Introduction of Penitentiary system - Erection of first building - Appointment of officers, etc. - Erection of second prison Building - Wright elected keeper - Names of clerks, etc. - removal of prisoners to new Penitentiary - removal of old buildings - Suit for the ground - Law to sell the ground - New Penitentiary - Its government, etc. - Murder of Sells - Cholera in the prison - Table of officers, etc.
The penitentiary system was first introduced in Ohio in 1815. Previous to that time, the crimes since punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary, were punished by whipping. For instance, the section of law relating to larceny, was as follows:
"That if any person shall steal the personal goods or chattels of another, such person so offending, shall be deemed guilty of larceny, and upon conviction thereof, shall be whipped not exceeding thirty-nine stripes, on the naked back; and on a second conviction of a like offense, shall be whipped not exceeding fifty stripes, at the discretion of the court; and in either case, shall return to the owner the thing stolen, or the value thereof, if the thing stolen be not restored, with damages, and shall, in either case, be fined in a sum not exceeding three-fold the value of the property stolen, and be imprisoned not exceeding three months, at the discretion of the court; and in all cases where damages are allowed by this act, to any person who shall have property stolen, the petit jury who are elected to try the offender, shall, if they find a verdict of guilty, at the same time assess the damages."
The first statute of Ohio providing for punishment in the penitentiary, was passed the 27th of January, 1815, and took effect the first of August, 1815. It provided: "That if any person shall steal any money or other personal goods and chattels of another, of the value of ten dollars and upwards, every person so offending shall be deemed guilty of larceny, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in the penitentiary at hard labor for any space of time not more than seven years nor less than one year!" Subsequently, in 1821, the law was so changed that a larceny of less than fifty dollars did not constitute a penitentiary offense; and, since 1835, the amount has stood at thirty-five dollars.
The first penitentiary building was erected in 1813, under the direction of William Ludlow, State Director of the public buildings. Benjamin Thompson was the undertaker of the mason work, and Michael Patton of the carpenter work. It was a brick building fronting on Scioto street or lane, sixty by thirty feet on the ground, and three stories high, including the basement, which was about half above and half below ground. The basement was divided into cellar, kitchen and eating-room for the prisoners, and could be entered only from the inside of the yard. The next story above the basement, was for the keeper's residence, and was entered by high steps from the street; and the third, or upper story, was laid off into cells for the prisoners - thirteen cells in all - four dark and nine light ones. The entrance to the upper story or cells, was from the inside of the yard.
The prison yard was about one hundred feet square, including the ground the building stood on, and was enclosed by a stone wall from fifteen to eighteen feet high. Col. McDonald, of Ross County, was the contractor for the building of this wall.
Such is a brief description of the penitentiary buildings as they were from 1815 to 1818, when the new penitentiary, as it was then called, was erected, and the yard enlarged to about four hundred feet east and west, by about one hundred and sixty feet north and south, including the ground covered by the buildings. The yard now extended to the foot of the hill, near the canal, and was graded into three levels, each gently descending to the west, with two perpendicular stone walls erected across the yard to the height of the level above. These cross walls or jogs in the yard were about twelve feet high, with large steps to descend them. The outer walls of the yard were probably about twenty feet high, and three feet thick, with a heavy plank floor on the top, and a hand rail at proper height on the inner edge. In descending the wall from the first or upper level, to the second and third, or lower level, there were regular steps like stair steps, on the top of the wall. The upper level of the yard was about equal in size to the other two - say two hundred feet east and west, for the upper yard, eighty feet for the middle yard, and one hundred and twenty feet for the lower one. The work shops were principally arranged along the south side of the upper yard - coopers and blacksmiths in the middle yard - no shops in the lower yard.
The new prison house, or building, was of brick, about one hundred and fifty feet long, and about thirty-four feet wide, and two stories high, with the east gable end to the street, and forming a connected line with the front of the old building. There were a tolerably commodious dining room and kitchen on the lower floor, and two adjoining rooms on the second floor, for hospital purposes, and fifty-four cells or lodging rooms, above ground, and five dark and solitary cells below ground, which were accessible only by a trap door in the hall.
In the first or old building, the cells were torn out, and the building remodeled, and made a comfortable residence for the keeper. These improvements were made under the direction of the State officers, namely: Ralph Osborn, Auditor, Hiram M. Curry, Treasurer, and Jeremiah McLene, Secretary. Judge Pike was agent under them to superintend the work. The building of the wall was let out in parcels, to several different contractors. The mason work of the house or prison, was taken by John Shields, and the carpenter work by Capt. Houston and John E. Baker. The plan, particularly of the yard with its three benches or levels, was, at the time, much admired, though it was afterward condemned, and was the principal cause for removing the institution to its present level site.
Pursuant to the act passed in January, 1815, for the government, etc., of the penitentiary, five inspectors were elected by joint ballot of the Legislature, whose province it was to appoint a keeper, and prescribe rules and regulations for the government of the institution. Capt. James Kooken, then of Franklinton, received the appointment of keeper, took possession of the house, and entered upon the discharge of his duties on the first day of August, 1815; and Col. Griffith Thomas, now of Perry Township, was by him appointed clerk of the institution. Kooken was continued keeper, and Thomas clerk, with some two, three or four guards, until the office of agent was created. In January, 1819, a law was passed creating the office of agent, and making the keeper and agent both electable by the Legislature for three years. Capt. Kooken was elected keeper, and Col. Thomas agent. The keeper and agent were now separate offices, independent of each other. The keeper's powers and duties continued as before, except that he passed over all manufactured articles to the agent, whose duty it was to keep them in a store house provided for that purpose, contiguous to the prison; make the sales, collect the outstanding debts, and pay over all his cash receipts weekly to the Treasurer of State.
In February, 1822, the law was again changed, abolishing the office of agent; and Barzillai Wright was, by the Legislature, elected keeper in place of Kooken. Wright was a stranger, from New Jersey, and had been only about three months in the State; and his election occasioned considerable murmuring and excitement among the friends of Kooken, both in and out of the Legislature. It was contended that he was ineligible to the office, under the clause of the Constitution which provided, "That no person shall be appointed to any office within any county, who shall not have been a citizen and inhabitant therein one year next before his appointment." But, on the other hand, it was argued, that this was an office not mentioned in nor known to the Constitution, and that therefore the above clause was not applicable to it.
In the summer of 1823, Wright died, and Nathaniel McLean was appointed by Governor Morrow, to fill the vacancy, and was continued by election and reelections by the Legislature, until the spring of 1830. He was then succeeded by Byram Leonard, of Knox County; and Leonard was succeeded in the spring of 1832, by Wm. W. Gault, of Newark, who continued until the convicts were removed to the new penitentiary, in the fall of 1834.
