Floral Hills Memory Gardens at both the Ross County and Pickaway County locations are heading toward a resolution of their long-standing problems

Sharing two newspaper reports about two Ohio cemeteries – with the same name – one in Ross County and the other one in Pickaway County.  

They are Floral Hills Memory Gardens.  News about their situations has been shared in several posts on this blog. 

First, thanking Sheridan Hendrix for researching and writing this news story primarily regarding the Floral Hills Memory Gardens location in Ross County that was published in the “Columbus Dispatch” on October 3, 2019. :

“Despite Law Change, Ohio’s abandoned cemeteries still in limbo” 

Abandoned, yet active, cemeteries are an increasing reality in Ohio. 

Because of this fact, a broader outreach to educate the general public about them is important.

This feature article also cites and has links to stories that have been published about Fairview Memorial Park in Delaware County, and Grandview Memorial Park in Portage County — both cemeteries were victims of criminal activity committed by their owners who are currently in prison. 

A sobering focus details the ongoing maintenance issues for those left behind  through no fault of their own.   

It has been six years since Dave Robertson began tending to the 37-acre lawn of Floral Hills Memory Gardens near Chillicothe.”

I’d rather we don’t ever need to write and read stories like this one, but since they are a reality, bringing increased awareness about them IS needed. 

This is a sobering story indeed.  So sad because it should not have to be that in the 21st Century, and in Ohio, we have abandoned and orphaned, active cemeteries that have also lost their registration with the state.  

Those with complaints about such cemeteries must proceed through the steps of first submitting them to the Ohio Cemetery Dispute Resolution Commission (“OCDRC”)  The OCDRC will investigate the complaint and act upon it accordingly.Because of the passage of HB 168 in 2018, the OCDRC can refer the case to a local Court of Common Pleas. Next, will be the appointment of a suitable Receiver who will have the duty of handling the operations of the cemetery, which includes re-registering it with the Department of Real Estate; until a permanent owner can be found.

 

Meanwhile, the adversely affected cemetery sits with no legal owner to care for it in all of the ways a cemetery deserves to be maintained. 

 

 Hopefully, the Floral Hills Memory Gardens in Ross County gets the much-needed and long-awaited help in the form of a Receiver and finding a suitable and permanent owner for it.   

“Clean Up Floral Hills” – on Facebook Ross County Location. 

  

Now, we turn our attention to this notice published in the “Circleville Herald”:

“Notice:”

Publish Date:

Friday, September 27, 2019

Notice Content

NOTICE OF COMPLAINT FOR FORECLOSURE OF REAL ESTATE TAX LIEN 

“Notice is hereby given that an action against Ronald L. Downey and Joseph L. Miller, in the Court of Common Pleas, Pickaway County, OH, 207 S. Court Street, Circleville, OH 43113, was filed on 3/14/19 styled Ellery Elick, Treasurer, Pickaway County, Ohio, Plaintiff v. Ronald L. Downey, et al, Defendants, Case No. 2019DLT003. 

The Complaint is to foreclose the lien of real estate taxes due and payable on the real property known as Floral Hills Cemetery, US 23 and Little Walnut Road, Circleville, OH 43113, PPN M30-0-004-00-037-00, M30-0-004-00-033-02, M30-0-004-00-048-00, M30-0-004-00-038-00 and M30-0-004-00-039-00, last transfer OR Vol. 615, Pg. 2642; OR Vol. 646, Pg. 2365. Legal description can be viewed on the Pickaway County Recorders website at countyfusion2.kofiletech.us. The prayer in the complaint is: 1. The Treasurer be found to have a good and valid lien on the within described real property, in the sums of $55,246.63, 11,974.61, 8,648.27, 8,648.27 and 976.67, respectively, plus accrued taxes, assessments, penalties, interest and costs. 2. That all defendants be required to set up their claims or be forever barred. 3. That unless the amount found to be due to this plaintiff be paid within a reasonable time as established by this Court, the equity of redemption be foreclosed and an order of sale issue to the Sheriff of Pickaway County, Ohio directing him to sell the real property which is the subject of this action as provided in 5721.19 ORC. 4. Such other and further relief in law and in equity as proper. All defendants are required to answer the complaint within 28 days after the last publication of this notice which will be published once each week for six successive weeks. The last publication will be made on 11/01/19 and the 28 days for answer will commence on that date. if defendant fails to answer or otherwise respond as required, judgment by default will be rendered against you for the relief demanded in the complaint. Jeffrey A. Catri Asst. Prosecuting Attorney Pickaway County, Ohio 203 South Scioto Street, P.O. Box 910 Circleville, Ohio 43113 (740) 474-6066 Phone JAMES W. DEAN, CLERK OF COURTS 207 SOUTH COURT STREET CIRCLEVILLE, OHIO 43113 (740) 474-5231 September 27, 2019 October 4, 11, 18, 25, 2019 Nov 1, 2019 Circleville Herald – 561581″

At this time, it is unknown if there is a precedent in Ohio where an active, yet abandoned, cemetery went into foreclosure and was sold at a Sheriff’s sale. 

