The Byron Cemetery is located on the southeastern edge of the village at Hamilton and Water streets on the Byron Millpond. The approximately six acres of gently sloping hills are characteristic of a rural, Victorian-era cemetery in both terms of its landscape and grave markers. It is a perpetual care lawn cemetery.
There are over 2700 graves with approximately 600 dating to the 19th Century. The first burial dates to March 17, 1837, with the death of Theodore H. Prevost, son of Francis Prevost, a member of the Byron Company. A Quit Claim Deed in 1873, between Sidney Derby and Theo Barnum, conveyed the property to be used for a burying ground. Before that, deed books commonly make reference to it as the “burying ground” in descriptions of adjacent properties.
Theodore H. Provost -- "First Grave"
In 1898, the Byron Cemetery Association was established at a meeting at the Opera House, and the burying ground was then deeded to the association. In 1916, the perpetual care system was adopted. The entire cemetery was deeded to the village of Byron in three separate actions, dating 1916, 1944 and 1954. The Cemetery Board of the village gained control of the entire cemetery.
Fifty-six known Civil War burials and many from other wars are buried here, as well as many Byron-area notable persons and pioneers. There are monuments of fieldstone, obelisks, rolls, pedestals holding urns, simple tablets with the iconography being predominately Christian. The grave of Ellen May Tower is marked with a beautiful monument and statuary. A large pedestal monument with crossed rifles commemorating the unknown soldier of the Civil War was dedicated in 1910.
Byron Cemetery Photo (1912?)
On February 19, 1996, the Michigan Historical Commission approved a Michigan Historical Marker for the cemetery and designated it as Michigan Historic Site No. L1960. The marker was installed by the Hamilton Street gate and dedicated during the 175th Jubilee on Sunday, July 11th, 1999.
Dedication Cemetery Michigan Historical Marker July 11, 1999
L-R Merton Wing, Shiawassee County Historical Society; Sharon Granger, Byron Cemetery Board and Burns Twp Clerk; Gordon Green, Byron Village President; Dr. Mark Miller, Byron High Schools Superintendent; Mark Murray, Michigan State Treasurer and Michigan Historical Commission; Mike Rogers, Michigan State Senator, 26th District; Larry Julian, Michigan State Representative 85th District; Gerald Cole, Shiawassee County Commissioner, District 6