Woodmansee Cemetery Fund

Small group in Liberty Township works to preserve farm cemetery

James Woodmansee (1732-1818) and his wife Hannah Warden immigrated to Butler County, Ohio, with their youngest son Daniel Woodmansee (1777-1842) and his family about 1808.  James was a commissioned Lieutenant, Captain John Stout's Company, of the New Jersey Militia, during the Revolutionary War.  1The families floated down the Ohio River to Cincinnati in flat boats.  From there they moved northward and settled in Butler County.

During April of 1809, Daniel bought 160 acres of land in Liberty Township, Butler County, Ohio, and established a farm that would be known as Sugar Valley.  In addition to farming, Daniel held several important offices in Liberty Township, Butler County and the State of Ohio. He served in the Ohio General Assembly and the Senate.  Daniel's wife, Rachel Cushman (1778-1875) was a direct descendent of the Mayflower.

James Woodmansee (1814-1887) Daniel and Rachel's youngest son was born at Sugar Valley and became a world recognized poet and writer.

Other children of James and Hannah followed their parents and brother to Ohio. They were James, Samuel, Thomas and Hannah.  Descendents of this group of Woodmansees prospered and scattered to Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and westward.
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As family members and neighbors died they were buried on the Woodmansee Sugar Valley Farm.  About ten immediate family members and twenty neighbors are buried there. Two Revolutionary Veterans, a senator, a Mayflower descendant and the poet are among the people buried there.

The Woodmansee Sugar Valley Cemetery has been abandoned since 1890.  During 1995 Edith Sachs and Sondra Woodmansee Thompson initiated a project to restore the cemetery to a condition that would honor our ancestors buried there. Edith and Sondra enlisted the help of George Woodmansee to assist with the restoration efforts.

Sondra and George visited the cemetery during September 2002 and made arrangements for the restoration to proceed.  Significant progress has now been made to date.  Access to the property has been cleared.  The cemetery grounds have been cleared of all vegetation except for several large trees.  Once the weather clears in Ohio this spring a headstone inventory and location will be conducted.  Then the clean up and resetting of the headstones will be undertaken.

Todd Development Co. is developing an upscale housing project on the farm and around the cemetery. They have agreed to install access roads and a fence.  We have named the streets in the development using Woodmansee names and history.  The main street into the development has been named "Woodmansee Way."  "Woodmansee Lake" will be excavated in the coming months and as the project evolves bike paths, monuments and historic plaques will be installed.  A bronze type plaque will be installed at the entrance of the cemetery listing the names of everyone that has made donations towards the restoration.  Upon completion the Woodmansee Sugar Valley Cemetery will be a lovely place to visit and reflect upon the history of what is believed to be the first Woodmansee settlement in Ohio.