I picked up the habit in childhood of visiting famous people’s graves. Later as I grew more interested in Wilder, my mother starting saying that every vacation we ended up in a cemetery looking for dead Wilders (I pointed out that sometimes it was dead Ingalls, etc., but she remained unconvinced).
During my class in Council Bluffs this summer we got to stop at the Fairview Cemetery. Although I hadn’t done enough pre-work for this trip (really I didn’t, I literally just found out something I should have known about Tabor before I went this week – I’ll share soon), but there was a sign that said Amelia Bloomer was buried somewhere inside. I knew Amelia Bloomer was just one of the leading suffragettes that lived in Iowa, but I hadn’t realized she was buried in Council Bluffs. With no further help from any special sign or the map posted near the gate, I set off to find her. It was quite a hunt, but finally I located the Amelia Bloomer stone.
In case you find yourself in Council Bluffs, here is how to find it yourself. Enter Fairview Cemetery at the entrance with the sign bearing her name. Follow up the road until it splits, forming a pointed island between the two roads (the island is shown in the first photo above). Amelia’s
stone is about three rows into this island. It’s a white pillar stone with a flat historic marker stone in front of it. Her husband is on the opposite side of the tall white stone. Happy hunting!
Learn more about Amelia Bloomer:
McElmeel, Sharron. “Amelia Bloomer – An Early Suffragette.” Iowa History: Bits and Pieces, 27 May 2018 iowahistory.blogspot.com/2018/05/amelia-bloomer-early-suffragette.html. Accessed 27 May 2018.
UPDATED 2014: This continues to be a post of interest so other people must be looking for Bloomer’s grave as well. I hope you will get a chance to visit it the next time you visit western Iowa, eastern Nebraska.
UPDATED March 9 2017: I enlarged the photos and corrected a typo.
UPDATED May 27 2018: I added a link to the Iowa History: Bits and Pieces article.
Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. She is currently acting President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.