Exploring Almost Forgotten Gravesites in the Great State of Ohio

Dedicated to cemetery preservation in the great state of Ohio

"A cemetery may be considered as abandoned when all or practically all of the bodies have been Removed therefrom and no bodies have been buried therein for a great many years, and the cemetery has been so long neglected as entirely to lose its identity as such, and is no longer known, recognized and respected by the public as a cemetery. 1953 OAG 2978."

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Spotlighting Williams County, Ohio - Scattered Stones at Four Cemeteries Need Saving!

Extending my appreciation to Sandi Litzenberg of Williams County, Ohio
(Sandi is a "Find A Grave" contributor)
for bringing to my attention the need for preservation work to be conducted at four small Williams County cemeteries.  

Sandi located several groupings of broken gravestones in each cemetery that need repairing and re-setting -- most are Civil War era markers.  

In fact, one white marble marker belongs to Ohio Civil War veteran, Joseph T. (Joseph Theodore) Kast.  It is toppled over, but intact, lying on the ground at the West Jefferson Cemetery.  How sad since I'm sure the marker had stood upright for decades proudly marking the location of the veteran who was buried beneath it.

However, there is another grave marker for Pvt. Joseph Theodore Kast that Sandi photographed and it is shown below:

 Pvt. Joseph T. Kast, of Co. "D", 38th Regiment O.V.I. buried at the West Jefferson Cemetery

Original filed under Joseph T./Kast
nara publication title: Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations From the State of Ohio.
nara publication number: M552
nara roll number: 57
film number: 0882270

 John Kast - Gravestone for John Kast also buried at the West Jefferson Cemetery.  

John Kast also served as a private in Co. "D' of the 38th Regiment, O.V.I.
Sandi has sent over some of her pictures and identfies them by cemetery name.  All cemeteries are listed on "Find A Grave":

 Above is a photo of a grouping of small mostly sunken stones that appear to have been removed from their original location at some point and just placed next to the tree we see in this picture.  Judging by their small size, they could have once been placed as footstones for larger markers.  

These stones are at the Billingstown Cemetery which is located in Northwest Township.  Per the cemetery sign the cemetery was established in 1843. 

"This is the northwestern most cemetery in Ohio, being only 3100 feet from the intersection of Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana."  There is a WPA map for this cemetery.  

Currently, there are 121 burials listed for the Billingstown Cemetery on "Find A Grave. "

Per "Find A Grave": GPS Coordinates: Latitude: 41.68944, Longitude: -84.79694 


Above is a photograph of a grouping of tossed aside broken markers and perhaps some plot marker stones at the Lash Cemetery in Williams County.   
Obviously, the flat white marble stones sitting on each end are grave markers that were once intact and upright over their original burial locations.  The one on the far right may still be over its original location.  It is not easy to tell.   
The burial ground is located:  "Just west of where US 20 turns to the north.  On the north Side of SR107," per the O.G.S. "Cemeteries 1803 -2003" publication, page 686, (referenced above.)
Currently, there are 157 interments listed at the Lash Cemetery on "Find A Grave." 

Per "Find A Grave": GPS Coordinates: Latitude: 41.58690, Longitude: -84.55970

Sandi has posted two nice recent longer shot photographs of the Lash Cemetery on its cemetery page on "Find A Grave."  Fortunately, most of the gravestone markers in those pictures are still standing. 

 The above photograph is for at least 2 broken white marble markers at the Ring Cemetery in Brady Township, Williams County.

Per the O.G.S. "Ohio Cemeteries 1803 - 2003" publication (see reference above), page 685:  "Rings (Ring) Cemetery is located "Northeast of West Unity.  On East Side of U.S. 127.  There is a WPA map for it.  
Per "Find A Grave": GPS Coordinates: Latitude: 41.59250, Longitude: -84.43000 
Currently, 129 interments are listed for the Ring Cemetery on "Find A Grave."  
 Above is a photograph Sandi took of a grouping of several random pieces of once standing marble grave markers now in a scattered pile at the West Jefferson Cemetery in Jefferson Township.  
The intact larger marker on the left belongs to Civil War Veteran, Joseph Theodore Kast, whose non-military white marble grave marker is shown in this post above.
There are 66 interments listed at the West Jefferson Cemetery on "Find A Grave." 

Per "Find A Grave": GPS Coordinates: Latitude: 41.57640, Longitude: -84.55640

 Hopefully, thanks to Sandi's concern and intervention, as more people in these communities become aware of the need to restore these broken markers, steps will be taken so these gravestones can once again be made whole and regarded with the respect they deserve from us and also from future generations.