West Des Moines, Iowa: Cemetery in a Traffic Circle

The Huston family cemetery, 19 headstones, some dating to 1847, fills a small traffic circle. Cars keep crashing into it.
S. 88th St., West Des Moines, IA
I-80 exit 121. Drive south on Jordan Creek Pkwy for two miles, then turn right -- just past the Jordan Creek Mall -- onto Mills Civic Pkwy for one mile. At the intersection of Mills Civic Pkwy and S. 88th St.
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Visitor Tips and News About Cemetery in a Traffic Circle

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Cemetery in a Traffic Circle

In the 1960s my mother, Ruth Snyder, discovered the cemetery at the intersection in severe disrepair and petitioned the county to clean it up, identify it, and protect it with a fence. As kids, we would often go to the site to cut the weeds and pick up litter. Its descriptive sign was added years later.

[Kirk Snyder, 08/27/2020]
Cemetery in a Traffic Circle

The cemetery was moved to make way for four lane road.

[Jah, 07/15/2020]

Actually, in 2019 the road was moved to make way for the cemetery! Formerly in a traffic circle, the small cemetery is now southwest of the intersection.

Cemetery in a Traffic Circle

Went there last week, the intersection is under construction and the cemetery wasn't readily visible. Due to the construction I couldn't find a place to park to look for it on foot but it didn't seem like it was there

[Ian, 10/22/2019]
Middle of the Road Cemetery

I am a descendant of the Huston Family. I beg all that pass by to PLEASE, pick up trash, lend a repair, help us protect this Historical Place for all future generations to enjoy! This place holds more history than we know.

The rotary intersection has been used for years in other counties; we just take for granted all roads are like an arrow.

[Huston, 03/09/2010]
Cemetery in Middle of Road

The cemetery is actually the Huston Family Cemetery. There used to be a sign that read:

"First burial here in 1847, two small daughters of the Harper family, going by wagon train to California. Became private cemetery of J. B. Huston family. Stage route ran by cemetery. Mr. Huston ran station and Post Office ½ mile east. He was first Dallas County Attorney. The stage route (Iowa City, Des Moines, Council Bluffs) was abandoned 1867 when railroads came."

Due to many people not realizing that the road goes around the cemetery, there have been many cars crashing into it. Sometime this year they moved the road so it is no longer in the middle of it.

[Brittany, 09/08/2008]

Mmmm...not so fast! Reports in 2009 indicate that the cemetery is still in the middle of the road, daring bad drivers to crash and join the subterranean population.

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In the region:
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