During the whole term of business at the old penitentiary, a store of the manufactured articles was kept connected with the institution, and a general system of bartering was the policy adopted. Blacksmithing, wagon making, coopering, shoemaking, gunsmithing, cabinet making, tailoring and weaving, were carried on in the prison, and the work and wares of the institution were sold or exchanged for provisions and raw materials, such as sawed lumber, staves, hoop poles, coal and fire wood, etc., or sold for cash, as cases might offer. The care of the store and books was with the clerk. The successive clerks after the abolition of the office of agent, in 1822, were Cyrus Fay, Henry Matthews, George Whitmore, W. T. Martin, Nelson Talmage, Timothy Griffith, and Uriah Lathrop. Among the old hands employed about the institution during the same period, were Joseph McElvain, Purdy McElvain, Joseph O'Harra, Arthur O'Harra, John Kelley, Hugh McGill, Thomas Webb, Samuel Gelin, Talman Chase, and others.
There were every year more or less escapes of prisoners by stealth, though but one daring rush. About the year 1830, some dozen or more prisoners, having banded themselves together to force an escape, were secreted in a vacant cell, just inside of the outer door of the prison, and when the turnkey, Mr. O'Harra, (now 'Squire O'Harra, of Franklinton,) had occasion to unlock the door, the daring Smith Maythe, who headed the gang, sprang forward and caught O'Harra round the body, and held him fast, while his comrades rushed out. He then, letting go of Mr. O'Harra, bounded forward and placed himself at the head of the gang, and they marched up past the mound, (there then being but few improvements to obstruct their way,) and on to the woods in a south-east direction. They were advertised and finally all picked up, one or two at a time, and returned to the prison. Poor Maythe, some years after his release from the Ohio penitentiary, was, for a case of robbery and attempted murder, in Kentucky, hung by a mob, without judge or jury.
Under the law and regulations of the old penitentiary, the institution was charged with, and paid, the costs of prosecution and transportation of convicts - always a heavy item of expense. But under the law and regulations for the government of the present penitentiary, the costs of prosecution and transportation are paid out of the State Treasury, and are not, in the Warden's annual exhibits, charged to the institution; which should not be overlooked in making a comparison between the exhibits of the old and the present institutions.
The old buildings and the ten acre lot upon which they stood, and which had been donated by the proprietors of the town to the State for the erection of a penitentiary thereon, were no longer needed, nor used in connection with the penitentiary; and the succeeding year the walls of the yard were sold by the State officers and were torn down, and the stones used, part for building purposes, and part burned into lime at a kiln erected on the lot for that purpose, by Jacob Strickler. The main prison building, which had been erected in 1818, remained some two or three years longer, when it was also removed, leaving the original building, erected in 1813, and the brick store house, erected by Wright, in 1822, still standing; and they were taken possession of by the Quarter-Master General - the one as a place of deposit for the public arms, and the other as a work shop for cleaning and repairing the arms; thus converting the two into a kind of State Armory, and they so remained until 1855, when they were both razed to the ground, and the bricks used in filling in some part of the new State House; and the old lumber sold and removed. So that now there remains not a vestige of the old penitentiary and its appendages; and the grading down of the streets, and the digging down and hauling away of a great part of the hill itself, for gravel and sand, has so changed the surface of the location where the prison and yard once were, that a person familiar with that place thirty years ago, could not now recognize it.
At the removal of the penitentiary, a question arose as to the title of the ten acre lot - whether it reverted to the proprietors of the town, or still remained in the State. In the Legislature the question was twice referred (at different sessions) to committees of legal characters, and a majority each time reported in favor of the State's title; and on the 17th of March, 1838, an act was passed authorizing the Governor to have the ground laid out into town lots, and the lots appraised, and then sold; the ground was accordingly laid out and platted, and the plat recorded. But a discretionary power seemed to rest with the Governor, and he never caused any sales to be made. In the meantime, in March, 1847, Elijah Backus commenced suit in the Court of Common Pleas of Franklin County, for the recovery of this lot of land from the State. The suit was brought in the name of Gustavus Swan and M. J. Gilbert against E. N. Slocum, then Quarter-Master General of the State, and who had possession of the buildings, as above stated. It appears that they had some years before obtained a general quit-claim from the heirs of Kerr, McLaughlin and Johnston, of all their then remaining interest in all lands on the town plat, or perhaps in the county. How far these plaintiffs advised or controlled the suit, is not known to the writer; but it was generally understood that Mr. Backus was prosecuting for his own benefit, and while the plaintiffs had the temporary possession, he controlled it and received the proceeds.
As above stated, the suit was commenced in March, 1847 - E. Backus, attorney for plaintiff, Henry Stanbery, Attorney General, for Slocum - and the cause was continued from time to time until June, 1851, when judgment was obtained for plaintiffs by default, Joseph McCormick then Attorney General. August 23d, writ of possession issued, and on the first of September the Sheriff went through the formality of putting the plaintiff in possession. Mr. Backus then became landlord, to rent the State its own buildings, and the sand and gravel of which the hill is composed being in very ready demand, he made the best he could of that, realizing about a thousand dollars from that, exclusive of the rent of the buildings.
Now, in order to regain what had been lost by the neglect of the Attorney General, the State had in her turn to become plaintiff, and in March, 1852, suit was brought by the State in the Court of Common Pleas against S. W. Andrews, then Quarter-Master General, who was in possession under Backus, Geo. E. Pugh then Attorney General, and conductor of the suit; and November 30, 1852, judgment was rendered for the defendant, (against the State.) An appeal was taken to the District Court, Geo. W. McCook now Attorney General; and September 21, 1854, judgment was rendered for the plaintiff, (the State,) and November 25th, writ of possession issued, and on the 19th of January, 1855, the writ was returned, indorsed, "I have executed this writ by putting the Secretary of State in possession of the premises as herein directed. Thomas Miller, Sh'ff."
The State having now got in possession of its lot again, on the 17th of March, 1856, the Legislature passed an act vacating the old plat, except as to Mound street, and repealing the law of 1838, under which it was made, and directing the Governor to have the ground laid out into lots anew, re-platted, appraised and sold. In the summer of 1857, this ground was re-platted, the lots advertised and a few sold, and the sale adjourned.
At the session of 1857-8, the Legislature, on the petition and memorial of Martha McLaughlin, widow of Alexander McLaughlin, deceased, appropriated one thousand dollars to be paid to her out of the proceeds of these lots.
On the 11th of February, 1832, an act was passed by the Legislature, providing for the erection of a new penitentiary. It provided for the election by the Legislature, of three Directors to select and procure a site, and direct and control the erection of the buildings. They were to receive a salary of one hundred dollars each per year, for their services, and were required to appoint a superintendent to project the plan and superintend the work, at a compensation not exceeding one thousand dollars per year.
At the same session, Joseph Olds, of Circleville, Samuel McCracken, of Lancaster, and Charles Anthony, of Springfield, were elected Directors; and on the 4th of May, 1832, they appointed Nathaniel Medbery, superintendent. A lot of fifteen acres of land, where the prison is erected, was procured by the citizens of the north end of town, and donated to the State as an inducement to the location of the institution at that point.
On the 27th of October, 1834, the buildings being completed, Nathaniel Medbery was, by the Directors, appointed the first keeper of the new penitentiary by the title of Warden, and on the day following the convicts were removed from the old to the new prison. Colonel Gault was the keeper of the old prison, and his time did not expire until the ensuing spring. But his charge was marched away from him, and he continued to occupy the keeper's apartments in the old institution in quietness until spring, and claimed his salary.
