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Hackensack Cemetery Sign
William W. Robinson Grave Marker
Hackensack Cemetery Sign
William W. Robinson Grave Marker


This grave marker, which is at Hackensack Cemetery, located at 289 Hackensack Avenue Hackensack, New Jersey, reveals that William W. Robinson served in the U.S. Army during the Spanish-American War for the State of New Jersey and died at the age of 76. 

William W. Robinson is listed with Hackensack Veterans for the following reasons: first his grave marker states that William W. Robinson 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 well after his date of birth May 22, 1877. Finally, this confirms his connection to Hackensack by being buried within its borders since passing and forevermore.

William W. Robinson 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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It was 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 19th 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
June 20, 2019


Background Image of B 24 Co. Infantry Regiment Spanish-American War obtained from: http://peacehistory-usfp.org/1898-1899/