According to a WPA survey completed in 1937, Calvary Cemetery began as a one acre plot that was consecrated and blessed by Father Hurth, an early missionary in the Anoka area in 1856. The area was known as Benton County then, since it was before the organization of Anoka County in 1857.
Ten years later, the cemetery was increased in size to eight acres and belonged to St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Anoka. At this time, the cemetery was in a “natural state” meaning it had no fence, walls, or orderly layout. Fr. Maurer, a mission priest from the Dayton mission, expanded the cemetery through a land transfer on September 13, 1872. In 1873, Father McDermott (the first full time resident pastor for St. Stephen’s Catholic Church) began an improvement plan where he got a fence put in and created an orderly layout for the cemetery roads and lots.
The rock wall that runs along the front side of the cemetery today was built by Alfred Keillor in the early years of the last century. He was a stone mason and cement man in the area and we know he built this wall, but we are not sure of when exactly. We do know he built the stone wall that runs along the yard of the house on South Ferry Street in 1912, so it is believed he built this one about that same time. If the Keillor name is familiar, we can say yes, Alfred was a relative of Garrison Keillor of Prairie Home Companion fame.
The original plat for the cemetery dated 1866.
For more information or to purchase a gravesite, please call the parish office at 763-421-2471.