The City Cemetery opened in 1832, or 33 years before the city of South Bend was incorporated. At that time, the cemetery's location was near the city's outskirts. However, as South Bend grew it became part of the city center and the final resting place for the town's prominent members. It is also an integrated cemetery that holds the remains of black residents such as members of the Powell family and white industrialists such as the Studebakers.
Backstory and Context
Schuyler Colfax Jr., who is buried here, served as U.S. Vice President under Ulysses S. Grant and was Speaker of the House of Representatives during the fight to pass the 13th Amendment to the Constitution that abolished slavery in 1865. Thus, blacks who lived under the shadow of slavery are buried in the same cemetery as Colfax, city founders, prominent industrialists, and Revolutionary War veterans.