Sunday, February 28, 2010

Active Cemeteries in Lucas County (25)

Select your cemetery from the cemetery archive list to the right.

Arnold Cemetery and Bethel Cemetery

Arnold Cemetery
Liberty Township #6
57645     170th Ave.

Bethel Cemetery
Cedar Township #9
49913    309th Ave.

Brinegar Cemetery and Brownlee Cemetery

 Brinegar Cemetery
Ottercreek Township #27
53952      139th Trail

Brownlee Cemetery

Brownlee Cemetery
English Township #21
24753    540th St.

Frank Myers article about Brownlee Cemetery, click here:  Brownlee Cemetery Revisited

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Calvery Cemetery and Chariton Cemetery

Calvary Cemetery

Calvery Cemetery
Lincoln Township #20
118 Ilion Ave.    245th Trail
Chariton Cemetery

Chariton Cemetery
Lincoln Township #30
929 South Main St.

Rise and Fall of the Stanton Vault

Written by Frank Myers
Appeared in the Lucas County Notes and Shakin' the Family Tree
Volume 11 Issue 3  July-September 2006

    I’m not going to preach, so don’t worry when I begin with a lesson from the Gospel according to St. Matthew, Chapter 6, Vs. 19 and 20 (and that because I deplore all change this will be from the King James version):
    “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.”
    And an Old Testament lesson from the Book of 2nd Samuel, Chapter 1, Verses 17-19:
    “And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son: The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!”
    I’ve taken these texts out of context and twisted them for my own purpose, but then who hasn’t?  Both seem relevant when you think about the rise and fall of the Stanton Vault, once a preferred address in the Chariton Cemetery and now a place where 16 of its former residents, some of them rather grand, rest in a heap.
    There has always been an impulse to put loved ones or ourselves to rest somewhere other than the traditional six feet under, and given enough money these impulses have been carried through---sometimes with spectacular but often with transitory results.
    If you think the impulse is dead, go to the Promise City Cemetery and view David Eckles’ new mausoleum.  Or to the Centerville cemetery, where I noticed the last time I was there a new tall and skinny three-holer near the main west gate.  Both, like their mighty predecessors, are likely to stand for a while, and then fall over.
    The two primary reasons for above-ground interment are fairly obvious.  The first is aversion to the thought of burying a loved one (or one’s self); the second is the impulse to show off.  If a grand house demonstrated status in life, surely an impressive mausoleum will convey that status into eternity.
    As a rule, these grand monuments are bad ideas.  They deteriorate, fall apart and eventually someone has to deal with a messy and expensive problem.  The family may have died out, moved along or no longer be affluent or interested enough to deal with the problem, which leaves those in charge of the cemetery in charge of the situation.
    Lucas Countyans have never been that enthusiastic about spending money, so as far as I know we’ve never had more than three mausoleums, all in the Chariton cemetery.  The Copeland mausoleum still is well-maintained by its family; Lockwood heirs convinced the cemetery board to undertake repairs to their plain little vault years ago by deeding unused cemetery real estate to the city; and the former Stanton Vault is a good example of worst-case scenario.
    The Stanton Vault is tied very closely to the history of the Chariton Cemetery, which was founded by private investors during the early 1860s to supplement or replace Douglass Cemetery out southeast of town along the Blue Grass and an earlier Chariton Cemetery, reportedly located on the Columbus School hill.
    By the 1880s, control of the Chariton Cemetery had passed into the hands of Dr. James Eddington Stanton, a pioneer physician, and he and his descendants operated it as a private business until the city purchased it for $10,000 during 1924 from Gertrude Stanton, widow of J. E. Stanton’s son, Dr. John H. Stanton.
    During the mid-1880s, J. E. Stanton hatched the idea of a vault both to serve the needs of his own family and, always practical, to be shared by others in order to make it a paying proposition.  It was reported upon as follows by one of the Chariton newspapers during September of 1887:
    “Dr. J. E. Stanton has the very reasonable and humane abhorrence of disposing of the dead by burying in the ground.  Some time ago he conceived the idea of constructing in the Chariton Cemetery a large stone vault, not alone for himself and family, but for such others as may want their remains to rest in it.  The vault is now nearly completed.  It will be arranged with thirty compartments each large enough to receive a full-size burial case.  These compartments are provided with hard cement bottoms, sides and tops, the front end being of heavy wrought iron, with iron door.
    “The idea is a novel one in this country, but the thoughts of one’s remains quietly resting in a secure vault above ground rather than in a grave below, robs death of part of its terrors.  The doctor has already disposed of several of these rooms and will doubtless find no difficulty in disposing of all.  The remains of Prof. Perry were the first that were laid to rest in the new tomb.”
