Oak Grove Cemetery
1613 Park Avenue
Paducah, KY 42001
Oak Grove Cemetery is managed by the Paducah Parks & Recreation Department (Paducah Code of Ordinances Chapter 26). The cemetery has an estimated 35,278 platted lots with more than 33,000 sold. The cemetery is divided into four additions: Old, New, Mausoleum, and Rushing. Oak Grove Cemetery offers a free Wireless Hotspot location. Call to set up appointments or tours or to inquire about services.
Maps, Burial Records, and Resources
Burial Records and Maps - allows searching burials sorted by last names
McCracken County Public Library - provides a wealth of information about local history and genealogy.
Kentucky Historical Society - offers a large online database with information about thousands of cemeteries throughout Kentucky
Guidelines and Fees
- Oak Grove Guidelines and Regulations (visitation, transfer of lots, monuments, headstones and markers, and general rules)
- Oak Grove Cemetery Burial, Crypt, Lot, and Service Fees
Maintenance and Cleaning Audits
The Paducah Parks & Recreation Department works to improve maintenance and the community’s safety at Oak Grove Cemetery. As part of the maintenance schedule, staff reviews the cemetery twice annually. During each sweep, crews will remove and discard banned items. The decorations will be removed to secure the safety of staff and visitors, prevent damage to maintenance equipment, and increase the efficiency in grounds maintenance.
Spring 2023 Maintenance and Cleaning begins March 13. Families are asked to visit burial plots and remove any prohibited items of decoration before March 13. After that date and during each audit sweep, Parks & Recreation crews will remove and discard banned items.
Approved Ways to Honor Loved Ones
The following forms of decoration are approved at burial plots:
- Fresh or artificial flowers in a cemetery-approved vase that is permanently mounted on the monument or memorial. Vases that are made of glass, porcelain, or plastic cannot be placed at a grave since they can be damaged during maintenance operations.
- Flowers in a hanging basket or a hanging solar lantern on an iron or steel, single hook shepherd’s hook that is 48 inches in length.
- Monument benches placed by a monument company and set as the headstone.
Items that are not permitted at burial plots include toys, ornaments, borders, plantings, ground covers (such as stones, gravel, mulch, etc.) candles, unsecured garden benches, or fragile items such as glass.
If a family or organization would like to provide maintenance on family plots, contact Parks & Recreation at 270-444-8508 for coordination.
Oak Grove Cemetery was established in 1847 with the purchase of 36 acres (it's currently 50 acres) by the town's trustees for the price of $3.00 an acre. Paducah's first burial site was located where City Hall now stands. The City's early growth made it necessary to seek a new location for its cemetery. The site chosen would become Oak Grove Cemetery.
The community fathers, hoping to create a gracious and serene sanctuary, sent to Scotland for John Porteous, a master landscaper, to design the cemetery grounds. Mr. Porteous became so enamored with the United States that he sent word back to Scotland requesting his wife and children to join him in Paducah. The town, honoring Mr. Porteous' dedication, made him the first sextant and built his family a cottage where the gatehouse stands today.
Some deaths were recorded in 1852, but the Civil War put a stop to this. There are only scattered records from 1861-1911. In 1911, Kentucky passed a law that required all deaths to be recorded. Oak Grove Cemetery has internment books dating back to 1909. Mary Mitchell Smith, the infant daughter of David and Lucretia Smith, is the oldest legible headstone found in Oak Grove. She died October 7, 1834.
For more cemetery history and obituaries of prominent Paducah residents, read the documents below:
The following people are profiled in Family Stories.
Samuel Ulrich Beyer
Rosa Adcock Fruit
Harry Atwood Gish
James Christopher Gish
Wylie F. McCormick
Col. Edward Dumas (E.D.) Nix
John Adolph "Babe" Vasseur
Craig Evesta White
Virginia Fruit White
West Kentucky Mausoleum located in Oak Grove Cemetery was built in 1914 by the Southern Mausoleum Company of Nashville, Tennessee. The mausoleum is built to house 300 with slightly more than half of the crypts sold.
After renovations by the Ohio Valley Monument Company in 2007 and 2008, a rededication ceremony was held November 12, 2008. Renovations included roof repairs, replacement of marble, addition of electrical outlets, and the the sanding and painting of ceilings and walls.
The monument at the entrance of the mausoleum was unveiled at the dedication ceremony. It reads: West Kentucky Mausoleum; Dedicated to the Memory of Those Who Rest Within; Built 1914 The Southern Mausoleum Co. Nashville, Tennessee; Renovated 2008 Ohio Valley Monument Co. Paducah, KY; City of Paducah-Mayor Bill Paxton, Commissioners-Robert Coleman, Gayle Kaler, Buz Smith, Gerald Watkins; City Manager-Jim Zumwalt; Public Works Director-Earnie Via.
The documents below are listed in alphabetical order based on the last name. The files were last updated September 21, 2021.
- Oak Grove Cemetery Map - general map showing the four additions (Old Addition, New Addition, Mausoleum, and Rushing Addition) and section numbers
- Detailed Oak Grove Map - hand-drawn map that shows details of each of the four additions