The OES visited York Street Cemetery on August 14, 2007. York Street Cemetery is a well-kept cemetery in Harrison Township, Licking County. Even though the oldest tombstone we found dated to 1865, the vast majority of the burials were more recent, having occurred in the 1900s, with a few in the 21st century. There were two burials in particular that are of interest, that of Elmer Artz and Mildred Louise Barton. In March of 1964, Mildred Louise Barton was shot with a .32 caliber pistol in her Marion home. She died at the hospital two hours later as a result of her injuries. She left three young children, including a toddler and a 13-month-old.
Elmer Artz, a 19-year-old farm hand, was living with the Stottharts and their two middle-aged daughters. One brisk January day in 1903, Elmer attempted to assault the two sisters. A neighbor, Mr. Zach Hunt, heard the commotion and came over to see what was the matter. When Hunt realized that the girls were in grave danger, he tried to wrestle the gun from Artz’s grip. Artz shot Hunt, piercing him in the head, killing him within minutes. Artz also shot one of the Stottharts in the hand, although the wound was not fatal. Soon thereafter, Artz retreated to a nearby shed, and upon realizing what he had done, killed himself with a shotgun. The medical colleges in Columbus were determined to have the body for research. A newspaper account had this to say about the situation: “It is altogether probably that the body of Artz…will find a resting place in the pickling vat in one of the Columbus medical colleges…representatives of those institutions have been carrying on negotiations for the purchase of the body.” In the end, Artz’s grandfather paid for the burial, but because of the medical college’s persistence, the family was forced to guard the burial site for several weeks after his burial. His tombstone was no longer there, so one can only guess as to what became of it.
Location Information: Active Cemetery
York Street Cemetery is on the north side of Refugee Road SW, east of County Road 39; Licking County.