The first attempt to establish a public cemetery for the city of Winona was made at an early date upon the timbered flat on the School Section beyond Sugar Loaf and on the other side of the Burns Farm. Although quite a number of interments were made on this ground, yet on account of the distance, as well as the low, flat nature of the soil, the site was never satisfactory, and consequently many buried their dead on their own premises in the city, hoping that a more desirable location might be found.
This state of affairs continued until June 6, 1862, when some of the public-spirit citizens felt that final action in this matter could no longer be delayed, and on that day met at Huff’s Hotel Hall, then located at the corner of Third and Johnson Streets, where The Kensington now stands, and organized the Woodlawn Cemetery Association by adopting and signing the Articles of Association hereinafter set forth.
To the public spirit and good judgment of the late E.D. Williams do the citizens of Winona especially owe the location and the beginning of the improvement of Woodlawn Cemetery. He was the leader and moving spirit of the enterprise from its inception.