Jefferson County Online

by Verda Baird
Reprinted with the permission of The Fairfield Ledger
(Underlining done by this editor)


Baird visits nine cemeteries

This is the third in a series of six articles about Jefferson County cemeteries written by local genealogist Verda Baird.

The cemeteries in today’s report, scattered in Penn and Walnut townships, were walked in September and October, 2001.

All of us recall vividly what we were doing on Sept. 11 last year. My plans for the day were an appointment with a landowner with two cemeteries on her farm in Penn Township. It was 1 p.m., and we were tempted to stay in her home and watch television, but headed to the pastures in her four-wheel drive pickup.

The monarch butterflies were migrating that beautiful day and clung to the low lying branches of the trees in the peaceful quiet of the countryside. The first two cemeteries reviewed today are from that day.

- Penn Township, Section 33, Perlee Cemetery; burials 1848-1881. A farmer had plowed it up prior to 1964 when there were just five stones left, and they had been piled in a corner of the field. One small child’s marker was moved to another cemetery where her parents were buried, unknown what happened to the other two as now just two stones remain. That cemetery must have been huge with the Perlee coal mines nearby and poor people unable to afford gravestones.

 - Penn Township, Section 33, Westenhaver Cemetery: two stones dated 1864 and 1865. Through three gates, the pickup took us across a creek, making a big splash as we crossed, then back a mowed path along the lovely old trees until the owner spotted the area. From there, we walked back a short distance through thick poison ivy and took pictures.

 - Back at the house, we headed for the television to see what the most recent pictures and news revealed.

 - Penn Township, Section 32, Wheeler-McCarty Cemetery: burials from 1846-1862. Back off the dirt road in the pasture, there are 24 gravestones, one fallen. It is fenced in and has a nice gate, but there are so many 12-inch high volunteer cedars and so much flora rose that need to be controlled now before another year goes by or it will become a disaster area.

 - Penn Township, Section 15, Walnut Creek Friends: burials from 1843 to the present. Not sure who startled who the most as back on the mowed path from the road were two teenage girls on their bicycles just about ready to leave when we arrived. Are their ancestors there? Wish we had asked. It is mowed periodically and many stones need lots of restoration work, with 20 fallen, broken or leaning, plus four more nearly overgrown with grass.

 - Penn Township, Section 12, St. Joseph: burials from 1909 through the present. A very attractive entrance, I closed the gates before I took my picture so the name St. Joseph showed up with the flags standing against the beautiful blue sky. Nicely mowed and stones very neat.

 - Penn Township, Section 2, Pleasant Plain Friends: burials from 1948 to the present. Nicely mowed and stones very neat.

 - Penn Township, Section 6, Howard Grove: burials from 1864 to the present. Be sure and register at the mailbox. Nicely mowed, several stones leaning.

 - Walnut Township, Section 19, Polishville: burials from 1877 to the present. Attractive new white fence since I had been there previously. Nicely mowed and stones very neat.

 - Walnut Township, Section 22, St. Peter and Paul German Catholic: burials from 1863 to 1909. Cleaned up about 1988. Nicely mowed. Four stones need resetting.

The Fairfield Ledger – Page 3 – Tuesday, August 27, 2002

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