Ingham County
Cemetery Histories


History of Ingham and Eaton Counties, Michigan
By Samuel W. Durant
Published 1880 by D. W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia.

Alaiedon
- Not recorded

Aurelius
- Not recorded

Bunker Hill
 - Not recorded

Delhi

There are two cemeteries in the township, one on the southwest quarter of section 3, containing an acre, purchased by Joshua NORTH about 1842, which cost the township fifteen dollars, and one at Five Corners, on section 14, probably purchased about 1853, and containing about an acre. In that year the sum of $100 was expended in surveying and platting the last-mentioned one. Both are situated upon sandy or gravelly knolls, and are in good condition.

Ingham
- Not recorded

Lansing

Under an act of the State Legislation, approved April 3, 1848, granting lands to religious societies, schools, and for burial-places, the State donated to the township of Lansing blocks No. 247 and 248 of the original town-plat of the "Town of Michigan," being located in the northeast corner of section 16, for cemetery purposes. There were probably a few interments, but for some good and sufficient reason it was concluded to purchase other grounds, and these blocks accordingly reverted to the State and were sold for building purposes.

On the forst day of December, 1851, James and Horatio SEYMOUR, and their wives, executed a warranty deed of twenty acres, situated in the northwest corner of section 15, to the township of Lansing, for the sum of four hundred dollars ($400).*

In 1859, Lansing village was erected into a city, and the cemetery was included within its limits. On the 27th of September, 1867, the township authorities, by virtue of authority conferred upon them by the legal voters, deeded the cemetery to the city for the sum of one dollar, and the ground was used for burial purposes until the growth of the city and the unfavorable location made it necessary to procure larger and more suitable grounds elsewhere.

Mount Hope Cemetery:

On the 6th of May, 1873, after a careful examination of several local facilities, the city purchased of John G. MILLER the east half of the northeast quarter of section 27, town 4 north, range 2 west, containing eighty acres, with a good brick dwelling, a frame barn, and orchard, for the sum of $8000, equivalent to $100 per acre.

The tract was immediately laid out in sections and lots, and the remains of those interred in the old ground have been gradually transferred to the new locality, until nearly all are removed, and the remainder soon will be. Owners of lots in the old cemetery are allowed to make an exchange of lots, being allowed the amounts paid in the old ground, which applies in payment of lots in the new. The first sale of lots in the new cemetery, according to the record of the city clerk's office, was made on the 18th of June, 1874. The farm-house on the premises is occupied by the sexton.

The entire tract of eighty acres has been laid out into sections and lots, and about one-third of the area at the north end has been occupied and improved. The ground is admirably adapted to burial purposes, being composed of a light sandy soil, well elevated above the valley of Sycamore Creek, which skirts it on the west, and sufficiently diversified by hills and valleys to admit of picturesque arrangement; some of the more prominent elevations reaching an altitude of sixty feet above the creek. A thick growth of forest-trees cover the abrupt slope or bluff along the creek, and the remainder is clear of timber. The city has expended considerable sums in grading and graveling avenues and walks, and in planting a variety of evergreen and deciduous trees, the annual outlay being in the neighborhood of $2500. The tract rises gradually from the north into considerable hills in the central portions, and then slopes by a gentle descent towards the south, the extreme southern end being somewhat low and unfit for burial purposes. The area available for such purposes is probably seventy acres.

Two remarkable natural features contribute to the beauty of the tract. In the extreme northwest corner, adjoining the highway, Sycamore Creek describes a compound curve which incloses two curious peninsulas. These can be transferred by a small outlay into a novel feature, and one that would add greatly to the attractions of the place. It is the intention to improve and beautify this portion of the grounds as fast as the finances will permit. An exchange has already been made along the original western boundary, making the creek for a considerable distance the line, and bringing its curious windings within the limits of the cemetery.

