Hiawatha, Kansas: The Strange Grave of John Milburn Davis

RoadsideAmerica.com Team Field Report

Mt. Hope Cemetery

Address:
606 E. Iowa St., Hiawatha, KS
Directions:
Mt. Hope Cemetery. From US-36 exit onto US-73. Turn north and drive a half-mile into town. At the stoplight turn right onto E. Iowa St. Drive a half-mile. Turn left into the cemetery. You'll see the Davis Grave straight ahead, on the left.
RA Rates:
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Davis Memorial.

The Strange Grave of John Milburn Davis

Ten life-size, Italian marble statues -- and one of granite -- depict John and Sarah Davis at various stages of their lives.

Roadsideamerica.com Report... [04/18/2021]

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John Milburn Davis Died April 26, 1947.

John Milburn Davis Died April 26, 1947

John Milburn Davis died 75 years ago on April 26, 1947. He was an obscure Kansas farmer, and he wanted to be remembered. So he spent many years, and nearly all of his considerable fortune, on an elaborate grave in the Hiawatha, Kansas town cemetery, featuring five life-size statues of his wife and six of himself. The grave was complete for over a decade before Davis died, and while he was still alive he enjoyed its notoriety on postcards and in pamphlets.

Davis was known to sit in the cemetery on Sundays, watching tourists visit his grave. They still do; after 75 years it remains one of the most popular offbeat attractions in Kansas.

[RoadsideAmerica.com Team, 04/26/2022]

Davis Memorial decapitated figure, 2019.

The Strange Grave of John Milburn Davis

Sad that John Davis didn't want to share some of his money with the community, but to each his own. His love for Sarah is evident by this memorial. P.S. - Why in the world someone would decapitate John's head off one of the stones is tragic!

[Rose Howe, 11/25/2019]

Sarah Davis.

The Strange Grave of John Milburn Davis

Actually quite lovely. It's obvious this man loved his wife greatly and genuinely missed her after her death. Some statues are in need of repair. Unexpectedly touching!

[JB, 08/08/2019]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Fishing Pole and FishFishing Pole and Fish, Willis, KS - 8 mi.
World's Largest BaseballWorld's Largest Baseball, Muscotah, KS - 21 mi.
40th Parallel Marker40th Parallel Marker, White Cloud, KS - 14 mi.
In the region:
Stoner Drug Store and Soda Fountain, Hamburg, IA - 53 mi.

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