Topeka group raising money to buy gravestones for unmarked infant graves

Local News

TOPEKA (KSNT) – A Topeka group is raising money to buy gravestones for babies who have been forgotten. There are more than 500 unmarked infant graves in the Historic Topeka Cemetery.

The Friends of the Historic Topeka Cemetery started the “Remember Me” project as a way to honor these children. People can donate $100 and the group will purchase a granite marker with the child’s name and year of death engraved on it.

Volunteer Mary Kester said they started the program because these children have no one else.

“It either broke the hearts of the family and they couldn’t deal with it or they just moved on for job purposes,” Kester said. “Going back, looking through the records and trying to see if there’s anything there other than just a folder with a name and a space has been really interesting.”

Kester said they have been working with genealogists to try to find out more about the children. Most didn’t live to see their first birthday and many don’t have first names on file.

The Historic Topeka Cemetery has a full list of names on its website. Kester said people can donate for a specific child or the group can choose on their behalf.

Smaller donations will be pooled and used to rehabilitate the area, raise and straighten the markers that are there, fill in depressions, and even up the rows.

People can donate online by clicking here or by sending a check to “Friends of Historic Topeka Cemetery” at 1601 SE 10th Ave., Topeka, KS, 66607.

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