Paso Robles District Cemetery
Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County
In August of 2010, SLOCGS was given permission by the Board of Directors of the Cemetery to photograph the Headstones in the Cemetery, we were also given a printed Index updated to 2010.
Our Thanks to the Board, the Cemetery Manager and the many helpful Grounds & Maintenance Staff.
Jan Canigiula & Martha Graham photographed all the headstones in this historic Cemetery. Due to other committments, the photographing of this Cemetery was accomplished over an extended period of time, thus new burials were added to the 2009 Index using the information gleaned from the headstones.
6721 Photos were taken of the Headstones.
The process of matching, correcting and updating the 2009 Index was a herculean task.
The following SLOCGS Members volunteered to work on the Project:
Dianna Curtis, Tom Gorham, Larry Houlgate, Michele Mc Caffrey, Rich Miller, Vickie Valenziano and Martha Graham
The Updated Index contains the records of 8464 Interments. There are a lot of unknown's in this Cemetery as well as Broken Stones, Rusted & Damaged Mortuary Markers and Unmarked Graves.
Every effort was made to investigate and correct errors. However, due to weathered stones, some dates were impossible to decypher. Where available records could be accessed, corrections were made and noted.
A word about the Columns on the Index:
Hdstn: Yes Indicates the presence of a headstone, a blank cell indicates none was found.
RG: Rose Garden, Scattering Area
Name, Date of Birth & Date of Death
Grave, Lot, Plot, Section
Headstone Notes: Contains Military Information, Miscellaneous Information regarding Condition of Stone, etc.
Transcribers Notes: Additions, Corrections, Age, Other Information
The 2012 Index can be found here in searchable pdf format.
A map of the Cemetery can be found here.
Headstone Images are available as an attachment to an email.
HISTORY OF THE PASO ROBLES CEMETERY DISTRICT
The following information was taken from material prepared by Martin
Kuehl for the First Annual (1999)
The oldest cemetery in town was started by Drury James on
The acreage was on a hill top known as Villa
As few, if any, records were kept, or can be located, very little is
known about this portion of the Cemetery’s activity during the early
years. We do know that the
oldest date noted is 1873 on one of the grave markers, but this marker
was probably moved from another place.
Another old marker in the pioneer section is dated 1887 and the
tallest is dated 1888 and marks the grave of a native of
Meanwhile, in January 1892, the Santa Lucia Lodge #350 of the I.O.O.F.
(Odd Fellows Lodge) had the lower portion of the current Cemetery, Villa
In those early years cemeteries only provided the ground for burials but little upkeep. So by tradition and necessity the families took responsibility for the care of the family plots, weeding, raking, decorating and repairing wooden markers and fences.
As previously stated, R. C. Heaton deeded his 15 acres to the Catholic Church in 1922. During the 1920’s, the upper cemetery was known as the Catholic or Holy Cross Cemetery to the South, the Pioneer or Heaton Cemetery to the North, and the Odd Fellows Cemetery to the East side.
In 1930, the Odd Fellows permitted Charles Phenegar, a casket salesman, to erect the original 16-space Mausoleum, now the center portion of the Mausoleum. And in 1934, Rev. Charles Thackeray of the Episcopal Church was the first burial there. Incidentally, Rev. Thackeray was one of the originators of Pioneer Day.
In the 30’s, Otto Kuehl, the local mortician (and author’s Father) became
aware that the job of running a cemetery was becoming too much for the
lodge. He and other
concerned townsmen formed a committee to look into forming a Cemetery
District to oversee, operate and provide funds for the upkeep of the
Cemetery. In April of 1937,
Will J. Erickson, of the Geneseo School District, coordinated and filed
petitions signed by the registered voters in the school districts of
inside and outside Paso Robles, Oak Flat, San Marcos, Encinal, Union,
Geneseo and Phillips with the County of San Luis Obispo.
Thereafter, the Cemetery was designated a Public Cemetery
District organized and existing under and by virtue of the laws of the
State of California, under the State Act dated
In July of 1937, the first meeting of the Paso Robles Public Cemetery
District was held. The
Mat Iversen, Chairman of the Board
Alfred A. Rowe, Vice Chairman
Otto Kuehl, Secretary
Also, in July 1937, a lease with option to purchase was signed for one year between I.O.O.F. and the new Paso Robles Cemetery District. The Board then hired the first Sexton, Mr. L. H. Parkins. The transfer of title of the Odd Fellows Cemetery became final in September 1938. For the first full year of operation, 1938-39, the total budget for the new District was $5,700.
In 1942, the
In the 1960’s the caretaker’s house was demolished and the current office building was constructed.
In the 1970’s the entry gates were constructed and additional lawn gravesites were installed.
The 1980’s saw the construction of the open air Chapel with three banks of cremation niches added to the Chapel. The original 16 space Mausoleum was expanded to include 56 new spaces.
The 1990’s saw the addition of the Memorial Rose Garden; complete with ornamental fencing and walkways, beautiful stained glass windows in the Chapel, and the installation of a complete new irrigation and pumping system.
The most recent improvement is the new lawn grave area in part of the old Heaton Pioneer Section, complete with a loop road, sidewalk and benches.
Since 1937, there have been 21 persons serving on the Cemetery District
Board. From the original
three members the board has now been increased to five Board Members.
In addition to the Board Members there is a diligent group of
caretakers and employees taking exceptional care of our
Rosie Flynn, Sextant of the
During the 1897-1900 timeframe, remains were moved from the
Over the years, additional remains have been moved from the Estrella area
and “country” gravesites to the
All of the photos and databases that are contained on this site and in
linked directories are watermarked and are the property of SLOCGS [
Site Updated: 31 October 2015
This Site belongs to the San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society