The largest of these cemeteries, and one not dedicated to a specific denomination or family, was named City Cemetery, established in 1821. It was located on the land between the intersection of Kentucky Avenue, South Street, and the White River, or where the Diamond Chain Company is located today. Through a series of land additions over the years, City Cemetery grew to about 25 acres by 1852 and its name was changed to Greenlawn.
It was due to the Civil War and the burial of 1,281 Union Soldiers and 1,616 Confederate Prisoners of War that Greenlawn was brought to near capacity, contributing to the motivation of many of the city’s movers and shakers to seek a new burying ground, plans that culminated when Crown Hill opened.
Lack of space in Greenlawn meant that families could no longer bury their dead near those already buried there and the cemetery’s lack of proper care made it a very dismal place. Many families decided to purchase lots in Crown Hill or other cemeteries and move their loved ones. One example of this is that of Governor James Whitcomb who was moved to Crown Hill in 1892, forty years after his death.