TOWNSHIP: Westfield (village of Westfield Center)
ALTERNATE NAMES: New Leroy Cemetery, West Westfield Cemetery, Westfield Cemetery
LOCATION: south side of Greenwich Rd. (CR-97); just west of the circle
CURRENT OWNER: Village of Westfield Center
SIZE: 4.9281 acres
ESTIMATED NUMBER OF BURIALS: 1100+
EARLIEST KNOWN BURIAL: November 8, 1834 – Rachel Henry
MOST RECENT KNOWN BURIAL: still active
GPS: N 41° 01’ 34.7”; W 81° 56’ 13.5”
PERMANENT PARCEL #:
044-22A-09-001 (Medina County Engineer’s Overhead View – existing cemetery)
044-22A-09-064 (Medina County Engineer’s Overhead View – new cemetery area)
ORIGINAL LOT #: Lot 21, sublots 4, 5 – village lots 39, 40, 41
TOWNSHIP, RANGE: T1N: R15W
CEMETERY BEGINNINGS – THE BAPTIST CHURCH
The original and oldest part of the cemetery consisted of the northeast area of the grounds. The earliest known burial in the cemetery was in November of 1834 when Rachel Henry was interred here. Local history tells us that the Baptist Church of Westfield started in 1835 and, indeed, land and historical records show that a portion of the oldest part of the cemetery was once property of the Baptist Church of Westfield.
“The main cemetery, near Leroy, on the old Baptist church premises…” (History of Medina County, 1881, pg. 605)
The official purchase of land by this church is found on July 2, 1845 when Joshua Bayley sold a half acre to the Baptist Church of Westfield for the sum of fifty dollars as recorded in Volume W, page 497 of the Medina County Land Records:
“…commencing in the center of the East & West center road twenty-five rods from the northeast corner of said lot; thence west ten rods ; thence south eight rods; thence east ten rods; thence north eight rods to the place of beginning, containing half of an acre of land, be the same more or less.”
From the above-described church property, only a small piece on the east side, measuring two rods east-west and eight rods north-south, would not eventually become cemetery land. The Baptist Church sect in Westfield was gone by 1858 but, at least for a time, this cemetery may well have been closely tied to the Baptist Church. That aside, it quickly overtook the east cemetery as the village’s primary burial place. It is not clear when ownership of the Baptist Church property reverted elsewhere but we find that by 1873 it is owned by Levi D. Allis.
The first official sale of cemetery land to the Trustees of Westfield Township occurred on November 10, 1873 when Levi D. Allis et al sold them 1.05 acres for the sum of one hundred dollars as recorded in Volume 34, page 436 of the Medina County Land Records:
“…bounded as follows: Commencing on the south line of the highway running east and west through the center of the township at the northwest corner of land heretofore owned by Lemuel Collier, running south on said Collier’s west line fifteen rods, thence west eleven rods, thence north parallel with the east line of said parcel to the south line of the highway, thence east on the south line of said highway to the place of beginning. One, 5/100 acres be the same more or less……”
The original cemetery was just over an acre. It was laid out in five rows of lots – a total of 61 individual lots – each containing eight gravesites. Lots measure 20 feet long and 20 feet wide. Each lot covers two rows of graves; meaning that instead of each gravesite within the lot laid one right next to the other (as in single row lots), four are found in one row and the other four are found immediately behind them in the next row. Each row of lots is separated by a lane. One of these would eventually become the East Drive. The lots were numbered starting in the southeast corner with Lot 1 and moving west. Once reaching the west edge the numbering moves to the next line of lots to the north and proceeds back eastward. This same east-west alternating pattern continues throughout the remainder of this area of the cemetery as you move northward to the road. The west property line of the cemetery, at that time, ran just to the east of the center driveway.
Gravesites are numbered as shown in the diagram below. The top of the diagram is north. This system is used for almost the entire cemetery, regardless of the number of gravesites in the lot.
THE SECOND ADDITION
On September 4, 1894 we find the next acquisition of cemetery land when Louisa S. Jones sold almost two acres to the Trustees of Westfield Township for the sum of $1200 and recorded in Volume 59, page 421 of the Medina County Land Records:
“…commencing at a point on the south line of the East & West road running through the center of said township, twenty-seven (27) rods west of the northeast corner of said lot number twenty-one (21) running thence west on the south line of said East & West road, four chains and seventy-five links to the northeast corner of land belonging to J.E. Shaw; thence south six chains & eight and three-fourths links; thence east five chains & twenty-four links; thence north two chains & four & one-half links; thence west fifty links to A.J. Wright’s west line; thence north on said Wright’s west line four chains to the place of beginning containing two & eight hundred & eighty-one one thousandths (2 881/1000) acres.
