Morris Hill Cemetery is one of the oldest and most well-known cemeteries in the Treasure Valley. The cemetery began in January of 1882, when Mayor James Pinney spent $2,000 of city funds to purchase the eighty acres on the bench from William H. Ridenbaugh and Mrs. Lavinia I. Morris (a widow). Although he was heavily criticized for purchasing the land, the City of Boise took over operation on March 1, 1882.
Some of the causes of death in our first burial records, beginning in 1882, included a snow slide, gunshot, murder, dropsy, consumption, poison, falling tree, falling rock, rickets gathering in the head, Bright's disease, La Grippe, and steel car accident.
Since the original maps were platted in 1882, creating thousands of available lots, more sections have been added over the years, establishing thousands more. The cemetery currently consists of 60 developed (platted) acres, with 53 sections and a mausoleum.
Even though cemetery has been in operation since 1882, there are still many lots available. When fully occupied, the cemetery will always be full of life, from the green grasses to stately trees, with all sorts of wildlife including families of squirrels and birds to the occasional deer, turkey, or fox.
The majority of lots at Morris Hill Cemetery lie from east to west (feet to the east, head to the west). It is customary to place the markers so that they can be read (facing east) while not standing on the grave of the person who's marker you are reading. Traditionally, couples are "buried as they are married" - husband on the right, wife on the left (facing east).
Because Morris Hill Cemetery is old but still in use, there are many older stones among the newer ones. The oldest sections are in the north-west corner of the cemetery. When Emerald Street was widened, many of the graves in Section 2 were moved to Section T, which is on the south east side of the cemetery.
There are some wonderful monuments exhibiting ceramic pictures of the deceased. By Col. Green's mausoleum in Section E, there is a picture of a bearded gentlemen and his wife who were buried in the early 1900's. In Section 5, there is a memorial monument to a young airman, shot down over Goose Bay during World War II. In Silent Camp, there is a monument to a Civil War veteran, Richard Congdon Ball, his remains were placed there in May of 1922, brought to Boise from Illinois by his grandson.
Cemetery Rules and Regulations
All official cemetery transactions shall be handled at the Boise Parks and Recreation Administration Office. Business hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m, Monday through Friday, except legal holidays. The cemetery shall be open to the public from sunrise to sunset.
Maintenance and Care:
Boise City will provide maintenance care for all lots. This services consists of maintaining neat and attractive grounds; watering and mowing lawns; trimming around headstones; pruning trees and shrubs planted by Boise City; cleanup and removal of trash, leaves, withered flowers, etc.; and preservation of grade at burial site(s). This care does not include the planting or care of flowers around monuments and markers, nor the cleaning or repair of monuments and markers erected on burial site(s).
Ornamentation and Beautification:
Planter boxes, toys, flags, pinwheels, balloons, wire figurines, breakable objects, and/or decorations, which are placed on or around graves and deemed hazardous or create a maintenance problem, will be removed and disposed of by cemetery staff.
Glass or breakable objects of any kind are not permitted in the cemeteries. No artificial flowers or decorations will be allowed during the mowing season (April 1 through October 31) except on Memorial Day.
Cut flowers may be placed upon graves in a non-breakable container any time of the year. Cut flowers in glass or other breakable containers will be removed from the container and placed directly on the grave. Containers will not be retained. Cut flowers, including burial service flowers, will be removed when they become unsightly, discolored or wilted. Holiday flowers and grave decorations may be placed one week prior to the observed holiday and will be removed one week after the holiday.
Perennial plantings (bushes, bulbs, roses, etc.) are not allowed.
Planting of annuals is only allowed in the upright monument sections. You may plant within 9 inches in front (east side) of a monument in the infant sections and 18 inches in front (east side) of the monument in all other monument sections (Section Q north/south graves plant on south side of marker, Chinese section plant on the west side of marker). No Borders of any type are allowed.
Planting is not allowed in sections which require flat gravestones.
The planting of any vegetation other than defined in the flower policy is strictly prohibited without obtaining written permission from the Cemetery Manager.
