Washington Street Cemetery


Washington Street Cemetery was located on West Washington Street, originally occupying sublots 51, 52, 76, and 77 of the Kerr, Cole & Others Survey. The history of the Liberty Street Cemetery indicates that its graves were moved to the Washington Street Cemetery in 1821. Later sublots 49 (west half), 50, 74 (west half), and 75 were added to the cemetery. This site is now east of Harvey High School and occupied by a parking lot and field.

The history of the cemetery is clouded. On August 4th, 1857, a fire swept through the buildings on the south side of Main Street, from South St. Clair Street to South State Street. Here was located the office of the Town of Painesville and many of the official records were destroyed, including those of the cemetery. The surviving Sexton books only date back to July, 1847.

By the 1850s the cemetery was filling up and the search for a new site began. In July, 1852, the Corporation of Painesville purchased seven acres about a three quarters of a mile west of the village square on the north side of Mentor Avenue, “for the deposit of the earthly remains of the dead.” However it proved to be unsuitable for a cemetery; “the soil is gravely, the ground badly located, and access to it difficult – it is impossible to dig to the depth of over three feet without curbing.” Another push for a new burial ground was made in June, 1855, but it too resulted in nothing. In March, 1859, the Village Council held several well attended meetings on finding a suitable location. A committee was appointed. It reported that a site had been found “on the bank a little below the Old Geauga Mill, on the opposite side of the River,” and recommended its purchase. The editor of the Painesville Telegraph in the issue of March 24th, 1859, rejoiced, “So we are to have, without doubt, a New Cemetery, – and so we should have.”

After the opening of Evergreen Cemetery in January, 1860, burials continued at the old cemetery. There were almost a hundred burials before this activity ceased. The last recorded burial was that of Delia Seeley (Mrs. Ezra Seeley), aged 76 years. Unfortunately the sexton did not record the date, though it probably occurred in the summer of 1865.*

Beginning in 1860 lot owners were encouraged to remove their loved ones to Evergreen Cemetery or some other cemetery. It appears that no records were kept of these removals. And those reinterred in Evergreen Cemetery were not entered in the Sexton’s books.

Over the years the cemetery fell into disrepair. The editor of the Painesville Telegraph in the issue of September 26th, 1867, observed: “In passing along Washington street a few days ago, we were unpleasantly affected by the whole appearance of the old cemetery. The fences are all going to ruin – the walks are all overgrown with grass and weeds, and the lots, where still lie a vary large proportion of those formerly buried there, were full of weeds and grass, and presented an appearance altogether disgraceful to both the village authorities and the owners of the lots and friends of the dead.” He suggested that “either some arrangement made by which all the remaining dead should be transferred to the new ground across the river, and the whole place be entirely vacated, or the friends of the dead still left there should clean up and care for their lots, and the city authorities should put the walks and fences in good repair and keep them so. “

In the fall of 1877 Sexton Tomas Smith was again asking for the removal of the remains of those interred here to Evergreen Cemetery.

The editor of the Painesville newspaper called the Northern Ohio Journal in the issue of October 26th, 1878, wrote: “For a long time the Washington Street Cemetery has been permitted, from a combination of causes, to remain in a sadly neglected and dilapidated condition. Within the past two weeks, however, the work of cleaning and pruning has been undertaken and completed, so that now the grounds present a creditable appearance. The few remaining gravestones have been buried two feet deep, the paths trimmed and the undergrowth cut down and carted away.” A plat of the grounds showing where every stone was buried was made by L.K. Pierson, to enable anyone later to locate the graves. The grounds were then used as a park. When the park became the site of football games in the fall of 1892 and baseball games in spring of 1893, there were complaints and the sports were discontinued.

In the early 1890s the Painesville Board of Education saw the need to build a new high school. The vacant land where the Washington Street Cemetery had been attracted their attention. The Village council transferred the property to the school board on December 5th, 1896, and they began the process of transforming “a wasted place into a beautiful site for a new high School building.” Since that time the land where the Washington Street Cemetery had been has been part of the high school grounds.

The fact that some of the graves had never been removed has periodically come back to haunt school officials.

[Ed. Notes] Another article from the Painesville Telegraph of possible interest:
26 Mar 1851 pg. 3 “Home Affairs” regarding ladies committee for adorning the burying ground
Gary G. pointed out that the March 8th, 1866 issue of The Telegraph states on page 3, under “DIED”, “In Painesville, February 15, Mrs. Delia SEELY, aged 79 years.”


Note: Duplicate stone numbers indicate multiple persons inscribed on the same stone as detailed in the inscription column.