Excepting there from nine hundred & seventy-eight one thousandths (978/1000) acres in the northeast corner, being the old cemetery lot formerly deeded to said Westfield township. The one & nine hundred & three one-thousandths (1 903/1000) acres to be used as cemetery.”
This purchase consists of the remainder of the cemetery except for the open area south of the rear driveway and the newer section on the west side. When these lots were numbered, the same pattern was used as was found in the original cemetery except that it was done in reverse. Numbering begins in the northwest corner and proceeds east until reaching the original cemetery boundary. From there the numbering continues with the next row south and moves back to the west until it reaches the property line. This continues as you move south throughout the remainder of this addition. Lot numbering here begins again with Lot 1 but all of these lots have the letter “A” added to them to differentiate from the original cemetery lots. Lot size is the same as in the first purchase with the exception of lots 74-A through 95-A. Those lots measure 20 feet by 12 feet and village records show as setup for eight gravesites (six is more likely). Lots 151-A, 152-A (west), and 158-A are also smaller; measuring 20 feet by 10 feet and are each set up for four gravesites. All lots are double-row lots as in the original cemetery.
Lanes are also found between each row of lots. Two of these would become the Center and West drives. These, along with the East Drive, extend south from the road and connect to the rear driveway. The driveways are each about nine feet wide. The other lanes between the rows are each about eight feet wide.
The WPA map, drawn up before 1940, shows that lots 152-A through 158-A did not exist yet at that time. The first burial in those lots looks to be that of Andrew Tesler in 1975. The addition of those seven lots is important because there are two lots that bear the number 152-A in the cemetery. The first was on the southwest corner of the cemetery near the turn in the driveway. The WPA map shows this lot numbered as such; as well as a map in township records that was drawn up when lots for the new section on that side were laid out. When lots 152-A through 158-A were added to the east side, the original lot 152-A was likely forgotten and the northernmost lot of this addition was given that number as well. The current village records pretty much ignore the original lot 152-A as it was never sold, has no known burials, and does not even appear on the most recent village map of the cemetery. It is included in our records in the interest of completeness.
It is also worth noting the reinterments that have been made in this cemetery from other burial locations. The Wolcott and Chamberlain families are both known to have moved those buried in their private family cemeteries here to the village cemetery. Others were undoubtedly moved from the Old Leroy cemetery on the east side of the village. Some of these reinterments are conspicuous by the dates of the deceased and older style headstones – when found in a section of the cemetery that wasn’t even added until 1894. While there are a few in that area that predate the purchase by only a few years; there are others which are much earlier. The Farnum monument and burials in Lot 52-A are a perfect example of this – perhaps moved from Old Leroy near the family homestead. The Booth children mentioned on a headstone in Lot 3-A are another.
In the interest of having room for future expansion of the cemetery, the Village of Westfield Center acquired a parcel of vacant land bordering the cemetery to the south and west. On May 5, 1993, for the sum of ten dollars, the Ohio Farmers Insurance sold slightly over 2.5 acres to the Village of Westfield Center (Volume 804, page 229):
“Situated in the State of Ohio, County of Medina, Village of Westfield Center, being part of Westfield Center Small Lot 41 in Original Westfield Township Lot 21, and being a part of a parcel of land now or formerly in the name of Ohio Farmers Insurance Company, recorded in O.R. 767, pages 513-539 of Medina County Deed Records, and more fully described as follows:
Commencing for Reference at a railroad spike found at the centerline intersection of Westfield Rd. C.H. 15, 60.00-feet wide, and Greenwich Rd. C.H. 97, 60.00-feet wide;
Thence, South 89-degrees 30-minutes 00-seconds East along the centerline of Greenwich Rd. a distance of 1038.45-feet to a point at the northwest corner of Small Lot 40 and the Westfield Township Cemetery as recorded in Deed Volume 59, page 421 of Medina County Records;
Thence, South 00-degrees 47-minutes 12-seconds West, along the west line of Small Lot 40 and said Cemetery parcel and the easterly line of a parcel of land now or formerly in the name of Eugene N. and Lucille M. Clark (D.V. 480, page 292), passing over a ½” rebar found at 29.28-feet, a distance of 285.04-feet to a 5/8” rebar found at the southeast corner of Clarks’ parcel and THE TRUE PLACE OF BEGINNING of the parcel herein to be described:
