History of Madison County
Union Township Cemeteries
From History of Madison County, W. H. Beers & Co, Chicago, 1883
The first burial-places were usually upon the land where they lived, or that of some neighbor at no great distance, as it was many years before regular interment grounds or cemeteries were established. The first to receive interment within the present limits of Union Township were, probably, two infant children of Thomas Melvin, on Glade Run, who died in the summer of 1808, and were buried on his land. which has since become a regular burial place for that neighborhood and vicinity, and is known as the Lower Glade Cemetery. The first adult person to be interred was Thomas Melvin, the father of the above mentioned children, who died in the fall of 1808. In 1811, the body of John McDonald, Sr., was deposited in the same piece of ground. And from this time deaths and burials became quite frequent, as the neighborhood of the Glade filled up with settlers, and for many years much sickness prevailed, and many a family tie was sundered by the "grim messenger, Death." Subsequently, after the death of Thomas Melvin, this land came into the ownership of Charles Melvin, who fenced around about an acre of ground and donated it for cemetery purposes. It has now been used for nearly seventy-five years, and contains a large concourse of the dead. A few persons have been buried in other places, but nearly all who were interred in the eastern portion of the township were buried in the above cemetery. In the extreme western part of the township, many of the pioneers were buried in the " Turner Burying-Ground," just in the edge of Clark County. Also a few persons were interred on the James Garrard farm, which was, in the early days known as the Sutherland Burying-Ground. But it is now all an open pasture, and not a mark left to show who were buried there. In the southern and southwestern portions of the township, many of the early dead were interred in the Watson Cemetery. At London there were two burying-places quite early established -- one in the north part of the town, usually known as the Methodist, and the other west of the town, known as the Presbyterian. These were used for many years, and until the purchase and establishment of the present beautiful grounds known as Oak Hill and Kirkwood Cemeteries. These were both established by associations, organized under the laws of the State. as follows:
Oak Hill Cemetery Association was organized at a called meeting of the citizens of London and vicinity, on August 6, 1860, with the following members: Richard Cowling, Toland Jones, Jeriah Swetland, James Q. Lotspeich, A. A. Hume, Richard A. Harrison, A. Shanklin, Oliver P. Crabb, Henry A. Smith and Benjamin F. Clark. Of these, Alexander A. Hume, Richard A. Harrison and Jeriah Swetland, were duly elected Trustees; and Henry W. Smith, Clerk. On August 9, 1860, Richard Cowling, Esq., and his wife, Mary Cowling, conveyed by deed to said Oak Hill Association, eight acres and ninety - six poles of land. This land lies north of London, where said cemetery is located, and was a donation by said grantors. The ground was laid out in three divisions: Division No. 1, contains sixty-eight lots; Division No. 2, contains sixty-nine lots; and Division No. 3, contains fifty-three lots. The Soldiers Monument is in Division No. 1, and was donated by Richard Cowling, Esq. The donor is buried near the Soldiers' Monument. Richard Cowling, Esq.. in his last will and testament, devised to said Oak Hill Cemetery Association fifty-four and three-fifths acres of land adjoining the eight acres and ninety-six poles of land first donated. The following persons have been the Trustees of said Association: Richard A. Harrison, Alexander A. Hume, and Jeriah Swetland, from the organization, August 6th, 1860, to August 3, 1868; at the latter date the following persons were elected Trustees: R. Cowling, J. Swetland and A. A. Hume, who continued as Trustees till August 4, 1873 when R. Cowling, S. H. Cartzdafner and A. A. Hume were elected Trustees. October 3, 1873, R. Cowling, Esq., died. On June 14, 1875, Jeriah Swetland was appointed to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of R. Cowling, Esq. August 16, 1875, Peter Peetrey, E. R. Watts and S. H. Cartzdafner, were elected Trustees. August 7, 1876, S. H. Cartzdafner, E. R. Watts and John Kinney, were elected Trustees. August 6. 1879, the following persons were elected Trustees: Benjamin F. Clark,
Samuel P. Davidson and Preston Adair. H. W. Smith, Esq., was elected Clerk and Secretary, August 6, 1860, and has been continued by re-election to the present time. A. Shanklin was elected Treasurer, August 6, 1860, and continued to hold said office until August 8. 1877, when he died, and is buried in said cemetery. August 17, 1877, the Trustees appointed Thomas J. Bolds Treasurer, who qualified and held said office till August 6, 1879; when John Jones, Esq., was elected Treasurer. Every lot owner is a member of said association. The Trustees have planted the avenues with shade trees, graded and graveled the avenues, fenced, ditched and otherwise improved the ground. In 1876, they completed the erection of a nice brick house in the cemetery for the Sexton, have dug a well and cistern, and made other improvements. The cemetery is in a pleasant location, neatly and tastefully laid out, and is a beautiful place for the burial of the dead. There are several fine monuments in the cemetery; and that of the soldiers will ever commemorate its donor.