On the 5th of March 1835, Isaac Cool was appointed Deputy Warden, Rev. Russell Bigelow Chaplain, Dr. M. B. Wright Physician, and H. Z. Mills Clerk. The prison was now governed by a new law, new officers and new rules and regulations. Rules of great severity were adopted, and rigidly enforced. The old system of barter was abandoned, and instead of the State manufacturing articles for sale, as formerly, the convicts were hired by the day to large manufacturers, who worked them in prison shops, as at present, and the keeping of a store, or sale room, was thus dispensed with.
The failure of the old penitentiary, both in a pecuniary and reformatory view, had generally been attributed to the insufficiency of the buildings, and to the lax government of the institution; and high expectations were entertained that under the new system a revenue would be produced to the State, and a moral reformation wrought upon the convicts. But time has proven the delusion of both these expectations. If we charge the institution with the costs of prosecution and transportation of the convicts, as formerly, the annual deficits will not be less than under the old system. And as for the reformation of the discharged convicts, the police of Columbus could testify not very favorably. Within a few years past the rigid rules and discipline have been giving way to more kind and humane treatment. The odious "lock step" was first abandoned, then "shower baths" and the use of the "cat" were also abandoned, and solitary confinement substituted.
The only officer of the institution whose life has been taken by a convict, was Cyrus Sells, in 1843. The convict was transferred to the county jail, tried in the Court of Common Pleas, convicted and executed in February, 1844.
In 1849, the cholera broke out in the prison on the 30th of June, and between that time and the 5th of August, one hundred and sixteen convicts died of that disease. The highest number of deaths in one day was on the 10th of July, when twenty-two died. Doctor Lathrop was the regular prison physician, and he was assisted by Doctors William Trevitt, John B. Thompson, Robert Thompson, B. F. Gard, J. Morrison, N. Gay, G. W. Maris, and ---- Matthews, and several medical students, and some citizens who volunteered their services as nurses, etc.
Doctors Lathrop and Gard both fell victims to the disease.
In the fall of 1850, from the 31st of August to the 29th of November, there were twenty-one deaths by cholera, in the prison - none since.
Names of the Officers of the Penitentiary From 1834 to 1857, Inclusive
|1834||Jos. Olds, Sam'l McCracken, Chas. Anthony||N. Medberry||None||None|
|1835||Jos. Olds, Sam'l McCracken, Chas. Anthony||N. Medberry||Isaac Cool||H. Z. Mills||M. B. Wright||Russel Bigelow|
|1836||Jos. Olds, S. F. McCracken, Benj. Allen||N. Medberry||John Huffman||H. Z. Mills||Wm. M. Awl|
|1837||Joseph Olds, S. F. McCracken, Benj. F. Allen||N. Medberry||John Huffman||H. Z. Mills||Wm. M. Awl|
|1838||Joseph Olds, S. F. McCracken, Benj. F. Allen||N. Medberry||John Huffman||H. Z. Mills||I. G. Jones||Rev. M. Fitch|
|1839||Allen Latham, Jos. Olds, John McElvain||W. B. VanHook||John Huffman||H. Z. Mills||P. Sissan||Rev. M. Fitch|
|1840||John McElvain, Sam. Spangler, Wm. Spencer||W. B. VanHook||John Huffman||H. Z. Mills||P. Sisson||Rev. M. Fitch|
|1841||Wm. Spencer, Sam. Spangler, John McElvain||W. B. VanHook||John Huffman||H. Z. Mills||I. G. Jones||Sam F. Mills|
|1842||A. H. Patterson, Andrew McElvain, Wm. Spencer||Rich'd Stadden||John Huffman||H. Z. Mills||P. Sisson||Sam F. Mills|
|1843||Robt. Lee, A. H. Patterson, A. McElvain||John Patterson||John Huffman||H. Z. Mills||Wm. Trevitt||Sam F. Mills|
|1844||Robt. Lee, A. McElvain, John Greenwood||John Patterson||None||J. V. McElvain||Wm. Trevitt||Sam F. Mills|
|1845||B. F. Gard, Robt. Lee, John Greenwood||John Patterson||None||J. V. McElvain||P. Sisson||Sam. F. Mills|
|1846||B. F. Gard, Horatio J. Cox, J. Ridgway||Laurin Dewey||None||J. V. McElvain||H. Lathrop||J. B. Finley|
|1847||B. F. Gard, H. J. Cox, J. Ridgway||Laurin Dewey||Sam'l Bradford||J. V. McElvain||H. Lathrop||J. B. Finley|
|1848||H. J. Cox, Jos. Ridgway, Thos. Brown||Laurin Dewey||John Huffman||J. V. McElvain||H. Lathrop||J. B. Finley|
|1849||Jos. Ridgway, Thomas Brown, Matthias Martin||Laurin Dewey||John Huffman||J. V. McElvain||Wm. Trevitt||J. T. Donahoo|
|1850||Thos. Brown, M. Martin, David Gregory||Laurin Dewey||John Huffman||J. V. McElvain||J. B. Thompson||J. T. Donahoo|
|1851||M. Martin, D. Gregory, C. L. Eaton||D. W. Brown||John Huffman||Jno. R. Griffiths||J. B. Thompson||W. S. Roberts|
|1852||James Lennox, Wash. McLean, C. J. Orton||A. G. Dimmock||John Huffman||S. J. Price||B. F. Johnson||J. T. Donahoo|
|1853||Jas. Lennox, C. J. Orton, G. T. Barnum||A. G. Dimmock||R. W. Watson||S. J. Price||B. F. Johnson||J. T. Donahoo|
|1854||J. P. Bruck, J. D. Morris, J. B. Buttles||Sam'l. Wilson||John Huffman||R. S. McEwen||A. DeLezinski||L. Warner|
|1855||J. P. Bruck, J. D. Morris, J. B. Buttles||J. B. Buttles||John Huffman||R. S. McEwen||John Dawson||L. Warner|
|1856||L. G. VanSlyke, A. P. Stone, Cyrus Spink, J. D. Morris, L. B. Babbitt||Jno. Ewing||John Huffman Act. Dept. Ward||V. Rich||J. W. Hamilton||L. Warner|
|1857||L. G. VanSlyke, A. P. Stone, Cyrus Spink, J. D. Morris, L. B. Babbitt (with the exception of Stone, who resigned, and C. Breybogle was appointed in his place.)||Jno. Ewing||John Huffman Act. Dept. Ward||V. Rich||J. W. Hamilton||L. Warner|
Methodist - Presbyterian - Congregational - Episcopal - Universalist - Baptist - Lutheran - German Reformed - Roman Catholic - Evangelical Association - Colored Baptists - Jews.
The first Methodist Church or Class, in Columbus, was organized early in the year 1814, by the Rev. Samuel West, the preacher then in charge on this circuit. The class at first consisted of four members only - George McCormick and his wife [Mr. McCormick remained an influential member of the town throughout life, and died in the spring of 1850, aged about seventy-eight years. Mr. Harvey is the only survivor of the original four.], George B. Harvey, and Miss Jane Armstrong, who soon after became the wife of Mr. Harvey. The next member admitted, was Moses Freeman, a colored man, who some eight or ten years after left with his family for Liberia, in Africa, where, it is said, he died not long after.
