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Hackensack Cemetery Sign
Frank Dillard Grave Marker
Hackensack Cemetery Sign
Frank Dillard Grave Marker


This grave marker which is at Hackensack Cemetery located at 289 Hackensack Avenue Hackensack, New Jersey reveals that Frank Dillard served in the United States Army during World War I for the State of New Jersey and died at the age of 65. 
Frank Dillard was not on the Original Honor Roll List which was in the Evening Record newspaper October 5, 1918, but I have listed Frank Dillard with the Original Honor Roll List for these reasons:

First, being African American he most likely would not have attended school or no more than an 8th grade education at Hackensack Schools prior to World War I.

Second, the grave marker states that Frank Dillard served for New Jersey during his time in service couple that with being buried in Hackensack he either lived in Hackensack or the surrounding area which was all considered Hackensack prior to 1921 which is after his date of birth. Also Dillard, is a common name in Hackensack, two brothers George A. Dillard and
Harold Dillard both served during Vietnam and Harold was Killed in Action. The interesting thing is George and Harold Dillard were being raised by their aunt and uncle when they were in high school and looking at Frank Dillard’s date of passing 1959 he may be their father, but I have no way of knowing at the present time. 

Finally, this confirms his connection to Hackensack by being buried within its borders since passing and forevermore.

Frank Dillard is buried in the African American section of Hackensack Cemetery. In the 1880’s a law was passed because of an incident concerning Hackensack cemetery

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making it a crime to refuse burial of African Americans in cemeteries with a fine of up to $500.00.  The cemetery was officially founded in the 1890’s and the segregation within its grounds went on for many years to follow with attitudes probably changing after World War II. Grave plots having been bought before a person died in the 1950’s, and many African Americans more comfortable resting their loved ones in a more traditional area among friends and family not much has changed. Italians in Hackensack are much more highly represented in St. Joseph’s cemetery for similar reasons they really were not welcome in the more Dutch and Anglo-Saxon cemetery of Hackensack at the turn of the 1900th to the 20th century so they created their own cemetery through St. Joseph’s Catholic ministries right next to Hackensack Cemetery. 

Written by:
Bob Meli
August 14, 2018


Background image of U.S. Infantry during World War I obtained from: