Wells Township
Jefferson County, Ohio

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Category: Ohio physical, cultural and historic features; Feature Name: Oliver Cemetery, Type: Cultural, Class: Cemetery, County: Jefferson, FID: 1044165, Coordinates: Latitude 40.2645144 and Longitude -80.7214693.

A few years ago the cemetery was cleaned of large brush, trees and weeds by a local Boy Scout troop. Although this cemetery appears to get mowed a couple times a year, it is in deplorable condition, with many broken tombstones lying on the ground everywhere, becoming part of the ground from which they came. It is in a very sad state as far as restoration/preservation is concerned. Many early tombstones are missing or totally illegible.

{Photo courtesy of Paulette Coss}

Location: SE 1/4 Section 29, Township 5N, Range 2W

GPS: N40o14'58 W80o39'54

Directions:Traveling State Route 7, south of Brilliant, turn right onto County Road 17 (Rush Run Road) . Travel 4.2 miles, turn right (north) onto County Road 18 (Graham Road). Travel 1.3 miles, cemetery is located on the left (west) side of the road.

Other Driving Directions to Oliver's Church Cemetery

The church, located on the same land/deed as the pioneer cemetery, was built in 1830. Tammy Hosenfeld and Flora L. VerStraten completed reading the tombstone inscriptions in January of 2008. They also took digital photos of all the tombstones. They were able to identify the foundation of the old M.E. Church, (pictured above). While they were searching, they also found that the church was larger then first thought. There are large piles of the slate roofing near the foundation of the church. Probably when the church was torn/or fell down, the slate got piled up in the cemetery and it appears damaged many of the earliest slate and sandstone style tombstones of some of the earliest pioneers to this area.

The pioneer cemetery was cleaned several years ago. A boy scout seeking an Eagle Scout project, contacted the chapter and wanted to clean a cemetery as part of his project. Michael Merino, enlisted a few local volunteers, along with his parents, Jesse and Patricia Merino and some scouts from Troop #3 in Steubenville to assist him with the cleanup. They removed all the large brush, trees, weeds, and years of severe overgrowth.

Mr. Robert Richardson, local author and historian, noted that when he read the cemetery back in 1983, the cemetery was so grown over that he didn't even know there were tombstones up near the church foundation. His tombstone inscription listing included only 55 inscriptions. He has given the chapter permission to list his inscriptions. When Tammy and Flora completed their reading in Jan. of 2008, a couple of the tombstones which Mr. Richardson read back in 1983 were gone. Of course, when Tammy and Flora read the tombstones, they were able to see all the tombstones, even the stones up near the church, due to the boy scout cleanup efforts. They also note that this cemetery needs further probing and a serious restoration/preservation plan.

This cemetery is maintained by the Wells Twp. Trustees and the trustees have asked that the chapter not assist them in probing, cleaning, restoration or preservation of this and all other cemeteries in their township. THEY ARE THE ONLY TOWNSHIP in the entire county that has asked that we not assist in maintaining or preserving the township cemeteries. The chapter was informed, by way of a letter, that they have a committee formed to care for the cemeteries in their township. The public in general can witness the care of the cemeteries in Wells Twp. for themselves.

This cemetery qualifies as an "abandoned church cemetery" and therefore the trustees are responsible for its upkeep. We can tell you that since the boy scout group has cleaned up all the large trees, brush, and weeds, it has been mowed a couple times a year. That is the only sign of maintenance that has been seen while members of our chapter and researchers have reported its condition by taking photos at different seasons of each year since the major cleanup occurred.

Since the time our chapter has been informed that the township has recently formed a committee of volunteers that will maintain the cemeteries throughout the township and gather historical records, we are looking forward with great anticipation concerning the condition and improvement of this old pioneer cemetery and we will keep all those with ancestors buried there posted.

Important Note: Our chapter had planned to restore the tombstones and the cemetery, but have since been informed that the township does not need our assistance. We are hopeful at some point this cemetery will take a priority and become part of a restoration project conducted by this committee of volunteers. Most of the cemeteries in Wells Twp. are in grave condition (no pun intended). When you review the tombstone inscriptions, from the miscellaneous column, you will note the condition of each tombstone in this old pioneer cemetery. It won't be long before all the tombstones that are broken or sunken will become part of the ground, with each passing year.

