ALTERNATE NAMES: Esselburn Cemetery
LOCATION: east side of Pawnee Rd. (TR-28); south of Greenwich Rd. (US-224); just south of the river on an incline next to the road
CURRENT OWNER: Trustees of Harrisville Township
ACCESS: public; use driveway on the north side of the cemetery; this driveway is shared by the private residence behind the cemetery so be sure not to block the driveway (pull off to side)
SIZE: 0.304 acres
ROWS: run from north to south; starting on the west side
ESTIMATED NUMBER OF BURIALS: 22+
EARLIEST KNOWN BURIAL: July 20, 1845 – Alfleta Ridenour
MOST RECENT KNOWN BURIAL: December 25, 1909 – Elizabeth M. Hoegna
GPS: N 41° 01’ 23.7”; W 82° 04’ 39.3”
PERMANENT PARCEL #: 013-14C-02-010 (Medina County Engineer’s Overhead View (front))
013-14C-02-014 (Medina County Engineer’s Overhead View (rear))
ORIGINAL LOT#: Lot 81
TOWNSHIP, RANGE: T1N: R16W
VETERANS BURIED IN VOORHEES CEMETERY:
Albert Voorhees – Civil War – Row 1
Jared Voorhees – Civil War – Row 1
This cemetery was used primarily as the family burial plot of the John P. Munson family. Almost every individual buried here can be tied to the Munsons by either blood or marriage. While it appears that a few non-relatives were buried here later, it was clearly never intended for use as a public cemetery.
The Munson family settled in Harrisville Township during the 1820’s. On July 18, 1837 John P. Munson purchased a parcel of land from David W. Poe (Volume O, page 32) described as “east from the west line (of Lot 81) so far as to contain 30.5 acres of land”. This parcel would eventually have the cemetery on its western edge.
The first burial in this cemetery does not occur until the summer of 1845 when John’s married daughter Alfleta passed away at the age of 21. His son Sylvester was laid to rest here in the spring of 1849 and two years later John himself would join them. The land would then pass to his son, George W. Munson. When George died and was buried here in the spring of 1864, his widow Margaret remarried in November of 1865 to one Jared F. Voorhees.
The estate of George W. Munson was sold on January 28, 1867 – with Christ Albert as administrator – to a William McDonald. This transaction (recorded in Volume 24, page 328 of the Medina County Land Records) was only for 28.19 acres and is the first time that we see the cemetery recognized as a separate land entity:
“…also excepting therefrom 31/100 of an acre used as a burying ground and bounded as follows: commencing 50 links north from the southwest corner of said Lot No. 81; thence north on the west line of said lot 2 chains and 63 links; thence east 86 links; thence south two chains and 63 links; thence west 80 links to the place of beginning containing 31/100 of an acre of land…”
On February 4, 1867 we see nearly the same land (now 27.67 acres) sold to the aforementioned Jared F. Voorhees. As recorded in Volume 24, page 330 we once again see the cemetery land has been exempted from the transfer:
“…also excepting and reserving therefrom a piece used as a burying ground commencing fifty links north from the southwest corner of said lot; thence north on the west line of said lot two chains & 68 links; thence east 86 links; thence south two (2) chains & 63 links; thence west 86 links to the place of beginning containing 31/100 of an acre of land…”
From hereon it would see only occasional use over the years – a few burials of the Voorhees family and others – with the last documented burial being an infant girl who died on Christmas of 1909.
No original records exist for this cemetery. The WPA map shows the general setup of the cemetery’s rows but there is nothing to indicate any burial lots or other features of the layout. The burials appear to have been done in two rows with those not linked to the family (Eshelman, Hageman) buried towards the south end of the cemetery.
The burial listings here have been drawn up entirely from the remaining headstones, death records, and obituaries.