Best Cemetery

Mount Olive Cemetery

Joseph Marconnot, a truck driver descended from an old French family in Carondelet, slipped off this mortal coil in 1924. In his will he stipulated that he be embalmed in the manner of King Tut (whose tomb had only been discovered two years earlier), dressed in a tuxedo and laid to rest in a mausoleum with a glass door so visitors from all over the world could stop by and admire him. Because Marconnot had no wife or children to object, his wishes were carried out, and a granite mausoleum was built for him in Mount Olive Cemetery in Carondelet. Alas, years later the Archdiocese of St. Louis worried that vandals would break the glass door and requested that Marconnot's heirs replace it with one made of stainless steel. Now the Mount Olive Mummy is completely hidden from the public, and cemetery representatives say it's impossible to arrange a viewing. Still, the imagination is a powerful thing, and it's sort of delightful to wander through Mount Olive's pleasant rolling hills and know that a mummy lurks nearby. Also interred in Mount Olive are trumpeter Louis Jordan and Dick, who died in the 1849 cholera epidemic and was one of the few antebellum slaves whose master gave him a proper burial with a gravestone. Neither, as far as we know, was mummified.

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