Seligman takes ownership of cemetery from association

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Transfer of 150-year-old graveyard complete

In the works since fall of 2015, the city of Seligman is now taking ownership of the Seligman Cemetery.

According to Brian Nichols, Seligman city clerk, the city plans to take ownership. The deed to the cemetery was being recorded i mid-January, and ownership should be finalized.

At its monthly meeting, aldermen passed a city ordinance allowing the state to authorize the city to accept the cemetery, as well as create a separate department and account exclusively for its management.

"We will set up a separate savings account, and the fund will only be used for cemetery purposes," Nichols said.

The motion also allowed Nichols to purchase a cemetery management module from data technologies, at a cost of $1,570.

"There is a learning curve and some work to do to get up to speed, but the project will be made easier with the software the city is purchasing," Nichols said. "We still have to sit down and learn everything. In February, the city will receive our new financial software, and then we will start entering all the plot data into the system for record keeping and management."

Once everything is finalized, lots will be available for purchase.

"We need to find out all the basics first, so in the event that a plot needs to be sold, we can at least handle it," Nichols said.

The cemetery was previously called Frost Cemetery, which was a private family cemetery, but was later changed to the Seligman Cemetery, even though the city never owned it.

The name will remain the same.

"I can't imagine it will change, but you never know down the road," Nichols said.

The cemetery has graves dating back to the Civil War era, including about 700 graves on a three-acre lot and another three acres on an adjacent vacant lot. The property was previously maintained by members of the Seligman Cemetery Association, who asked the city to take ownership due to a lack of manpower and funds to continue managing it.

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