for over 100 years it was ceded to the City of Goshen by West Goshen Church of the Brethren in 1975.  The property, south of Berkey Avenue, near the junction of Berkey and Dewey Avenue, includes over ten acres and has burial sites available for purchase.

West Goshen Cemetery is just south of Berkey Avenue, close to the junction of Berkey and Dewey Avenue.  


Violett Cemetery, located on Violett Road, just south of Kercher Road and the Goshen Dam Pond, is named for the pioneer family that first owned the 40 plus acre property.  The first known burial at Violett was in 1837, but local lore suggests that a Native American burial ground existed on the property prior to that.  Another local legend suggests that the Underground Railroad passed through along the east bank of the Elkhart River.  Violett was officially established as a cemetery sometime in the mid- to late 1800’s and passed to the City of Goshen in 1897.  Burial sites are available at Violett.

Violett Cemetery is located on Violett Road, just south of Kercher Road.


Dierdorff Cemetery is a small pioneer-era cemetery of less than two acres located just south of Goshen College on Main Street.  The first burial here was Elizabeth, daughter of German Baptist pioneers on their way to Iowa in the early 1830’s.  The property was purchased and established as a family cemetery by Peter Dierdorff in 1854.  It has been maintained by the city since 1976 but was incorporated into the Cemetery Department only in recent years.  No burial sites are available there.

Welcome to spring!

Spring in city cemeteries is a busy time.  The snow melts.  Our seasonal workers begin the task of restoring the cemeteries to their summer glory.  Drives metamorphose from frozen track to muddy ruts to quiet lanes.  Fallen branches and trash uncovered by the snow melt are collected and disposed of.  Winter graves are levelled and seeded.  Mower blades are sharpened.  The first grass is cut.

New this past year in Violett & Oakridge are fifty young trees donated by Yoder Culp Funeral Home.  This gift is timely as Oakridge lost some large trees in last year’s summer storm.

Our spring clean-up occurs Monday to Friday the first full week of April (6-11 this year).  Items likely to be removed during spring clean-up include old silk flowers (especially if they are in the way of trimmers), broken items, old flags, old frames & wires, glass items, old flags and some seasonal items.  If you have items that you are concerned about, please remove them before the clean-up begins. 

Usually by Memorial Day, the grass is growing so fast the mowers are running constantly.  We look forward annually to welcoming the Memorial Day parade and ceremonies to Oakridge.  If you have never taken part, we encourage you to join us.