Wadlington Cemetery

Independence Township, Section 20
Located of Highway J18 (Confidence Road) west, then south on 110th Ave, turn east at the Y at 439th Street and go about 1/2 mile south.

Photos at Iowa Gravestone Photo Project

Spencer (Squire) Wadlington was the first merchant in the Centerville area,  moving into Appanoose County in 1845 from Kentucky.  He served terms as a Probate Judge and Justice of the Peace.   Spencer Wadlington was the first mayor of Centerville.   He was a Mason and belonged to the the First Baptist Church in Centerville.    His is the only grave at the farm he owned when he died.

Only 3 walls of the brick house he built from local matierials are still standing,  and the house is overgrown with brush.

There is a plaque describing the history of the farm,  put up by the current owners of the farm,  on the cedar tree that stands over the grave.   It reads as follows:

Spencer Wadlington Grave

Squire (Spencer) Wadlington Was Centerville, Iowa's first merchant and a native of England. He never married and was childless. Spencer purchased this 250 acre farm from Joseph Delay on January 26, 1859. The brick house and barn were built by the Squire shortly after the purchase of the property.

The Martin Elam family was traveling west to seek their fortune and happend upon Squire Wadlington's farm to rest for the night.   The Elam's were a welcome addition to the Squire's life and he invited them to stay.    Upon his death on Novemeber 4,  1878,  he willed his farm to Martin Elam.

Martin Elam farmed the land until his death in 1911.    Dora A. Elam was the daughter of Martin Elam.   Dora A. Elam married Cal Teater who purchased the land and continued to farm until his death in 1945.    He was 78 years old.

Martin Merle Teater,  the son of Cal Teater,  owned and operated the farm until 1961 when Leslie Freeman Lemley purchased the land.    It was inherited by Arthur Roger Lemley and his wife Mary.    The history of the land inspired Arthur and Mary to restore the grave site of Squire Wadlington.   This restoration is an ongoing process.


Biographies of Spencer Wadlington can be found in the collections on the Biographies page.

Row Surname First Name Birth Death Comments
Wadlington Spencer F. 06 Feb 1807 04 Nov 1878