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The Old George Burial Ground

1836 map, section 17 (but on the southwest side of the road)
Location - map, MapQuest and another Current map
George Cemetery photos by Dennis Kowallek, 2006

Tombstone Photos in the George Cemetery

In a letter from Miriam Van Mason to her sister Alice Davis, written August 9, 1978:
"I, too, wondered why our road could not be named George. There are questions that I should have asked. Could it be that our road was built before Colerain Pike? If that was the case it may have been a reason why travelers stayed over night with Catherine Thompson George on their way from Cincinnati to Brookville.

With the Morgan Township map showing the Dwyer farm not too far from Scipio our road would have led to that area.

I have wondered if the original George land did not include that Handley land up the hill back of Clyde Russell's place. Gillie (Handley)'s farm was not very large, and as you recall, it was located between the George and DeArmond acres. It extended to the East-west road leading west to the Macedonia Church as did that of Grandpa (George)'s land. Not only did Archie H but also his sister Barbara Yauger have their homes up that George hill, but a bit west of their land was a plot owned by Bill Nugent. His wife was a sister of Grandma Handley. I believe that if any George land was sold to the Handleys it must have been before the time of EJG since he wanted to hold on to his acres.

Did you ever walk up that George hill? I struggled up once to take a harvest message to Archie H. Barbara and her husband came each Sunday afternoon to visit Grandma Handley. Did you happen to know Orville Handley? The year before we returned to Okeana School from No. 4, he started to school there. He was such an attractive youngster that we older ones took a great interest in him.

As you recall our great, great grandmother Ann Handley married Reuben George. Remembering that, I thought it was good for Aunt Eva (George Clawson) and Sadie (Handley -?-) to be together in later years. Even though Aunt Eva criticized her at times, she felt very sad when Sadie was too sick to return to her.

Florence Sizelove married Thomas Jeanes - so she was the aunt of Florence Leibrook. As near as I can figure from the map it looks as if the Jeanes land was a bit south of the Macedonia church.

It was eight or ten years ago when I was looking at family notes I saw some that I thought would be of interest to the Longman boys. So wrote to Lester asking him if he would like them. Evidentally, he was not interested, but said that Donald may. His note was short. I sent them to Donald, but he did not reply. [Note: The next generation of the Longman family was very interested in family history.]

from A History and Biographical Cyclopaedia of Butler County, Ohio:

"On the hill, north-west of Okeana one mile, is the old GEORGE burying-ground, on the south side of the original Scipio road, on Section 17. This yard was originated as a private ground. Quite recently an addition of three acres has been made to it. The inscriptions will tell the rest.

Christopher ARMSTRONG, died August 5, 1835; aged 38.

John McLAIN, Sen., born in 1768; died June 18, 1842.

In memory of Rachel DAVIS, who died February 13, 1839; aged 39.

In memory of Meshach DAVIS, born September 4, 1764; died October 11, 1845.

In memory of Elizabeth, consort of Madison CONGLE, who departed this life August 20, 1839; aged 23.

Joshua GEORGE, died February 25, 1836; aged 35. A cedar tree ten inches in diameter has grown over this grave.

In memory of Isabelle, wife of Evan JENKINS, who died November 14, 1832; aged 37.

Jemima, wife of Thomas JOLLIFFE, born November 17, 1790; departed this life March 31, 1847.

Archey HANDLEY, departed this life August 7, 1842; aged 53.

In memory of Rebecca, wife of Archey HANDLEY, who departed this life November 14, 1839; aged 50.

Catherine, wife of Joshua GEORGE, died October 29, 1862; aged 61.

Samuel PATTERSON, died December 5, 1853; aged 84.

John BROWN died August 6, 1865; aged 50.


The following cemetery data was contributed by Richard L. George for the Butler County, OHGenWeb project.
For more cemeteries, see the Butler County Cemeteries Page

Visit to the George Burying Ground,
Okeana, OH,
October 8th, 1999

The location of a number of marked and unmarked graves for George and related family members may still be readily located near Okeana, Butler County, OH. Directions: From the Cincinnati area, take state road 126 through Ross and Shandon to Okeana. As you follow 126 to the NW, the Okeana-Drewersburg Road forks to the left in Okeana shortly before you reach the only bank office we saw in town. Still in or very near town, you cross a one-lane bridge. South Dwyer Road is a right turn, just after the bridge, and is clearly marked by a road sign. In approximately one mile, the small cemetery is clearly visible on the left (due to numerous tombstones), directly adjacent to the road, just beyond a private home on the same side of the road, and across the road from a cornfield. There is no flat parking available; but I was able to pull off into, then beyond a shallow ditch on the cornfield side of the road, leaving the car parked strongly tilted toward the road. (I wouldn't attempt that with a top-heavy vehicle or trailer. Perhaps one of the two private homes nearby would permit parking for a brief visit.)

The cemetery has apparently been neglected at some point(s?) in its history, as there are broken and doubtlessly some missing tombstones. However, at present, it is in very good maintenance, as someone is keeping it mowed and trimmed; some fallen stones have been re-erected; some old headstones have apparently been replaced with modern headstones; and the perimeter is enclosed in a wire fence with a chained but unlocked gate. The surrounding country is beautiful, green, rolling farmland. The property is about the size of two small suburban house lots or one large suburban house lot. I'd guess it contains around a hundred (?) graves, though fewer headstones. The terms "old George cemetery" or "George Burying ground" may be somewhat misleading, as this small cemetery contains grave markers for numerous other families, only two of which (George and Handley) I'm sure are related to the George line. Nor are all the George and Handley plots together within the cemetery.

There are several George grave markers, though none identifying Reuben George or Ann(e) Handley George, whom other records state are buried here. All the George markers were of a soft stone which has now weathered about half-away. Here are the details from those we found (the slash character represents a line break on the stone):

(in-ground marker) JOSHUA GEORGE / DIED / FEB. 25 1836 / AGED (blank)

Apparently, the "DIED" and "AGED" portions were pre-cut on "ready-made" markers; the "aged" portion on this one was never carved. It is not worn away; it was just left blank.

(standing decorative tombstone) CATHERINE /wife / of / Joshua George / DIED / Oct 29 1862 / AGED / (illegible) 3 mos

(standing decorative tombstone) REBECCA J. / WIFE OF / A.T. GEORGE / DIED Sep. 30 1865 / Aged 30(?) yrs (illegible)

(standing plain tombstone) blackened (with moss or mildew, whatever blackens old tombstones), partly illegible but containing the name "GEORGE" near the top in uppercase letters. "died 1868" Located next to tombstone of Rebecca J., described above.

There are two Handley tombstones, larger than any of the George headstones, and made of much harder stone, with the result that the lettering is completely legible, virtually unworn. Perhaps these Handleys could afford more expensive work:

(large plain standing tombstone) IN / memory of / ARCHEY HANDLEY. / who departed this life / August 7th 1842; / Aged 53 years 5 mo. / and 19 days.

(large plain tombstone, standing but at strong tilt) IN / memory of / RABECCA. / Consort of / Archey Handley, / who departed this life / Nov. 14th 1839; / Aged 50 yrs.

Note: the spelling of Rabecca is from the stone.

The local historical society meets monthly in the metal town building adjacent to the Methodist Church on Okeana-Drewersburg Rd. The meeting date and time is posted on a public bulletin board at the bank. The friendly bank staff helped us confirm the location of the cemetery by calling a local woman active in the historical society.

-- Rick & Peggy George


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