© 2003-2017 by David K. & Leona L. Gustafson

History of Green Lawn Cemetery
Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio

Transcribed from
History of Franklin and Pickaway Counties, Ohio
(Williams Bros. 1880), pages 532-33.

Green Lawn Cemetery association, of Columbus, was organized under a general statute, passed in the winter of 1847-8.  At a meeting of the citizens, at the council chamber, on the evening of the twelfth of July, 1848, a committee of eleven was appointed, consisting of A. P. Stone, A. F. Perry, Joseph Ridgway, jr., Wm. B. Thrall, John Walton, John Miller, William Kelsey, William B. Hubbard, Joseph Sullivant, Robt. W. McCoy, and William A. Platt, charged with the duty of looking for a site and reporting a plan for the organization of a cemetery association.  At a subsequent meeting of citizens, held on the second of August, 1848, the committee reported articles of association, which were considered, amended, adopted, and signed by a competent number to authorize a complete organization.  The first meeting for the purpose of effecting an organization, was held on the twenty-sixth of August, when Wm. B. Hubbard, Joseph Sullivant, Aaron F. Perry, Thomas Sparrow, Alfred P. Stone, William B. Thrall, and John W. Andrews, were elected to constitute the first board of trustees, Alex. E. Glenn being chosen clerk.   Mr. Hubbard was unanimously chosen president of the board.  At a meeting of the board of trustees, held on the first day of February, 1849.  Mr. Andrews tendered his resignation and William Platt was chosen to supply the vacancy.  The grounds originally purchased by the association consisted of about eighty-three acres, admirably adapted to the purpose for which they were intended.  They were situated about two miles and a half southwesterly for the State house.  The cost of the whole was about three thousand, seven hundred and fifty dollars.  In the summer of 1849, under the superintendence of Howard Daniels, architect and civil engineer, tasteful and appropriate improvements were planned, and the work commenced was carried forward with the energy and esthetic ability which characterized its inception.  The visitor cannot fail to be impressed by the high order of the talent, as well as the large liberality, which have united to produce results so pleasing.  The first person buried in this cemetery was Leonora, daughter of Aaron F. Perry, on the seventh of July, 1849, a few days preceding its formal dedication.  The dedication services were held in a beautiful grove near the center of the grounds, on the ninth of July, 1849, in the presence of a large concourse of people.  The services were conducted by some of the leading clergymen of the city, Dr. Hoge delivering the dedicatory address.  A graceful dedicatory ode was written for the occasion by Benjamin T. Cushing, esq., for which we regret we have not space.  In the summer of 1856, the question arose as to the propriety of selling lots to colored persons, and thereby admitting them to membership in the association.  A circular was addressed to each member, or stockholder, stating the proposition to set apart a portion of the cemetery grounds for the burial of colored persons, and requesting the stockholder receiving it to indorse his preference upon the back of the circular, and return it to the office of the trustees.  A large proportion of the stockholders, who made returns, were opposed to the proposition, and the division was not made until February, 1872.  In 1872, sixty-two acres were added to the domain, making the cemetery to consist of about one hundred and forty-seven acres, forming nearly a square, of gently undulating surface.  The officers, at the present time, are as follows:  John Greenleaf, president; P. W. Huntington, treasurer; Joseph Dowdall, secretary; Oliver P. Hines, James S. Abbott, H. B. Albery, J. P. Bruck, Wm. B. Hawks, trustees.

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