Following the filing of the plat, lots were sold. William Wilson registered the first deed for a cemetery lot in the Cottonwood Park Cemetery on December 6, 1877. This lot he purchased on October 19, 1877 from W.Q.Elliott and Rebecca Elliott for $8.00. (It is interesting to note that Rebecca is mentioned at a time when women seemed to have little identity of their own and even in burial were not designated by their given name.) Each purchaser received title to his lot. The title specified that the lot be used exclusively for the purpose of a family sepulcher. The first burial in Cottonwood Park Cemetery was Mrs. Leander (Jane) Walker, Sr., who was buried in the lot closest to the road on the south.
The Cottonwood Park Cemetery included a potter’s field, which in the late 19th century provided a place for burials of strangers, illegitimacies, criminals and suicides. The latter could not be buried in the grounds blessed by the church and ministers were not permitted to participate in any type of service provided. At present, nine cemetery markers are located in this part of the cemetery but according to record by 1908 there were 159 individuals buried in potter’s field. Also, buried in potter’s field were bodies of individuals, who could not afford a cemetery lot, those who had no surviving family, and sometimes bodies of infants who would later be reburied in a family lot.
On April 27, 1878, Elliott for the sum of one hundred twenty dollars ($120.) officially purchased the land legally described as SE ½ of SE ¼, Section 16, Twp 21, S of baseline of Range 8, W of 6th principal, amounting to 40 acres. This actually encompasses the entire cemetery grounds. W. Q. Elliott fenced in five acres for his cemetery and began improving the grounds as fast as possible. Mr. Elliott set out many trees as did lot owners.