    How many of you remember the vault?  I do, but vaguely, and I’m never sure how accurate my memories are.  You can still find its location by driving on the main cemetery driveway about four-fifths of the way to the west end and looking to your left (south) for a grassy drive-way like area that once provided access to the vault.  There’s a spirea bush there, one of several planted around the vault; and if you turn to face east once you’ve passed it and look up toward a modest modern tombstone inscribed “Stanton” you’ll be standing before what once was the entrance.  Climb the hill and you’ll find flanking the Stanton stone and in another row behind it Fielding Funeral Home markers mounted in strips of concrete recording some information about former occupants of the vault evacuated when it was demolished, than reburied in its footprint.
    As I recall the thing, it looked a good deal like a large fruit cellar, sunk into the ground with grass covering its top.  I’m reasonably sure that, when I was small, you could still look through a gated entrance and see the individual burial vaults.  The east-west walkway inside was wide enough to maneuver a coffin in and there were 15 burial places on either side, each sealed with a square iron door into which was mounted a slim panel of marble with deeply scalloped corners bearing inscribed information about the deceased within.  A few Polaroid snapshots taken after the roof had been removed during the demolition process, now in files at city hall, confirm that impression.  The doors swung open sideways, then were closed and hopefully sealed once an interment had taken place.
    Two of those doors survive, removed and mounted flush with the ground in the southeast corner of the cemetery when the bodies of Lewis Bonnett and his wife, Maria Virgin Bonnett, were evacuated and buried.  Having been ousted from the vault, the Bonnett's thriftily took their doors with them.  Although the marble panels are badly deteriorated, you get a fairly good idea of how the vault worked by looking at them since even the hinge mountings remain.
    When the city acquired the cemetery during 1924, it also acquired the vault and its problems.  Keep in mind that once filled, the financial incentive to maintain a structure like this evaporates.  And the Stanton vault, deteriorating and subject to morbid curiosity and vandalism, became a major problem for the city.  Eventually, the decision was made to demolish it.
    When families could be located, they were offered the opportunity to remove and rebury the bodies of their loved ones---and several did.  Descendants of Stantons buried within opted to have their family members reinterred on the site of the vault, and those who had no descendants remaining to speak for them were reburied as well at city expense in the excavation left when the vault was removed.
    I’m not sure when this happened, but it probably was during the late 1960s or 1970s.  I remember it being there, and then it wasn’t.  I was involved in college, Vietnam and a variety of other things at that time, and wasn’t paying much attention to the cemetery.  We could probably track that information down, but I ran out of time when preparing this presentation.
    It’s useful to keep in mind that what happened to the vault and its occupants wasn’t anyone’s fault exactly.  It just was nature taking its course.  While interesting, this was not a structure of great architectural interest, as the Copeland mausoleum is.  My only regret is that the graves of those other than principal Stantons buried at the site of the old vault can’t be better marked.  The funeral home markers, although well-intentioned, are beginning to deteriorate, and in 50 years or so probably will be indecipherable.
    So much for “quietly resting in a secure vault above ground.”  How are the mighty fallen!
    What I propose to do is give you a little information about occupants of the Stanton vault, beginning with the Stanton’s themselves.
    Dr. James Eddington Stanton, who died Nov. 6, 1908, was the builder of the vault and was buried in it as he intended.  Born 1828 in Belmont County, Ohio, he established the family in Lucas County during 1862.  One of the original Chariton Cemetery stockholders, by one means or another he ended up owning it and it became both a hobby and a business enterprising.  The fact that Chariton still has such a pretty cemetery probably can be attributed to his foresight and design preferences.  The only bad idea he had out there was the vault.
    J. E. Stanton’s wife, Mary Jane (Hobbs) Stanton, born during 1825 near Baltimore, Maryland, predeceased her husband on Nov. 21, 1900, and so preceded him into the vault.
    Dr. John H. Stanton, son of J. E. and Mary Hobbs Stanton, was born in Indiana during 1862, and came to Chariton with his family as an infant.  A widely-known and highly respected physician, he died May 25, 1922, and joined his parents in the vault.
    John H. Stanton had married Gertrude Aughey, daughter of Chariton’s Presbyterian pastor, during 1894.  It was Gertrude who sold the cemetery to the city after John H. died.  In later years, she moved to Chicago to live near her daughters and died there during April of 1940.  Her body was cremated and at some point the ashes were brought to Chariton and placed in the vault, the last interment to occur there.
