Welcome to Oxford Cemetery

History

The Oxford Cemetery Association was founded in 1855 by a group of private citizens who purchased 31.4 acres of farmland from W. A. Irwin. The land and its surroundings, just southeast of the University town of Oxford, Ohio was described by a visitor in the 1880’s, “For quiet beauty of scenery I have never seen anything to excel it and nothing to equal it except in Italy.”

The need for the new cemetery developed with the coming of the railroad. Junction Railroad Company had purchased a right-of-way from village officials to bi-sect the existing burial grounds that had served the small community since 1817. Many residents felt that cemetery to no longer be a suitable resting place for their loved ones. And so with a $500 first payment on the land, and $80 paid to engineer the new land, the Oxford Cemetery was founded.

The first Association Trustees were comprised of a representative cross-section of village dwellers: Thomas McCullough (merchant), J.D. Ringwood (grocer), James Smiley (farmer-banker), G.W. Keely (dentist), Elias Kumler (banker), Peter Sutton (Mayor) and Robert Ratliff (teamster). The first burial was Elizabeth Beeler Collins on August 1, 1855.

In the early years, graves were dug by hand and adverse weather prevented burials after November 1. A Chapel of 24 square feet was authorized and completed in 1870. It stands beautifully refurbished today as the cemetery’s Columbarium.

A comprehensive history of the cemetery was written by Sylvia F. Ferguson and is available today in the Lane Public Library for the avid historian. Complete with the smallest details and fascinating stories, the “Burial Grounds of Oxford, Ohio 1817 – 1987” is a must-read for anyone researching this acclaimed cemetery. Mrs. Ferguson’s comments betray her loving devotion to this work as she writes, “Each lot and monument in the cemeteries speak for their silent residents. They used whatever talents they had to mold a cluster of log cabins and unpaved dusty streets and primitive college buildings into a beautiful classic village on a hill above the Talawanda.”

Organization

Membership in the Oxford Cemetery Association consists of any person owning a lot or grave or acting heir to such deed in the Oxford Cemetery. An annual meeting is held in June of each year, at which time election of members of the Board of Trustees is held. The Board consists of nine members, with three members elected or re-elected each year for a three- year term. The Board elects from its number a president, vice president, and a treasurer. No member of the Board receives remuneration. The Board employs a clerk to keep financial books and co-sign all checks among other duties. The Board also hires a Manager of Cemetery Operations to reside on the premises and oversee compliance of all rules and regulations of the Cemetery Association. The manager also keeps records of all interments and lot ownership.

The cemetery is open for interments from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily with the exception of Sunday and legal holidays. Interments may be made on those days but an additional fee will be added to the regular interment charge. All funerals entering the Cemetery shall be under the charge of the Cemetery Manager and arrangements for the payment due to the Oxford Cemetery Association must be made prior to interment.

The most common option for burial is an in-ground burial of a body in a casket placed in a vault in the ground. Another respected option for burial is cremation. Cremains may be buried within an urn in a plot. The Oxford Cemetery also now offers individual niches in the recently opened columbarium in the chapel located at the top of the hill within the cemetery grounds. With either option, you can be assured that the cemetery staff will handle your arrangements with the most caring, dignified and respectful manner possible.

Our staff can be contacted by phone at -523- or by mail at 4385 Oxford-Millville Road, Oxford, Ohio 45056.

Future

For financial support, the non-profit Oxford Cemetery Association is entirely dependent on revenue from the sale of lots and burial services and from donations and bequests. The Board of Trustees of the cemetery invests a percentage of the monetary assets in perpetual care funds which are held in trust and invested as provided by law, and the interest from these funds are used to maintain both the infrastructure and the natural beauty of the cemetery.

Current projects needing attention in 2012 include restoring the oldest headstones, running electricity to the newly renovated Cemetery Chapel, expansion of new sections of burial lots, and significant road repair within the cemetery. In addition, the State of Ohio improvements to Route 27 along the entrance to the cemetery will require the cemetery to make a number of changes along the east border of the cemetery.

Cash gifts to the Oxford Cemetery Association are tax deductible and are as simple as writing a check to the Association and mailing it to the Cemetery address at 4385 Oxford-Millville Road, Oxford, Ohio 45056. A donor may also make a deferred gift to the Association by leaving a bequest in their will or naming the Association as the beneficiary of a retirement account, life insurance policy, annuities, or other P.O.D. (payable on death) assets.

The Cemetery Board is thankful for the many donors who have contributed over the years. Their gifts have provided much needed funds to repair and maintain the historic, attractive grounds of the cemetery.