A small fee is assessed when staff places flowers.
All markers are required to have a minimum 4-inch concrete mow strip surrounding the marker.The width of a marker is limited to the width of the lot(s). All markers are limited to a depth (length) of 24 inches which includes the 4-inch mow strip. Upright markers that exceed a height of 5 feet and does not meet specifications listed above, will require Department approval.
The installation of upright markers is not permitted in Morris Hill Cemetery’s “flat marker only” sections. There are no “flat marker only” sections in Pioneer Cemetery.
Flat markers, at the head of a lot in a flat marker area, may contain vases as long as these vases are capable of being placed back in the marker and level to the ground.
Flat markers may be placed at the head of the burial lot as an alternative to an upright marker in the cemeteries’ monument sections.
Each burial lot allows for the placement of two markers, one at the head and the other at the kidney position on a lot. Some sections have exceptions for these placements and can be placed at the foot position of a lot.
All markers placed at the kidney and foot locations must be flat, set to turf grade, and absent of vases.
Should any marker become unsightly or a hazard to visitors, the cemetery shall have the right to either correct the condition or remove it at the expense of the owner of the marker.
Markers are owned by the purchaser, not the City, and can be purchased through an approved monument company and can only be set with prior approval and confirmation of exact plot location and requirements by cemetery personnel.
Maintenance and care of the marker is the responsibility of the purchaser. Cemetery staff endeavors to maintain orderly, well-kept grounds, and encourage families to become involved and participate in the care of the markers of deceased friends and family members. Over time, there will be normal aging and upkeep required for all of the markers in the cemeteries. Repairs and maintenance can be obtained from local monument companies.
Cemetery staff reserves the right to move a marker to facilitate grave digging.
A notice of ten (10) working hours will be required for the opening of a graves for the purpose of a burial. It is not required that a funeral director be onsite to witness the interment of the body; it is however a requirement that a funeral director be onsite to witness a disinterment. Disinterments shall be arranged through a funeral director and require a notice of at least one week. All graves shall be dug by City employees.
Interments will only be allowed to occur in full sized lots. The cemetery allows one full size, casket burial in one lot and up to three cremations on the same lot, or four cremations in one full sized lot.
All interments require the use of a burial vault/box. The use of a coffin is not required.
Only human remains may be interred, animal remains are prohibited.
In the cemeteries owned by the City, customers do not purchase or own the actual ground space of the lot. The customer is actually purchasing a “Certificate of License to Inter” for a specific lot of their choice. This license reserves the lot for the use of the purchaser or other designated individuals. Additional burials in the same lot will require additional licenses to inter, titled Extended Use Fee. Customers may purchase licenses on a pre-need basis or at time of burial.
An unused license may be transferred to a family member or repurchased by the City. If the owner of the Certificate of License to Inter wishes to transfer the lot to another person, that transaction will require the owner of the license to sign a quit claim deed and pay a transfer charge upon application for the transfer.
More information can be obtained by contacting the Parks and Recreation Administration Office.
Visitors are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that accords due respect to the deceased.
Alcoholic beverages, smoking, illegal drugs, and boisterous activity are prohibited.
Automobiles and other vehicles shall not be driven in excess of 15 miles per hour while on the cemetery roadways.
Advertising, selling, or soliciting will not be permitted, nor will any active forms of recreation.
Children, under the age of 15, must be accompanied by parents or guardians who will be responsible for their behavior.
With the exception of service animals, pets are not permitted on the cemetery grounds or in any buildings.
All persons in Boise City cemeteries are prohibited from: gathering flowers (wild, cultivated or artificial), breaking or harming trees, shrubs, or disturbing the birds and wildlife.
The main office, for the cemeteries, is located:
Parks and Recreation Administration Office
1104 Royal Blvd, Boise, Idaho 83706
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Phone: (208) 608-7600
Cemeteries are open from sunrise to sunset.
THERE IS AN ONLINE SEARCH FEATURE INCLUDING A PLOT MAP AT THIS WEBSITE https://parks.cityofboise.org/cemeteries/