The Columbus City
Page Design © 2008 by David K. Gustafson
Content © 1985 by Donald M. Schlegel
(original on file)
The East and South Graveyards
"It has greatly retarded the growth of the city in that direction. The best use that could be made of it would be to convert it into a public park, in connection with the beautiful grove in the rear of it -- the only grove of native forest trees remaining in the eastern portion of the city." So wrote Jacob Studer in his 1873 Columbus, Ohio: Its History, Resources and Progress concerning the East Graveyard.1 His call was answered only a few years later. Today's Livingston Park at Livingston avenue and Eighteenth street, though the grove of native trees was never added to it, is a pleasant island of green and playground next to Children's Hospital, long since surrounded by the city.
The East Graveyard, originally called the South Graveyard, came into being as a result of a meeting of Columbus City Council held on April 16, 1838. At that time Robert W. McCoy, president of council and superintendent of the city's only graveyard on North High street, reported, "Nearly all the lots in the Grave yard have been disposed of -- some are not yet paid for but the collection will be made shortly." Council immediately appointed a committee to search for more ground which could be purchased to enlarge the graveyard.2 After a wait of nine months, this committee reported not on enlarging the existing graveyard but that eleven acres in Montgomery Township "on the north side of the Livingston road East of the City might be obtained of Mr. Greenwood."3 The land was examined and found suitable and on February 11, 1839 its purchase was ordered; at the same time a committee was formed to have the land cleared and laid off into small family grave lots.4