    The graves of these four Stantons are marked by a modern tombstone erected by family members after the vault was demolished and its occupants reinterred.
    The family of Dr. J. E. Stanton’s other physician son, Theodore, did not use the vault and its members are buried more traditionally in the southwestern part of the Chariton Cemetery.
    Buried immediately north of these four principal Stantons is Minnie Stanton Guylee, a daughter of J. E.  and Mary Hobbs Stanton who was born during 1851 in Belmont County, Ohio, and died Dec. 18, 1896, preceding both her parents into the vault.  She had married a Chariton businessman, Tom Guylee, during 1879, but they had no children.
    Tom is buried north of Minnie, but he apparently moved away from Chariton after her death and died many years later.  I can find no record of his death or of when his remains were brought to Chariton to join Minnie’s in the vault.
    Buried immediately south of the Stanton tombstone is Mary E. Stanton, a daughter of J. E. and Mary (Hobbs) Stanton, who was born during 1857 and died at Chariton during 1865, age 7.  Her remains apparently were disinterred when the vault was built and placed inside it.
    South of Mary E. Stanton is Emma J. Stanton, who was Dr. J. E.  Stanton’s niece as well as the wife of a cousin, L. M. Stanton.  The L. M. Stantons lived at Humeston, where Emma died during November of 1890.  Her body was brought from Humeston to Chariton for burial in the Stanton vault.  L. M. Stanton survived his wife by 23 years, remaining at Humeston, and because he had no one else was taken in during his final illness by his cousins in Chariton.  When he died during August of 1913 he was not buried with his wife in the vault, but instead at the rear of the Theodore Stanton lot to the south and west.
    The last grave in this row of reburied Stantons belongs to Ruth Ann Stanton Mead, who was Dr. J. E. Stanton’s twin sister, born during 1828 in Belmont County, Ohio.  She died Nov. 10, 1891, at West Liberty, and her body was brought to Chariton for burial in the vault.
    The second row of burials from the former vault are mostly people unrelated to the Stantons, simply left behind after their families moved on or died out.
    Andrew Swan, born during 1826 in Sweden, died at his farm in Whitebreast Township on Nov. 21, 1903, and was buried in the vault after funeral services at the Swedish Mission Church.  Most of this family, including his widow, Mary, seems to have moved away leaving Andrew as the only Swan still reposing in Lucas County.
    Henrietta Stewart Perry, widow of J. W. Perry, buried next door, was born during 1851 in Wayne County, Ohio, and married the professor during 1870 in Chariton.  Following her husband’s death, she moved to St. Louis, where her two children lived, and died there on Oct. 11, 1898.  Her body was returned to Chariton during late afternoon on the 13th of October and was taken directly to the Stanton Vault for interment.
    Henrietta’s husband, John W. Perry, the first to be interred in the Stanton Vault, was born during 1836 in Indiana and was licensed to preach by the Methodist Episcopal Church.  Upon arrival in Chariton during the late 1860s, however, he chose to teach, operating private academies, teaching in the public schools and serving as both county superintendent of schools and clerk of district court.  He died Sept. 21, 1887, and his remains were placed in the vault as it was nearing completion.
    It’s not exactly clear, to me at least, who Henry C. VanWerden was.  He apparently was a physician who had practiced in Chariton at one point.  He died at Leon during August of 1895, having lived there for some 16 years, and his body was returned to Chariton for burial.  The only relative identified in a newspaper account of his death is Mrs. W. H. Hemphill of Chariton, a sister-in-law.
    Louise Mallory Thayer, daughter of Deming J. and Jessie O. (Mallory) Thayer, was stillborn at Ilion on Feb. 3, 1888 (the date on her marker is wrong).  She was the only grandchild of Smith H. and Annie (Ogden) Mallory.  Deming Thayer committed suicide during 1898 and was buried in a newly-purchased Mallory lot some distance due west of the Stanton Vault, but Louise’s body was not moved.  Smith H. Mallory, who died during 1903, was buried near Deming, then disinterred and his body cremated and the ashes taken to Orlando, Florida, during 1920.  That left Deming and his still born daughter as the only representatives in Lucas County of what once was its first family.  Sadly, they’re not even buried together.
    Minnie G. Kirk, buried immediately south of Louise, was born Minnie Gray in Lucas County about 1866 and married Charles R. Kirk, at one time a Chariton mover and shaker.  Afflicted with tuberculosis, she died May 2, 1896, in Las Vegas, N. M., and her body was returned to Chariton and placed in the vault. Charles R. Kirk survived until 1917, but was buried elsewhere in the Chariton Cemetery.
    Clara Mead, was a niece of J. E. Stanton, daughter of his twin sister, Ruth Stanton Mead, who had been interred in the vault during 1891.  Clara died in Minneapolis “a few weeks” prior to August 1913, when her remains were brought to Chariton by her sisters, Mary E. and Ella Mead, and placed in the vault.  One hopes she had been cremated.
    That completes the account of those who were buried in the Stanton Vault until their bodies were removed to allow its demolition, then reburied in its footprint, 16 in all.
