This cemetery is located in the southeastern part of Ruggles Township on the east side of Township Road 1101 just south of Township Road 346. Ashland County, Ohio Deed Book Volume 8, page 24 shows that on the 17th of June, 1852 Peter Snider and wife Lydia deeded one acre of Lot 24 to John Wirt a Trustee of the Lutheran Church for $25. That same day John Wirt and John Shopbell, Trustees, leased back to Peter Snider the south one-half of the one acre "until needed for burying ground". This transaction appears in Deed Book Volume 12, page 502. (Ashland County, Ohio Research Aid #4, Ruggles Township, by the Ashland County Chapter OGS, Edited by Thomas S. Neel, May 1986, page 8)
The Lutheran Church was organized in 1852 by Rev. John Pope. A church, 26 by 30 feet, was built the next year at a cost of $360. In 1880 the congregation was noted as being 'small'. The church was torn down in 1927 and some of the wood was used to construct the alter in the Ruggles Grange Hall. (Ashland County, Ohio Church Records Volume I, by the Ashland County Chapter OGS, Edited by Thomas Stephen Neel, 2000)
In the early 1940s the cemetery was described as a neglected half-acre, originally called the German Luthern Cemetery, at the east side of Township Road 168 (now Township Road 1101), a mile south of its intersection with US 224. First used in 1843, it became a churchyard burial spot in 1852, when a Luthern church was built near by. The building was razed and the graveyard seems to have been forgotten. Weeds, vines, and tall grasses grow unhindered over the sunken graves. Some of the headstones are half-erect, but the rest lie buried in the undergrowth, cracked and broken. Small animals dig into the graves, and birds nest in the brush. Members of the Snyder, Motter, Crist and Hardenbrook families are among those buried here. (Ashland's Eternity Acres, A Guide to Ashland County Memorials, WPA Workers of the Writers' Program, 1942, page 78)
As can be seen by this picture taken in April of 2002 this is not the case today, although some stones have unneeded growth surrounding them.
The Sarah Copus Chapter of the D.A.R. read the tombstones, probably in the 1930s. They state the cemetery "is next to the Old Dutch church". Also that in 1922 the trustees of the church, Jake Singer and William Smith, deeded the cemetery to the township. (Early Vital Records of Ohio, by the Daughters of the American Revolution, circa early 1940s, Volume 1, page 1)
The Works Progress Administration (WPA) sponsored a Veterans Graves Registration by identifying each cemetery within Ashland County, who the veterans were and where they were buried within each cemetery.
The only person listed for the Old Dutch Church Cemetery was William Singer, a Civil War veteran. The WPA lists him as being buried in Grave 3, Lot 6. It should be noted that in most cases these maps and numbers do not reflect the original cemetery lot locations, but was the WPAs method to identify the burial place of the veteran.
Caldwell's 1874 Atlas of Ashland County, page 68, Ruggles Township shows the church location. On the right-hand side of the map locate the letter T and R, look between them and slightly to the left.
Thomas Stephen Neel, of New London, Ohio, read the tombstone inscriptions October 8th and 9th, 1985. Tom describes the cemetery as having six rows, all the stones face to the west, the cemetery is well cared for and that the majority of the stones are standing. Tom began reading the stones on the west side and within the rows read the stones left to right. Inscriptions were copied in their entirety. Underlined dates were difficult to read. Tom's notations are in [brackets] and D.A.R. differences in (parentheses).
In April of 2002 Rita Bone Kopp, assisted by Larry M. Cellar, took pictures of the various tombstones in this cemetery. Thomas S. Neel gave permission to use his tombstone readings that were completed in October, 1985 and appeared in the 1986 Ashland County Chapter O.G.S. publication Ashland County, Ohio Research Aid #4, Ruggles Township.
ROW 5 l ROW 6
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