Barrett Cemetery

Wells Township
Jefferson County, Ohio

Vandalized over the years, stones taken and missing, cemetery recently cleaned and restored by local boy scout, Adam Lewis, his family, and the chapter assisted.

January 2008, written by Flora L. VerStraten

Photo courtesy of Flora L. VerStraten – John Barrett

This cemetery, on private property,  is neighboring the current mining project (2008) and we are hopeful it will be protected.  John Barrett, arriving in Warren (later Wells Twp.) in 1797 with his wife Elizabeth Kelly. Elizabeth is also buried in the Barrett Cemetery as well as children. This large tablet slate tombstone was buried in the ground. The boy scouts located the base of this large tombstone, between his wife and son and now the tombstone is the largest slate stone standing beautifully in the Barrett Cemetery.

Barrett Family History - Flora L. VerStraten is a direct descendant of John and Elizabeth Kelly Barrett. You can contact Flora at

  • Above In memory of, Isabella Dean, died Feb 28, 1839, buried in the Barrett Cemetery. All three photographs were taken by Adam Lewis.

  • Above - Ellen Bartholomew died Feb. 14, 1878, stone made of metal. Below a daughter of J. & E. McKinley died Feb. 14, 1841.

  • Above - A daughter of J. & E. McKinley died Feb. 14, 1841.

Boy Scout, Adam Lewis, Troop # 3, LaBelle Church of Christ to earn his Eagle Scout Badge while restoring the Barrett Cemetery – Adam decided to select a pioneer cemetery to achieve the highest rank in the Boy Scouting program, that of an Eagle Scout. Adam had big shoes to fill. His father, Kevin, and three brothers, David, 28 yrs., Joshua, 25 yrs., and Matthew, 21 yrs. have all achieved their Eagle Scout badge. His parents, brothers and two other scouts, Derreck Dallas and Justin Walton, from his troop, worked on the cemetery restoration. Our restoration crew, included John Borkowski, Terry and Tammy Hosenfeld, Flora L. VerStraten and a few community service workers had a great task to accomplish. Adam, along with his family, clocked more hours then what was required to make it an all out Eagle Scout project.

Flora L. VerStraten met with the Lewis family in the beginning to review what would be required of Adam to be accepted by the scouting review board. Adam then met with property owner, Mr. Charles Bucey to get his permission to begin the cleanup project. Our chapter also met on location with Adam and his family to go over procedures necessary to restore the cemetery safely. Mr. Bucey decided several years ago to clean up the cemetery, once he retired. He began to cut large trees, limbs, and clear out weeds, brush and debris. Mr. Bucey stated to our group that he didn’t have the knowledge to restore the pioneer tombstones and was afraid of doing more damage if he tried. So his focus was on the cleanup of the cemetery over the past few years. That is where the boy scouts came in with the restoration materials and man power needed.  

The chapter restoration crew went to work with Adam and his family for one complete day in the cemetery teaching and instructing Adam and his family on the how to’s of probing, digging, reset tombstones, leveling, and epoxy broken tombstones. Adam, along with his family, worked on their own from that day forward. Once the restoration was complete, he purchased T poles and drove them in the ground at the corners of the cemetery boundaries. This was necessary due to the neighboring coal-mining project.  The purpose of the T poles and surveyor tape is an attempt to make sure the mining company does not encroach in the cemetery and its borders. The mining project must maintain at least a 100-foot buffer area around any known cemetery.   Adam needed to make sure the cemetery could be seen and not accidentally harmed in any way.

They did a great job of taking digital photos of all the tombstones. He is compiling a history of some of the pioneers buried in the cemetery as part of his Eagle Scout report. All the tombstones have been reset and repaired thanks to another Boy Scout’s great efforts!

Below Photo's taken by Patti Lewis and son, Adam Lewis, who cleaned the Barrett Cemetery, Wells Twp., Jefferson County, Ohio as part of his Eagle Scout Project. Restoration of the cemetery is complete and cemetery is maintained and cared for by property owner, Mr. Charles Bucy, as of January 2008.

Click thumbnails to enlarge!

Above: Adam Lewis, Boy Scout, Troop #1
Barrett Cemetery - Completed Boy Scout Eagle Project
Cleanup and Restoration completed  November 2007.
Thanks to Adam, his family and his troops!

Adam's Eagle Scout Court of Honor Invitation
Eagle Scout Adam Lewis
Jefferson County Chapter, OGS Letter for Adam

Valley Life page, Herald Star Newspaper, dated Sunday, Oct., 5, 2008. Article continued on pg. 3E. Adam, his family, scouts from troop 3, and our chapter worked together to cleanup and restore the Barrett Pioneer Cemetery. Project was completed and his court of honor was held to celebrate his achievement.

Click here to read the full article about Adam in the Herald Sta