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Pickaway County, Ohio
History & Genealogy



History of Pickaway County
Source:  History of Franklin & Pickaway Counties, Ohio
Illustrations and Biographical Sketches
Published by Williams Bros. 1880



       * CHURCHES

       * SCHOOLS
       * SOCIETIES
       * TOWNSHIP
            * SETTLEMENTS



     The reverent affection for the dead which is shown by the human race in all stages of its development, is a striking characteristic of the species, and one of the landmarks of that impassable chasm which separates man from the lower animals.  It is, undoubtedly, an outgrowth of the lower animals.  It is, undoubtedly, an outgrowth of the spiritual nature with which the race was endowed at the beginning, and is a proof of its immorality.  Hardly any sentiment has left a deeper impress upon the literature of the world than this.  It is this sentiment which has made Gray's "Elegy in a Country Churchyard" (although the production of a minor poet) one of the most widely-read of all the efforts of the muse, having been translated into every cultivated language of christendom.  And it is this which made Hervey's "Meditations among the Tombs," in spite of its glaring defects of style, one of the most popular books in the most prolific period of English letters.  Strike from the world's literature all that has been written in obedience to this sentiment, and what would be left would be but the dry and useless comb after the honey is extracted.  It is this sentiment, also, which has led to the setting apart of places for the burial of the dead, and to the decoration of such places with all the attractions which wealth and taste can supply -  filling them with the best achievements of artistic skill in sculpture, architecture, and landscape adornment, thus making them places of the most irresistible attraction to the intelligent and the thoughtful, to the lovers of beauty in nature and art.  The man of health and leisure, who should spend even a week's time in one of the great cities - New York, Boston, London, or Paris - without visiting Greenwood cemetery, Mount Auburn, Westminster Abbey, or Pere la Chaise, would stand self-convicted of a strange insensibility of soul; and a history of one of those cities which should make no mention of its celebrated burial place, would be indeed "like the play of Hamlet, with the part of Hamlet omitted."
     And so, in our humbler history - even in writing sketches of rural townships and unincorporated village - we are expected, in each instance, to devote a chapter to its burying ground, where

"The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep,"

