Lowell graveyard holds much U.S. military history

LOWELL-Founded around 1800, Greenlawn Cemetery in Lowell is a treasure trove of history, if one is willing to look.

According to Lowell area historian Everett Yarnell, the cemetery was started by Lowell resident Robert Allison. The cemetery lies at 10 Laurel Ridge Road, which can be reached by veering right off of Ohio 60 and onto Cats Creek Road, then turning left onto Washington County Highway 76A.

“Robert Allison donated the land for the old section of the cemetery around 1800,” Yarnell said, adding that there wasn’t a clear record of an actual date.

He said about 3,000 people were buried in the cemetery, and burials there are ongoing.

“The first burial here was Benjah Simons around 1806,” he said. “The first woman was two years later; Lottie Oliver in 1808.”

Yarnell was quick to say that the oldest woman buried in the cemetery lived more than 100 years.

“Nancy Allison Frost, the daughter of Robert Allison, lived to be 107,” he said.

According to a Caldwell Journal article from Feb. 18, 1892, Frost was born on Oct. 22, 1784. She died on Feb. 10, 1892. As a child, she attended the first Sunday School in Marietta, which was taught by Mary Bird Lake. After the Indian War she moved to Lowell and married Stephen Frost in 1801.

But that’s not the only interesting thing about Greenlawn Cemetery.

As new sections were added to the cemetery over the years, the cemetery became full of all types of war veterans.

There are four Revolutionary War veterans, including cemetery founder Robert Allison (1755-1812) and his brother Hugh (1747-1824); five from the War of 1812; 82 from the Civil War; 64 from World War I; More than 150 from World War II; 49 from the Korean War and 22 from the Vietnam War.

Yarnell said that isn’t too common.

“I don’t think there’s more in Marietta than (there are) here,” he said.

Local historian Scott Britton, also director of The Castle in Marietta, said it isn’t uncommon to see a high concentration of Civil War soldiers buried in one area.

Britton said military connections often run in families and the ideals are passed down through the generations.

“There’s that pattern in a lot of families,” he said. “It’s the preservation of the union our ancestors fought to preserve, it’s passing down the freedoms we enjoy to other people and families.”

Despite that, Britton said the huge variety and sheer number of veterans seen in Greenlawn is a rarity, especially because of its small size.

“You can see the generational commitment present in those families,” Britton said. “That amount of concentration is pretty unusual…I’m still blown away by those numbers…It’s pretty extraordinary.”