Reference Desk Include

New historic marker at Northville’s Oakwood Cemetery brings together community, history buffs and descendants of pioneering settlers

Oakwood Cemetery Marker Dedication
Mayor Ken Roth addressed guests at the dedication ceremony as Kathleen Ripley Leo and others listen.                                                        Photo by Diane Mazurek
A new nationally awarded historic marker was unveiled Oct. 8 during a dedication ceremony in Northville’s Oakwood Cemetery, the final resting place of 35 veterans from the country’s earliest wars – the Revolutionary War to the Spanish American War. The City’s earliest settlers are also buried in the historic cemetery with an entrance on Cady St. in downtown Northville.

The local branch of the National Society Daughters of the American Colonists (NSDAC), led by Arlene Robertson, officiated the ceremony, which came to life with bagpipes that set a lilting tone as 110 guests entered. The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (NSSAR) provided the color guard.

Kathleen Ripley Leo, of NSDAC, read a poem she wrote for the occasion, “The Pioneer Spirit,” noting that early settlers had a spark that fueled their success. Northville Mayor Ken Roth spoke about the historic significance of the cemetery and residents’ respect for the early settlers buried there. Also taking part were Linda Dagenhardt and Kathy Huff, descendants of American Revolution soldier William Gregory, who is buried in the cemetery.

Guests included Sons of the Union Civil War, American Legion post 147, VFW 4012,
history buffs, lineage association members, residents of Northville and nearby communities, City Council members, and representatives from the Northville Genealogical Society and the Northville Historic Society.

Many who traced their heritage to the Mayflower or early settlers wore period attire. The ceremony ended with taps, and the bagpiper played as he led guests across the street and up the hill to City Hall for a reception.

The aluminum marker is positioned just inside the gated entranceway to the cemetery. The two-sided marker conveys the historical significance of the cemetery. It is one of only five awarded to historic sites nationwide by NSDAC. The others awarded this year are located in Alabama, New York, Virginia and Washington.

Leo, a Northville resident, was instrumental in obtaining the marker based on an extensive and expressive grant application. Public Works Director Jim Gallogly secured and prepared the land for the marker.

A booklet containing the names and stories of the soldiers buried in the cemetery is available for viewing in the Northville Genealogical Society Room of the Northville District Library.

NSDAC is represented in five regions in the United States; Michigan is in the Great Plains region. The organization is dedicated to researching the history and deeds of American colonists, and providing commemoration. Find out more on their website.

Here is the list of veterans buried at Oakwood Cemetery:

Revolutionary War
William Gregory

War of 1812
Joseph Allen Reverend Anson Sha
Avery Downer Asa Sha
William Dunlap Asa Sloan
Caleb Harrington Oliver Whitaker
Robert Purdy

Civil War
Sylvester Babcock John Hughston
Alfred Beal Achmed Lawson
William J. Clarke William J. Little
Eugene C. Clarksen Hiram Lount
William L. Downer Lester Clinton Lyke
Leander W. Ferguson Daniel H. Palmer
Harvey B. Goodall Elias Perrigo
Alexander Hamilton Eli K. Simonds
James Hamilton William Slater
Allen M. Harmon Eugene K. Starkwather
William H. Hastings Perrin Wight
Edward B. Horton Lester R. Withea

Spanish American War
Frank A. Lewis

 

Back to News