 

Questions remain.:

It is unclear what the reasons are that the Pickaway County Floral Hills Memory Gardens apparently would not also have a Receiver assigned to it rather than the cemetery be offered in a Sheriff’s sale?

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Or, why hasn’t the municipality where the cemetery is located accept responsibility for its ownership during the past decade?  Would it finally agree to accept it if the cemetery fails to get a new owner through the Sheriff’s sale?

Soul searching: Could 86 bodies still be buried on farm site in Perrysburg?

PERRYSBURG — A dedicated group of people has grave concerns about a former parish cemetery that they believe has not been properly cared for over the years.

Source: Soul searching: Could 86 bodies still be buried on farm site in Perrysburg?

Old Burying Ground in Greenfield volunteer work session coming up! – Reminder: Wednesday, October 3, 2018 – beginning at 8:30a.m.

If you missed joining the volunteers at the Old Burying Ground for the work session of September 30, 2018, this is a reminder that another one is scheduled for Wednesday, October 3rd starting at 8:30a.m.
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Always check the calendar on the Greenfield Historical Society’s website for upcoming events which include the “OBG” – Old Burying Ground work sessions!

To keep up to date with the latest progress made by the all-volunteer group who has been working for five years to restore the Old Burying Ground in Greenfield just click on the Past Events Section on the “A Look Back” tab found on the Greenfield Historical Society’s website.  

Next, take note of the “Tombstone Repair” and the dates of each of their work sessions thus far.  

Click on each of them to see the photographs and a recap of the type of work conducted during each of the work sessions.  

The Greenfield Historical Society volunteers are a well organized group of caring people who are well trained with cleaning, repairing, and resetting grave markers from the smallest to the largest; including the more difficult ones like the “Box Tombs” shown below.  

White Bronze Markers and Monuments bring Beauty and Wonder to the Attica Venice Township Joint Cemetery and Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery – Attica, Seneca County, Ohio

On July 17, 2018, I visited the Attica Venice Township Joint Cemetery and the adjoining Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery in Seneca County, Ohio.  

I had heard that the larger Attica Venice Township Joint Cemetery contains over 100 white bronze markers and monuments!  

So, on my way to Findlay to do some antique shopping, I decided to make visiting these cemeteries my first stop.  

These are not large cemeteries, however, a visitor could easily spend quite a lot of time walking row by row reading the inscriptions and marveling at the grand white bronze (zinc) monuments; some that tower above all of the markers around them. 

At both cemeteries, newly erected gray granite monuments serve as official cemetery signs.

At the Attica Venice Township Joint Cemetery, the cemetery’s official name monument is near the Ohio Historical Marker (erected in 2017) that commemorates the life and sacrifice of World War I nurse Clara Edith (Work) Ayres who is buried at the Attica Venice Township Joint Cemetery.  These historical markers are always a welcome sight to any visitor.  They draw you to them to learn more about the cemetery and some of the notable local people who are buried there. 

  I realize now that my eager rambling through both cemeteries was too brief. I know a second visit is warranted to find even more interesting markers and monuments; including more of those white bronze beauties that have weathered so well through the decades, indeed centuries.

 

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Above two flat markers:

 Ernest W. Karr (right) and Mrs. Iva Jane Karr (left) 

white bronze flat markers

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Above:

Anna Mina Karr 

White Bronze lamb

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Above:

Large white bronze matching side-by-side plaques

monument for

Henry and Lucinda Briner

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Above three photographs: 

Listed on Find A Grave

at Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery

and his wife, Lucinda Force 

matching side-by-side plaques on white bronze monument

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  The above nine photographs:
The Griffith family Monument

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Above:

Dr. William B. Olds and his wife Maggie Olds 

white bronze double marker on base.

Please note:  The stone base is crumbling

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Above three photographs: 

White bronze monument and

close up view of the flag holder at her gravesite.