Thence, continuing South 00-degrees 47-minutes 12-seconds West along the west line of Small Lot 40, a distance of 144.09-feet to the southwest corner of Small Lot 40 and a 5/8” rebar found;
Thence, South 89-degrees 32-minutes 28-seconds East, along the south line of Small Lot 40 and the existing cemetery parcel, a distance of 346.05-feet to the southeast corner of Small Lot 40 and a ½” pinchtop pipe found;
Thence, South 00-degrees 51-minutes 44-seconds West along the west line of Small Lot 36 and a parcel of land now or formerly in the name of Ohio Farmers Insurance Company (D.V. 473 Page 754), a distance of 127.32-feet to a point (witness a 2”-splaytop pipe found South 00-degrees 51-minutes 44-seconds West at 781.88-feet);
Thence, North 89-degrees 32-minutes 28-seconds West, passing over a ½” rebar found at 0.16 feet, a distance of 601.21-feet to a 5/8” rebar set;
Thence, North 00-degrees 28-minutes 06-seconds East, passing over a 5/8-inch rebar found at the southeast corner of a parcel of land now or formerly in the name of Helen G. Krantz (O.R. 134, Page 729) at 36.02 feet, and along Krantz’s easterly line of a parcel of land now or formerly in the name of William R. and Pauline Bittner (D.V. 234, Page 569), a distance of 161.02 feet to a 5/8-inch rebar set;
Thence, South 89-degrees 31 minutes 43-seconds East, a distance of 35.00 feet to a 5/8-inch rebar set;
Thence, North 00-degrees 28-minutes 06-seconds East a distance of 110.14 feet to a 5/8-inch rebar set at the southerly line of a parcel of land now or formerly in the name of Willard and Karen J. Swart (D.V. 482, Page 454);
Thence, South 89-degrees 36-minutes 28-seconds East, along Swarts’ southerly line and the southerly line of a parcel of land now or formerly in the name of Eugene N. and Lucille M. Clark (D.V. 480, Page 292), a distance of 221.83-feet to the place of beginning.
Said parcel contains 2.5171 acres of land, more or less…..”
Following the 1993 purchase, two additional rows of lots were plotted out and added to the west side of the cemetery. Each lot measures twenty feet long and eight feet wide; containing four graves – two in each row. Lot numbering, beginning with number 200, does not include the letter `A’. A five foot lane runs between the original row of lots on the western edge and the first of these new rows of lots. Then, an eight foot lane separates the first new row (Lots 200 through 214) from the second (Lots 215 through 229). The gravesite numbering for the lots in these new rows is different than the rest of the cemetery. Gravesites are numbered as shown below. The top of the diagram is north:
The remainder of the new purchase has, as of yet, not been platted out for cemetery use.
Despite being located within and cared for by the village of Westfield Center, the entire cemetery – except the newest acquisition – was still legally owned by the trustees of Westfield Township. This detail was rectified in September of 2008 when the property was transferred to the village.
The burial listings for this cemetery were compiled from a cemetery map in the care of the village of Westfield Center and supplemented with tombstone inscriptions, death records, and obituaries in old newspapers. This map provides burial locations, lot ownership, and layout information although it provides no dates.
The WPA did a survey of this cemetery and its map matches the official records with the notable exceptions of the number of gravesites per lot and grave numbering. The WPA shows twelve gravesites per lot (six per row) for the standard-size lots. Indeed this might have been the case many years ago when gravesites were smaller but not anymore. The current cemetery records show these lots reconfigured with only eight gravesites each – albeit some with multiple individuals in those gravesites. With the lots running through the middle of the cemetery (numbered 74-A through 95-A), the WPA shows these with six graves each, where the current records have these divided into eight gravesites as well. The WPA numbering is as follows (the top of the diagram is north):
Given the incompleteness of the WPA map, and to avoid any confusion, all of the listings here will follow the individual grave designations found in the current cemetery records.
The burial listings have been formatted in such a way so as to show each lot in its entirety. The half of the lot with odd numbered gravesites will be listed, followed by the even numbered gravesites for that lot. It is important to keep in mind the layout of the graves as one interprets the information in these listings. This information can be found at the beginning of each section’s listings.
Village cemetery records viewed were current through the spring of 2006; although some information obtained afterwards has been included.