Olive Cemetery

Dignity in Death: Two more Civil War heroes....

There are about 93,000 people buried at Eden, including re-interred remains from Lebanon Cemetery, the Stephen Smith Home for the Aged and Infirm Colored Person's Burial Ground, Olive Cemetery and the First African Baptist Church Burial Grounds, all Philadelphia cemeteries disrupted by urban construction

Sheppard Shay was a 59-year-old cook when he died in Philadelphia on Aug. 10, 1902. Military records indicate he was 21 when he enlisted in the Navy on Nov. 20, 1861, seven months after the start of the Civil War, but his recorded birth year of 1843 shows he probably was not much older than 18. His remains were removed from Olive Cemetery in Philadelphia and re-interred in Eden on May 26, 1903.

The Civil War was almost over when coachman John W. Esley enlisted in the Army Feb. 28, 1865 at age 27, but he managed to achieve the rank of sergeant with Company F of the 24th U.S. Colored Infantry before being discharged seven months and four days later. He died March 10, 1913 at the age of 77 and was buried at Eden three days later.