Although records of the resolution by Queen's University to acquire a cemetery lot cannot be found, accounts of the death of Principal Leitch in 1864 supply evidence of a probable basis for this decision. The Board of Trustees deemed it "highly desirable that the memory of the late Principal of this University...be perpetuated by some suitable monument." Funds were raised for the establishment of two memorial scholarships and to erect a monument upon Leitch's grave which would be a testament to his "learning, educational ability, and Christian worth."
The desire to properly memorialize esteemed members of the university community is likely what prompted Queen's to acquire three cemetery lots (254, 255, and 270) in 1877. Not only would this allow Queen's to pay tribute to some of its most illustrious people, it would be a reflection of Queen's place in the history of Kingston and of Canada.
Queen's obtained the south half of lot 272 in 1937.
The north half of lot 272 became part of Queen's lots when it was purchased by Professor MacClement and one of Principal Gordon's sons early in the 1930s.
In addition to the above lots, Queen's owns a section that is reserved for interring the remains of those who dedicate their bodies to education and research. Medical students and donors' families attend an interment ceremony that is held at the cemetery each June.
Queen's people such as principals John Machar and William Leitch died before Queen's was in possession of its cemetery lots. Also, space limitations have prevented Queen's from burying all of its devotees in the university lots. As a result, Queen's people can be found throughout Cataraqui Cemetery.
The individuals listed below are just a few of Queen's founders, administrators, professors and benefactors that have served Queen's and are interred in Cataraqui Cemetery.