Liberty Street Cemetery

Painesville – Pioneer

Liberty Street Cemetery, located near the corner of Liberty Street and West Washington Street, was the first public burial ground in Painesville. When Captain Joseph Pepoon died on June 15th, 1811, it was found necessary to have a grave yard. General Henry Champion, who owned much of the land upon which the City of Painesville stands, through his land agent, gave the ground. Hezekiah King, Abraham Skinner, Eli Bond, and Abijah Merrill, selected the site, today the location of the First Merit Bank Painesville Office. Skinner, Bond, and Merrill went to work clearing the underbrush, while King dug the grave.

The portion of the Champion plat where the cemetery was located was vacated in 1816 and resurveyed by Kerr, Cole and Others Co. On June 9th, 1821, William Kerr sold to the Trustees of the Painesville Methodist Episcopal Church the site. It is assumed that the bodies were disinterred, said to be a large number, and removed to the new Washington Street Cemetery.

However, in 1923 when an educational wing was being added to the First Church of Christ, then located at the corner of Liberty Street and West Washington Street and adjacent and possibly standing on a portion of the old cemetery, human bones were found. It was suggested they may have come from this early grave yard.