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Built in the fall of 1896 for the then-outrageous sum of $15,000, the outside consisted of thick gray granite blocks and the inside carerra marble.


Lantry Mausoleum

For more than a century, the magnificent private mausoleum of Barney Lantry stood in Resurrection Cemetery along Speedway Road. Built in the fall of 1896 for the then-outrageous sum of $15,000, the outside consisted of thick gray granite blocks and the inside carerra marble. There were half-moon shaped windows in the side walls, and a brass front door protected by an iron gate. Two stones, one with the legend "Lantry" and the other "1896,” were placed above the door. The back inside wall of the building contained four white marble wall crypts with brass fittings. There were also five large in-ground crypts, each covered by a three inch thick slab of concrete. The floor around the crypts was constructed of small white tiles, with a black cross pattern in the center aisle.

Barney Lantry, who "began a poor boy, but early developed a genius for making money,” was "known from one end of the Union to the other.” A native of New York, he came to Dane County with his mother, Hannah Lyons Lantry Crowley Quinlan, in the early 1850s after his father's death. After several years he moved back east to Rutland, Vermont to learn the stone cutters' trade, and while there married Bridget Fogarty, a native of Ireland. He and Bridget then moved to Prairie du Chien, where their five children were born. For several years he was captain of a steamboat on the Mississippi.

In 1867 he went south to construct railroads in Kentucky, Tennessee and Texas. In 1872 he came back north to superintend the Wisconsin Valley Railroad. In 1877 he settled in Chase County, Kansas, on the prairie near Emporia midway between Wichita and Kansas City, where he bought 110 acres of limestone-rich land. The "Father of Strong City," he was soon renowned as "one of the most energetic men in Kansas.” After opening a stone quarry on his land along the Cottonwood River, he began building railroad bridges, including most of those from Chicago to El Paso on the Santa Fe, and from El Paso to Mexico City on the Mexican Central. He built the Pike's Peak Cog Railway, considered his "most stupendous" achievement.

Between 1877 and 1895 he bought ten farms totaling fifteen thousand acres in Chase County. A leading figure in Kansas politics, he was the Democratic nominee for state treasurer in 1894. He died in his home at Strong City on December 7, 1895, after an illness of a year, with his mother at his side. She brought his body back to Madison; his funeral was held at St. Raphael’s. At the time of his death, his wife Bridget was confined to a hospital in Chicago, seriously ill. She died in November 1896 and was buried beside Barney.

In the century that followed, the cemetery neglected the mausoleum. Water damage caused the inner roof to cave in, covering the crypts on the floor with stony rubble. Vandals cracked open the crypts in the wall. Animals took up abode inside. The cemetery decided to dismantle the mausoleum in 1997. Despite offers by various individuals to donate their time to save it, beginning on May 6, 1997, heavy equipment moved in and the task was soon completed.

Mark Gajewski