Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Interments in Marietta Cemeteries

The Marietta Daily Times, March 13, 1908

Number of Interments That Have Been Made In the Cemeteries of Marietta.

There has for some time been some curiosity as to the number of interments made in the city of Marietta since the cemeteries were opened and last evening at the meeting of the Board of Public Service, Clerk James F. Hovey presented a full and interesting report on the subject.  This report is the result of much hard work and gives an excellent idea of the present cemetery conditions.  It is as follows:

The Hon. Board of Public Service.
Marietta, Ohio.


Thinking that the record of the burials which have been made in the several cemeteries of the city would interest you at this time, in that you are contemplating platting a new section of Oak Grove Cemetery, I have taken the trouble to look up the records to get the total number of interments that have been made to date.

We take no note of time except in its fleeting.  The vast army that have gone before us, those who in the long ago builded the home we now enjoy, rest peacefully in the several burying grounds which, even they in their foresight, arranged for their bodies to rest in after life's fitful career ended, in peace surrounded by the fruits of their work, the City, which stands a monument to their lives.

The records of the several cemeteries of the city are today complete, yet in years gone, little effort seems to have been made to record the last resting place of the citizens.  Supt Price of the cemeteries has carefully kept the record and from all sources I find that the City's dead to date number 8,520.

The first burial in Mound Cemetery was that of Col. Robert Taylor on Sept. 20, 1801.  The bodies of several citizens who died prior to this and buried in private grave yards were afterwards removed to Mound Cemetery.  They were Rowena Sargent, died in 1790, Benjamin Tupper in 1792, and [Josiah Munro] died in 1801.

No record was kept of the burials in those days, but after a careful search Mr. William T. Westgate, a former superintendent of cemeteries, from the stones marking the resting place, he compiled a record and from that on there has been an accurate record kept.  Prior to 1858 there is a record secured by Mr. Westgate of 991 burials.  Since that time up to March 7th, 1908, there have been 2,249 bodies laid to rest in the shadow of the relic of the Mound Builders.  This brings the grand total up to 3,340.  It is estimated by Mr. John N. Price, the present efficient Superintendent of Cemeteries, that there are at least 300 burials prior to 1858 of which there is no record.

In Harmar Cemetery, prior to the annexation of the village of Harmar to Marietta, there is no record of the burials made there.  The oldest stone there is erected over the grave of Josiah Gilman and bears the date of 1806.  Two other old ones are those of Jane R. Woodbridge, 1808, and Noah Fearing, 1809.  Since the annexation which was perfected in 1890, the records are complete and show 313 burials up to March 7th, 1908.  Prior to that time Mr. Price estimates the number of interments at 500.  This would bring the total up to 813.

The records of St. Mary's Cemetery are much the same as those of both Mound and Harmar Cemeteries and it is only in the last few years that an accurate record has been kept.  Rev. F. M. Woesman by careful search is able to find 493 burials made there, the first being that of Michael McCarty in 1838.  Mr. George Wieser who is now keeping a careful record of interments estimates that there are about 300 more than this which were made before the records were placed on an accurate basis.  This would bring the total up to 793.  The St. Mary's Cemetery comprises three city lots and on one of them was the home of Governor Brough.  In this house was a chapel and prior to 1838 some few burials were made in the "Church Yard."

In May 1860 Council closed a deal whereby the city came into possession of Oak Grove Cemetery and On Nov. 7th, 1860, the first burial was made therein, that being the remains of Miss Jennie A. Stratton.  The records of Oak Grove are complete in every detail and up to March 7, 1908, there have been 3,274 interments within its inclosure.

Therefore, the grand total of burials which have been made in the several cemeteries of the city are as follows:

Mound - 3,640
Harmar - 813
St. Mary's - 793
Oak Grove - 3,274
Grand Total - 8,520

This is an average of a small fraction less than 80 burials per year.

The size of the several cemeteries are as follows:

Mound - 5-1/2 acres
Harmar - 3 acres
St. Mary's - 1 acre
Oak Grove - 25 acres
Total - 34-1/2 acres

Respectfully submitted,
James F. Hovey, Clerk.

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