Flushing Cemetery

Flushing Cemetery

The 9/11 Memorial at Flushing Cemetery.
Established 1853[1]
Location Flushing, New York
Country United States
Coordinates 40°45′6″N 73°47′58″W / 40.75167°N 73.79944°W / 40.75167; -73.79944Coordinates: 40°45′6″N 73°47′58″W / 40.75167°N 73.79944°W / 40.75167; -73.79944
Find a Grave Flushing Cemetery
The Political Graveyard Flushing Cemetery

Flushing Cemetery is a cemetery in Flushing in the borough of Queens in New York City, New York.


Flushing Cemetery has several predecessors. In the year 1789 (64 years before the cemetery was founded), George Washington had crossed the East River on a personal mission aboard his barge.[2] Washington, like other noted landowners, journeyed to Flushing: The community was a center of scientific horticulture.[2] The cemetery's floral and arboreal beauty have become a memorial to Flushing's status as a center of horticulture to this day.[2]

During the year of 1853 in which the Flushing Cemetery was founded, the population of Queens County was around 20,000. The land the original site for Flushing Cemetery would rest was the 20-acre John Purchase farm, which was selected by committee. A select number of individuals who attended the founding meeting: Reverend John Gilder, Henry Christie, William Leonard, Caleb Smith, and Robert B. Parsons.[3] Civic-minded citizens like these people had also organized the Flushing Cemetery Association.[4] The day these founders received their charter was May 5, 1853 was the same day in which the World's Fair in New York Crystal Palace was scheduled to open.[4] Civil engineer Horace Daniels was responsible for plotting the grounds. In 1875, the Whitehead Duryea farm, which measured 50 acres and adjoined the cemetery, was purchased and added to the site.[5]

The Bayside Quakers and some of their relatives and neighbors, in about 1860, brought a half-acre within this cemetery in the western half of section I.[6] Section I, which is also referred to as the Quaker Burial Place of Flushing, is where 43 people (the largest in one group) are buried, while 109 were buried in Flushing Cemetery.[6]

The Flushing Cemetery, where 41,000 bodies are buried and thousands more with reservations, has flowers, trees, and greenswards.[7] Roland Schultheis, a scholarly man, became the keeper of the Flushing Cemetery and took great pride in caring for it.[7]

The preservation of the cemetery has also been regarded as a significant task. Individuals with both intelligence and distinguished family backgrounds have preserved its unusual beauty.[8] The cemetery's manager Roland Schultheis was a descendent of the Schultheis Brothers who were internationally famous with their nurseries in Frankfurt, Germany, the largest in Europe: It is possible that Shultheis' ancestors were buried in this cemetery.[8]

Aside from the burials listed below, there were many more individuals who were laid to rest in the Flushing Cemetery. One such person was Louis "Battling Siki" Phal.[9] Battling Siki or Louis Phal, a Senegalese boxer who held the light heavyweight crown from 1922-1923, was buried and remembered in the cemetery, after 50 years in which his body had lain unmarked. The boxer was shot to death in response to how he could not pay a $20 liquor bill.[9] There were brief ceremonies held in the Flushing Cemetery on 46th Ave and was participated in by representatives of the Senegalese government and of the African Boxing Union: a headstone was dedicated here by the International Veterans Boxing Association.[9] Cherif Djigo, first consul at the Senegalese Mission to the United Nations, stated "This stone represents to us a grand symbol that Battling Siki has not been forgotten".[9] His body was repatriated to Senegal in 1993.[10]



  1. "Flushing Cemetery". Forgotten NY. Retrieved 2008-05-28. |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  2. 1 2 3 Stuart, Schuyler Brandon. "The Story of FLUSHING CEMETERY". Published for the Tri-Centennial of Flushing 1645-1945. page 3
  3. Anonymous. "Flushing Cemetery: 100th ANNIVERSARY". Flushing, New York, 1853-1953. page 10
  4. 1 2 Stuart, Schuyler Brandon. "The Story of FLUSHING CEMETERY". Published for the Tri-Centennial of Flushing 1645-1945. page 7
  5. Anonymous. "Flushing Cemetery: 100th ANNIVERSARY". Flushing, New York, 1853-1953. page 11
  6. 1 2 Brierly, J. Ernest. "Long Ago On Long Island". LONG ISLAND DAILY PRESS. 20 AUG. 1967.
  7. 1 2 Welsh, Frederick J. "He Has Made Flushing Cemetery A Place of Botanical Beauty". 5 AUG. 1951.
  8. 1 2 Brierly, J. Ernest. "Long Ago On Long Island". LONG ISLAND DAILY PRESS. 10 APR. 1966.
  9. 1 2 3 4 Oreskes, Michael. "A Crown for an Ex-Champ: Dead Fighter Honored After 50 Years". DAILY NEWS. 7 AUG. 1976.
  10. Anderson, Dave "Sports of The Times; Battling Siki Finally on His Way Back Home" New York Times March 28, 1993 http://www.nytimes.com/1993/03/28/sports/sports-of-the-times-battling-siki-finally-on-his-way-back-home.html
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