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Peyton Cemetery
(El Paso County)
Peyton, Colorado
Index cut-off date: 15 July 1996
Order: Block, Plot
Peyton Cemetery is located approximately 16 miles east of Colorado Springs on Highway 24. The cemetery can be reached by turning north at the Peyton sign onto Bradshaw Road, following it as it swings west. Turn north at Manitou Street and proceed four blocks, turning left just past the school. Follow the road past the football field as it turns and reaches the cemetery gate. According to GPS-derived geolocation (accurate to 10 meters), the cemetery's coordinates are latitude 39°02'03.2"N and longitude 104°29'18.4"W. As of 2014, sexton records were maintained by cemetery trustee Rick Manyik, (719) 749-2014. Ed Stone, (719) 749-2063, lives nearby and is available to provide information. The cemetery grounds are maintained by volunteers. Cemetery hours and points of contact for information are posted just inside the cemetery gate. The cemetery overlooks the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, has mature trees, and is well maintained.
According to a short 1976 history of the cemetery by Clara A. Hamlin, land for the Peyton Cemetery was deeded on April 18, 1893. The first trustees were Joseph Zimmerman, Homer Van Horn, and Burke Potter. The first recorded burial was that of Moses Spencer, who died on Christmas Eve, 1892. Several women of the community spent Christmas Day preparing mourning clothes for the family of Mr. Spencer. Joseph Zimmerman and several other men prepared the coffin and dug the grave.
Before 1900, neighbors would typically prepare the bodies, built the coffins, and dig the graves. After the turn of the century, someone would take the train to Colorado Springs and purchase a casket and a rough-wood grave-liner box to be shipped to Peyton on the night train. The casket would be sent to the home of the deceased and the liner box to the grave site. A neighbor would take the casket to the cemetery in a lumber wagon and would use a set of heavy leather driving harnesses to lower it into the grave.
In 1990, Peyton's Girl Scout Troop 415 added lot identification stakes to the cemetery and rebuilt the entrance gate. Through the generous donations of several families who have relatives buried in the cemetery, a new gate was constructed using the original lettering from the gate installed in the 1920s.