    The vault also had a number of temporary residents during its useful years, since it served as the cemetery’s receiving vault:  A place where loved ones could be parked temporarily until final burial arrangements could be made.  There’s no particular point in trying to track all of these people down, but I can tell you about three I’ve come across:
    Dr. Harry S. McKlveen, a physician and son of pioneer Chariton physician Dr. J. A. McKlveen, died at age 41 in Los Angeles on Jan. 21, 1911, after overdosing himself with chloroform while trying to relieve the pain of an inner ear infection.  His father returned to Chariton with the body and had it placed temporarily in the Stanton Vault.  Several months later, during early June, the body was removed on a Sunday morning and buried in the traditional manner in the McKlveen lot some distance east.
    Sarah Jane (Skidmore) Lockwood, wife of pioneer Chariton Jeweler George A. Lockwood, died Oct. 11, 1909, and her body was placed in the Stanton Vault after funeral services at St.  Andrew’s Episcopal Church.  About seven months later, on June 2, 1910, George Lockwood, age 71, died at the home of their son, J. E. Lockwood, in Peoria, Ill., and his body was returned to Chariton and placed in the vault as well.
    George had decided in the months following his wife’s death to build the Lockwood vault, that odd little flat-topped structure in the extreme northwest corner of the cemetery, but it had not been completed by the time of his death.  When it was complete, the bodies of both Lockwoods were removed from the Stanton vault and placed in their own, although today it’s not evident who is buried there since subsequent repairs have covered exterior inscriptions, leaving only the surname “Lockwood” exposed above the sealed door.
    No doubt many others reposed briefly in the Stanton vault until the 1930s when it became a less desirable address and no longer was used.
    I can also tell you about six people who intended to rest permanently in the Stanton vault, but who were removed by their families as it deteriorated.  Quite frankly I’m not sure when the removals occurred, but believe that all six were moved not long before the vault was demolished.  Nor am I certain that the number removed and reburied was only six.  There very well may have been more.
    The six I know about are Lewis and Maria (Virgin) Bonnett, mentioned at the outset of this presentation, and four members of another Lockwood family.
    Lewis Bonnett, born during 1830 in Ohio, came to Lucas County with his wife, Maria (Virgin) Bonnett, and children during 1865 and located on a farm south of   Chariton in Benton Township.  He built the farm he called The Pines into a showplace, and was perhaps Lucas County’s leading stockman of that time.
    Maria, born during 1834 in Ohio, died unexpectedly on March 17, 1890, and her body was placed in the Stanton Vault.  Lewis Bonnett died of a heart attack on June 10, 1899, while on a business trip to Chicago, and joined Maria in the vault.
    Bonnett descendants removed Lewis and Maria from the vault before it was demolished, and had their bodies buried on a family lot in the southeast portion of the cemetery, overlooking the Chariton River valley.  The doors from their crypts were removed and mounted flush with the ground on the new lot to mark their graves.  After the marble panels in those doors became almost indecipherable, a large new stone was erected to the east, providing a more permanent memorial.
    Alice “Allie” Stanton was another daughter of Dr. J. E. and Mary (Hobbs) Stanton, born July 4, 1855, in Belmont County, Ohio.  After moving to Chariton with her family during 1865, she married James H. Lockwood, brother of George A. Lockwood whose brief tenure in the Stanton Vault was mentioned earlier, during 1887.
    The Lockwoods had three children, two of whom died young and were buried in the Stanton Vault:  George, born during 1888 who died Dec. 12, 1900; and Lucille, born during 1893 and died April 12, 1906.
    James H. Lockwood, born during 1837 in Canada, died Feb. 19, 1917, at his home in Chariton and joined his children in the vault.  Allie died July 8, 1929, and also was buried in the vault.
    The surviving daughter and sister, who did not marry, arranged to have her family removed from the vault and reburied behind a row of identical tombstones on a lot some distance south---along the driveway looking down toward the old cemetery office/reception center, primarily used as a maintenance building now.
    Buried on the same lot and with identical tombstones are Allie’s nieces, Mary and Ella Mead, both of whom were veteran Minneapolis school teachers who died during the 1930s.  The remains of their mother and sister, Ruth Ann (Stanton) and Clara Mead remained in the vault.
    So there you have it, 22 people whose resting place once seemed secure but wasn’t.  And three more who joined them briefly in the Stanton Vault.  Next time you’re at the cemetery, pay them a visit.  And it wouldn’t hurt, on Memorial Day, to remember one or two of them.  Not necessarily the Stantons.  There are plenty of their descendants scattered around the country to remember them, if they will.  But to think of Andrew Swan, the Perrys, Henry VanWerden, little Louise Mallory and Minnie Kirk would be a kind of Memorial Day random act of kindness.

