Mount Hope Cemetery history. Topeka, KS

History of Mount Hope Cemetery

Our History

Mount Hope was established in 1906 by Albe and Kate Whiting as a beautiful final resting place for Topekans.

They envisioned acres of peaceful, landscaped grounds in the heart of the city and brought this vision to life with the assistance of famed landscape architect E.F.A. Reinisch, who designed many Topeka parks including the Gage Park Rose Garden.

Our Founders

Albe and Kate Whiting were early pioneers in central Kansas in the 1850’s. They moved to Topeka in 1877 to provide better schooling for their four daughters. There they established the A.B. Whiting Paint and Glass Company.

Mr. Whiting served for many years as a member of the Board of Trustees for then-Washburn College, and remained dedicated to the values of education and community service for the rest of his life.

The Whitings established Mount Hope Cemetery in 1906 as a beautiful place for the burial of the dead. Sadly, Mrs. Whiting died in 1907, and her husband spent the remainder of his life working to make Mount Hope the honorable resting place that it is today.


  • 1906 – Mount Hope established by Albe & Kate Whiting
  • 1927 – Mount Hope Abbey Mausoleum built
  • 1931 – Singing Tower played for the first time
  • 1948 – World War II Veterans Memorial in Veterans Section dedicated
  • 1961 – Lincoln Garden opened with 1:2 scale replica of Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.
  • 1961 – Mount Hope Abbey Mausoleum addition constructed
  • 1975 – Chapel Garden Mausoleum built
  • 1988 – Veteran’s Family Garden opened
  • 2001 – Whiting Abbey opened
  • 2011 – Mount Hope purchased by Ren & Theresa Newcomer
  • 2012 – Extensive renovations to memorial gardens, cemetery office and historic chapels
  • 2012 – Tranquility Courtyard created
  • 2013 – Harmony stained glass niches installed
  • 2013 – Rose Garden niches installed
  • 2014 - Sunrise and Sunset mosaic cremation niches added in Whiting Abbey

Mausoleum History

The Historic Abbey section of the mausoleum was built in 1927, as Topeka’s first community mausoleum. The Mount Hope Abbey addition was built in 1961, with ten different colors of marble throughout. At the time, it was the largest mausoleum in Kansas. Subsequent additions of the Chapel Garden Mausoleum in 1975 and Whiting Abbey in 2001 completed the mausoleum complex as we know it today.

The practice of mausoleum entombment dates back to 353 B.C. when an above-ground tomb was built to honor King Mausolus, ruler of a portion of the land we now know as Greece. Community mausoleums gained popularity in America in the 1870’s.

History of the Singing Tower

Singing Tower History Mount Hope Cemetery, Topeka, KS.

The Mount Hope Singing Tower is a famous feature in one of the most popular sections of the cemetery. The Singing Tower was the first tower ever planned for a cemetery in the United States. First played in 1931, it has become more popular with each generation of listeners.

The Tower is played each Memorial Day and on request at each service. In 1996, new carillons were installed which play on the hour for certain occasions.