In the same year, 1814, the proprietors of the town donated and conveyed the lot where the Town Street
Church now stands, to George McCormick, Peter Grubb, Jacob Grubb, John Brickell, and George B. Harvey, as trustees, for the use and benefit of the church; and a small hewed log house was soon erected thereon for a place of worship. It also for some years was used for a school house. Here the writer taught his first school in Columbus, commencing in the spring of 1815. In 1817, the building was enlarged to about double its original size, by adding a frame addition to it. And in 1825, the old wooden structures were removed, and a good sized brick building erected on the same site, which continued until the spring or summer of 1853, when it was torn down, and the present edifice erected.
About the year 1823, the colored part of the congregation separated from the whites, and formed a society or church, by themselves. They held their meetings in rented rooms until about the year 1839 or 1840, when they erected their present brick church, on Long street.
In 1844, the German Methodist Church, at the northwest corner of Third street and South Public Lane, was erected, and the German part of the congregation generally met there.
In 1846, Wesley Chapel, on High street north of Gay, was erected on a lot donated to the church by Wm. Neil, Esq.
In 1854, Bigelow Chapel, on Friend street, was erected. Present officers:
ZION CHAPEL, (Town Street Church.)
Pastor - Rev. J. M. Jamison.
Trustees - A. S. Decker, James Watson, P. T. Snowden, John Linebangh, Lorin Yerington, and John Short.
Number of members in 1857 - two hundred and ninety.
Pastor - Rev. William Porter.
Trustees - M. Gooding, E. Booth, Richard Jones, Thomas Walker, Daniel Miner, and J. E. Rudisill.
Number of members in 1857-one hundred and fifty.
Pastor - Rev. Lovet Taft.
Trustees - K. Cooper, E. Glover, M. Halm, W. F. Knoderer, E. H. Link, John Whitsel, J. C. Kenyon, Newton Gibbon.
Number of members in 1857 - one hundred and ten.
German Methodist, in 1857 - Rev. Paul Brodbeck, Pastor.
Number of members - sixty.
Colored Methodist, in 1857 - Rev. J. H. Shorter, Pastor.
Number of members - one hundred and thirteen.
NAMES OF THE PREACHERS WHO HAVE OFFICIATED AT COLUMBUS, WITH THE YEAR OF EACH APPOINTMENT.
|1814||Samuel West,||James Quinn|
|1815||Isaac Pavey||James Quinn|
|1816||Jacob Hooper||James Quinn|
|1817||William Swayze and Simon Peters||David Young|
|1818||William Swayze and Lemuel Lane||John Collins|
|1819||John Tevis and Leroy Swormsted||John Collins|
|1820||John Tevis and Peter Stevens||John Collins|
|1821||Russell Bigelow and Horace Brown||Samuel West|
|1822||Russell Bigelow and Thomas McCleary||Greenbury R. Jones|
|1823||Charles Waddle and H. S. Fernandes||Greenbury R. Jones|
|1824||Charles Waddle and Alfred Lorane||Jacob Young|
|1825||Leroy Swormsted and Joseph Carper||Jacob Young|
|1826||Joseph Carper and John H. Power||Jacob Young|
|1827||Samuel Hamilton and Jacob Young||Russell Bigelow|
|1828||Samuel Hamilton [one vacancy. Jesse F. Wixcom, of Columbus, filled it part of the year, by appointment.]||David Young|
|1829||Leroy Swormsted and G. Blue||David Young|
|1830||John W. Clark and Adam Poe,||David Young|
|1831||Thomas A. Morris||John Collins|
|1832||Robert O. Spencer||Augustus Eddy|
|1833||Russell Bigelow||Augustus Eddy|
|1834||Russell Bigelow, part of year, Leonard Gurley, other part||Augustus Eddy|
|1835||E. W. Sehon||Augustus Eddy|
|1836||E. W. Sehon||Jacob Young|
|1837||Joseph Carper||Jacob Young|
|1838||Joseph A. Waterman||Jacob Young|
|1839||William Herr||Jacob Young|
|1840||Joseph A. Trimble||John Ferree|
|1841||Joseph A. Trimble||John Ferree|
|1842||David Whitcomb||Joseph M. Trimble|
|1843||John Miley and Abraham Wambaugh||David Whitcomb|
|1844||John Miley||David Whitcomb|
|1845||Granville Moody||Robert O. Spencer|
|1846||Granville Moody||Robert O. Spencer|
|1847||Cyrus Brooks, Town Street||John W. Clark|
|George C. Crum, Wesley Chapel||John W. Clark|
|1848||Cyrus Brooks, Town St.,||John W. Clark|
|George C. Crum, Wesley Chapel||John W. Clark|
|1849||David Warnock, Town St.,||John W. Clark|
|Wm. H. Lawder, Wesley Chapel||John W. Clark|
|1850||David Warnock, Town St.,||John W. Clark|
|John W. Weakley, Wesley Chapel||John W. Clark|
|1851||Clinton W. Sears, Town St.||Cyrus Brooks|
|John M. Leavitt, Wesley Chapel||Cyrus Brooks|
|1852||Asbury Bruner, Town St.||Uriah Heath|
|John M. Leavitt, Wesley Chapel||Uriah Heath|
|1853||Asbury Bruner, Town St.,||Uriah Heath|
|James L. Grover, Wesley Chapel,||Uriah Heath|
|Edward Mabee, Mission||Uriah Heath|
|1854||John W. White, Town St.,||Uriah Heath|
|James L. Grover, Wesley Chapel||Uriah Heath|
|Joseph H. Creighton, Bigelow Chapel||Uriah Heath|
|1855||John W. White, Town St.||Zachariah Cornell|
|John Frazer, Wesley Chapel||Zachariah Cornell|
|Thomas Lee, Bigelow Chapel||Zachariah Cornell|
|1856||J. M. Jamison, Town St.||Zachariah Cornell|
|William Porter, Wesley Chapel||Zachariah Cornell|
WHITFIELD METHODISTS, (Welch.) - Organized in 1848. About the same year they erected their present brick church at the corner of Long and Sixth streets. The successive Pastors have been -
Rev. Mr. Perry, from Granville, commenced about the year 1849; retired, 1855.
Rev. David Williams, from Pittsburgh, commenced in 1855; retired, 1857.
Rev. Mr. Parry, again, commenced 1857.
Number of members in 1857, seventy-three.
THE FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH had its origin in Franklinton, and was organized on the 8th of February, 1806, as the First Presbyterian Church of Franklin County.
Pastor - Rev. James Hoge.
Elders - Robert Culbertson, William Read.
Trustees - Joseph Dixon, John Dill, David Nelson, William Domigan, Joseph Hunter, Lucas Sullivant.
ORIGINAL MEMBERS OF TUB CONGREGATION, WITH THEIR FAMILIES GENERALLY.
Robert Culbertson, William Read, David Nelson, William Shaw, John Turner, Joseph Dixon, Lucas Sullivant, Samuel King, Luther Powers, Samuel G. Flenniken, William Stewart, John Lisle, Joseph Parks, David Jamison, John Hunter, George Skidmore, Joseph Hunter, William Brown, William McElvain.
