The Mount Olivet Cemetery

What's inside the gate?

Welcome to the Cemetery Tour

Land for this cemetery was conveyed to Mount Olivet in 1855 through deeds from the William Marcey and John Brown families.

This donation to the church resolved a dispute between the two families over ownership of the land. How appropriate that an act of reconciliation would help launch Mount Olivet’s place in the history of Arlington.

We hope everyone will find that a visit to our cemetery provides an opportunity to pause and reflect on the rich history of Arlington, the perseverance of our forefathers, and the natural beauty of this piece of land.

We think of our cemetery as a museum without walls that offers a glimpse into the lives and challenges of our neighbors from years past.
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Sue Landon Adams Vaughan

During the Civil War she was a Confederate Army nurse and later a rebel spy and land blockade runner. She carried medical supplies to Confederate troops and posing as a Presbyterian missionary, crossed Union lines and made mental notes of troop deployments.

Despite strong southern feelings, at the end of the Civil War in 1865, Ms. Adams (later Vaughn) called on the Daughters of the Southland to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers - Confederate and Union alike.She is believed to have said, “I will garland them with pink roses, for the mothers and sisters sobbed prayers as they walked away. . .”

In her later years, she lived in Arlington with her sister Sallie Adams (buried here) next door to Marie Shreve, later wife of Frank Ball, Sr. After her sister’s death, she lived in the DC Eastern Star Home and was buried in our cemetery. In 1967 the United Daughters of the Confederacy marked her grave with this rather inaccurate headstone.

She is ONE of several individuals or groups who may deserve credit for the first observance of Decoration Day. (#103)

William E. Marcey & Sarah Marcey

1909-1996, 1917-2011
One of our more recent burials. The Marcey family was a prominent Arlington and Mount Olivet family. At this stop we will also discuss two of William E’s ancestors - William and Mary Ann Marcey. They were one of the two families who supplied the original land for Mount Olivet and this cemetery. They may well be buried in unmarked graves here. A land dispute with their neighbors, Cornelia and John Brown, was peaceable, settled by the decision to deed the disputed land to the congregation for “a building site for a Methodist Protestant Meeting House and Burial Ground.” (#54)

Rev. Edwin R. McGregor

Highly educated and an author of 3 books, he came to Mount Olivet at age 71. His first pastorate 1888-1890 was marred by the death of his wife, Anne Marie, who is buried in the cemetery. He was assigned a second time to Mount Olivet from 1892-1894.

During this tenure, he wooed and married a 50 year old parishioner, Miss Marian Ball. She lived in the home of her brother where the courtship ensued. The courting was made more difficult by the youngsters in the family who delighted in playing tricks on the two old lovebirds.

As Pastor McGregor was down on one knee proposing in the parlor, they were walked in on by the mother of the family. They never lived down that hilarious event. He later developed cancer of the tongue and died in Pennsylvania. (#46)

William Dixon

William Dixon (?? - ??) came to the area around the turn of the century. A Belgian, he spent his early youth and adult life as a sailor.

As he advanced in age, with failing eyesight, he had trouble earning a livelihood. With no family to care for him, he eventually began living in a barn near the church.

There, one of Mount Olivet’s “consecrated” women (devout laywoman who devoted her life to the church) visited him. Church records show that “Wm.Dixon” joined the church by Confession of Faith November 6, 1910.

Upon his death, the church gave him a respectful burial, demonstrated by the large attendance. Unfortunately, we do not know where he is buried since a fire in the early 1920’s destroyed many of the cemetery records.

Lemuel & Frances Marcey

Lemuel and Frances Marcey lie in unmarked graves. Lemuel owned one of the areas, largest vegetable farms. He was also a local constable.

According to the account of Frank Ball, in the early 1900s William Ball and other prominent Mount Olivet members and Arlington County citizens organized to rid the area of gambling dens and brothels, (present-day Rosslyn.) Constable Lemuel Marcey swore in a posse who proceeded to lead the “Good Citizens League” raid on the saloons.

During the ensuing mayhem, he was knocked unconscious and severely injured. Given the position of Methodist women in the forefront of the Temperance movement of the time, we might safely assume Frances was involved in those activities, too.

Four of Lemuel and Frances’s young children, ages 4-12, are buried near the fence on the south side of the cemetery, victims of the pandemic raging in 1892. Their graves are marked by small blank pieces of slate in rows.

NOTE: Accuracy of information on Lemuel and Frances undergoing additional research.

Amanda Livingston

Amanda came with her husband and children to Mount Olivet in 1883 and lived in the parsonage. Reverend Livingston was forced to resign in 1887 because of ill health and died, shortly thereafter.

Amanda returned to Mount Olivet sometime later and became an active member until her death. When the Women's Society of Christian Service was formed in 1940, three circles were created at Mount Olivet. One of those honored her memory - the Amanda Livingston Circle.

That circle created a "medical equipment" closet which housed a wheel chair, crutches, a walker and other items that could be borrowed by members in need. The closet, which existed for 35 years, was named the Amanda Livingston Hospital Supply Cabinet.

Rev. William F. Livingston

Minister at Mount Olivet 1883-1888). He came with tuberculosis and was sickly through his whole pastorate. He was very much loved and admired by church members. The obituary in the Conference minutes had this to say, “He passed through a wicked world wearing the white shield of a stainless life holding up a high and Heavenly standard of piety.” (#116)

Mount Olivet & Racism

Read a short report by Jim Dake on the history of Mount Olivet and racism within Arlington and the United Methodist Church.

Read the report