Coal Glen Cemetery and Derby Cemetery

Coal Glen Cemetery

Coal Glen Cemetery
Pleasant Township #14
55296    325th Ave.
Derby Cemetery

Derby Cemetery
Union Township #13
43160    158th Ave.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Fletcher Cemetery and Freedom Cemetery

Fletcher Cemetery

Fletcher Cemetery
Ottercreek Township $10
13301    566th St.

Freedom Cemetery
Freedom Cemetery
Warren Township #24
41689    215th Ave.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fry Hill Cemetery and Graceland Cemetery

Fry Hill Cemetery

 Fry Hill Cemetery
Jackson Township #13
49899    160th Ave.

Graceland Cemetery

Graceland Cemetery
Ottercreek Township #2
57143    150th Ave.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Grimes Cemetery and Goshen Cemetery

Grimes Cemetery

Grimes Cemetery
Whitebreast #16
48998    179th Ave.

Goshen Cemetery

Goshen Cemetery
Union Township #11
44973    145th Ave.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Last Chance Cemetery and Mt. Zion Cemetery

Last Chance Cemetery

Last Chance Cemetery
Union Township #7
10209    440th St.

 Very interesting stories about this cemetery by Frank Myers, click here:  Peace on Earth at Last Chance   Elizabeth-spridgen-and-family
Side by Side at Last Chance    Graveyard Communications   Graveyard Dogs  

 Mt. Zion Cemetery

Mt. Zion Cemetery
Liberty Township #15
19750    553rd St.

There are two cemeteries in Lucas County with the name Zion.  One in Pleasant Township and the other in Liberty. Both are in lovely hilltop settings --- Zion in Pleasant with a spectacular view of the Cedar Creek valley and Mount Zion in Liberty, with a slightly more modest view down the Whitebreast Creek valley.

Looking down toward the Whitebreast Creek Valley this is the view from the Mount Zion Cemetery


Newbern Cemetery and Norwood Cemetery

Newbern Cemetery

Newbern Cemetery
Liberty Township #1
21293    580th St.
Norwood Cemetery

Norwood Cemetery
Ottercreek Township #15
13489    550th St.