Learn more about Nurse Clara Edith Work Ayres

from her biographical information 

presented on both sides of the Ohio Historical Marker

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The above three photographs 

Listed on Find A Grave

at Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery

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Hamilton White Bronze Monument

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Above two photographs:

Listed on Find A Grave

at Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery

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Above:  

The small white bronze marker for Katie Blanch Wyley

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The above four photographs:

Lockie and Clarence Steigmeyer

White Bronze monument with statue

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Above four photographs:
James Howard Clements

and his wife,

Mildred J. Van Wormer Clements

Side-by-side bronze plaques on ornate white bronze monument

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Above two photographs:

White Bronze side by side plaques on monument

for James F. and Jennie (Smith) Clements

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Above two photographs: 

White bronze marker for Mary Allgyre

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Above two photographs:
Milton Eisenhart’s white bronze monument

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Above:
Photograph of a log design stone bench.

(Please note:  The right support is collapsing!)

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Above three photographs:
Various views of the Ohio Historical marker

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Above:

Elizabeth Fisher Reichert’s white bronze monument

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Above:

White Bronze marker for

Samuel Croxton

and Mattie Croxton

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Above two photographs:
Small size White Bronze marker for

Rosana Songer – wife of John Songer

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Above:  

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How a cemetery can bring life to the dead for researchers of early ancestors; later for them to unexpectedly learn a fellow researcher has passed away. This post is my tribute to Jane “Janie” Ellen Martin Whitty

It happened to me late last night before shutting down the computer.  Maybe it has happened to you too?  Let me try to explain. 

We contact other genealogical researchers; or vice versa.  We correspond with them for a while (maybe it was years ago before the Internet and handwritten letters with SASE’s were the preferred choice of contact, or using your manual or electric typewriter to compile a neatly typed up correspondence with SASE’s), but time moves on and the exchanges trailed off.  We move on to other unsolved genealogical mysteries that we realize lie before us begging to be solved. 

And, speaking of ‘trails’…quite often among our last steps on the trail to learn more about the lives of our ancestors are those that lead us to the cemetery where they were buried.  Invariably, we must pass by one grave marker after another; eagerly looking for the names on stones we are hoping to find.  We see veterans with gravestones or waving flags that tell us they served in an early war such as the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, or the Civil War.  Our ancestor may have also been a veteran.  Our slow walk through the cemetery gives us a good look at who else found eternal rest and peace at the same cemetery our ancestor and their family chose for themselves.  

So, whether you found your ancestor’s gravesite marked by a readable grave marker or not, you can gain a certain sense of who your ancestors’ neighbors were and how they also helped shape their community.  You want to learn more about these folks whom you suspect your ancestor often greeted after church was over, shook hands with, or served alongside in one of those long ago wars. 

You widen your research to include contacting those who are researching others buried at the same cemetery as your ancestor.  It is easier to do since the Internet now too!

So it was that last night I decided to once again read through one of the documents I had compiled several years ago about the Butcher (AKA Walnut Grove) Cemetery in North Lewisburg, in Champaign County, Ohio where a 3rd great-aunt and her first husband, daughter, and a grand-daughter were buried.  The document I chose to browse through was about just the veterans buried at this cemetery.  In the notes, I came across two emails I had copied into the document from a charming lady named Jane “Janie” Martin Whitty.  Her email address was “Whittyfun” which I thought was unique and yes, funny.  Jane had actually found me first and decided to contact me; and I am so glad that she did.

Sharing Jane “Janie” Martin Whitty’s email to me from April of 2010.:

“I am trying to contact you. I am the Evans/Underwood descendant of Charles E. Evans, Civil War Veteran buried in Butcher/Garwood Cemetery in Champaign County, Ohio, mentioned in your PDF file at the North Lewisburg website (I am OhioHeritage with the Evans/Underwood family histories).

Charles E. Evans was my Great-great grandfather, and I also have info on the Underwood family Francis Sara Jane Underwood, daughter of Amos Underwood, who was his, Charles E. Evans’, wife). Amos Underwood and Sara Jane Rossell, his wife, were also residents of North Lewisburg, Champaign County, Ohio and are in the 1881 Beers history.

I have pictures and histories on them. One of their grandchildren, Frankie Underwood is also buried in Butcher Cemetery (and a daughter and son of Charles E. Evans, as well, buried there with Charles).

If there is any info I can contribute for your excellent research of that area and those residents during that time, please contact me at this site

I would also very much appreciate if you could send me a copy or transcription of the news article on Charles E. Evans death May 10, 1888 (published in the Urbana Daily citizen you referenced on the additional info). I live in Florida and this article has eluded me. Our family history has handed down that his death was a “hunting accident” but suspected suicide and they weren’t sure.

I would like to know more and can tell you what I know from what was handed down.

