Under Ohio Revised Code, townships are obligated to care for cemeteries that have been abandoned and cemeteries on public land. West Chester Community Services cares for three cemeteries - the five-acre Dimmick Road Cemetery, the .42-acre Jeffras Cemetery and the 12-acre West Chester (formerly Union Township) Cemetery.
6425 West Chester Road, West Chester, OH 45069
The West Chester Cemetery (also known as Brookside Cemetery) is located on West Chester Road and is approximately 12 acres.
The cemetery's beginnings were as a family graveyard owned by the James Cummins family. As in many cases in the mid-1800s, the family graveyard became a community cemetery because James Cummins sold off family plots to townspeople and families with little property available for the burial of their loved ones.
In 1870, Trustees purchased additional property from James Cummins' grandson. The 12.66-acre parcel cost $1,965 and its boundaries were based upon a double ash tree and black walnut stump.
The name Brookside was derived from the brook (a branch of the East Fork of the Mill Creek) that curves around the bottom of the hill on the northwest corner.
Points of interest:
- The "chapel" was built in the late 1870s and was used during inclement weather to host funerals. The wide doorways were built to accommodate a coffin.
- A second flagpole in the cemetery commemorates seven unknown soldiers from World War I. Communities around the country were asked to offer this commemoration. Memorial Day ceremonies are held near this spot each year.
- The Beckett family area includes the grave of John Beckett, the only American Revolutionary War veteran buried in the cemetery.
- The oldest known grave in the cemetery belongs to Nancy (Legg) McMacken, daughter-in-law of James McMacken. She died in 1820 at the age of 27. There may be older graves, but some stones are unreadable.
- A cylindrical stone bearing an American flag marks the grave of Civil War veteran Walter W. Wharton. Mr. Wharton was the originator of Union Township's Memorial Day ceremonies.
- The cemetery does have a "Potter's Field" for those who were unable to pay for their loved ones' burial. This area lies in a seemingly empty field. Among those buried there is a Civil War veteran.