Oak Hill-Stoneking Cemetery and Oxford Cemetery

Oak Hill Cemetery

Oak Hill - Stoneking Cemetery
Pleasant Township #26
53495    330th Trail

Oxford Cemetery

Oxford Cemetery
Lincoln Township #11
50716    260th Ave.
Frank Myers has an interesting article about this cemetery on his blog.  Click on the following link to access it:   Frank Myers Oxford Article   and at:  Who was Buried first at Oxford Cemetery  and at:  Tombstone Art at Oxford Cemetery 

Monday, February 22, 2010

Rose Hill Cemetery and Russell Cemetery

Rose Hill Cemetery

Rose Hill Cemetery
Jackson Township #10
49988    135th Trail

Russell Cemetery

Russell Cemetery
Washington Township #5
29350    457th St.
The Russell Reivers 4-H Club recently (May of 2011) landscaped around the Russell Cemetery sign as a 4-H Community Service project.  The club planned and budgeted for the project at their club meetings and then purchased the bricks, flowers and solar lights.  With the help of the 4-H club members, parents and leaders, they leveled and laid the landscaping bricks, filled in with dirt, and planted the flowers (knock-out roses, hostas, lilies, and creeping phlox).  They then applied the mulch and solar lights.  The project was complete in time for Memorial Day.

The Russel Cemetery Association was very pleased with the finished project and would like to thank the Russell Reivers 4-H Club, parents and leaders for all their hard work and expense for this wonderful project. 

If you weren't out to the cemetery around the Memorial Day Weekend, you might want to drive out and enter the cemetery at the top of the hill and enjoy the beautiful results of their hard work.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Salem Cemetery and Waynick (Holmes) Cemetery

Salem Cemetery

Salem Cemetery
Benton Township #3
45350    255th Ave.

Waynick (Holmes) Cemetery

 Waynick (Holmes) Cemetery
Warren Township #1
20998    460th St.
Waynick Cemetery - How it came to be  - go to Frank Myers' Blogspot - click on the following website

Zion Cemetery and Zion Lutheran Cemetery

Zion Cemetery

Zion Cemetery
Pleasant Township #21
30428    535th St.
Zion Lutheran Cemetery


Friday, February 19, 2010

Allen Cemetery and Belinda (Swede) Cemetery

Allen Cemetery

Allen Cemetery
Cedar Township #24
47802    337th Trail
Very interesting article about Allen Cemetery at Frank Myers Blog: Lucas Countyan


Belinda (Swede) Cemetery
Belinda (Swede) Cemetery
Pleasant Township #19
54869    290th Ave.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Clear/Clare (DeMoss) Cemetery and Clore (Wells) Cemetery

Clear/Clare Cemetery

Clear/Clare (DeMoss) Cemetery
Pleasant Township #3
57853     317th Trail

Clore (Wells) Cemetery

Clore (Wells) Cemetery
Ottercreek Township #24
54902    150th Ave.
From Frank Myers Lucas Countyan June 8, 2013

Civil War's cost commemorated at Clore-Wells

We're talking about a Civil War-related event at the museum this fall --- within the Sesquicentennial observance period that will end during 2015. And that reminded me of a roster of Lucas County's Civil War dead --- more than 100 young men --- that I started two years ago, but didn't finish. The list is complete, on paper, but the entry for each soldier needs to be developed and posted. I only made it through the "Ds" two years ago, but will get back to work now, maybe even finish the roster before September.

So that was why I drove out to Clore-Wells Cemetery, just east of Norwood, yesterday. One young man who died while in service is buried there, two who died elsewhere are commemorated and another, who made it home but died as a relatively young man because of war-related causes, rests beneath the only government-issue grave marker in the little burying ground.

Clore-Wells probably is the oldest graveyard in the immediate Norwood area, located on land deeded to the public for use as a cemetery by John Wells. It came to be known as Clore because it is located almost in the front yard of the Leland Clore farmstead. Most of the burials here occurred before 1900 (the latest marked grave dates from 1939). Only 66 people are commemorated although there most likely are a number of unmarked graves.

Quite recently, the cemetery has undergone a name change. When uniform signage was placed at all of Lucas County's rural cemeteries some years ago, "Clore" was selected for this one. More recently, a distressed Wells descendant came along, asked for a change and offered pay for a new sign --- "Wells." Because the land was given by John Wells, the offer was accepted. However, most probably still know the cemetery as "Clore" and it flies under that name within the popular Find-A-Grave system.

