The City of Westerville owns and maintains three local cemeteries. In the following video, hear about the history found in these cemeteries and how the Public Service Department is documenting this information for you to access online here.INTERACTIVE MAPS
(Columbarium map added)
OLDE METHODIST CEMETERY
The Olde Methodist Cemetery was founded on land given to the Methodist Church, in 1849, by Garrit Sharp. It is located at the end of W Lincoln St and for many years was referred to as the Lincoln St Cemetery. The layout of Olde Methodist differed in that it was divided into sections by ages - one for infants, one for children, and one for adults.
Although there are over 200 burials in Olde Methodist, an actual account is not possible due to many of the headstones being destroyed by time and there being no surviving burial records. The last burial was made in 1956 when Bertha Scott Wykcoff was placed beside her first husband, Frank Scott, grandson of Garrit Sharp.
Among those buried are many of Garrit Sharp's descendants, including Garrit himself. Many Westervelts can also be found in Olde Methodist, including Peter and Hannah Lennington Westervelt, and William and Sarah Bishop Westervelt, four of the township's early pioneers.
Otterbein Cemetery, located on the southwest corner of Knox & Walnut Sts, was established in November 1856 with the purchase of four acres of land from Abraham Winters. The Otterbein Cemetery Association was formed to oversee the purchase of lots, burials, and grounds keeping. The land was originally divided into 553 lots and is now known as the "Old Section" of Otterbein.
Four additions have been made to Otterbein in order to provide more burial space. In November 1924 the Otterbein Mausoleum was dedicated, with 290 crypts available.
In 1940 the cemetery boundaries were extended with the purchase of land from Burton Bowers. This section was originally referred to as the "Bowers Addition", but is now known as the "Knox Section", and initially provided an additional 259 lots.
In 2010 the Otterbein Columbarium was completed, located on the site of the old cemetery office. The structure consists of 4 "wings" each containing 48 niches for a total of 192 spaces for cremains. Each niche can hold up to two sets of ashes, allowing for an additional 384 burials.
The final addition was made in 2012 with the expansion of the Knox Section. Nine more lots were able to be plotted allowing for 32 burial spaces.
The Otterbein Mausoleum, dedicated November 30, 1924, sits along the southern bank of Otterbein Cemetery. Built by the Columbus Mausoleum Company, the structure was comprised of a Bedford Stone exterior, with Vermont marble for the interior. Original plans called for a building 72' by 60', housing 400 crypts, but due to revisions during construction the finished building measures 56' by 82' and houses 290 crypts. Seven cathedral-styled windows provide interior lighting.
Currently over 280 entombments have been performed in the Otterbein Mausoleum. Among those who can be found within are:
- Otterbein University professors and staff, including Edward W Schear (Science), Sarah M Sherrick (English), Alzo P Rossolot (History/Government), Noah E Cornetet (Greek), and Gustav F Meyer (Music).
- Former City Manager, and Councilman of 21 years, Dr. Charles Snavely.
- Twenty-one veterans of the Civil War, Spanish American War, World War 1 and World War II. Included among them is Major Oscar O. Koeppel, recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross for extreme bravery under fire.
Pioneer Cemetery is located at Westerville's coporate limits on S. State Street. The original section was known as Jameson Cemetery, named for Robert Jameson, who donated the land. Over the years it was renamed to West Church Pioneer and later changed to Pioneer Cemetery. The cemetery was maintained for many years by the Blendon Township Trustees. In the 1970s, as Westerville's corporate limit was extended to include this land, the City took over ownership of Pioneer.
It was established in 1817, with the first burial being Eliza Palmer, infant daughter of Ethan Palmer. Within the Jameson section of Pioneer can be found many of Blendon Townships earliest pioneers. Among them are Robert and Margaret McCutcheon Jameson, Isaac and Ursala Clark Griswold, and brothers Benjamin and Simeon Moore, with their families. There are also numerous Jameson, Schrock and Osborn family members buried here.
For purchase information regarding the Otterbein Columbarium please contact the Department of Public Service, (614) 901-6740, Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.