This is perhaps the most important cemetery in the vicinity of New York; the interments here in 1879 were nearly twice as many as at Greenwood, and in 1880 more than in all the other Protestant cemeteries in Newtown. The existence of this cemetery is largely due to the efforts of Rev. Dr. Geissenhainer. In 1850, when the common council of New York forbade burial in the city, Dr. Geissenhainer was pastor of St. Paul's German Lutheran church on Sixth Avenue. St. Matthew's church sent John H. Imbush and Benjamin Van Raden to confer with Dr. Geissenhainer as to some means of providing the two churches with a suitable and cheaper place of burial than Greenwood. Dr. Geissenhainer's church declining to co-operate he took the responsibility individually, and became half owner in this new cemetery a Middle Village. Ten acres were purchased of Jonathan Morrell and divided in halves, so that the part owned by St. Matthew's church was distinct from the part owned by Dr. Geissenhainer. F.W. Geissenhainer purchased eight acres adjoining, which was subsequently added to the cemetery. St. Matthew's society also made additions to its part of the cemetery.
Dr. Geissenhainer's part was laid out and improved by him as a private enterprise, until March 22nd 1852, when a company was organized under the general act of 1847, and the “Lutheran Cemetery” was incorporated. Dr. Geissenhainer's part of the original purchase and the lands subsequently bought by his son were conveyed to this corporation. In 1860 the corporation bought the Harper farm of thirty-eight acres. St. Matthew's society had in the meantime purchased several acres, and during the eight years that followed a bitter rivalry existed between the two parties. These differences were terminated in 1868 by the Lutheran Cemetery proprietors purchasing all the land belonging to St. Matthew's church.
The price of burials in this cemetery was originally $2.50, and lots were sold at $7.00.