The four Civil War soldiers commemorated or buried here are Abel T. Edwards, Jesse Wells, Jacob Burgett and Silas Wells (Jesse Wells' brother). 

Edwards, Jesse Wells and Burgett were among several young men from the neighborhood who enlisted together during September of 1861 for service in Co. C, 13th Iowa Volunteer Infantry. Abel Edwards and Jesse Wells died of wounds sustained at Shiloh, the first great battle of the Civil War that involved large numbers of Iowa troops.

Abel, a son of Abel T. Edwards Sr. and Lucy E. (Bennett) Edwards, was 23 when he was killed. Here's the biographical paragraph composed by a relative, "Kathy S.," for his Find-A-Grave memorial: "Abel enlisted in Co. C, 13th Iowa Infantry, 28 Sept 1861. The company was formed in Lucas Co. Iowa, and included several men from the Norwood area including Elias Mills who later married Abel's sister Elizabeth. They (were) mustered into service 28 Oct 1861 at Keokuk, Iowa. The men spent the winter in camp at Jefferson City, Missouri, where three died of disease. On 6 April 1862, the company experienced it's first and bloodiest battle --- Shiloh, also known as the Battle of Pittsburg Landing (Tennessee) --- under Ulysses S. Grant. Abel was shot in the lungs and removed to the 4th Street Military Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. He survived the wound for two weeks."

Abel died April 20, 1862, in Cincinnati and was buried in a section of that city's Spring Grove Cemetery set aside for military use. When his mother died ten years later at Norwood, a commemorative inscription for Abel was added to her tombstone. Abel's military marker at Spring Grove (left) is taken from his Find-A-Grave memorial. The tombstone he shares with his mother at Clore-Wells is at the top of this post.


Jacob Burgett, born during 1840 in Indiana, was a son of of William and Hannah (Leach) Burgett, Like his young friends from the Norwood area, he enlisted in Co. C, 13th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, during the fall of 1861. Like them, he fought in the Battle of Shiloh, but survived and continued to serve.

After honorable discharge, he returned with health impaired to Lucas County and married Mary E. Wells (a daughter of John and Ruth Wells and sister to Jesse and Silas) on Oct. 11, 1865. The had eight children, two of whom died young and are buried with Jacob at Clore-Wells. During 1884, when he was 44, Jacob's health failed. Because that failure could be traced to the rigors of war, he was granted a veteran's pension that year, but died on Aug. 12, and was buried near his deceased children. Mary, who married John Rash after Jacob's death, survived until 1933, when she died in Ottumwa. This photo, from Find-A-Grave, was taken by Doris Christensen.


Jesse Wells, son of John and Ruth (Huffman) Wells, was born Jan. 17, 1842, in Ohio, and also enlisted in Co. C, 13th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, on Sept. 28, 1861. He was fatally wounded on the battlefield of Shiloh on April 6, 1862, and buried there. Although his remains would have been disinterred and moved later to what now is the Shiloh National Cemetery, they were unidentifiable so he is buried there among the "unknowns."

During the summer after Jesse was killed, his older brother, Silas, born ca. 1838, enlisted on Aug. 9, 1862, as 2nd corporal in Co. K, 34th Volunteer Iowa Infantry, and was promoted to full corporal during October. He became critically ill before his unit was deployed, however, and was sent home to Lucas County to recover, or die. He died on Nov. 4, 1862, and his remains were taken to the Clore-Wells Cemetery for burial.

Ruth Wells, mother of Silas and Jesse, died during 1864, before the war ended, so it probably was John who ordered the joint tombstone, now badly eroded, that commemorates their two sons at Clore-Wells --- Silas, who is buried near it, and Jesse, far away on the battlefield at Pittsburg Landing.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Coontown Cemetery and County Home Cemetery

Coontown Cemetery

Whitebreast Township #18
Nothing there anymore
(No picture)

County Home Cemetery

County Home Cemetery
Whitebreast Township #13
49318    215th Ave.
See Frank Myers Lucascountyan Blog for more on this cemetery.  Click here: 

A new sign commemorating 38 Lucas Countyans buried between 1879 and 1926 in the Lucas County Farm Cemetery, all but five in unmarked graves, will be dedicated during a brief program at 4:15 p.m. Sunday, May 27.