The OES visited Franklinton Cemetery on August 25, 2002. Established in 1799, Franklinton Cemetery is believed to be the oldest burying ground in Central Ohio. The cemetery was known as being a beautiful graveyard nestled in a locust grove with a board fence throughout the early to mid 1800s. The cemetery also marks the location of the first church in Central Ohio, built in 1811, but the building has been gone for quite some time. The cemetery was largely abandoned by the 1870s, with most of the burials being removed to Green Lawn Cemetery. The body of Lucas Sullivant, the founder of Franklinton and Columbus, was among those moved to Green Lawn.
Franklinton Cemetery is all but forgotten today. Only a few tombstones remained standing during our visit and they were in pretty bad shape. The entire cemetery was surrounded by a stone wall. Before the wall was built, records indicate vandals would drive their wagons into the cemetery and remove tombstones to be used as doorsteps. A large monument telling the history of the cemetery was later erected at its center. Veterans of the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and the Civil War are buried in the cemetery. The town’s first minister, Seth Noble, is also among those interred. Records indicate there are at least 114 burials remaining in the cemetery, but many are unmarked today. Of those 114 remaining burials, the oldest belongs to Elizabeth Goodale, who died on January 24, 1809. The last burial was Samuel Scott Sr., who died on October 16, 1871. The Franklin County Historical Society inducted the cemetery as a historical site in May 1962. There was a historical plaque at the cemetery’s entrance that documented the cemetery’s history when we visited, but it has since been taken down or stolen.
Location Information: Inactive Cemetery [Safe]
Franklinton Cemetery is located on River Street off Souder Avenue in Columbus; Franklin County.