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."

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Spotlightling Cochran Cemetery, Perry Township, Fayette County, Ohio - Ohio Historic Inventory Form Finalized!

Sharing the scanned images of the Ohio Historic Inventory Form for the Cochran Cemetery, on the site of the former Cochran Methodist Episcopal Church in Perry Township, Fayette County, Ohio.  Cochran Cemetery's Ohio Historic Preservation Office Number is:  FAY0022509.

I had a lot of help with compiling the information to complete these pages! 

Thanking Renee Loyd and Cathy Templin of the Fayette County Recorder's Office for their help with locating deeds for Cochran Cemetery.  

Renee also visited Cochran Cemetery herself and took photographs of the six Smith Family children's broken gravestones that were featured here recently in another post.  All of the children died in 1837 within days of each other from "Milk Sickness".

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Thanking Carol Holliger, Archivist, 
Archives of Ohio United Methodism, Ohio Wesleyan University,
Beeghly Library in Delaware, Ohio for providing me with information about Barnabus AKA Barnabas Cochran and the history of the Cochran Methodist Episcopal Churches (there were 3 of them over the years) on the property where the Cochran Cemetery is located.  

Information from Carol Holliger:

"The history written by John Versteeg in 1963 (History of the Methodist Protestant Church) includes histories of many M.E. churches, including Cochran. I do not know where John got his information but he claims there were three churches, the original log church, the 1851 frame building, and the 1893 brick building.
 
I do not have a closed church file for Cochran, but I did find some information in the Ohio Conference journals. An entry appears in 1931 indicating that the following was authorized:
 
“Sale of Staunton Parsonage, net proceeds to be divided by order of Fayette County Parish Quarterly Conference. Transfer of Cochran Church on Fayette County Parish to trustees of Perry Township, Fayette, County, Ohio, to be used for a cemetery chapel—this in such manner as the civil law provides.” – FYI, the churches in the Fayette County Parish were Good Hope, Sugar Grove, Staunton, Maple Grove, Buena Vista, New Martinsburg, and Cochrans. There is no documentation that the transfer ever took place.
 
Then in 1949, the following authorization appears:
 
“Cochran Church, Good Hope Charge, proceeds to be used by the Chillicothe District. The recommendation was that it be declared abandoned by the Annual Conference and sold.” This authorization appears again in 1950, 1951, and 1952. Again, there is no documentation that a sale ever took place.
 
I have also attached the 1865 list of missionary donations by members of the Staunton Circuit. You can see that Cochran’s is part of this circuit then, and there is a list of those members."

 

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Thanking Susan Tietz:  Susan Tietz | National Register and Inventory Manager, State Historic Preservation Office Ohio History Connection | 800 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, OH 43211
p. 614.298.2000 | f. 614.298.2037 | stietz@ohiohistory.org

With Susan's guidance and patience, she answered all of my questions as I moved along completing each block and section on the form.  

Susan imparted some advice that would aid in completing another OHI form for a cemetery:

"Assimilate the sources of information you have into narratives for the physical description, historical significance and environmental setting, add them to the fillable pdf form and we could just transfer your narrative?  Below is a better explanation of the intent and type of information typically contained in the open text fields.
 
The open text fields have specific functions and are designed to include specific information --the physical description field is typically for describing a building, but can be adjusted to address a cemetery. This field should discuss the topography and physical appearance of the cemetery. Things like—is the ground flat or rolling? Are there mature trees or small shrubs? Sidewalks or walkways? A fence? How are the graves arranged? Large/small/deteriorated/high style/vernacular designs to the gravestones? Are there any distinctive landscape or built features that merit mention?  These are just a few things to think about as you look at the cemetery—there may be others.
 
The historic significance field should include basic information about the history of the cemetery…was it a family or community cemetery? Was there historically a church associated with the cemetery (extant or existing).  What is the date range of the markers? In a sentence or two, say who is buried here? Early community members? Primarily German/English/any specific background? Here, you could mention a couple of the most prominent people that are buried at the cemetery, but we don’t have space to include extended genealogy.
 
The description of environment and outbuildings field should include a narrative that describes the environment in which the cemetery sits—quiet 2 lane country roads? Busy 4 lane county roads? Is it easily accessed on foot? Long gravel driveway? Abuts the road? Set in agricultural fields? Neglected/well kept?
 
The narrative for these fields should be succinct but descriptive and use complete sentences. We don’t necessarily include all of the information discovered through research, the form should provide a road map for future researchers, which is why we include the bibliography. If additional detail is desired by a future researcher, the bibliography shows them where to go for more information."
 


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