Spring Hill Cemetery
Location Name: Spring Hill Cemetery (Huntington, West Virgnia)
Location Type: Cemetery
Year Opened: 1873
Spring Hill Cemetery is the oldest and largest publicly owned cemetery in Huntington, West Virginia. It began officially in 1871 when 29.8 acres were set aside to become the city cemetery. Then located just outside the city limit, Spring Hill’s first official burial took place in 1873. The first recorded burial on the property dates back to 1838, but this was decades before the land became a cemetery. Since 1925, the expanding cemetery has been owned and administered by the Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District.
Now fully engulfed by the City of Huntington, this once rural cemetery is now more akin to a city park. Visitors come here to walk their dogs, enjoy the sights of the often old and impressive gravesites, and just enjoy the nature that is found inside the cemetery gates. Today the property is at 110 acres and has become a tourist site, mostly due to the Marshall University Football Team Memorial. In 1970, Southern Airways Flight 932 went down nearby, killing all 75 passengers aboard. The airplane was chartered by the Marshall University Football Team and the news fell hard on the small town when their beloved hometown’s team was almost entirely lost in the wreckage. The 2006 film "We Are Marshall" tells the story of the town’s loss and comeback after the deadly incident.
As Huntington’s most prestigious burial ground, Spring Hill is home to the gravesites of many notable people. Here is a brief list of Spring Hill’s famous ‘residents’:
- Eustace Gibson (U.S. Representative from West Virginia, 1883-1887)
- Charles Brooks Hoard (U.S. Representative from New York, 1857-1861)
- James Anthony Hughes (U.S. Representative from West Virginia, 1901-1905,1927-1930)
- Albert Gallatin Jenkins (Civil War Confederate General mortally wounded in Battle of Cloyd Mountain)
- Marshall University Football Team Memorial (In memory of the 1970 crash of Southern Airways Flight 932, in which 75 people lost their lives; most associated with Marshall University&rsquos football team)
- William Elmer Neal (U.S. Representative from West Virginia, 1953-1955)
- John Hunt Oley (Civil War Union General)