ALTERNATE NAMES: Lafayette Cemetery
LOCATION: east side of Friendsville Rd. (CR-35); south of Chippewa Rd. (CR-50); in a wooded grove up on a hill in back of a field; about 500 feet from the road.
CURRENT OWNER: Trustees of Lafayette Township
ACCESS: public; the cemetery has a 16-foot wide unmarked legal right of way which follows the fenceline that goes to it. Currently there is no place to park and visitors will need to ask permission from a neighboring residence for parking.
SIZE: 1 acre
ESTIMATED NUMBER OF BURIALS: 60+
EARLIEST KNOWN BURIAL: April 27, 1836 – Lovisa Chapman
MOST RECENT KNOWN BURIAL: December 9, 1903 – Sophia C. Chase
GPS: N 41° 04’ 12.5”; W 81° 57’ 16.5”
PERMANENT PARCEL #: 020-10C-32-007
(Medina County Engineer’s Overhead View)
ORIGINAL LOT#: Tract 3, lot 10
TOWNSHIP, RANGE: T2N: R15W
VETERANS BURIED IN CRUSH CEMETERY:
Ichabod Bartholomew – War of 1812
J.W. Wyatt – Civil War
Jonathan Wyatt – War of 1812
While this ground has long been known as the Crush cemetery, there is no evidence that it was ever anything other than a public cemetery. The Crush family arrived in Medina County in the spring of 1823, settling in Westfield township at a time when there was not a house to be found in Lafayette. On September 13, 1837, Orlando Crush purchased 11 acres of land in Tract 3, Lot 11 from Shubel Chapman. This land was located slightly west of the cemetery – but in the neighborhood – and would be the first of several land purchases that Orlando would make. On May 22, 1849 he purchased slightly over 63 acres from Urial H. Peak (Volume 1, page 314). Included in this transaction was the north half of the cemetery. It was Mr. Peak who owned the entire cemetery property at the time when it was started.
The south half of the cemetery was purchased from Mr. Peak as part of a 50-acre plot of land by Calvin Phinney on July 15, 1836 (Volume L, page 537). This same land changed hands a number of times over the next forty years:
Calvin Phinney to Barnabas Phinney on September 10, 1840 (Volume R, page 345)
Barnabas Phinney to Chas. Bartholomew on July 9, 1857 (Volume 11, page 145)
Chas. Bartholomew to James Bulhand on July 10, 1865 (Volume 20, page 273)
James Bulhand to Isaac Lefler on September 21, 1867 (Volume 24, page 93)
Isaac Lefler to James Bulhand on September 20, 1878 (Volume 37, page 208)
James Bulhand to Sam F. Hanshue on January 26, 1880 (Volume 39, page 454)
The first known burial was Shubel Chapman’s daughter, Lovisa, in April of 1836. His wife Polly would follow in September of 1839. Calvin Phinney would bury his wife Thankful here in February of 1840. After that time there were a fair number of burials through the 1840’s though not a one that can be linked to the Crush family until Orlando’s niece Sarah was interred in February of 1851. All told, of the over sixty found buried here, only ten are known to be related to the Crush family. Interments were steady through the 1860’s after which time they sharply tailed off.
The Crush property was seized by Ohio Farmer’s Insurance Company in 1890 and sold to Christopher and Mariette Clifford in 1891.
The cemetery land was acquired by the township of Lafayette in two parts; equal half-acre parcels each containing half of the cemetery and the lane leading up to it from the road.
The township of Lafayette received from Christopher and Mariette Clifford the north half of the cemetery for the sum of one dollar as described in a deed dated October 9, 1897 in Volume 62, page 83 of the Medina County Land Records:
“Beginning at a stone in the center of the road at the southwest corner of land in said lot now owned by the said grantee and running thence east along the south line of said grantee’s land ten chains and twenty links to and across the cemetery in said lot known as the ”Crush Burying Ground” to the east line thereof, thence north along the east line of said cemetery about one chain and eight links to the northeast corner thereof, thence west along the north line of said cemetery two chains and twenty four links to the northwest corner thereof, thence south along the west line of said cemetery about one chain and sixteen and one half links to a point eight feet north from the south line first above described, thence west parallel with the south line to the center of the road thence southerly along the center of said road to the place of beginning, intending hereby to convey all of that part of the aforementioned “Burying Ground” lying within the bounds of the land in said lot now owned by the said grantee together with a strip of land eight feet wide along the south line of said land, leading from the public road to said “Burying Ground”, containing one half acre of land be the same more or less. It is further agree by the above said trustees that the said burying ground fence and one fence leading from said cemetery to the public highway shall be kept in good repair at the expense of said Township of Lafayette…..”
The south half of the cemetery was also received for the sum of one dollar that same day from Samuel and Harriet Mary Handshaw as described in a deed dated October 9, 1897 in Volume 62, page 85 of the Medina County Land Records:
“Beginning at a stone in the center of the road at the northwest corner of land in said lot now owned by the said grantee and running thence east along the north line of said grantee’s land ten chains and twenty links to and across the cemetery in said lot known as the “Crush Burying Ground” to the east line thereof, thence south along the east line of said cemetery about one chain and seventeen links to the southeast corner thereof, thence west along the south line of said cemetery two chains and twenty-four links to the southwest corner thereof, thence north along the west line of said cemetery about one chain and four and one half links to a point eight feet south from the north line first above described , thence parallel west with the north line to the center of the road, thence northwardly along the center of the road to the place of beginning, intending hereby to convey all that part of the aforementioned “Burying Ground” which lies within the bounds of the land in said lot now owned by the said grantees together with a strip of land eight feet wide along the north line leading from the public road to the said “Burying Ground” containing one half acre of land be the same more or less.”
NEGLECTED AND FORGOTTEN
Due to vandalism and neglect this cemetery has lost much of its identity. As recently as the mid to late 1990’s, it sat in a state of major disrepair with waist-high thorns and weeds concealing mostly fallen and broken headstones. Evidence of vandals – both man and beast – could be found with broken fences allowing stones to be toppled and later trampled. Many of the stones lying on the ground were eventually concealed just under the topsoil with more stones continuing to be found even today.
At this point it is nearly impossible to tell how many rows there actually were and most of what stones remain have long since been moved from their original location. No lot markers can be found and the remaining footstones have all been moved around as well.
It is to the credit of the Queberg family, living on the property north of the cemetery, that this old burial ground is presentable today. The cemetery was cleared of debris, mowed, and a flagpole installed.
No original records exist for this cemetery. The only burial information available has been compiled from the remaining headstones and a couple of death notices in old newspapers. The WPA did do a map of the cemetery but the lack of any real details would seem to indicate that this cemetery has been in a dilapidated condition for quite awhile. It shows sixteen uniform rows of exactly fifty graves each but nothing more. The WPA listed no veterans in this cemetery even though the grave for one is clearly marked with a military style headstone (J.W. Wyatt, whom they incorrectly listed as being in Waltz cemetery).