On April 1, 1846, Simeon Kemper obtained a United States government patent for one hundred sixty acres at $1.25 per acre. Four years later, Kemper took two partners, Israel Landis and Reuben Middleton, who paid him almost $200 per acre for their share of 20 acres destined to become a cemetary [sic]. On February 22, 1851, the men received approval of the Articles of Incorporation for Mount Mora Cemetery; four days later, they placed this advertisement in The Saint Joseph Gazette:
"To the Public-the undersigned having purchased a lot of ground on the North West Corner of Mr. S. Kemper's farm within one mile of the Court house, propose fiting it up as a cemetery provided sufficient encouragement is given to the undertaking by the citizens of St. Joseph. It is our intention to lay it off in Blocks and Lots of all sizes, so as to suit purchasers. The ground will be enclosed in a short time with a good substantial board fence, and otherwise improved."
In 1873, W. Angelo Powell laid out Mount Mora Cemetery for $5,000. Powell, a prominent architect of the time, used the Rural Garden Cemetery design for Mount Mora. This form, new to the United States in 1831, is replicated in the cemetery's planned landscaping, magnificent mausoleums, aesthetic design of Mausoleum Row, and curvilinear roads following the natural contours of the land.
Giants of Saint Joseph commerce and industry, three Missouri governors, veterans of multiple wars, Pony Express riders, an English baronet, and individuals who strongly influenced the Westward Movement of the United States of America are among the thousands buried here.
Erected August 2004