In 1805, the venerable Doctor Hoge, then a young man, first arrived in Franklinton as a missionary; and after laboring in that capacity for some time, he formed a regular church, of which he remained the head until he resigned his charge, in 1857. In 1807, he was regularly employed by his church and congregation, to minister to their religious wants. The following is a copy verbatim, of the call upon him for that purpose, and to which he acceeded. The old document, in the hand writing of Lucas Sullivant, is still preserved as a relic of past times:
"The congregation of Franklinton, being on sufficient ground well satisfied of the ministerial qualifications of you, James Hoge, and having good hopes from our past experience of your labors, that your ministration in the Gospel will be profitable to our spiritual interests, do earnestly call and desire you to undertake the pastoral office in said congregation; promising you in the discharge of your duty, all proper support, encouragement and obedience in the Lord: And that you may be free from worldly cares and avocations, we hereby promise and oblige ourselves to pay to you the sum of three hundred dollars, in half yearly payments, annually, for three-fourths of your time, until we find ourselves able to give you a compensation for the whole of your time, in like proportion, during the time of your being and continuing the regular pastor of this church. In testimony whereof, we have respectively subscribed our names, this 25th day of September, Anno Domini 1807.
"ROBERT CULBERTSON, Elder
"WILLIAM READ, Elder
"JOSEPH DIXON, Trustee
"JOHN DILL, Trustee
"DAVID NELSON, Trustee
"WILLIAM DOMIGAN, Trustee
"JOSEPH HUNTER, Trustee
"LUCAS SULLIVANT, Trustee
The house in which the congregation first held their religious meetings in Franklinton, was a two-story frame, still standing, some two hundred yards northward from the old court house. The sessions of the Supreme Court of Franklin County were first held in the same building. It so happened, that Parson Hoge traveled from Springfield to Franklinton in company with Judge Baldwin, who, pleased with the young candidate for holy orders, tendered him the use of the room occupied by the court; and here the small band of worshipers first assembled for religious service. The next church building, was a very plain one-story brick house, erected on the bank of the river, near the old Franklinton burying ground. The society's next step was their removal to the infant town of Columbus. In the spring of the year of 1814, they erected a log cabin about twenty-five by thirty feet, on the ground near the corner of Spring and Third streets. Service was held by times in this, but principally at the Franklinton brick church, until the year 1818, when a frame building, or rather three frames connected, and forming but one inside or large room, was erected on the west side of Front street, south of Town, where Mr. Hoge administered to his congregation until the erection of the present First Presbyterian Church, in 1830, and the first services were held in it on the first Sunday in December, 1830. In 1855, this building underwent a general remodeling, under the direction of Mr. R. A. Sheldon, architect.
On the 8th of February, 1856, the church held a semi-centennial celebration in the church building, in honor to their venerable and highly respected pastor - at which Dr. Hoge himself was the interesting and imposing character most observed. He delivered the address on the occasion. It was an interesting recital of the circumstances attending his advent into this then wilderness, and the progress of the church and society generally, since that period. The Rev. Mr. Hall and Rev. Mr. Smith, both of the Presbyterian Church, also spoke on the occasion. Under the direction of Joseph Sullivant, Esq., whose familiarity with the church made it an easy and pleasant duty, a number of well executed pictures were hung around the room, at once disclosing a striking and graphic history of the church improvements above referred to. The pillars were decorated with festoons of evergreens and flowers. And the tables were admirably arranged, under the direction of Mrs. Kelsey; and the supper was worthy of the occasion. The whole thing passed off well, and was a solemn but pleasant celebration.
During the last eight or ten years of Dr. Hoge's ministration, he was assisted by various clergymen of his denomination, until on Sunday the 28th of June, 1857, he delivered an appropriate discourse, and resigned the charge to the Reverend Edgar Woods, late of Wheeling, who was duly installed on Tuesday, the 30th of the same month.
Dr. Hoge is now in the 78th year of his age, enjoying good health and preaching occasionally. He bears his age remarkably well, his hair being but slightly changed, and the movements of his tall and erect figure would indicate a man of fifty or sixty.
Pastor - Rev. Edgar Woods.
Elders - James Cherry, Isaac Dalton, Thomas Moodie, James S. Abbott, Wm. M. Awl, Alfred Thomas.
Trustees - Robert Neil, M. L. Sullivant, D. W. Deshler, James D. Osborn, George M. Parsons.
Number of members in 1857, one hundred and seventy-five.
THE SECOND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH was organized on the first Sabbath in March, 1839. The organization at first consisted of thirty-one persons, most of whom were from the first or old Presbyterian Church. For some short time prior to the regular formation of the church, those connected with it had held their public meetings for worship in a room, prepared for that purpose, near the corner of Hich and High streets. The church was incorporated by an act of the Legislature in April, 1839, and measures were soon taken toward securing a site and erecting a house of worship.
Early in the following year, the congregation met for worship in the basement of the present edifice, and during the subsequent fall the entire structure was completed. From the time of their organization till the October ensuing, the congregation had the services of the Rev. Mr. Topliff, and afterward, till May, 1840, those of Rev. George L. Boardman. During that month, the Rev. Henry L. Hitchcock, D. D., having previously received a unanimous call from the church, began his ministration among them; and on the 24th of November, 1841, he was regularly installed as their pastor, and continued to sustain that relation until the first of August, 1855, when he was transferred to the Presidency of the Western Reserve College.
Early in the following September, a unanimous call was tendered to the Rev. Edward D. Morris, then of Auburn, New York, who, having accepted the invitation, began his ministerial labors on the first Sabbath of December ensuing, and was duly installed as pastor on the 2d of January, 1856.
A few years since the society had occasion to enlarge the present building to accommodate the increasing congregation, and now (1858) a larger and more elegant edifice is being erected on Third, between Town and State streets.
Pastor - Rev. Edward D. Morris.
Elders - H. B. Carrington, Asa D. Lord, Chauncey N. Olds, John J. Ferson, Ebenezer McDonald, John H. Stage.
Trustees - D. T. Woodbury, A. P. Stone, Ermine Case, Jonas McCune, Collins Stone.
Treasurer - John M. Ferson.
Number of members in 1857, two hundred and forty-five.
WESTMINSTER CHURCH. - This church was organized on the 1st of June, 1854, and consisted at that time of thirty members, who had been dismissed from the First Presbyterian Church. For three years and a half the congregation worshiped in the lecture room of Starling Medical College. In 1856 and 1857, they erected their church edifice at the corner of Sixth and State streets, at a cost of about $15,000. It was dedicated on the 23d of August, 1857. The number of members at present (April, 1858,) is one hundred and sixteen. Rev. J. D. Smith has been pastor from the first, having been called to the charge of it from the First Church, where he had been for several years collegiate pastor with Rev. Dr. Hoge.
Pastor - Rev. J. D. Smith.
Elders - Wm. Blynn, Dr. R. N. Barr, J. R. Paul.
WELCH PRESBYTERIANS. - Organized in 1837. Their house of worship is a small frame building on Town street, east of Fifth. For the first ten or twelve years they had no regular pastor. The Rev. Mr. Price, Rev. John Harris, and occasionally some others, preached for the congregation, until about the year 1849, when the Rev. Mr. Powel, of Delaware, became the regular installed pastor. He continued until 1857, when he was succeeded by the Rev. Mr. Jones, present pastor.