The following was compiled by Flora L. VerStraten

I received a large envelope at the Chapter post office box on April 21, 2007. In the envelope was a letter from the DeWitt County Genealogical Society, Clinton, IL. I would like to share its contents with you. The materials were sent by Betty L. Adcock, Editor and Treasurer for the Dewitt Society. She states, "I am enclosing an original document that recently came to our society and it contains a list of individuals who, in January of 1835, were meeting in a religious gathering on Salt Run." She goes on to state, "we believe the gathering took place in Jefferson County, OH and it should be in your society’s possession."

Two of the members of this religious group, Joshua Carle and Margaret (Oliver) Carle, migrated to McLean County, IL, prior to 1860, then to DeWitt County, IL, by 1870. They lived in a small town of Wapella until their deaths in 1882 and 1903.

{The following is exactly as it appears in the small four pages of the original ledger that was sent to our chapter. It is very old and fragile and very difficult to read.}

Page one as follows - January 1835 – A list of the names of the disciples of our lord Jesus Christ meeting together on Salt Run to keep the commandments and ordinances of the lord built to gether upon the foundation of prophets and apostle Jesus Christ begin the chief cornerstone acknowledging no other lord or law giver.

Ephraim T. Carle
Nancy Carle
Ricard Vorhs
Ruth Vorhes
David Carson
Jane Carson
Elisabeth Carson
Rebecah Carson
Glasgo Leakens
Charles Leakens
Henry Oliver
John Oliver
Marthew Oliver
Page two as follows – 2 -----1835 – Church Book
Abrhm Forkner
Mahalah Duvall
Margret Carle
Jane Wilson
-am Oliver
May 22nd - Polley Cooper

Page three as follows – March 15th 1836 with Ann Oliver returned to the fellowship of the church. May 22nd 1836 Polley Cooper received by letter from websters meeting house Samuel Coike, Clarck. March 1836 Ricard Vorhes & Ruth his wife dismisd by letter.

Simply written on page four, Memoranndom Book.

The obituary for Mrs. Margaret Carle - Called home at a ripe age – oldest resident (Taken from the Clinton Register, Clinton, Illinois, Friday March 13. 1903.) It is seldom that one passes ninety years before ending life’s journey, Mrs. Margaret Carle, of Wapella, was almost 95 years one when death cam to her early on the morning of March 7, after an illness of nine weeks...She was born in Pennsylvania July 6, 1808, and lived 94 years and 8 months. She was married to Joshua Carle at Salt Run, Jefferson County, O, Jan 26, 1826. To them were born thirteen children, seven of whom are dead. Her husband died in 1882, leaving her…with nephew, W.R. Carle and her children whom survive, Cyrus J. of Pittsburg, Pa…Oliver, of Los Angeles Cal., Mrs. W. F. Birdsell, residing with her mother, Mrs. A.E. Robbins, Niles, O, Mrs. J.V. Stone, Indianapolis, Mrs. Ellen Ramsey, of Hopedale, O…One sister, Mrs. Mary Brilliant, O. {I believe this is a typo in the obit and her surname was left out and whoever wrote the obit insert the town she was from as Brilliant, Ohio instead of her correct last name...} She also leaves 35 grandchildren and 40 great-grandchildren…John Burgess, being a member of the Carle home, was very much devoted to her…Mother Carle was converted to the Christian doctrine at Salt Run and was baptized by the Rev. Thomas Campbell in 1826, as he being a charter member of three organizations, Salt Run and Niles, O., and Wapella, where she held her membership until the time of her death…her mind and memory was clear and she was able to converse on any subject, being a great reader…(article continues and includes when and where she was buried in Clinton, Ohio.)

The obituary for Mr. Joshua Carle (Taken from the Clinton Public, dated 14 July, 1882.) Mr. Joshua Carle, a prominent citizens of DeWitt county, father of Mr. John T. Carle, circuit clerk, and Cyrus Carle, of Wapella, died at his residence in Wapella, at two o’clock yesterday morning, after an illness of about eight months. Mr. Carle was born in Richland county, Pa., August 4th, 1800, and consequently was in his eighty-second year at the time of his death. He came to McLean county in 1860…

History of DeWitt County, Illinois, with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of the prominent men and pioneers, 1882, by W.R. Brink & Co. Note – corrections are in "{ }".

In the winter of 1867 elder George Owens commenced a protacted meeting in the M.E. church house….The meetings were then held in the old school house, and here, on the 24th day of January 1867, the church was constituted, a goodly number with twenty being the charter members..The first elders were Joshua Carle, Peter Crum, and Stephen Riggs, deacon, J.W. Carr.

