Green Lawn Cemetery

The OES originally visited Green Lawn Cemetery on August 25, 2002. We have since returned on numerous occasions both during the day and at night. Green Lawn Cemetery was established in 1848 in Columbus and is the second largest cemetery in Ohio. With nearly 150,000 burials and 360 acres, the cemetery is the final resting place of many notable people. Some of the most recognizable of these are listed below. The cemetery is also home to over 150 species of trees, including seven state champion trees. Due to the many trees within the cemetery, the entire grounds are considered a bird sanctuary. It is not uncommon to find bird watchers walking the grounds with binoculars and cameras.

The cemetery’s monuments range from run-of-the-mill tombstones to obelisks to magnificent mausoleums. Most are in good condition, but there are some that have been damaged or worn by weather. According to the History of Franklin County, published in 1858, the first burial at Green Lawn Cemetery was a child, A.F. Perry, who died on July 7, 1849. Doctor Benjamin F. Gard, who died from cholera on July 12, 1849, after responding to a cholera outbreak at the Ohio Penitentiary, was the second burial. The cemetery’s main chapel and mausoleum is the Huntington Chapel. It was designed by famed architect Frank L. Packard and was dedicated in 1902. There are numerous other mausoleums in the cemetery’s property, including the small Gay mausoleum and the grand Hayden Mausoleum, the final resting place of Charles H. Hayden, the son of industrialist Peter Hayden.

During our visits, the cemetery has been relatively well maintained considering its size. This is due in part to the excellent groundskeeping staff and the work of volunteers. Green Lawn began an Adopt-A-Lot program in 2003, allowing volunteers to register to tend a single grave or family plot, particularly those that have been forgotten with time. Members of the Ohio Exploration Society have adopted several lots and actively help care for them. Adopting a lot is free and fun! For more information on volunteering, click here. Of course, with a cemetery of this size, it is almost expected to be haunted. There are said to be quite a few spirits roaming the grounds, including the Hayden Mausoleum, Huntington Chapel and the location of Doctor Snook’s grave. We have observed a few electromagnetic field spikes during our visits and have recorded electronic voice phenomenon as well.

Location Information: Active Cemetery

Green Lawn Cemetery is located at 1000 Greenlawn Avenue in Columbus; Franklin County.

Green Lawn Cemetery’s Notable People

Governor James A. Rhodes  Ohio’s 3-term governor between 1963-1971 and again between 1975-1983.
Captain Eddie Rickenbacker Top American World War I flying ace with 26 confirmed victories.
Lucas Sullivant Founder of Franklinton and a great influencer in creating Columbus.
Samuel P. Bush Former president of Buckeye Steel and grandfather of George H.W. Bush.
James Thurber Writer and humorist whose boyhood home in Columbus was haunted.
Governor William Dennison Ohio’s first Civil War governor who served between 1859 and 1861.
Governor James E. Campbell Ohio governor between 1890 and 1892. He lost re-election to William McKinley.
Governor George K. Nash Ohio governor between 1900 and 1904. He died eight months after leaving office.
Governor John W. Bricker Ohio governor during World War II, between 1939 and 1945.
Doctor Lincoln Goodale One of the first physicians of Columbus and philanthropist. He donated Goodale Park.
Ovid Smith A Civil War hero as part of Andrews’ Raiders, earned Medal of Honor.
Orange Johnson Early pioneer of Worthington who carved eyeglass frames, buttons and combs.
Simon Lazarus & Family Founders of the Lazarus Department stores, now a part of Macy’s.
Thomas & Harriet Woodrow The grandparents of the 28th President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson.
Wolfe Family Publishers and founders of the Columbus Dispatch newspaper.
John Gordon Battelle Industrialist who willed his money to establish the Battelle Memorial Institute.
Peter Hayden Industrialist who founded Haydenville and ran its iron smelting business.
Alfred Kelley Known as “The man who saved Ohio,” he risked it all to build the canal system.
Pelatiah Webster Huntington Founder of the Huntington National Bank and donated Green Lawn’s organ.
John David Ireland Manhattan Project scientist.
Doctor James Howard Snook More infamous than famous, executed by electric chair after a gruesome murder.
DeWitt Clinton Badger Mayor of Columbus between 1906 and 1908.
Charles Bond Mayor of Columbus between 1908 and 1909.
Peter Sells Co-owner of the Sells Brothers Circus.
Lyne Starling Founder of Starling Medical College, now part of Ohio State University.
Don Casto Father of the shopping center industry.


Photographs: August 2002, July 2003, & August 2003


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