The other remarkable feature is the beautiful natural basin in the northern part, which is a depression in the surface exactly like a tin basin, being of an oval form, about 250 by 200 feet in diameter, and sunk below the common level from ten to fifteen feet. It is perfectly dry, and has been finely smoothed over, its sloping bank covered with sod, and three gravel walks constructed from the rim of the basin in a graceful curving form to the level bottom below, which is grassed over and planted with clusters of evergreens. Water never stands in the grounds, and a grave left open through a heavy rain remains perfectly dry. There are three quite expensive family vaults and a large number of fine monuments already constructed and erected, and the northern portion begins to assume the appearance of a great rural cemetery. Among the conspicuous monuments are the one dedicated to the soldiers who fell in the Rebellion; that of the BARNARD family, of fine, light-colored granite; the TURNER monument, of Scotch and American granite; and the beautiful and unique monument erected by the GLAISTER family over the remains of their son. Mr. GLAISTER, Sr., was the master-builder of the new Capitol, and has executed from Ohio sandstone a remarkably beautiful and appropriate memorial.

The soldiers monument stands on one of the highest elevations in the cemetery, overlooking nearly the whole grounds. It is constructed of Ohio sandstone, in the form of a plain obelisk resting upon a square base, and is altogether about twenty feet in height. The design is plain and exceedingly appropriate. On the faces of the plinth are cut in relief the coat-of-arms of the United States and the State of Michigan, a stack of muskets with laurel wreath, and a simple legend, "Our Fallen Heroes."

The ground on which this monument stands is owned by the "Order of the Stars and Stripes," and the monument was erected chiefly by the "Ladie's Monument Association of Lansing."

The State Reform School for Boys, the Masonic and Odd-fellows' orders, the Methodist Episcopal Church, the German Working-Men's Society, the Order of the Stars and Stripes, and perhaps other organizations have selected large plats, which are being improved and adorned by them with great good taste, and will eventually form attractive features of this city of the dead.

The cemetery is under the management of a board of trustees, appointed by the Common Council of Lansing, one being appointed annually after the first of the year. The present board (1880) consists of James JOHNS, chairman, William L. REED, and John S. TOOKER; Charles D. COWLES, clerk.

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*There  has been considerable discussion as to whether this ground was deeded expressly for burial purposes, and would revert to the original owners in case of sale for other purposes; but an examination of the deed shows that there was no stipulation in the matter, and the city can dispose of it as may be deemed best.

Leroy

The earliest burial-places in use among the inhabitants of the township of Leroy was known as the Meech Cemetery. Though quite generally used by the early settlers in the latter township, it was located in Wheatfield, adjacent to section 18. Mr. MEECH assisted in its clearing, and otherwise contributed to its improvement, though no especial reason existed for calling it after his name. Mrs. CARMER, the settler whose death occured in 1839, was interred in this lot, her remains having been removed from the farm of Mr. MEECH. It has since been improved and beautified, while many graceful tablets and monuments have added to its attractions. The remains of Mr. Ephraim MEECH also slumber here.

A lot on section 23, known as the Alchin Cemetery, has been in use for many years as a burial-place, the first interments having been those of Nathan JONES and the children of Daniel FREEMAN, whose deaths occured many years since.

In 1873 the township purchased of Edmund ALCHIN one acre of ground embracing the above spot for the sum of fifty dollars; it was neatly inclosed, and is now used as a township burial-place. It is under the supervision of a board of trustees embracing Edmund ALCHIN, William ASKELL, George FEAR.

A lot was recently purchased on section 10 of H. P. WEBBER, which has been inclosed and devoted to purposes of burial. It is known as the Webber Cemetery, and is intended for the use more especially of residents of the northeast portion of the township.

Leslie
- Not recorded

Locke

The cemetery earliest in use in the township was located on section 7, and owned by a settler named BALDWIN, it having been a private enterprise. The first interments were made at a period prior to 1850, and the ground was later donated by him to the township, who inclosed it with a substantial fence and maintained it as a township burial-place.

The second is known as the South Locke Cemetery, and was purchased of D. H. TRUMAN, embracing one acre on the northeast quarter of section 33. It was inclosed by the township authorities and rendered attractive, having been adorned with shade-trees and laid out in inviting walks. Many beautiful memorial stones are evidence of the tender memories which cluster round the dead. The earliest burial was that of Mrs. SELBRIDGE.

The Locke Mutual cemetery Association was organized in March, 1859, with Robert FISHER, President; John S. PITTS, Clerk; George FISHER, Treasurer; and truman SPENCER, Sexton. It embraced one acre on section 13, to which an addition has recently been made. A substantial fence, built by Robert FISHER at a cost of eleven dollars and a half, incloses it, and the labor and watchful care bestowed upon it by those immediately interested has rendered it one of the most inviting spots in the township.