Shorks, Lydia Ann Clark111Lydia Ann Clark, wife of J. ShorksStone buried in 1874
Blanpheer, Curtis112Curtis BlanpheerStone buried in 1874
Bates, Nathaniel113Nathaniel BatesStone buried in 1874
Glover, Win114Win GloverStone buried in 1874
Paine, Mary E.115Mary E. PaineStone buried in 1874
Root, Geo. N.116Anastasia and Geo. N. Root
Root, Anastasia116Anastasia and Geo. N. Root
Paine, Eleazer117Eleazer PaineStone buried in 1874, remains moved to Evergreen
Paine, Aurel118Aurel PaineStone buried in 1874, but not interred here.
Paine, Aurel119Aurel Paine, daughter of Aurel PaineStone buried in 1874
Bagley, Henry H.1110Henry H. BagleyStone buried in 1874
Adams, Mary L.1111Mary L. AdamsStone buried in 1874
Tracy, Benjamin F.1112Benjamin F. TracyStone buried in 1874
Mansfield, Harriet H.1113Harriet N. MansfieldStone buried in 1874
Smith, Ephraim1114Ephraim SmithStone buried in 1874
Griffith, Samuel1115Samuel GriffithStone buried in 1874
French, Seba1116French, SebaStone buried in 1874
Roberts, Tabitha1117Tabitha, wife of J. RobertsStone buried in 1874
Warren, Eliza1118Eliza WarrenStone buried in 1874
Kneep, Christian1119Christian KneepStone buried in 1874
How, Elizabeth1120Elizabeth HowStone buried in 1874
Whiting, _illey1121_illey WhitingStone buried in 1874
Gill, Thos. A.1122Thos. A. GillStone buried in 1874
Kingsbury, Dorthea1123Mrs. Dorthea KingsburyStone buried in 1874
Granger, Hannah1124Mrs. Hanna GrangerStone buried in 1874
Shultz, Win. H.1125Win H. ShultzStone buried in 1874
Seeley, Ira1126Ira SeeleyStone buried in 1874
Pepoon, Joseph1127Joseph PepoonStone buried in 1874
Tracy, B. F. Jr.1128B. F. Tracy, Jr.Stone buried in 1874
Newman, Andrew1129Andrew NewmanStone buried in 1874
Manley, Mary Ann1130Mary Ann ManleyStone buried in 1874
French, Mary E.1131Mary E. French, wife of ___ FrenchStone buried in 1874
French, Warren1132Warren FrenchStone buried in 1874
Durand, Edgar1133Edgar DurandStone buried in 1874
Tool, James C.1134James C. ToolStone buried in 1874
Fogle, Catherine1135Catherine FogleStone buried in 1874
How, Edmund1136Edmund HowStone buried in 1874
Gray, Henry1137Henry GrayStone buried in 1874
Duty, Sally1138Sally, wife of E. DutyStone buried in 1874
Stephens, Jonathan1139Jonathan StephensStone buried in 1874
Kingsbury, H.1140H. KingsburyStone buried in 1874
Granger, Sarah1141Sarah GrangerStone buried in 1874
Phelps, Milo1142Milo PhelpsStone buried in 1874
Ladd, Mary H.1143Mary H. LaddStone buried in 1874
Mulligan, John1144John and Julia MulliganStone buried in 1874
Mulligan, Julia1144John and Julia MulliganStone buried in 1874
Pepoon, Charles A.1145Charles A. and Florence H. PepoonStone buried in 1874
Pepoon, Florence H.1145Charles A. and Florence H. PepoonStone buried in 1874
Tracy, Agnes1146Agnes TracyStone buried in 1874
Nutt, Elizabeth1147Elizabeth NuttStone buried in 1874
Durand, Caroline1148Caroline, wife of Edgar DurandStone buried in 1874
K, M. A.1149M. A. K.Stone buried in 1874
R., Mr.1150Mr. R.Stone buried in 1874
Tear, Christian1151Christian TearStone buried in 1874
How, Abigail1152Abigail, wife of E. HowStone buried in 1874
How, Mary Ann1153Mary Ann HowStone buried in 1874
Hyde, Persis1154Persis, wife of A. P. HydeStone buried in 1874
Smith, E. Lizzie1155E. Lizzie SmithStone buried in 1874
Hill, Lucy1156Lucy HillStone buried in 1874
Button, Clara1157Clara, wife of Solon ButtonStone buried in 1874
Briggs, Jerome1158Jerome BriggsStone buried in 1874
Hitchcock, Betsey1159Betsey HitchcockStone buried in 1874
Brooks, Rebecca1160Rebecca, wife of Thomas BrooksStone buried in 1874
Cable, Marian1161Marian CableStone buried in 1874
Cable, Alvah Jr.1162Alvah Cable, Jr.Stone buried in 1874
