First President of the Elmwood Cemetery Society
1854 – 1901
Born to aristocrats in New York, Kirkland B. Armour and his brother Charles came to Kansas City around 1870 to join their Uncle Simeon in the family’s meat packing business. Kirkland Brooks Armour was earnestly involved with city betterment projects throughout Kansas City. He was the first president of the Elmwood Cemetery Society. He and several other civic leaders raised the capital in 1896 to purchase the cemetery and convert it into a not-for-profit entity. They took the legal measures necessary to establish a 999 year charter with the State of Missouri for the perpetual protection of the cemetery.
Kirkland B. Armour was memorialized by his wife with the construction of the Armour Chapel on the grounds of Elmwood Cemetery. She donated the funds in 1902 to build the gothic style chapel in memory of her husband who died the previous year. The chapel seats 85 people and was built of native stone and carved timbers. The beautiful sanctuary is equipped with stained glass, mechanical lowering for the bier, beamed carved oaken angels, a bell tower, and working gargoyles for protection and water run-off. A marble columbarium is in the basement.