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Cemetery Manager

Linda R. Davis
(704) 638-5250

Established around 1903 when the City needed to extend what is now known as Liberty Street and needed to provide a place of re-interment of African-American graves that stood in the way (actually the graves were on the outside wall of the Old English Cemetery). It is located at 1516 Old Wilkesboro Road and consists of 16.75 acres. The Kelsey family gave the cemetery to the City in 1995 to maintain but it was closed for unreserved burials. Families who own plots there can be buried by the funeral homes, but the City does not have any part of performing the burials.

While the site of the current Oakdale/Union Hill cemetery is believed to have been used as a burial ground as far back as the late 1700's, the property was not officially deeded as a cemetery until October of 1903. Research into funeral home records and state death certificates, as well as local historical society documents, have placed the number of burials in this location at well over 2,000, though only a small number of those buried here have markers to identify their graves. Addtional research is being conducted in the hopes of identifying the exact locations of as many of the graves as possible and the identities of those still unknown, including a number of bodies that were re-interred here from an older cemetery between 1904-1910 to make way for road expansions in the downtown area.

Famous Internment:

Koontz, Elizabeth

b. June 3, 1919 d. January 6, 1989

Educator. She was a teacher for 30 years, before becoming the first African American woman to head the Bureau of North Carolina Teachers Association. During the presidential Administration of Richard M. Nixon, she was the highest ranking black woman, heading the Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor and served as a delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in 1970. A champion on the rights of minority women, she also fought for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and served as assistant superintendent for the Department of Public Instruction before retiring in 1982.

Cause of death: Heart attack

Cemetery Policies



The City of Salisbury Cemetery Division reserves the right to regulate the method of decorating graves so that a safe and historical uniform beauty may be maintained.

  • Floral arrangements accompanying the casket or urn at the time of burial will be placed on the completed grave. They will remain there for approximately one week, at which time the Cemetery staff will remove and discard them. If the family wants to keep any of the grave arrangements, they should be removed before that one week is up. If circumstances prevent the family from removing any flowers, etc. from the grave site, please call the Cemetery office at 704-638-5250 before the one week time frame has passed to make other arrangements.
  • The City of Salisbury is not responsible for any floral or tributes placed on a grave plot. If missing or stolen, you may file a police report by calling the Salisbury Police Department at 704-638-5333.
  • Glass, statues, rocks, metal or wood products, toys, life-size decorations, solar lights, Christmas lights, bricks, benches and other potential projectiles are not permitted on cemetery plots at any time. The Management reserves the right to remove any items that do not conform to these limitations. This is for the safety of our crews since lawn mowers and weed eaters may come into contact with items placed on graves. If so placed and damage does occur, the Cemetery shall not be held responsible.
  • All floral arrangements must be in a permanent vase, on a saddle or in a hard plastic cone vase that sticks into the ground. If placed otherwise, and your flowers are damaged due to contact with our equipment, the Cemetery shall not be held responsible.
  • An "Annual Cemetery Cleanup" is performed once a year. You can call the Cemetery office at (704) 638-5250 to find out the definite date. Signage will be placed on large blue signs at each entrance of each cemetery approximately two months prior to the cleanup to alert lot owners of the beginning and end date of the cleanup. During cleanup week, any items located on grave plots including flowers, decorations, etc. will be removed and discarded. If you wish to retain any items, please remove them before the cleanup week. After the end date of the cleanup, you can place your flowers back on your plot.
  • The City maintains 7 cemeteries and takes pride in keeping them looking neat. The mowing schedule allows each cemetery to be mowed every other week which is usually sufficient for each cemetery to look good until we get back to it. Please bear with us at times as rain and the crew having to stop to open and close graves plays a major role in keeping the schedule on time.

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