ALTERNATE NAMES: Branch Road Cemetery, South Street Cemetery
LOCATION: south side of Branch Rd. (CR-33); east of Columbia Rd. (CR-24); between 6450 and 6374 Branch Rd.
CURRENT OWNER: Trustees of York Township
ACCESS: public – there is a `walking easement’ to the cemetery – park near the road and walk to it
SIZE: 0.75 acres
ROWS: run north to south starting on the west side
ESTIMATED NUMBER OF BURIALS: 170+
EARLIEST KNOWN BURIAL: Mar. 26, 1835 – Lucinda Bruce
MOST RECENT KNOWN BURIAL: 2004 – David Alan Farnsworth
GPS: N 41° 08’ 29.7”; W 081° 55’ 13.8”
PERMANENT PARCEL #: 045-05D-24-001
(Medina County Engineer’s Overhead View)
ORIGINAL LOT #: Tract 1, Lot 7
TOWNSHIP, RANGE: T3N: R15W
VETERANS BURIED IN BRANCH CEMETERY:
Arza P. Branch – Civil War – Row 15
Miles M. Branch – Civil War – Row 5 (WPA shows in Row 7.)
Darwin B. Gardner – Civil War – Row 14
Thompson P. Hale – Civil War – Row 17
Albert Hewet – Civil War – Row 9
J. Hewet – War of 1812 – Row 9
John R. Landon – War of 1812 – Row 15 (WPA shows in Row 14.)
Isaac L. Peirce – Civil War – Row 14
Abner Ray – War of 1812 – Row 16
William Stone – War of 1812 – Row 7
The story of this cemetery began on March 6, 1830 when Levi Branch, one of the earliest settlers in York Township, bought 100.95 acres of land.
On April 27, 1833 there was a meeting of those interested in organizing a Congregationalist church society in the township. Among those original members were Levi Stone, Lucinda Bruce, Polly Branch, Theodore Branch, Elizabeth Stone, William B. Stone, Amelia Stone, Levi Branch, and Cordelia Branch. In fact, Levi Branch was elected as one of the first trustees of this society at its first annual meeting in April of 1834.
(1881 History of Medina County, page 524)
The first known burial in this cemetery would be the aforementioned Lucinda Bruce, who died March 26, 1835. Levi Branch’s first wife, Polly, would die on June 5, 1840. These are just two of at least a dozen burials made prior to September 23, 1844 when we see that Levi & Polly Branch sold 102/160 of an acre of land to the Trustees of the First Congregational Society of York for the sum of fifteen dollars as recorded in Volume 1, page 535 of the Medina County Land Records:
“…and is known as being part of lot No. Seven (7) in Tract No. one (1) and is bounded as follows to wit: commencing twelve 26/33 rods south of the northeast corner of the west half of said lot; thence south on the east line of the west half of said lot one hundred and fifty-three feet; thence west one hundred eighty-one and a half feet; thence north one hundred and fifty-three feet; thence east one hundred eighty-one and (a) half feet to the place of beginning containing one hundred and two rods of land, to be used by said Society for a Burying (Ground) forever.”
The cemetery would see its peak usage while serving as the church burial ground; with probably ¾ of the burials ever made in the cemetery being affiliated with the church.
Thirty years later, on October 12, 1875, we see the Trustees of the First Congregational Society of York convey to the Trustees of York Township 102/160 of an acre of land for the sum of “one dollar and care and oversight as the law director” as recorded in Volume 34, page 23 of the Medina County Land Records:
“By virtue of an order from the Court of Common Pleas of Medina County made at the September term 1875 authorizing the Trustees of said Society to sell the same which said premises are described as follows: Being a part of Lot seven (7) Tract one (1) commencing 12 26/33 rods south of the northeast corner of the west half of said lot; thence south on the east line of the west half of said lot one hundred and fifty-three (153) feet; thence west one hundred eighty-one and one half (181 ½) feet; thence north one hundred and fifty-three (153) feet; thence east one hundred eight-one and one-half (181 ½) feet to the place of beginning, containing one hundred and two (102) rods of land, the above described premises to be used only as a public cemetery.”
After this point there was a gradual decline in interments; with few being made following 1900.
The cemetery is now officially inactive although a few burials of cremains by descendents on the family plots have been permitted by the township.
There is a walking easement to the cemetery. Visitors should pull off of the road, park in the grass, and then walk up to cemetery. Please be respectful of the neighboring property owner.
No original cemetery records exist for this cemetery. The burial information found here has been compiled from the remaining headstones and a few death notices in old newspapers. The WPA did a map of the cemetery which shows the seventeen rows that we see onsite. No details are available pertaining to lots or any other aspects of the cemetery’s layout. Township records only mention a handful of burials that were made and those simply mention this cemetery as the place of burial – nothing else.
Many of the footstones in this cemetery have been moved so those that remain and could be attributed to an individual with some degree of probability have been included with that person. Since some could apply to several individuals, many of these matches are open to question. The others have been listed where they are found; not necessarily their original location.