and doubtless many an eye will be attracted to these chapters, unpretending through they be, which will find very little attraction in any others.
     There are four public burial places in the township of Circleville - two within the limits of the city, and two just beyond those limits, on the north; but they are all, as will be seen, proper outgrowths of the city, established, at the first, to meet the city's wants, though at all times largely used by those outside of it.
     Aside from these four there are, in different parts of the township, several family and neighborhood burying grounds, some of which have gone into disuse, and in others interments are still made.  We have been able to visit but two of these outlying burying places, one on the Crouse farm, just out of the city, on the northwest, near the river.  It has long been disused, unfenced, and neglected.  It occupies the top of a high knoll, which is covered with trees, and the field about it is cultivated but does not seem to be very fertile, while here and there a patriarchal apple-tree shows that the ground was once covered by an orchard.  Near by are some ice houses, that have been filled from the river on whose bank they stand.  At several of the graves slabs, of a kind of sandstone, are still standing; at others, they have been broken off and are ling on the ground.  The stone being soft and flakey, several of the inscriptions have become quite illegible.  The oldest that can still be made out is as follows:  "In memory of Margaret, wife of Aquilla Justus [the name is elsewhere spelled Justice], who died Nov. 9, 1813, aged 47 years."  An advertisement in an old number of the Circleville Herald shows that this same Mr. Justice had a mortgage on this same ground in 1830.  Another inscription reads as follows: "In memory of John Justice, who departed this life Oct. 8, 1821, in the 73d year of his age."  In the chapter on settlements it will be seen that this Mr. Justice entered the southwest quarter of section five, which occupies the northeast corner of the township, a little over two miles from the place where he was buried.
    The other outlying burying-ground, which we visited, is on the farm of Jacob Ludwig, in the southeast corner of the township.  It contains several new graves, the oldest being that of Thomas Ludwig, a young man of twenty-one, who died in 1810.  Mr. Jacob Hitler, who lives near by, thinks that it began to be used in 1807.  It covers about half an acre of ground, is securely fenced, and contains several very tasteful family monuments - that of Hosler, gray granite; those of Hitler and Lutz, white and clouded marble; those of Seall and Rudy, red granite.  It was a great pleasure to find this little village of the dead so well cared for.
     Of the four cemeteries properly belonging to the city, the first established is on east Mound street, adjoining Trinity Lutheran church.  It consists of lots number one hundred and fifteen and one hundred and sixteen, of the original town plat, and was set apart by order of the court of common pleas, for the use of the German Lutheran and Calvanistic congregations, in 1811.  We have not been able to ascertain the date of the first interment, nor the name of the first person buried in this ground.  No costly monuments were erected there, and no interments have been made since 1850.  The oldest inscriptions are in German, and many have become illegible from the friable nature of the stone employed.  The first interment of which we found any record, was that of a child named William Betzer, who died in 1812, aged about six years.  A blunder of the stone-cutter (leaving out a cipher) makes this child born in 186.  This blunder, however, seems to be corrected, after a fashion, on another stone, which gravely informs us that Jacob (surname not legible) was born in 17093.  If this statement were correct, and Jacob were now living, he would be just fifteen thousand, two hundred and fifteen years less than one year old.  It will take an algebraist, however, to cipher it out.  One of the German inscriptions is as follows, verbatim et literatim: "Heir ruhet andreas foltz, gebohren in Strasburg, Euroba den 9 Oct., 1756, gestorben den 23 dag Sept. 1813.  Alt worden 57 Jahr, 11 monet, 2 wochen, 2 tag.  Gezengt 11 kinder, 8 sene und 3 Dechter."  Some of the words may be Pennsylvania German, they certainly are not the German of Germany.  A literal translation is as follows:  "Here rests Andrew Foltz, born in Strasburg, Europe, the 9th of Oct., 1756; died the 23ed day of Sept., 1813.  Was aged 57 years, 11 months, 2 weeks and 2 days.  Begot 11 children - 8 sons and 3 daughters."  Comparatively few of the present descendants of the New England fathers will leave so worthy a record as that.
     The two lots adjoining this cemetery on the east, (numbered one hundred and thirteen and one hundred and fourteen) were, at a very early day set apart for a similar purpose; but we have not been able to ascertain either the date or the manner of doing it.  The two grounds were kept separate by a fence, and the one of the east was called, sometimes the public, sometimes the English, and sometimes the city burying-ground.  In the year 1863, a decree of the court of common pleas having been obtained for that purpose, the most of the bodies were removed from this part, and the Trinity Lutheran church and parsonage which now occupy the ground, were erected there.
     The burying grounds just described soon become insufficient for the accommodation of the public, and therefore, on the nineteenth of March, 1831, the town council purchased of Samuel Watt and wife, a piece of land containing nearly five aces of East High street, along the border of Hargus creek.  It is a part of original section nineteen, and the price paid was one hundred and twenty-five dollars.  This the council laid out as a burying ground, and called it the Circleville cemetery.  In common parlance, however, it was for a long time called the "new," as it is now called the "old" cemetery.
     Prominent in the council which purchased this ground, and the chief mower in the enterprise was Mr. George Crook, an influential merchant of the city at that time.  He probably little thought that the ground he was so active in securing for the public convenience, would so soon become his own last resting place; that he would, in fact, be the first to be deposited there, amid the tears of sorrowing friends.  Such, however, was the case.  A plain marble slab near the entrance to the ground, bears this inscription: "Sacred to the memory of George Crook, who departed this life Jan. 1, 1832, in the 33d year of his age, leaving a widow with four small children to mourn their irreparable loss.  But they mourn not as those without hope."  Then follows an epitaph which, although rather commonplace as a whole, contains two lines (the ones printed below in italics) that strike us as being equal to anything we have ever met with in elegiac poetry:

"Wond'ring I ask, where is the breast
Struggling so late and racked with pain;
The eyes that upward looked for rest,
And dropt their weary lids again.
Peace, fluttered soul, the storm is o'er,
Ended at last the doubtful strife,
He flies to Heaven, returns no more;
A widow thou, no more a wife."