My email is: whittyfun@juno.comwebsite of mine you found on Charles E. Evans

http://ohioheritage.tripod.com/ohioheritagephotoalbum/id1.html

(Cached version as of May 15, 2018.: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://ohioheritage.tripod.com/ohioheritagephotoalbum/id1.html  )

Underwoodhttp://ohioheritage.tripod.com/ohioheritagephotoalbum/id8.html

Thank you so much for your excellent research!!

Regards,

Janie Martin Whitty – an Evans/Underwood Descendant…still researching after all these years.”

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Of course, I recall being totally thrilled to hear from Janie and her email (which I can no longer find in my Yahoo email account!) which thankfully remains in that document for me to re-read anytime I want! 

As I re-read Janie’s email again last night I felt an urging to see what Janie has been ‘up to’ since we last corresponded over 8 years ago.  A Google search gave me my answer.  Sadly, I learned that Janie passed away on December 25, 2015.  I was overcome with grief knowing that Janie had passed away.  With my feelings of loss came my guilt that I had not found a way to continue our correspondence so we could have stayed connected longer.  

Thus, I want to share this beautifully touching tribute to Jane “Janie” Martin Whitty that was compiled by her family and shared in a slideshow of photographs from Janie’s childhood years to her last years.  To me Janie and her research work live on, and what we shared with each other about her ancestors, my ancestors, the condition of the cemetery — all of it — remain with me in my memories and from re-reading her emails to me.  

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Sharing this moving and loving tribute to a dynamic lady who touched my life in a way I won’t ever forget.:

  Jane “Janie” Martin Whitty.

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Janie on Find A Grave

Jane “Janie” Martin Whitty’s Member Profile Memorial Page on Find A Grave

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BLUE RIBBON GRAPHIC FOR USE ON CEMETERY BLOG

A cemetery is a sacred ground that lives and breathes with a history that changed a community during its years of early development.  It may look long forgotten and neglected, but under the layers of vines, possibly intertwined with poison ivy, are what remain of the gravestones and monuments that mark the final resting places of those who came before us.  If they want to be found, they will, I always tell myself; and there is a reason they reach out to those of us who are receptive to them.  Not to just tell us their story, but to help us connect with each other!  

BLUE RIBBON GRAPHIC FOR USE ON CEMETERY BLOG

 

Spotlighting a New Update from “Past Lives Photography” that also Brought Back a Memory and a Sad Discovery for me.

Beth Wilson Shoemaker and her “A Grave Sight Cemetery Photographs by BAWS” posted a new link on Facebook, on March 3, 2018, connecting to her Past Lives Photography Blog (a link for it is also included in this blog) with an update detailing her visit to the almost lost and forgotten Mastin Family Cemetery in Clay Twp., Scioto County, Ohio.  

Learning of Beth’s discovery led to my own recollection of someone who helped me in 1997 with documenting a relatively obscure Ohio cemetery — the Friends (Quaker) Cemetery in North Lewisburg, Champaign County Ohio.  

I am writing about surveyor, Mr. James L. Murphy, who, himself, had paid an earlier visit to the Mastin Cemetery.  Thankfully, he shared his research results on the USGenWeb site on November 16, 2007.  He provided his listing of the inscriptions on the gravestones he found at the Mastin Cemetery.  His work included surveying the little cemetery for the Ohio Historic Inventory . The cemetery information was added to the official records at the Ohio Historical Society (now the Ohio History Connection).  The OHI number for the Mastin Cemetery is SCI0046813.

So, while searching for information on the Mastin (Mastin Family) Cemetery in Scioto County, I decided to do a “Google” search for James L. Murphy who I had not communicated with for several years following our exchanges regarding the Friends Cemetery.  

Sadly, I learned that he had passed away on October 8th, 2012.  

I dedicate this blog post to James L. Murphy whose assistance helped me complete the first Ohio Historic Inventory Form that I finished in 1997.  Over the years, I completed seven more OHI forms for other early Ohio cemeteries.

Sharing James L. Murphy’s “Forgotten” Cemeteries and the Ohio Historic Inventory publication.  

Please take a moment to read it, and if you feel so inclined, contact the Preservation Office of the Ohio History Connection to learn more how these forms can help protect Ohio’s almost forgotten cemeteries.  

 

Ashland County research aid for Sullivan Township now available from Ashland County Ohio Genealogical Society

Researched and written by Thomas S. Neel, executive director of the OGS Library in Bellville, the new book celebrates Sullivan Township’s bicentennial (1817-2017) and includes transcriptions of all cemetery tombstones, burial records for Southview Cemetery through 1965,

Source: Ashland County research aid for Sullivan Township now available from Ashland County Ohio Genealogical Society