SPRING GROVE CEMETERY
Located at 4521 Spring Grove
Avenue this is not only the largest "rural" cemetery in the country
(733 acres), it is also a bird sanctuary, arboretum, and park (there are more
than 300 varieties of trees with dozens of them being centuries old, 21 of which are the largest of their species in Ohio). There
are 44 miles of paved roads, 300 acres of the cemetery are still undeveloped.
There are 15 lakes and there are 225,000 people intured there. It was
consecrated in 1845 largely due to Dr. Daniel Drake who saw the need for a burial ground
outside of the fast growing city after his wife died and was interred at
Washington Cemetery. He saw firsthand the deplorable conditions of this and the other
22 cemeteries within the city. The cholera epidemics that plagued Cincinnati at
the time were responsible for much of the problem. The cemeteries were terribly
overcrowded with bodies being buried without coffins and often stacked together.
There was also a serious problem of grave robbers stealing bodies to sell for
The cemetery opened on September 1, 1845 with the burial of 2-year old Julia Brisbane. Her body was moved to Wisconsin in 1897 thus making Mary Louisa Ernst who was buried 9-18-1845 as the longest-term resident.
A 1845 rule stated that "Horses must not be left without the driver". Automobiles were first allowed in 1911. Spring Grove is the oldest operating crematory in the United States.
I will try and list just SOME of the incredible number of the rich and famous that are buried in this national historic landmark:
There are forty one Civil War generals of the Union Army buried here. Major General fighting Joe Hooker being the highest ranked, also included are the "Fighting McCooks"-17 members joined the Union Army and 6 rose to be Generals, 4 of which are buried here. There is also one Confederate Civil War general , Philip Luckett who died in Cincinnati in 1869.
There are 25 Cincinnati Mayors, George "Boss" Cox and Charles Taft "Mr. Cincinnati" are buried here.
The parents of President & General Ulysses S. Grant are buried here, Plus a President's father and son, Alphonso and Charlie Taft.
There are seven Medal of Honor recipients.
Two baseball Hall-of-Famers, former Yankees Waite Hoyt and Miller Huggins.
U.S. Supreme Court chief justices Salmon P. Chase, John McClean, Stanley Mathews.
Businessmen: Soap makers Procter & Gamble, Department store founders McAlpin, Pogue, Shillito and grocer Bernard Henry Kroger, Charles & Julius Fleischmann.
Brewers: Schoeling, Moerlein, Windisch.
Namesake of Fountain Square Tyler Davidson. Artist Henry Farny, architect Samuel Hannaford.
Speaker of the House, Nicholas Longworth.
3 Postmaster Generals and 10 Governors of 3 States, Ohio, Kentucky and Arizona.
Author of the first Ohio state constitution, Judge Jacob Burnet.
There is even one Titanic survivor, Martha Stone (died 1924).
There is one person who is NOT buried at Spring Grove Cemetery. One of the most asked questions about Spring Grove is where is the body of George Reeves, TV's Superman buried. His maternal grandparents are buried here and when he was shot in 1959 his mother wanted him to be buried on the same plot with her parents. She wanted a mausoleum for him to be built while his body was kept on ice in the White Pine Chapel at Spring Grove (from June 1959 to February 1960.) It turned out that there was not enough room on the plot for a mausoleum and so she eventually ordered his remains to be cremated, placed in an urn and sent to her in Hollywood. The urn was kept on her piano until she died. George finally wound up being buried in Pasadena.
Spring Grove Avenue Entrance
The first image above shows the cemetery's original wooden entrance gate. Starting in 1863 it was decided to replace it with an ornate cast-iron gate mounted on stout, eight-foot-tall piers. The 2nd image shows the entrance around 1885. The fence was also cast-iron with interlaced arches. The last two images are present day views.
Historic Administration Building
The 1st three images above shows the old high-Victorian Gothic structure that was built in 1867 and used as the administration building. It sits to the right of the entrance seen in the photograph below the map. It was constructed at the same time as the Carriage House that sits on the left side of the entrance. The same architect that designed these buildings also designed the Plum Street Temple in Cincinnati, James Keys Wilson. The office building is still used today for administrative purposes although the interior has been modernized. The Carriage House was originally used as a place where people could rest while waiting for carriages that would take them back to the city. It is used for office space today. The last image is another early view of the entrance.