The monuments, here also, are mostly plain and unpretentious.  The same friable sandstone, heretofore mentioned, has been too largely employed, and many of the inscriptions, in consequence, can no longer be deciphered.  The grounds are not as well kept as they out to be; but it is a pleasant, though melancholy, place to stay and meditate in the cool of a summer evening.
     A little beyond the limits of the city, about a mile north of its center, on the west side of the Columbus turnpike, lie the beautiful grounds of the Forest cemetery.
     They comprise about fifty-one acres of land, purchased by the cemetery corporation in 1857, mostly of Mrs. Agnes McCrea, but partly of Jacob Mader, for one hundred dollars per acre.  They were laid out, the same year, under the direction of William Renick, and exhibit great taste and skill in the fine art of landscape gardening. 
     The following pledge and subscription will show how and by whom the money was raised for the purchase of these grounds.
     We, the undersigned, being desirous of providing suitably for the burial of the dead, do hereby subscribe the several sums annexed to our names respectively, for the purpose of buying and embellishing grounds, to be used forever for a rural cemetery, near the city of Circleville.  The premises to be bought for this purpose shall contain not less than forty acres.  These subscriptions to be binding whenever ratified by the subscribers, or a majority, in amount.  This association to be organized under the law of Ohio passed Feb. 24, 1848.  The sums hereto subscribed shall be in the nature of a loan to the association, subject to be repaid out of the proceeds of sales of burial lots, under such rules and regulations as the association may prescribe.

Circleville, Ohio, June 10, 1857.

William Renick $200 .. W. M. Triplett $100
W. W. Bierce 200   W. Baker 100
John Groce 200   C. Olds 100
S. H. Moore 200   Einsel, Wagner & Co. 100
S. A. Ruggles 200   N. S. & G. W. Gregg 200
Nelson Franklin 200   Harness Renick 200
S. Marfield 200   W. Wolfley & E. G. Shultze 100
Josiah Renick 200   Israel Gregg 100
E. C. Clarke 200   D. Pierce & R. H. Wilson 100
William Bauder 200   W. Griswold 100
Samuel Rogers 200   C. A. & A. King 100
A. McCrea 200   Jonathan Renick 100
S. M. Baker 200   J. A. Hawkes 100
William L. Peck 200   George Hammel 100
H. N. Hedges, sr. 200   William VanHeyde 100
R. A. Foresman 200   G. E. Wolfley 100
O. Ballard, jr. 100   William Donne 100
M. Brown 100   M. Kellstadt 100
W. E. Delaplane 100   Philip Glick 100
J. S. Wilkes 100   A. J. Haswell 100
J. V. Duncan 100   William Hughes 100
John Boyer 100   Peter Wefter, jr. 100
George H. Fickardt 100   David Snider 100
L. N. Olds 100   H. N. Hedges, jr. 100
G. F. Wittich 100   P. C. Smith 100
N. T. Bradford 100   J. Solliday 100

