From Violette's "History of Adair County," published in 1911, "In 1895 the Highland Park Cemetery was incorporated with a capital of $40,000. C.R. Tinsman, E. C. Bestman, John C. Baird, and Charles Grassle bought 40 acres at the east end of Normal Avenue from R.M. Brashear and proceeded to open this tract for burial purposes. Mr. Brashear began almost immediately a suit to recover the land on the grounds that it had been acquired ostensibly for other purposes. He did not win the suit."
The Grassle family managed the cemetery for many years, and for some time Albert Grassle was in charge of it. About 1935 the cemetery was given to a group who formed the present, not-for-profit, cemetery association. Von L. Dole has been the sexton since the early 1960's. The records have been well kept since that time.
Many of the older records were incomplete and confused. You will note that some burials, which appear to be the same person, have been listed in more than one lot. Since it is impossible to know the correct lot, both were listed. In several cases persons were listed who are not yet deceased, but whose name appear on the stones.The platting of the older sections was done long after burials were made which, no doubt, accounts for some of the confusion.
Cemetery association records, plats, information on the stones and reported unmarked burials, and some old Kirksville mortuary records were used to compile this listing. There are many unmarked and unknown graves in this cemetery.
The Catholic section is owned and maintained by the Mary Immaculate Catholic Church in Kirksville. The church records and stones were copied for this section.
The listing was brought up to March 10, 1980. Frances Ames, Doris Biggerstaff and Elizabeth Laughlin copied the stones and records. Ernie Loft drew the plat maps.