In 1751 Frederick Phillipse entrusted to his children “The Glebe” – a portion of land for use by ministers of the Church of England that were inducted into Saint John’s Church. Several years later it appeared that the intentions of Mr. Phillipse were not to be carried out when the Vestry of St. John’s appealed to the Supreme Court and was granted permission to sell all but a small portion of the property.

Documentation of what is now Oakland Cemetery resurfaces during ante-revolutionary times, when title for the property appears in the name of Leonard W. Jerome, Esq., who over the years had purchased several farms in the area. In 1866 Jerome turned his land over to the cemetery, and accepted certificates of indebtedness for $200,000. Four years later Jerome took back all but 65 acres and canceled the amount of the debt outstanding. In December of 1866 the Yonkers Cemetery Association was established. In June 1882 the name was changed to Oakland Cemetery. As a 1906 pamphlet from the cemetery explains, “It seems particularly appropriate that these lands should now be used for the purpose of a religious character and as a place for the general burial of the dead.”


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