     The association which bought the grounds was incorporated the same year, as shown by the following articles of incorporation, recorded Sept. 8, 1857:
     On the thirteenth day of July, A. D. 1857, William Renick, Samuel Marfield, Samuel Rogers, Wayne Griswold, Adam McCrea, John Groce, William Doane, W. W. Bierce, Jonathan Renick, George H. Fickhardt, and twenty-two other citizens of Circleville, assembled at the court house, in the city of Circleville, for the purpose of forming themselves into a cemetery association under an act of the legislature, passed Feb. 24, 1848; notices of said meeting having been published in the Circileville Herald and Watchman twenty days before said meeting.
     On motion, Adam McCea, esq., was elected chairman of the meeting, and George H. Fickardt clerk.
     A majority of the members of the association being present, on motion it was resolved that the said persons present form themselves into a cemetery association by the election of seven trustees and one clerk.
     The meeting then proceeded to the election of trustees and clerk, when the following gentlemen were elected trustees, viz.:  William Renick, president; William Doane, Wayne Griswold, John Groce, W. W. Bierce, Jonathan Renick, E. C. Clarke - three to serve for three years, two serve for two years, and two to serve for one year.
     George H. Fickardt was elected clerk, to serve for three years.
     On motion, it was resolved that the name of the association shall be "The Forest Cemetery of Circleville."
     I, George H. Fickardt, clerk of the Forest Cemetery of Circleville, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a true record of the proceedings of the meeting held at the court house, in the city of Circleville, on the thirtieth day of July, A. D. 1857, for the purpose herein before mentioned.
     GEORGE H. FICKARDT, Clerk of Forest Cemetery, of Circleville, Ohio
July 31, 1857.
     The following are the names of the present officers:  Dr. Marcus Brown, president; Geo. H. Fickardt, treasurer and clerkTrustees: John Groce, E. C. Clarke, S. A. Moore, M. Brown, John Boyer, S. Marfield, sr., and William Doane.
     The grounds of Forest cemetery were, July 28, 1858, solemnly dedicated for the uses and purposes as specified in article seven of the constitution, by an oration by the Rev. Joel Swartz, pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran church in this city, and by other appropriate exercises.
     The following were the order of exercises:
1st, Anthem, by the Circleville Musical Association
2d, Invocation, by Rev. Mr. Swartz.
3d, Ode.
4th, Prayer, by Rev. Mr. Felton
5th, Hymn, to Old Hundred
6th, Address, by Rev. Mr. Swartz.
7th, Ode.
8th, Benediction, by Rev. Mr. Felton.
     We regret we have not space to publish the beautiful oration of Rev. Mr. Swartz.
     The first body laid at rest in these beautiful grounds was that of Mrs. William P. Darst, Oct. 12, 1858.
     There are many fine and costly monuments erected here, the three most noticeable being that of Dr. Chas. H. Hawkes, consisting of a marble statue of hope, larger than life, on a lofty pedestal of gray granite; that of Wm. Renick, entirely of red granite (except the base, which is gray) - the pedestal being surmounted by a tall pyramidal shaft; and that of Col. John Cradlebaugh, of a grayish marble, distinguished from all the rest by its beautiful, life-size statue of Christ in benediction, the work of an Italian sculptor, which would be justly regarded as an attraction, in any cemetery in the word.
     On one of the tablets of the last named monument, is told a sad story of domestic bereavement, viz:  That Mrs. Cradlebaugh, and a son aged over two months, both died on the same day, June 19, 1852.  Twenty-one years later, in 1873, the colonel himself, having cherished in the loneliness of widowhood, and amid many-strange vicissitudes of fortune, the memory of his youthful companion, died in the midst of great reverses at Eureka, Nevada; and six years after his death, on decoration day, May 30, 1879, his remains were brought back and deposited by the side of his loved ones, under the sacred benediction of those marble hands.
     Nearly opposite to the Forest cemetery, but a little nearer the city, is the newly opened cemetery of St. Joseph's (Roman Catholic) church.  It consists of six acres, purchased in August, 1877, of Caspar McCabe, for one thousand dollars.  Two avenues only have been laid out through the grounds at right angles, in the form of a Roman cross.  It was consecrated July 4, 1878, and the first interment took place on the same day - that of Miss Mary Roach, a young lady, about eighteen years old.  Only six or seven graves have been added since that time.  The most of the ground has been cultivated in wheat during the present season.



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