Keokuk National Cemetery, listed on the National Register of Historic Places is located just west of the town of Keokuk, Iowa, is divided into two sections, the older western section with burials dating from the Civil War and the eastern section with burials from the late 20th century.
Keokuk was the location of five Civil War hospitals that treated thousands of injured troops transported upriver from battles in the south. The dead from the hospitals were first interred in a section of the city-owned Oakland Cemetery. The burial of Union casualties continued here until 1866, when the city of Keokuk donated the soldiers' section to the Federal Government, thus establishing the Keokuk National Cemetery.
The cemetery superintendent’s lodge dates to 1870 and was built according to the design of U.S. Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs. While the lodge’s Second Empire style and mansard roof are common in the national cemeteries, the lodge at Keokuk is the only one with arched first floor windows. Other buildings on site include a garage/restroom dating to 1937. An administrative building constructed in 1982 is just inside the gates of the western cemetery.
In Section B of the cemetery is the cornerstone of the Estes House, once a grand hotel that stood at the corner of 5th and Main Streets in Keokuk. The hotel was converted into a hospital during the Civil War, the largest of the five in town. When the building was razed in 1929, its cornerstone was relocated to the Keokuk National Cemetery, where it is enclosed in a glass-topped metal case in tribute to those soldiers who died in the hospital.