Woolsey Family Burial Ground


The site of the Woolsey Family burial ground is assumed to be where stones were uncovered when the property owner put in a new sidewalk in front of his house. In old literature it is described as a “verdent hill” near Vine Street. It is on the east side of Erie Road, directly across from Elm Street. Eleanor Rolf wrote that it was the Henry Woolsy farm. In 1857 and 1874 the property was owned by Richard Woolsey. Alfred Cornwell, who owned the property in the 1970s, states the stones that he found were in the house when he sold the building, and the current owner has them. He says the property belonged to a Joseph Losey in 1850.

In her book, Willoughby Schools, the First 100 Years, Eleanor Rolfe wrote of Pioneers of District No. 3 the following:

Richard Woolsey came to Chagrin in 1802. He started a tannery in 1816. His home was located on the east side of Erie Street, adjoining the Sid Wilson residence. His tannery was on the flats below. Mr. Woolsey was the first tanner in the Western Reserve. His tannery operated until his death in 1875, and furnished several kinds of leather for a shoe shop of ten to twelve workers. The remnants and vats and foundations of his three wooden buildings could still be seen in 1953 at the foot of the hill just north of the high level bridge.
[These remnants were obliterated when the new bridge was put up in the 1990s.]

There is a Losey monument in Willoughby cemetery with Amelia’s name on it. It does not have a Sibel Ann on it, however. Most of the family members are actually MIX family, some married to Loseys. It is probably the largest monument in the cemetery. It does have small headstones around it, and Amelia is one of those old headstones. This makes one wonder if the stones found were discards after having this monument erected.

In addition to the Amelia stone which was mostly intact, there were remnants of three other stones. Two were quite large tablets, but the inscribed sections were missing. Sibel Ann’s is in several parts, but the two small parts found do fit together.

Losey, Amelia R.111Amelia R./ Wife of Heman/ Losey,/ Died/ Dec. 16, 1839./ in the 30th year/ of her agelg marble excellent condition, ornate "died"
*, Sibel Ann112Sibel Ann/ wife of/two small pieces. Rest missing
113large slab of marble, broken, no writing on this part
114large slab of marble, broken, no writing on this part.