WARREN TOWNSHIP - High on a hill in Warren Township there rests a little white church, looking a bit like a scene from a Norman Rockwell painting.
And next to that little white church is a hallowed place of ground, the resting place for several generations of church families.
That ground, known as Warren Chapel Cemetery, dates back more than 140 years to when it was founded by trustees of the Warren Chapel United Methodist Church.
KEVIN PIERSON The Marietta Times
Nelson Benedict, a member of Warren Chapel United Methodist Church, as well as a Warren Township trustee, stands by the grave of one of his ancestors in Warren Chapel Cemetery Friday afternoon.
"On Oct. 8, 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, one acre of land was deeded to the church trustees as a church cemetery," said Richard Thomas, pastor of Warren Chapel United Methodist Church.
The cemetery was named for the church it rests next to. The road it sits on is also named after the church, which was one of the first churches in Warren Township in 1855.
Donated by Robert and Isabella Boothby, that one acre of land was given to church trustees Henry Porter, Calvin Leseur, Abaraham Shaffer, Marcus Anderson and Ezekiel Canfield, who founded the cemetery eight years after the establishment of the church.
About Warren Chapel
Located on Warren Chapel Road in Warren Township.
Named for Warren Chapel United Methodist Church.
Established by church trustees in October 1863, the cemetery covers a little less than two acres of land and was a gift from Robert and Isabella Boothby.
The cemetery was given to Warren Township trustees in 1889.
Source: Richard Thomas, pastor, Warren Chapel United Methodist Church; Warren Township office.
Marcus Anderson, Porter and Shaffer all rest in the cemetery, as does Isabella Boothby.
Even now, 149 years later, family of Marcus Anderson remains active in the Warren Chapel church.
"There are several generations of families in there that are still active in the church, Andersons and Benedicts," Thomas said.
For 26 years the church owned and operated the cemetery, and in 1889 the property was given to Warren Township trustees for care.
By and large, the cemetery was and remains a family resting place, township trustees said.
"A lot of the families around have been buried here for years and years," said Nelson Benedict, a township trustee who has several generations of family in the cemetery.
Benedict has buried his wife in the cemetery, and has family dating back to 1865 are resting on the grounds. His mother, father, and paternal grandparents are also interred there.
"There are several generations in here," he said.
When he was younger, Benedict worked for the township digging graves in Warren Chapel Cemetery. His father was the township clerk in the mid-1900s, he said.
The first of the 140 lots were sold by trustees, with 10 spaces purchased by James Anderson in March of 1890. All told, about 30 Andersons are interred in the cemetery.
In 1940, the cemetery grew by roughly half an acre when a second addition was added, said Warren Township fiscal officer Amy McKenzie.
The purchases by James Anderson are among the earliest records available to the township, as records for the prior 26 years of existence were kept by the church.
"The oldest deed I found for Warren Chapel was 1890," McKenzie explained.
With 140 lots, each capable of holding about four graves, Warren Chapel Cemetery is an active cemetery for burials, but no additional plots will be sold.
"We are still burying some people there," said Warren Township trustee Jeffrey Knowlton. "We aren't really selling anything in that area now."
The resting place of a dozen veterans, including some from the Civil War and every conflict since then, Warren Chapel has several markers that have broken due to extreme age.
"There are probably more graves than there are markers," Thomas said.