The organization known as Green Hills Cemetery was begun as West Asheville Cemetery at the beginning of the 20th century. It appears that a few people had been buried in the cemetery property in the late 1890's. Some 114 years ago, the name of the institution was changed to Green Hills Cemetery.
Its founding Board of Directors was business and professional men in West Asheville. Soon after this organization, George Pennell was asked to serve as their attorney and become a member of the Board of Directors. Over a period of years Mr. Pennell became the sole guiding force and superintendent of the cemetery. He considered this a labor of love and served without compensation. At Mr. Pennell's death, his widow Madeline Pennell was appointed superintendent and served faithfully until her retirement.
The cemetery is solvent and has no long-term debt. Thanks to the frugal practices of Mrs. Pennell, the cemetery has accumulated retained earning which have permitted the operation of the cemetery during the past three years without having to borrow from outside sources. Approximately 17,000 people are buried in the cemetery which is one of the best kept and most attractive in our area.