Having no house of worship, they continued to meet in the old school house until 1869, when the present house was built…The present officers are, Joshua Carle and James W. Karr…When no minister is present, the pulpit is filled by W.R. Carle…

The history of this church would not be complete without a short sketch of the life and labors of elder Joshua Carle. Father Carle was born in Fayetteville, Pennsylvania, August 4, 1800; from here his parents moved to Jefferson county, Ohio. Here Joshua grew to manhood, and November 29, 1829, under the preaching of Walter Scott, became "obedient to the faith." He was a true disciple, a learner in Christ, and advanced rapidly in the knowledge of the scriptures. He attended the meetings of A. Campbell at Wellesburgh (this should be Wellsburg, West Virginia – which was first called Charlestown, Virginia), and succeeded in getting Campbell to hold a meeting in his father’s neighborhood in Jefferson county. The few disciples gathered together here and continued to meet from house to house until 1830, when a church was organized. Father Carle then became an active worker, teaching, exhorting, and admonishing; the teaching, belief and practices of the Disciples here at this time was an astonishment to the people. In 1830 he organized a congregation at Warrington (Warrenton, Warren Twp., Jefferson County, Ohio).

Walking by the book, he found it his duty to baptize, and did so – being the first in the reformation to find authority for a Disciple, "a royal priest" to baptize. He soon began to preach, and organized a congregation at Smithfield and built a meeting house. In 1839 he moved to Trumball county, and was made elder of the congregation at Austintown. In 1842 he assisted in the organization of a church and the building of a meeting house at Niles. He remained in Trumball county sixteen years, preaching for the various congregations in the county. IN 1859 he moved to McLean county, IL., and to Wapella, DeWitt county, in 1864, where he still lives. Much of the stability of this congregation is owing to Father Carle, who, unless sickness prevents, may always be found in his place in the house of the Lord.
Information provided by James and Lola Maxine Wolfe
The chapter attempted to contact them but the letter was returned. They shared this information in the form of a letter to the Ohio Genealogical Society as well as the Jefferson County Chapter, OGS

Oliver’s Church
We made many trips to the vicinity of Oliver’s Church and cemetery in Wells Twp. looking for the burial location place of Sarah and Laban Buckingham. They were my ggg grandparents (Mrs. Wolfe). On April 14, 1973 after a spring thaw, we uncovered the stones. This cemetery is also known as Lloyd’s cemetery.

It is located about two miles from the intersection of State Route 151 and County Road 18, on the west side of the road.

These buried stones were reset on a stone foundation of the old Oliver Church. These two stones read: Laban Buckingham, died in 1839 and Sarah Buckingham, died in 1863.

Laban served in Randall’s Battalion of Riflemen, Maryland Militia, War of 1812. Laban and Sarah Hatton were married Sept. 5, 1811, in Baltimore County, Maryland. (*see affidavit in Claim #86447 of Sarah for bounty lands, War of 1812). They lived on a farm on Buckingham Ridge Road. Some say the Ridge was named for either Laban or for his brother George, or both. The ground also covered the stone of Leonard Buckingham, bearing the date May 31, 1859. He is thought to have been a son of Laban and Sarah.

In searching for the above Buckingham's, not only did we locate the Everson Family Cemetery, but we found two other cemeteries not covered in Mrs. Esther Powell’s book. They include the Matthews Cemetery and the one on the old George Buckingham’s Place.

On April 14, 1973 we visited Mr. James Emmett Everson in Wells Twp. He was born in 1897 (John b 1855, James b 1805, and Samuel). He lived below the knob on which the Everson Cemetery is located and owns the farm where it is. Mr. Everson stated that he owned the farm where the cemetery is located on the Old George Buckingham place. It is about a half of a mile east of the Matthews Cemetery on a hill, on the other side of the valley. The cemetery on the Buckingham place is near the crest of the hill and about 300-400 yards east of Buckingham Ridge County Road 162, about a mile to the first deep valley. There are about a half dozen graves there marked with field stones with no dates or mother markings on them. Mr. Everson reported about 1920 or 1930 his tenant removed the stones and put the graveyard into cultivation against his wishes and he was quite upset when he learned of the removal of the stones. These burials undoubtedly date back before 1800.


Visit the following links to read more about this cemetery.

Michael Merino- Boy Scout Effort Honored