Mr. Marion Francis Scott measured the land, or as they said at that time “stepped off,” for the present Mount Olivet Cemetery. Marion F. Scott was the grandfather of Clarence C. and Malvin Scott, present day residents of Marceline. He had fought in the Civil War as a member of the Illinois Infantry and St his death on January 25, 1894, was the first person buried in the cemetery.
In the spring of 1912 a notice appeared in the Marceline weekly newspaper asking all interested persons to come to the cemetery, bringing their sickles, rakes, wagons and teams. The response was good and as a result the people organized Mount Olivet Cemetery Association. Mrs. Myrtle Steiner was elected president and a vice-president was selected from each ward – First ward, Mrs. W.D. Brown; Second ward, Mrs. Lillian Gridley; Third ward, Mrs. Louis E. Shelton; Fourth ward, Mrs. Georgia Gates; Secretary, Mrs. Carrie White; Treasurer, Mrs. J.D. Bush. Mr. George Riddle was hired as sexton at $30.00 per month.
Each lot owner paid $1 a year dues and other money was made by having rummage sales, bake sales, and dinners. In 1922 enough money was obtained by popular subscriptions to build a cement walk west on Santa Fe Street to the entrance of Mount Olivet. The Association was active until World War I, and then later until the cemetery was purchased by the city.
The City of Marceline bought the cemetery from Percy Randolph in 1931 and it has since been maintained by tax levy. As there were other cemeteries adjoining original Mount Olivet, plans were made to purchase these from the owners so that all cemeteries could be one. In 1940 the Williams Addition was added. Roselawn Addition was purchased from James McLaughlin in 1956 and in the same year Atkins Addition was purchased from Clyde Atkins and wife.
In order that there would be more personal supervision of the cemetery, Mayor B.J. Thomas established a municipal cemetery board in 1952. This board was composed of eight members appointed by the Mayor. Today the city manager is also a member of the board. The board meets once a month during the spring and summer, supervising the management and helping in many ways to make the cemetery look and function better. By soliciting donations, this board has been responsible for the extension of water lines throughout the cemetery, and are now making plans to improve and beautify the entrance to Mount Olivet.