Number of members in 1857, thirty-five.
THE ASSOCIATE REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH was organized 19th of December, 1850, with thirteen members.
Elders - Thomas Kennedy, Hugh Price.
Trustees - Dr. John Morrison, Neil McLaughlin, John Stothart.
No pastor has been installed in the church; but preaching has been furnished by various ministers. Rev. L. H. Long was stationed as a regular supply from June, 1852, to June, 1854. Rev. G. W. Gowdy was appointed as a regular supply April, 1856, to continue until May, 1858.
Pastor - Q. W. Gowdy.
Elders - Thomas Kennedy, Hugh Price.
Trustees - Zaccheus W. McConnell, John Stothart, Neely Sawhill.
The society have a good frame building at the corner of Sixth and Town streets, erected in 1852.
Number of members in 1857, thirty-six.
The First Congregational Church of the City of Columbus was organized on the 29th of September, 1852, under the name of the Third Presbyterian Church. It was composed of forty-two members, dismissed at their own request from the Second Presbyterian Church. It adopted rules of government substantially Congregational, and its membership, with perhaps two or three exceptions, were all such. The legal organization of the society was effected the day previous. A neat frame building had been erected on Third street, a short distance north of Broad, and was dedicated July 11th, of the same year. Rev. W. H. Marble was chosen pastor early in the following winter, and resigned his office in January, 1856. Rev. Anson Smyth, with great acceptance, acted as pastor during the eight months preceding Nov. 1st, 1856.
On the 3d of November, 1856, the name of the church, by unanimous consent and wish, was changed to that of First Congregational Church of Columbus. Rev. John M. Steele, having been unanimously called to become its pastor, was installed on the 7th of November, 1856. Mr. Steele died in New York City in April following, much regretted by the Church and all who had made his acquaintance. In the summer and fall of 1857, the society erected their present brick church on Broad street, and it was dedicated on "Forefather's Day," December 22, 1857. Rev. N. A. Hyde accepted a call from the church, and is at present (Jan. 1858,) laboring with them as pastor.
There are now one hundred and forty-two members.
Minister - N. A. Hyde.
Deacons - Dr. J. W. Hamilton, L. L. Rice, M. B. Bateham, Mr. Corner.
Trustees - F. C. Sessions, B. J. Patterson, T. S. Baldwin.
Treasurer - Pearl Kimball.
Clerk - M. P. Ford.
TRINITY CHURCH was organized in 1817, by Bishop Philander Chase.
The first Board of Church Officers were -
Wardens - Orris Parish, Benjamin Gardiner.
Vestry - John Kilbourne, Joel Buttles.
Secretary - Joel Buttles.
For a number of years the newly created church had no regular pastor nor church building. Bishop Chase, while residing at Worthington, occasionally preached for them, and for some time previous to the erection of the stone church on Broad street, which was about the year 1832 or 1833, the meetings were held in a one-story frame building on Third street, between Town and Rich.
In 1842, the church divided, and part formed into a new organization under the name of Saint Paul's Episcopal, and erected a good brick church edifice at the corner of Third and Mound streets. The first regularly settled pastor in the Trinity Church was in 1831.
Rev. Wm. Preston, commenced 1831, retired 1841.
Rev. Charles Fox, commenced 1841, retired 1842.
Rev. A. F. Dobb, commenced 1842, retired 1846.
Rev. Dudley a. Tyng, commenced 1847, retired 1850.
Rev. Wm. Preston, commenced 1850, retired 1854.
Rev. Charles Reynolds, commenced 1855.
Number of members in 1857, one hundred and fifty-eight.
Pastor - Rev. Charles Reynolds
Wardens - A. H. Pinney [Mr. Pinney died in Oct. 1857, after this list of officers was made], H. P. Smythe.
Vestry - J. R. Swan, J. W. Andrews, Wm. Dennison, jr. Thos. Sparrow, James A. Wilcox.
Secretary - H. P. Smythe.
SAINT PAUL'S EPISCOPAL. - This church was organized in 1842, and soon after they erected the brick edifice at the corner of Third and Mound Streets. The church was composed principally of members who withdrew from Trinity Church and formed a new organization under the name of Saint Paul's Episcopal Church.
Number of members in 1857, forty-five.
Their successive pastors have been, Rev. Henry L. Richards, Rev. A. M. Loutrell, Rev. William C. French, Rev. Thomas P. Tyler, Rev. Mr. Kellogg, Rev. N. Irish, Rev. James A. M. La Tourrette, Rev. James L. Grover, March, 1858.
UNIVERSALIST SOCIETY OF COLUMBUS.
Universalist preaching was first introduced into Columbus about the year 1837. Rev. A. A. Davis, of Delaware County, was the first regular preacher of that denomination who ministered to the people of this place. He held his meetings in the United States Court House, and continued from one to two years, occasionally assisted by other of his brethren of the same denomination. He was succeeded by the Rev. Mr. Saddler, who continued also some one or two years, and held his meetings in the same place. There was then an interim of some one or two years without any regular preacher, when the Rev. Mr. Abel was employed to minister to the society, and he continued only half a year, and was succeeded by Rev. Mr. Anderson, who continued about the same length of time, and was succeeded by Rev. George Rogers a short time. During this time the meetings were held in a rented room in Mr. Buttles's building at the corner of High and Rich streets. Up to this time there was no regularly organized society. In March, 1845, the society organized under "An act to incorporate sundry churches therein named," by the name of the "Universalist Society of Columbus," and appointed John Greenwood, John Field, James W. Osgood, Demas Adams, and William Bambrough, the first Board of Trustees. They first obtained the services of Rev. Mr. Eaton a few months; and then Rev. Nelson Doolittle, of Akron, Ohio, was employed as pastor of the society. His term commenced in October, 1845. The society had then purchased from the German Saint Paul's Church their lot and old frame church on Third street, which served for a time, until in 1846, it was removed, and the present church building erected on the same site.
In the fall of 1851, Mr. Doolittle resigned his charge, and the society passed complimentary resolutions, stating that, "he had for six years served them ably and faithfully," and recommending him "to the kind regard of the brethren among whom he might thereafter reside."
In the spring of 1852, the services of the Rev. N. M. Gaylord, then of Lowell, Massachusetts, were secured, and he removed to Columbus, took the pastoral charge of the congregation, and continued till the fall of 1854, when, having received a call from Boston, he removed back thither. During part of the year of 1855, the Rev. M. Gifford, and then the Rev. Mr. Upson were engaged temporarily, as pastors; and during the winter of 1855 and '56, the Rev. Mr. Haws, in like manner, officiated. Since the fall of 1856, the Rev. H. R. Nye, formerly of Brooklyn, New York, has very ably filled the office of pastor. At the organization of the society in 1845, they numbered thirty-eight members; their number now, in April, 1858, is about ninety.
Pastor - Rev. H. R. Nye.
Trustees - John Noble, John Field, F. C. Kelton, H. H. Kimball, J. H. Riley.
