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Posted on: November 22, 2023

Fort Walton Beach’s two cemeteries

Picture of cemetery in Fort Walton Beach.

Did you know that the City of Fort Walton Beach manages two cemeteries within its city limits?

The largest is the 40-acre Beal Memorial Cemetery. The cemetery is named after Dr. James Beal (1861-1945). Born in Ohio, Beal founded the Scio (Ohio) College of Pharmacy and later served in that state’s House of Representatives before moving his family to Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

Beal Memorial Cemetery opened in 1956 and is the final resting place for more than 9,600 people.

 Currently, Highland Wake Construction, LLC of Panama City Beach is nearing completion of a new administration building for the cemetery to replace the current facility built in 1975. Funded by the cemetery’s Perpetual Care Fund, the new building will have space to store equipment used by the cemetery’s groundskeepers.

 The other city cemetery is Brooks Memorial Cemetery, located between Shell and Church avenues in downtown Fort Walton Beach. The cemetery is named for John Thomas Brooks (1838-1917). Brooks was stationed here during the Civil War in what was then called “Camp Walton.” In 1868, Brooks returned and founded Brooks’ Landing, near the site of what is now the Fort Walton Beach Landing.

John Thomas Brooks and his wife, Harriet, established the cemetery where they and many other early residents of the area are buried, less than a mile down the road from the bridge that bears the Brooks family name.

 For more information about purchasing a plot in the city’s cemeteries, contact Cemetery Supervisor Janice Rogers at 850-833-9618 or email at jrogers@fwb.org

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