Mason

The old part of the present cemetery, containing about  one and a half acres, was leased by the board of health of the township of Vevay, Sept. 19, 1844, from Charles NOBLE, John B. and Samuel SKINNER, and E. B. DANFORTH, for the term of 300 years. This part is nearly filled with graves. The cemetery, as a whole, now contains about thirteen acres, several additions having been made to the original. It was platted by I. B. WOODHOUSE, and is laid out in a very tasteful manner. The sexton is S. P. STROUD, who came to Mason in 1855. The cemetery belongs to the city, having been purchased from the township of Vevay, and is managed by a board of trustees, consisting of George M. HUNTINGTON, I. B. WOODHOUSE, and S. A. PADDOCK.

Meridian

The first notice of a cemetery in the record appears in 1845, in October of which year Joseph H. KILBOURNE was appointed to a committee to secure a site for a public burial ground. Nothing seems to have been done, for the matter was again discussed in 1846 with no definite result. It is probable that the ground was purchased of Freeman BRAY about 1850, but was not fenced or improved until 1853, when the township board of health took the matter in hand and began improvements by surveying and laying it out into family lots and building a fence around it. It contains about two and a half acres, lying along the high river-bank in the northwest quarter of section 21, and is well fenced and cared for.

The first burial within its limits was that of Jerome FREEMAN, who died September, 1851. The first death of an adult in the township was that of Russell R. SOWLE, in August, 1841. His remains were buried in what afterwards became the highway, and were subsequently exhumed and interred in the Okemos cemetery. Among the early ones buried here are george MATTHEWS and wife, in 1851; John MULLETT and wife, died in 1862 and 1863; Sanford MARSH and wife, in 1863 and 1869; and others. This is the only burial-ground in the township.

Onondaga
- Not recorded

Stockbridge

During the early days of the township's existance no spot was set apart for burial purposes, and the settlers were accustomed to bear their dead to the cemetery at Unadilla. At a later date a death occured in the family of Ira WOOD, and the interment was made on a lot owned by him within the village limits. Tough this spot was not regarded as a public burial-place, lots were sold by him to the citizens as necessity demanded them, and this for a period of years was the only place of interment within the township limits. Some years later the township officers purchased two lots on sections 2 and 21 respectively, and devoted each to the uses of a cemetery. The former has, by the enterprise of many of the residents of the northern portion of the township, been greatly improved and beautified. The one on section 20 is inclosed by a neat fence, and is under the supervision of the township officers. A private burial-place is located on section 28, upon land owned by J. WHITNEY.

Vevay
- Not recorded

Wheatfield

These are three in number, and located on section 13, 23, and 34. The one on 13 was probably the earliest. The first burials were on the old homestead farm of David GORSLINE, but these were subsequently taken up and reinterred in the public grounds. The first burial ground was established about 1842-43, on the town-line on section 13. The latest one, located on section 23, has been in use since about 1877.

White Oak
- Not recorded

Williamstown

The earliest burial places in the township were at Williamston village, one a private one, a little west of STEELE's foundry, near the river, where a few interments were made at an early day, and another a little north of the present corporation-line, on lands formerly belonging to Stephen OLDS. This land, so far as we  have been able to ascertain, was given by Mr. OLDS (subsequently confirmed by J. M. WILLIAMS) for burial purposes, but no title passed, and, pwing to this fact, steps were taken to establish a new ground, and the remains interred here were exhumed and reinterred in the cemetery on section 26.

Summit Cemetery:
This ground belongs to a company incorporated under a State law of 1855. Among the incorporators were J. M. WILLIAMS, Nelson LORANGER, J. B. TAYLOR, George B. FULLER, Horatio PRATT, and John S, VANNETER. The incorporation organized Feb. 7, 1860, and, on the first day of may of that year, purchased of Webster HARVEY and wife 3 acres and 152 rods of land on the east half of the southwest quarter of section 26, in Williamstown, for the sum of $100 cash. The lot is eligbly situated on rolling ground, with a siol composed mainly of sand and gravel, and admirably adapted for burial purposes. The corporators have expended several hundred dollars in laying out, ornamenting, and improving it, and it is kept in good condition.

There is another private burial-ground, situated on the west half of the southwest quarter of section 21, which was opened for use about 1860. There have been only a limited number of burials within it. The "Summit Cemetery" is principally used by the inhabitants of Williamston village.

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