The first Baptist Church in Columbus was organized in 1825 - Rev. George Jeffries, Pastor. Their first church building was erected about the year 1830, on the east side of Front street, between Friend and Mound. It was a plain, one-story brick building, which was afterward used by Dr. Curtis for his Medical College, and was then converted into a dwelling house, and is still standing, and used as such. About the year 1834, the Rev. Mr. Cressey came from the east to this place as a missionary, and was soon engaged as the regular pastor of the Baptist Church of Columbus. During his time, in 1836, the present church building, at the corner of Rich and Third streets, was erected. He left about the year 1842, and was succeeded by Rev. Daniel Eldridge, who continued some three or four years, when he was succeeded by Rev. Mr. Cheney, who continued until he gave place to the Rev. Henry Davis, who entered upon his pastoral duties in February, 1853.
Number of members in 1857, three hundred and two.
Pastor - Rev. Henry Davis, D. D.
Trustees - Orsamus Allen, Wm. W. Mather, Thomas Roberts, Leonard L. Smith, Jeffrey Powell, Nathan Davis, Oliver P. Ilines.
GERMAN LUTHERAN REFORMED.
Organized in 1821. Their first house of worship was a frame building, on Third street, where the Universalist Church now stands. In 1843 and '44 they erected their large brick edifice at the corner of High and Mound streets. In 1856 it was destroyed by fire; but was soon rebuilt again. This society was for a time known by the name of " Saint Paul's Church."
Their successive Pastors have been -
Rev. Charles Hinkle, commenced 1821.
Rev. Wm. Schmidt, professor, commenced about 1829 - died in 1839.
Rev. Charles F. Schaffer, commenced in 1840.
Rev. Conrad Mees (present pastor), commenced in 1843.
Number of members in 1857, reported at five hundred.
THE GERMAN REFORMED
Was organized May 1, 1846, by Rev. Hiram Shall, and soon after erected their brick church building, on
Town street, between Fourth and Fifth. The successive pastors have been -
Rev. A. P. Freese, commenced October 1846 - retired in 1849.
Rev. George Williard, commenced 1850 - retired in 1855.
Rev. Henry Williard, commenced 1857.
Number of members in 1857, thirty-five.
TRINITY GERMAN EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN.
Organized 28th of January, 1848. They for a time held their meetings in Mechanics' Hall, then in the church on Mound street, near Third. In 1856 and '57, they erected their large church edifice, one hundred and five feet in length, by fifty-seven wide, at the corner of Third and South streets - George Kannemacher, builder.
The corner stone was laid July 28, 1856, and the building was dedicated December 20, 1857. The Rev.
Wm. F. Lehman was pastor from the beginning.
Pastor - Rev. William F. Lehman.
Elders - William Knoderer, Jacob Anthony.
Deacons - F. Voltz, A. Adam, F. Abbe, Wm. Koch.
Secretary - Philip Schmeltz.
Treasurer - J. Gruebler.
Number of members in 1857, reported at three hundred.
GERMAN EVANGELICAL PROTESTANTS.
Organized and erected their church, on Mound street, about the year 1842 or '43.
First pastor, Rev. Mr. Pegeman.
Second pastor, Rev. Robert Clemen.
Third, and present. Rev. Mr. Graff.
GERMAN EVANGELICAL CHURCH.
This is an organization formed in the early part of the year 1858. Their meetings are held at Mechanics' Hall. Rev. Robert Clemen, Pastor.
HOLY CROSS. - Organized in 1833, and soon after erected a small stone church, on Fifth street, between Rich and Town, which served to hold their religious worship in until the large brick edifice was erected, close by it, in 1845 and '46, when the little stone church was converted into a school house. Rev. Mr. Borgess, priest.
Number of members reported in 1857, three thousand.
ST. PATRICK'S. - Organized in 1852, and soon after erected their brick church, in the north-east part of the city. Early in the fall of 1857, the Rev. Mr. Meagher, who had been their pastor for several years, was, by the Bishop, transferred to Cincinnati, and the place is now filled by Rev. Mr. Fitzgerald, priest.
Number of members reported in 1857, fifteen hundred.
EVANGELICAL ASSOCIATION. - Organized in 1857, by Rev. John Barnhard. Place of worship on Third street, near South Public Lane. Number of members in 1857, fourteen.
COLORED BAPTISTS - sometimes called the Second Baptist Church. - Was organized in 1840, and soon after they erected a pretty good brick church edifice on Gay street, between Third and Fourth. Their number is now reported at one hundred and three. The office of pastor is at present vacant.
ANTI SLAVERY BAPTISTS, (Colored.) - Organized in 1847. They have a brick church on Town street, between Fifth and Sixth, erected some six or seven years since. They report their number of members at one hundred and four. James Poindexter, late pastor - office now vacant.
ISRAELITES, OR JEWS. - Organized in 1852. Place of worship in Siebert's building. Rev. S. T. Goodman, priest. Number of members, twenty-eight.
Although this Chapter, such as could not be derived from books or records, was obtained from the best sources, generally from the pastors themselves, or their church officers, it is not to be expected that the number of members was in all cases precisely correct; or if it had been, it would not have remained so many days. It should be observed, also, that different churches have different rules, in regard to membership - some count all baptised children as members, while others do not. This may account for the very large numbers reported by the Catholic Churches.
North Graveyard - Prohibitory Ordinance of 1856 - Its Repeal, etc. - East Graveyard - Catholic Graveyard - Green Lawn Cemetery - Date of Incorporation - Pic Nic and Dedication, etc.
There are four burying grounds that may properly be included under this head. First, the old North Graveyard; second, the East Graveyard, or burying place; third, the Catholic burying ground; and fourth Green Lawn Cemetery.
THE NORTH GRAVEYARD, adjoining the north line of the city, was the first. One and a half acres of this lot was donated by the proprietors of Columbus on the second of July, 1813, for a "burial ground for the use of the citizens of Columbus," and commenced being used for that purpose soon after, though Mr. Kerr, who was authorized to make the deed of conveyance, did not do it until the 21st of April, 1821. He then conveyed it to "the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Columbus and their successors in office," - to be used solely as a public burying ground, and for no other purpose, with a proviso, "that if the corporation should cease, or the ground from any cause should cease to be used for that purpose, it should revert to the grantors or their heirs."
In February, 1830, William Doherty and wife conveyed to the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Columbus about ten acres, partly surrounding the above, and making about eleven and a half acres in all. This purchase was made expressly for the enlargement of the burying ground, (though not so expressed in the deed,) and was, by the Town Council, laid out into lots for that purpose - pretty uniform in size and shape, and the lots were sold by the town authorities, and a form of receipt and certificate of purchase was adopted and used in lieu of a deed, and signed by the Mayor.
In October, 1845, John Brickell also added a strip of ground, twenty feet in width, along the north side of the above grounds, which he laid out into lots, and conveyed direct to the purchasers - the corporation having no title to, or control over them.
These three pieces of ground are now all enclosed by a good board fence, embracing near twelve acres, and constitute what is generally called the North Graveyard. This burying place, with the exception of Brickell's lots, has always been under the control of the Town or City Council, and they have always appointed one of their own body a kind of special committee man, or superintendent, to keep the plat of the grounds, make sale of the lots, and receive the pay therefor, and also a sexton to attend to the digging of graves, his compensation being defined by ordinance.
