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150 years of history

Veterans just part of the story at Warren Twp. site

March 9, 2012
By Kevin Pierson - The Marietta Times ( , The Marietta Times

WARREN TWP.-Resting in the hills of Warren Township is a small community cemetery with veterans of both World Wars, the Civil War and a set of conjoined twins.

Situated on Ohio 676 just across from the Washington County Career Center is Brabham Cemetery, a hallowed resting place for the dead for nearly 150 years.

"That one's a little bit obscured, not a well known cemetery," said Dan Hinton, commander of the Gen. Benjamin D. Fearing Camp No. 2 of the Sons of Union Veterans, and a local historian.

Article Photos

KEVIN PIERSON The Marietta Times
Warren Township trustee Jeff Knowlton looks over gravestones at Brabham Cemetery off Ohio 676 Thursday morning.

Williams' History of Washington County lists the cemetery's start as 1856, when Walter Brabham fenced off a small section of land after the death of his daughter, Lucy D. Brabham.

Walter, and his wife, Maria, were also buried on the ground that bears their name, beside their daughter.

According to files from the Local History and Genealogy branch of the Washington County Public Library, the cemetery was transferred to the Warren Township Cemetery Association in 1877. The deed of ownership the township trustees have on file lists 1913 as the date they began operation of the cemetery.

Fact Box

About Brabham Cemetery

Located off Ohio 676 across from the Washington County Career Center in Warren Township.

Owned by Warren Township and maintained by township trustees.

Established in 1856, transferred to the Warren Township Cemetery Association in 1877 and then to the township in 1913.

Roughly 13 Civil War veterans are buried at the site, as is a set of conjoined twins.

Source: Washington County Local History and Genealogy Library, Dan Hinton, Sons of Union Veterans

A date of 1909 is also listed on the deed, and records are sketchy regarding the origins of exactly when the township began its care of the land.

"We think that (1913) is what it is," said Warren Township trustee Jeff Knowlton.

Due to sporadic record keeping during the late 1800s and early 1900s, trustees have little information on the burials at the cemetery.

There are, however, roughly 13 Civil War veterans buried there, including Wellington Brabham, who joined the Union Army in 1864 and was buried in Brabham Cemetery in 1921 at the age of 80, Hinton said.

"The guys were so proud of (Civil War service). Even if they died in the teens, or 20s, even up to the 30s and 40s they had their regiment and rank right on their headstone," Hinton said.

Prior to 1980, the township has deeds of citizens who purchased plots at the cemetery, but no record of the burials.

Trustees are currently working to correct that.

"We're catching up on it, but we've got a long ways to go," Knowlton said.

A reading of the cemetery by the genealogy library indicates the cemetery is the final resting place of several dozen Washington County residents. There are 35 plots, with four graves to each plot but there are also several known unmarked graves, and a few more suspected at the site.

Among those buried in Brabham Cemetery is a set of conjoined twins.

Harold and Howard Davis were born and died on July 29, 1930. The pair of brothers were joined at the hip.

Records also indicate there are veterans of the world wars calling Brabham Cemetery their final home. Thomas B. O'Brien, Jesse C. Davis and Raymond C. Dye were all veterans of World War I and rest in Brabham as does World War II veteran Paul L. Anders.

Adjacent to the one-acre cemetery is a water tower, belonging to the township, and the restful repose is now one of the more picturesque of Warren Township's five cemeteries after years of disuse before current trustees came to office.

"It was a disaster. It's pretty decent now," said Warren Township trustee Robert Lemasters. "It's a nice looking cemetery now."

Warren Township will no longer sell plots at Brabham Cemetery, as the available lots have been claimed as the final home of a deceased or been previously purchased.



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