West State Street Cemetery

Cemetery Index Pages

West State Street Cemetery Index

The links in the West State Street Cemetery Index page will take you to scanned originals of the City of Athens index by last name and by cemetery section. There is also a veterans index.

If you do not find what you are looking for, it is possible that it exists as part of a different compilation. Local historian, W.E. Peters created an index in the early 1940's and Robert L. Daniel made a compiled index of the City index and Peters index in 1993. Please note when looking for information that the City index uses section identifiers by number and the W.E. Peters documents use an alphabetic system.

Contact Deputy Service-Safety Director Andrew Chiki for more information on these documents. achiki@ci.athens.oh.us

A Silent City (Written by W.E. Peters)

Within the City of Athens of today, upon a hill that might be beautiful indeed, lies another city--the West State Street cemetery. A city of the dead. A city of the pioneer men and women who sowed the seed that grew the bounteous harvest of the plenty, ease and comfort of today. Lie there also Revolutionary heroes who braved dangers and injected life and hope into the "Star Spangled Banner" that their descendants might enjoy the most complete freedom that is now the heritage of mankind. And yet, in the mad rush for gain and enjoyment, few, even of their kith or kin, pause to do these people of yesterday, quietly reposing in their narrow grass-thatched homes, simple, grateful reverence. For years, winter frosts caused many stones, the door-plates of the habitations of the dead, to fall into disorder; and carelessness and indifference permitted them to lie where fallen. Briars and brush too were allowed the freedom of unhindered nature and permitted to elbow out the God-given grass, the only canopy between these silent citizens and Heaven. Evidences of gross neglect and even wonton abuse were everywhere present, while heavily laden and creaky vehicles rambled unhindered through this silent city with destructive effect. Desecration, ruin, and even vandalism on every hand were long in evidence.

"Why disturb the weary tenants in yon narrow strip of sod? 'Tis not ours but theirs, the title vested by the will of God."

The hand of destruction was not stayed until 1924 when a great awakening of the living took place and a pleasing change from neglect and indifference to that of reverential attention came to pass. The grounds were tidied up; tombstones repaired and righted; a substantial woven wire fence was built on the west, north and east sides, while along the south, or the West Sate Street front, was erected an ornamental iron fence eight feet high, costing $2,700.00 for material alone. More than four thousand dollars were donated by loyal civic organizations and by the friends and descendants of those buried in this cemetery- many from distant states contributing liberally. A fine white Italian marble figure of the Recording Angel, five feet high, costing $750.00 on the base of which is inscribed "To the sacred memory of the unknown dead who rest here," was, on May 30, 1924, "Erected Gratis by Cross Brothers," monument dealers of Athens, while the Athens High School donated the substantial iron fence which surrounds it - all fitting tributes to the memory of those who have gone before.