Same Image Different Versions
These are not
The 3 photographs above and the postcard on the right show the Norman Chapel that was constructed in 1879-80. The well known architect Samuel Hannaford designed the Romanesque Revival or "Norman" chapel that is located near the Carriage House.
White Pine Chapel
The White Pine Chapel was constructed in 1859 as a receiving tomb and had replaced an earlier receiving tomb that was on this site. The architect, Alfred Mullett, went on to design the North Wing of the U.S. Treasury Building, the State, War, and Navy Buildings plus custom houses and post offices across the country. This Receiving Tomb was designed for use as temporary storage for up to 200 bodies when burial was not possible for whatever reason, usually the main problem was during the winter when the ground was too frozen for digging graves. The steeple served as a ventilator.
The Samuel Hannaford designed Reservoir Tower is located to the southeast of the reservoir pond just inside the North Gate Entrance. Built in 1888 this is a working water tower 143 high that draws its water from wells dug into underground springs.
The photograph above shows one of three rest shelters that were constructed in 1920. They are distinguished by a large wraparound porch.
The cemetery's first landscape gardener, Adolph Strauch, converted the swampy lowlands at the front of the cemetery into several scenic lakes.
Postcard views of the landscape
The stone-arched railroad bridge was part of a compromise reached for a railroad right-of-way across the cemetery's southern end proposed by the Cincinnati, Hamilton, and Dayton Railroad (C.H.&D) in 1848. The Spring Grove Board agreed to the location only after the Railroad agreed to speed limitations and the construction of a bridge across the entrance road and a $4000.00 stock donation to the cemetery.
Railway Arch Photograph
FOR MORE SPRING GROVE CARDS
OAK HILL CEMETERY
Oak Hill Cemetery was started in 1910 in Glendale at 11200 Princeton Pike. 50 of the 160 acres have been developed including a 9 hole golf course (Tri-County Golf Ranch). In 1989 Spring Grove Cemetery became the Management Service Provider for Oak Hill.
ALL OTHER CEMETERIES
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German Protestant Cemetery /Walnut Hills Cemetery
The German Protestant Cemetery on Victory Parkway kept its name despite the anti-German feelings rampant during WWI, but in September 1941 the name was changed to The Walnut Hills Cemetery. The stone chapel seen in the 4th card dates from the 1880s.
Mt. Washington St. Joseph Cedar Grove
Price Hill Bevis
The Mount Washington Cemetery was established in 1855 by Lodge #24 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows on Sutton Avenue.
Glendale Cemetery Milford Cemetery
Glen Haven Linwood Baptist Cemetery
Harrison, Ohio Monument to 1st Cincinnati settlers
Wesleyan Cemetery Northside
The oldest continuously operated cemetery in Hamilton County is the 25 acre Wesleyan Cemetery in Cumminsville, having been chartered in 1843
Chapel Frozen Fountain
The Vine Street Hill Cemetery is located at 3701 Vine Street (just north of the Zoo). The cemetery was started by members of the German Evangelical Reform Churches of St. Peter and St. Paul in 1849. The cemetery was originally known as the German Evangelical Protestant Cemetery on Carthage Road (AKA Carthage Road Cemetery). The name of Carthage for this road started just north of Glenmary Ave. but was changed to Vine Street after the suburb of Clifton was annexed to Cincinnati in 1896. It became known as the Vine Street Hill Cemetery in 1941. The chapel was built in 1850 and rededicated in 1971. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. August "Garry" Herrmann owner of the Reds, Cincinnati politician, and chairman of the National Commission for the National League is one of those buried here.
Miami, Ohio Cemetery
Miami, Ohio is now known as Miamitown, Ohio.
Fairmount Monument Co. Mills Monument Co.
707 Whittier St.
The Crematory, located at 525 Martin Luther King Drive, was organized in October of 1884 as the Cincinnati Cremation Company. Three years later, in 1887, the present location high on the hills in Clifton overlooking the Mill Creek valley was first constructed. It is the oldest operating crematory in the United States. The last 3 views below were taken in 1948.
These are not postcards
Early image of crematory Entrance Road to Crematory Crematory