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, November 3, 2016

Spotlighting the George S. and Lucy Stedman Family Buried at the Spencer Cemetery in Medina County, Ohio

On a pleasant Sunday afternoon in June of 2014 I decided to visit a Lorain County antique store.  As I walked inside I was immediately stunned by the sight of an artifact not normally found in a resale shop.  There leaning against the wall by the front door was a beautiful original marble double gravestone for two children.  

Sadly, however, the stone’s reverse side was heavily encased in cement with some embedded red bricks.  Fortunately the gravemarker’s front surface was intact. The skillfully carved early 1860s inscriptions were quite clear and readable.  As I drew closer to linger by it, I was touched to see the matching carved lambs facing one another with the words “At Rest” engraved below them.  I did not notice a price tag attached.  So, before I started shopping, I called over the store clerk and asked questions to try to learn more details about this grave marker. 

I was told that this lovely gravestone for the children whose names were inscribed on it as: George D. Stedman (Born May 28, 1852 – Died August 8, 1861) and Lucy L. Stedman (Born November 20, 1853 – Died January 27, 1862) Children of George S. and Lucy Stedman, was rescued from a storefront building in downtown Wellington, Ohio, where it had been removed.  The reason for its removal was not given.  They thought the previous owners of the stone were thinking of throwing it away; so thankfully that did not happen.

Since I am a cemetery preservation and gravestone conservation advocate, I could not just leave the store and forget about that original grave marker.  Also, before leaving, I took photographs of it from different angles.  I was eager to start researching the names of the children and learn more about them and where they were buried.

Thus, I began my investigation by conducting a search on the website “Find A Grave.”  I learned that the Stedman siblings were buried at the Spencer Cemetery in Medina County, Ohio, as were their parents and older siblings because their memorials were already posted.  However, gravestone photographs were not added to their memorials.  

Next, I sent an email to Medina County officials who provided contact information for Spencer Township Trustee, Tom Brown.  Fortunately for me, I learned from the trustee that he was well acquainted with the Spencer Cemetery and had recalled seeing a tall four-sided dark gray granite monument erected for the Stedman family. He kindly obliged my request for a photograph of the monument and emailed it to me so I could post it on the children’s memorials.  I also added my photograph of the original double marker sitting at the antique store to their memorials so others, hopefully Stedman family descendants, would know about its existence.  

I am not certain if the Stedman children’s unique grave marker was eventually sold, however, I have been informed that it is no longer at the antique store.  

It would require painstaking work conducted by an experienced professional to remove the cement and embedded brick from the original stone without damaging or destroying it.  I am hoping that by now this lovely marker is sitting in a descendant's home or at a local historical society where it would be appreciated.

Also, Abigail Stedman Walters was buried at the Spencer Cemetery, a sibling of little George D. and Lucy L. Stedman. 

The Parents:


Thanking Tom Brown for sharing his photographs below of the large Stedman Family monument and the large marker for Henry and Abigail Stedman Walters.