Woodmansee Cemetery Fund
Small group in Liberty Township
works to preserve farm cemetery
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. The
families floated down the Ohio River to Cincinnati in flat boats.
From there they moved northward and settled in Butler County.
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
Daniel's wife, Rachel Cushman (1778-1875) was a direct descendent of the
James Woodmansee (1814-1887) Daniel
and Rachel's youngest son was born at Sugar Valley and became a world
recognized poet and writer.
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.
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.
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.
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.