St. Patrick's Catholic Cemetery. -- This cemetery is located southeast of London. It consists of four acres of ground, which was purchased of Dr. Toland for $400, and for which a deed was executed in favor of Archbihop Purcell, and the same duly recorded in London, April 7, 1865. The grounds were laid out in lots under the superintendence of Father Conway, and the cemetery duly consecrated to the purpose intended; since which many interments have been made there. Prior to the purchase of this cemetery, most of the deceased of the Catholic families were interred at Springfield, Clark County. Since the purchase of the above cemetery, many bodies have been removed from Springfield and interred in this burial-ground. This cemetery is handsomely located, and the land is well adapted for burial purposes. Many nice monuments have been erected, and in a few years, when the shade trees have grown, it will doubtless add much to the beauty of its location.
Kirkwood Cemetery Associations. -- At a meeting of the citizens of London and vicinity, at the law office of R. A. Harrison, in London, on December 26, 1868, the following persons subscribed their names as members of said association: Mathew Rea, Jesse Rea, Maxwell Murray, Toland Jones, Fulton Armstrong, Joshua T. Rankin, Joseph Rea, Owen Thomas, Jeremiah Rea, Robert Rea, Richard A. Harrison, A. S. Jones, Robert Boyd, Jonathan Farrar, James Rankin, C. Pancake and Harford Toland. The officers of the association have been as follows: Trustees -- Toland Jones served 1868-77; Robert Boyd, 1868-72; Jeremiah Rea, 1868-71; Owen Thomas, 1868-73; Jonathan Farrar, 1868-71; William Riddle, 1871- ; Fulton Armstrong, 1871-77; James Rankin, 1872-77; William Curtain, 1873-76; Joseph Rea, 1873- ; Robert Rea, 1872-77; Daniel T. Fox, 1876-77. Presidents -- Toland Jones, 1868-72; William Curtain, 1873- ; Fulton Armstrong, 1874-77. Treasurers -- Harford Toland, 1868-77; Robert Rea, 1873. Clerks -- R. A. Harrison, 1868-70; Noah Thomas, 1871-77. Toland Jones, Jeremiah Rea, Richard A. Harrison and others having, on November 7, 1868, purchased of Eli G. Warner twenty-four and a half acres of land for cemetery purposes, the Trustees of Kirkwood Cemetery Association, at a special meeting of said association, held September 18, 1869, were instructed to purchase said twenty-four and a half acres of land of
said Jeremiah Rea and others, for the use of said association; which was accordingly done. The said land lies in a southwesterly direction from London, and the grounds were laid out by George Wiltz, of Circleville, Ohio, an accomplished architect and engineer, and were appropriately dedicated on July 3, 1869. The Trustees have erected a neat brick house on the grounds for the sexton. On June 26, 1874, they appointed Green Roberts as watchman of said cemetery grounds, who was sworn to perform all the duties required and authorized by the State law enacted for the protection of cemeteries, during his continuance as watchman. In 1882, a morgue was built, under the superintendence of Fulton Armstrong and Auburn Smith, at a cost of about $3,300, and is a beautiful and spacious structure for the purpose for which it was erected. In October, 1882, Auburn Smith died, and was the first person to be laid in the morgue, in the construction of which he had been a superintendent, and had but a short time previous to his death completed the work. This cemetery has a beautiful location, high and dry, and a soil well adapted to the purpose. The laying out of the grounds is artistically done, and avenues and shade trees so arranged as to give a very pleasing appearance, and it appears to be all that could be desired as a final resting-place for the dead.
From History of Madison County, Ohio, Chester E. Bryan, Supervising Editor, B.F. Bowen & Co., Indianapolis (1915)
Probably the first to receive interment within the township were two infant children of Thomas Melvin, on Glade run, who died in the summer of 1808, and were buried on his land, which afterward became a regular burying ground for that neighborhood and vicinity and was known as the Lower Glade cemetery. The first adult person to be interred was Thomas Melvin, the father of the above mentioned children, who died in the fall of 1807. In 1811, the body of John McDonald, Sr., was deposited in the same piece of ground. From this time the deaths and burials became more frequent, as the neighborhood of the Glade filled up with settlers, and for many years much sickness prevailed. After the death of Thomas Melvin, this land came into the possession of Charles Melvin, who fenced around about an acre of ground and donated it for cemetery purposes.
In the extreme western part of the township, many of the pioneers were buried in the Turner burying ground, just in the edge of Clark township. Also a few persons were interred on the James Garrard farm, which was, in the early days, known as the Sutherland burying ground. But it is now all in an open pasture, and not a mark left to show who was buried there. In the southern and southwestern portions of the township, many of the early dead were interred in the Watson cemetery.
At London there were two burying places quite early established—one in the north part of town, usually known as the Methodist, and the other west of the town, known as the Presbyterian. These were used for many years and until the purchase and establishment of the present grounds known as Oak Hill and Kirkwood cemeteries.
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