Copperopolis Cemetery

The Copperopolis Cemetery District was established in 1950 for the purpose of maintaining a public cemetery. The District is governed by statutory authority of the Health and Safety Code, Div. 8, Part 4, Public Cemetery Districts. There are three elected directors. Recently, 1985-89, the cemetery is being surveyed and plotted. In the future there will be an orderly method of recording places of burial. A beautiful hand-welded iron gate has been re-located to the north wall. The cemetery is actually four cemeteries in one. Four-foot high stone-laid walls separate Masonic, Odd Fellows, People’s Protestant, and Catholic. All occupy the same hill west of Copperopolis on Old State Highway 4.

Edith Johnson in 1963 recorded the names of 344 persons buried in the cemeteries. These were the people who had head-stones. Many others have been buried in the Copperopolis Cemetery whose head-stone or marker has not survived. We estimate that since 1963 there have been from 40-50 people buried here.

There is a grave-stone of some renown, mainly for the epitaph. The stone is in the memory of Wm. Shepley died October 14, 1866, aged 29 years, 5 months, and 24 days. The stone was made by A. Margo of Shaws Flat, Tuolumne County and is probably marble from the Columbia Quarry.

The epitaph reads as follows:

Stop traveler and cast an eye
As you are now so once was I
As I am now so you must be
Therefore prepare to follow me.

Prepare for death make no delay
In my bloom was snatched away
When death did call me to depart
I left my friends with aching heart.