Mount Pleasant Cemetery is located at the intersection of Crocker and Cohannet Streets in Taunton, Massachusetts. It is the third “garden-style” cemetery established in Massachusetts. However, this burial ground is more than a place for the dead to rest in eternal peace. It has an enchanting landscape, so that those still living who come to visit their deceased ancestors and friends can enjoy a scenic walk around the park with its short hills, gravel walkways and beautifully planted trees and shrubbery.
The Mount Pleasant Cemetery was
officially opened on July 4, 1836. It is
a “garden-style” cemetery as opposed to a simple, dreary burying ground. The cemetery was the first of its kind in the
City of Taunton and the third in the state.
The Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris and the English Gardens are the
inspiration for these landscaped burial grounds in America. The first public garden was established in
Boston, near the common, just a year after the Mount Pleasant Cemetery was
Mr. Samuel Crocker was a wealthy
businessman and politician in Taunton. In
1835, he deeded a parcel of his own land to be used for the new cemetery. Previously, the King family had their own
small burial ground on the land. Their graves
continued to lie in the new cemetery, as well as the graves of important
politicians and veterans of several wars, including Queen Anne’s War; the
American Revolution; and the War of 1812.
The cemetery was transferred to the
City of Taunton in 1985. In 2002, it
earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.
Who is buried in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery?
There are several men and women
buried in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery who were important to Taunton’s strong
Samuel Leonard Crocker
(1804-1883). Mr. Crocker was the man who
provided the land for the cemetery in the beginning. He was born in Taunton in 1804 and became an established
businessman and politician representing the area. He served as a member of the Massachusetts
Governor's Council in 1840 and then as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from the Massachusetts 2nd District from 1853-1855. Mr. Crocker also operated the Taunton Locomotive
Manufacturing Company for over 20 years as President (1862-83). He died in
Boston in 1883 and was interred at the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.
Mr. Crocker was the father of
Sally Crocker (who married Edmund Hatch Bennett) and Mary Caroline Crocker (who
married Darius Nash Couch).
Edmund Hatch Bennett (1824-1898)
was born in Vermont in 1824. He became a
lawyer and served as a probate judge in Massachusetts from 1858-63. He also served as the mayor of Taunton from 1865-67,
before he resigned 1867. Eventually, he became a law professor and died in Boston
in 1898. The epitaph on his tombstone
reads: “Greatly Beloved. / He rests from his labors, and his
works do follow him.
Darius Nash Couch (1822-1897) was
born in Putnam County, New York in 1822. He served in the U.S. Army during the
Mexican War and as a general in the Union Army during the Civil War. Couch was also a naturalist and a
merchant. In 1865, he vied as a candidate
for Governor of Massachusetts. He didn’t
win that campaign, but he did serve as the U.S. Collector of Customs from 1866-1867.
He died in Norwalk, Connecticut in 1897.