A part of the ground, however, being set off for that purpose, was free for the use of any one without charge. And another part was designated for, and sold to, colored persons on the same terms as to whites.
On the 21st of July, 1856, the City Council attempted to prohibit burials in this graveyard, making it a penal offense to use the lots for the very purpose that they had themselves sold them. The following is a copy of the ordinance passed on that occasion:
" Sec. 1. Be it ordained and enacted by the City Council of Columbus, That it shall be unlawful to deposit or bury any dead person in any graveyard within the present corporate limits of said city, or in the enclosure commonly known as the North Graveyard.
" Sec. 2. Any person or society of persons violating any provision of this ordinance, shall, on conviction thereof, before the Mayor, be fined the sum of twenty-five dollars and the costs of prosecution.
" Sec. 3. This ordinance to be in force from and after the first day of November, 1856."
This act of the Council created, to say the least of it, a general surprise, and several communications expressive of that surprise immediately appeared in the newspapers of the city; and on the 18th of August, in the same year, the ordinance was repealed.
THE EAST GRAVEYARD, situate on the Livingston road, so called, about a mile and a half east of the Court House, contains eleven and a quarter acres, and was conveyed to the City of Columbus by Matthew King and wife, in the year 1839, without specification or restriction as to its uses. It was, however, bought for the express purpose of a burying ground, and part of it was laid out into family lots, and sold and conveyed similar to those in the North Graveyard.
THE CATHOLIC BURYING GROUND, situate in the northeasterly part of the city limits, contains three and a quarter acres, and was, on the 11th of September, 1848, conveyed by Peter Dry and wife, to "John Baptist Purcell, Roman Catholic Bishop, of Cincinnati, Ohio, as such Bishop, as a burial ground, etc., and to his heirs and assigns forever - to be held by said Bishop in trust as a burying ground for the Roman Catholics of Columbus," though the ground had been used for this purpose some two or three years before the date of this deed. This location was objectionable to some of the residents and property holders in that vicinity, and in the summer of 1856, they petitioned the City Council to prohibit further interments. The reasons assigned for asking the prohibition were, that the decomposition of the dead affected the water in the neighborhood - and that the said burying ground was a great objection to the settlement of the neighborhood and the improvement of the adjoining lots. This petition doubtless led to the passage of the foregoing prohibitory ordinance, so far as related to this cemetery.
GREEN LAWN CEMETERY. - Although this cemetery is situated beyond the jurisdiction, and entirely independent of the city authorities of Columbus, yet as the corporators and principal part of the stockholders reside in Columbus, it is proper to class it amongst, and indeed as the principal one of the Columbus cemeteries. It is situate in Franklin Township, about two and a half miles westward from Columbus.
In March, 1848, an act was passed by the Legislature, incorporating Joseph Sullivant, William A. Platt, Alfred P. Stone, William B. Thrall, Thomas Sparrow, A. C. Brown, William G. Deshler, and their associates, under the name of "Green Lawn Cemetery of Columbus." In the spring of 1849, the first purchase of ground was made, and on the 23d of May, 1849, a public Pic Nic was held on the ground, which was numerously attended; and a partial clearing off of part of the ground was effected, preparatory to the laying out of lots, etc.; and soon after some of the lots and avenues were laid out by Howard Daniels, engineer; and on the 9th of July, 1849, there was a formal dedication of the grounds on the premises; the proceedings of which, together with the rules, regulations, etc., adopted by the Board of Trustees, form an interesting pamphlet. One or two subsequent purchases of ground were made, until the association now owns about eighty-four acres in one body and in good shape. This Cemetery Association is governed by a Board of seven Trustees, elected by the stockholders or lot owners.
The first Board of Trustees, elected August 30, 1848, were W. B. Hubbard, Joseph Sullivant, Aaron F. Perry, Thomas Sparrow, Alfred P. Stone, Wm. B. Thrall, and John W. Andrews. Alex. E. Glenn, clerk.
Richard Woolly was employed as sexton or superintendent of the grounds, in 1849, and has been continued ever since.
The Trustees keep an office in Columbus, where they hold monthly meetings, and where all the financial affairs of the association are attended 1o, and a register of all interments is kept by the Secretary.
In the arrangement of the grounds, irregularity or variety seems to have been one object aimed at. The sections all vary in size and shape; the lots also vary in size from one hundred to twelve hundred square feet, and all kinds of shapes; and the improvements vary according to the taste of the lot owners. The lots are kept clean and in neat order, which shows not only a becoming respect for departed friends, but strips the place of half its gloom.
There are a number of costly and elegant monuments erected here, with impressive and appropriate inscriptions, dictated by surviving friends. But there is perhaps only one that was prepared by the tenant of the tomb, while living, and that is on the head stone of our old and esteemed fellow-citizen, Jeremiah Miner - an old bachelor, somewhat eccentric in character, and who had been a man of considerable wealth, but had become reduced by too freely accommodating his friends. He died at Sandusky, in Wyandot County, and was brought to Green Lawn for burial. He had prepared the inscription for his grave stone, leaving only a blank for the day of his death to be inserted. It is as follows:
Born in Massachusetts,
On the fifteenth of November, 1780.
I owed the world nothing;
It owed me a small amount;
But on the 4th of March, 1854,
We balanced all accounts."
In the summer of 1856, a question arose as to the propriety of selling lots to colored persons, and thereby admitting them as members of the association; and by order of the trustees, the following circular was addressed to each of the stockholders:
"OFFICE OF GREEN LAWN CEMETERY,"
Columbus, Sept. 15, 1856.
"Please attend a meeting of the stockholders of Green Lawn Cemetery Association, at their office, corner of Friend and Front streets, on Thursday, October 2d, at 3 o'clock, P. M.
"The object of the meeting is to determine as to the expediency of setting apart a section of our grounds for the burial of colored persons.
" Should your engagements be such as to prevent your attendance, please indorse your preference upon the back of this notice. Say 'Opposed;' or, 'In favor,' as the case may be, subscribe your name, and return to this office by the day of meeting.
"The Board of Trustees are desirous of a full expression from the stockholders upon this question, as a guide for their future action.
" By order of the Board.
" Very respectfully,
"_______________ , Sec'y."
Of these circulars distributed through the post office, to the number of three hundred and forty, only one hundred and eleven were returned appropriately indorsed, and they were - "In favor," twenty; "Opposed" ninety-one. There being so large a majority of those who voted opposed, the question was considered as settled, at least for the present, against selling lots to colored persons.
The first burial in this Cemetery was a child of A. F. Perry, Esq., on the 7th of July, 1849: the second was Dr. B. F. Gard, on the 12th of the same month. On the 1st of January, 1858, the Secretary reported that there had been 1,079 burials to that date, of which two hundred and forty-seven were removals from other burying grounds.
The present Board of Trustees are: Wm. A. Platt, Pres't ; Wm. T. Martin, Sec'y; Thos. Sparrow, Treas'r; Joseph Sullivant, Dr. W. E. Ide, Robert Hume, John Greenleaf Richard Woolley, sexton and superintendent on the ground.