Greer, Sarah1163Sarah, wife of Thomas GreerStone buried in 1874
Hotchkiss, Susannah1164Susannah HotchkissStone buried in 1874
Crofts, Christopher1165Christopher CroftsStone buried in 1874
Craig, Child1166Three children of O. M. CraigStone buried in 1874
Craig, Child1166Three children of O. M. CraigStone buried in 1874
Craig, Child1166Three children of O. M. CraigStone buried in 1874
Gilbert, Stephen1167Stephen and Sarah M. GilbertStone buried in 1874
Gilbert, Sarah M.1167Stephen and Sarah M. GilbertStone buried in 1874
Maltbie, Daniel1168Daniel, Charity, Albert, Franklin and Alfred MaltbieStone buried in 1874
Maltbie, Charity1168Daniel, Charity, Albert, Franklin and Alfred MaltbieStone buried in 1874
Maltbie, Albert1168Daniel, Charity, Albert, Franklin and Alfred MaltbieStone buried in 1874
Maltbie, Franklin1168Daniel, Charity, Albert, Franklin and Alfred MaltbieStone buried in 1874
Maltbie, Alfred1168Daniel, Charity, Albert, Franklin and Alfred MaltbieStone buried in 1874
Bean, Hazen1169Hazen BeanStone buried in 1874
Smith, Marcus1170Marcus SmithStone buried in 1874
Handy, Delight1171Delight, wife of John HandyStone buried in 1874
Emerson, Laura1172Laura EmersonStone buried in 1874
Emerson, Jesse1173Jesse EmersonStone buried in 1874
Emerson, Adeline1174Adeline EmersonStone buried in 1874
Emerson, Lucy1175Lucy, wife of A EmersonStone buried in 1874
Stuart, W. Edward1176W Edward StuartStone buried in 1874
*, Inez N. Y.1177Intz, N. Y. ____cp.Stone buried in 1874
Edwards, Pierpont1178Pierpont EdwardsStone buried in 1874
Clayton, Rachel1179Rachel ClaytonStone buried in 1874
*, Charlotte1180Charlote, wife and motherStone buried in 1874
Edwards, Otis1181Otis EdwardsStone buried in 1874
Abbott, Sally1182Sally, wife of Elisha AbbottStone buried in 1874
Fossett, Mary211Mary, Wife of Frederick FossettStone buried in 1878
Merriman, Adeline212Adeline, wife of Wm. MerrimanStone buried in 1878
Waldo, Hannah213Hannah, wife of Joseph WaldoStone buried in 1878
214unmarked stone buried in 1878
 Drew, Helen215Helen DrewStone buried in 1878
 Paine, Edward, Gen.216Gen. Edward PaineStone buried in 1878
 Criswell, Archibald217Archibald CriswellStone buried in 1878
 Paine, Charles E.218Charles E. PaineStone buried in 1878
 Stickney, Chas. W.219Chas. W. StickneyStone buried in 1878
 Houk, Samuel W. P.2110Samuel W. P. HoukStone buried in 1878
 Taylor, Albert2111Albert TaylorStone buried in 1878
 McDowell, J. R.2112J. R. McDowellStone buried in 1878
 Blake, Alphonson2113Alphonson BlakeStone buried in 1878
 Waldo, William R.2114William R. WaldoStone buried in 1878
 Kniffen, Jno.2115Jno. KniffenStone buried in 1878
 Galloway, Ann2116Ann, wife of Harvey GallowayStone buried in 1878
 Pockton, Overton2117Overton PocktonStone buried in 1878
 Paine, Charlotte2118Charlotte, wife of Maj. J. W. PaineStone buried in 1878
 Bascom, Ferdinand D.2119Ferdinand D. BascomStone buried in 1878
 Stickney, Chas. E.2120Chas. E. StickneyStone buried in 1878
 Knapp, Aurellia2121Aurelia, wfie of M. L. KnappStone buried in 1878
 Root, Ninson G.2122Ninson G. RootStone buried in 1878
 Encell, Eugene2123Eugene EncellStone buried in 1878
 Pepoon, ?2124___ PepoonStone buried in 1878
 Weaver, Elizabeth2125Elizabeth WeaverStone buried in 1878
 Waldo, Joseph2126Joseph WaldoStone buried in 1878
 Kniffen, Obadiah2127Obadiah KniffenStone buried in 1878
 Miluret, Eno.2128Miluret Eno.Stone buried in 1878
 Couch, Nellie2129Nellie CouchStone buried in 1878
 Thomas, Adelaide2130Adelaide ThomasStone buried in 1878
 *, Emma Jane2131Emma Jane.Stone buried in 1878
 Houk, Tummar A.2132Tummar A. HoukStone buried in 1878
 Cook, Lyman, Dr.2133Dr. Lyman CookStone buried in 1878
 Miryan, John2134John MiryanStone buried in 1878