The older of Painesville’s two burial grounds, Evergreen Cemetery has a rich history that dates back to 1859 when the then Village of Painesville began to buy land from four Western Reserve families: the Littles, the Blackmores, the Cooks, and the Fraziers. 
 
The cemetery was established on those original 24 acres of land on March 17, 1860 on the corner of Casement Avenue and Main Street. Celebrated for its natural beauty and unique design, people began to visit the cemetery weekly for walks and picnics. 
 
In 1897, newspapers reported that the Old Burying Ground’s land on Washington Street would be used for educational purposes – the construction of what was Harvey High School. Those buried on the Washington Street property would have to be moved. Many of those laid to rest in the Old Burying Ground were relocated to Evergreen Cemetery.  
 
Because of this increase in lots, the cemetery began to purchase additional land. By 1938, Evergreen Cemetery’s acreage had increased to its current size of 34 acres. As of 2007, there have been 18,740 burials recorded here.
 
Due to the ever growing population of the area, in 1953 the City of Painesville purchased the 50 acres for Riverside Cemetery off of Riverside Drive.
 
 
Superintendents
There have been nine sextons of Evergreen Cemetery, the first of which was Thomas Smith. The title of “sexton” was changed to “superintendent” in 1885 when H.L. Barstow became the second man to run the cemetery, holding the position for ten years. Graydon Sweet became the superintendent in 1936.  During his term, Sweet revitalized the cemetery and planted much of the foliage and shrubbery for which the cemetery is known, including oak, hickory and red Japanese maple trees. Sweet held this position until 1970, a record 34 years as superintendent of the cemetery. After Norman L. Eager retired as superintendent in 1999, the City of Painesville’s cemetery division was reorganized as part of the Department of Public Lands and Recreation.
 
 
Monument Row
Many prominent Western Reserve families rest in this row of obelisks and other monuments. The Young family’s land is now the home of the Lake County Courthouse. Their white monument is arguably the most unique in the cemetery, resembling a tree.
 
The Pratt family was well-respected by the early citizens of Painesville. Pliny Pratt owned a dry goods store and was also the trustee of the Congregational Church and a member of the Board of Education. Charles Pratt ran a factory on Walnut Avenue that made wooden toothpicks. His factory was located on top of a hill, giving it the nickname of Toothpick Hill. Grace Pratt married Allen Carpenter, a civil engineer for the Osborne Company of Cleveland. Their home was the former Morley Homestead.
 
Milton Canfield was a Municipal Court Judge for the City of Painesville’s Court of Common Pleas. He held this position from 1872 until his death in 1875. S.D.C. Canfield was the first person to be placed in the Receiving Vault on January 4, 1878.
 
The Holcomb family came to Lake County from Connecticut. They were important figures in the agricultural growth of the Western Reserve. Owning and improving over 100 acres of farmland, Dereath R. Holcomb made a generous living off of his crops.
 
Catherine Roddick was from a prominent Painesville family and became a reporter for many newspapers, including the Cleveland Plain Dealer. However, she was most often seen as a “Bag Lady” because she pushed a shopping cart filled with already used items up and down Main Street. Roddick was a dedicated servant to the community, leaving most of her $2 million estate to the Lake County’s United Way. (Division 5)
 
 
Receiving Vault
Built in 1877, the Receiving Vault was designed by J.C. McDonald to hold the people who could not be laid to rest in the frozen ground during the cold winter months.  It was used for the first time on January 4, 1878. (between Divisions 1 and 10)
 
 
Evergreen Notables
There are many notable people buried and memorialized in Evergreen Cemetery including over 300 Civil War veterans, 13 Revolutionary War veterans, important players in the women's rights movement and civil rights movement and many local heroes. 
 

Judge B. Burrows  (Division 24, along drive)

Burrows was a distinguished criminal lawyer and judge. He also served as Mayor of Painesville.  

 

 
Jack and Frances Casement  (Division 10, West Side)

John (Jack) Casement came to Ohio in 1850 to work for the railroads. Employed by the Lake Shore Railroad Company, Casement was sent to lay track by the Jennings’ farm. This was home to his future wife, Frances, who brought water to all of the workers.  Jack and Frances married in 1857. 

 

During the Civil War, Casement became a soldier and joined the infantry that gave Stonewall Jackson his only defeat. After the war, Casement then set out to help build the first transcontinental railroad and worked for the Union Pacific Railroad. The AMC tv show Hell on Wheels is loosely based on his character. Casement hired William F. Cody, also known as Buffalo Bill, to help him with the work. Their relationship continued to grow, so Buffalo Bill later brought Annie Oakley and the rest of his show to Painesville in 1901. Casement was also a trustee for Lake Erie College, focusing on the issue of installing lighting and heating for the buildings. Upon his death, Casement had laid more railroad track that anyone in the country.
 
Frances Jennings-Casement was a well-known advocate of Women’s Rights and the Suffrage Movement. She became the first president of the Ohio Women’s Suffrage Association and also formed a local branch of the Equal Rights Association. Along with her friends, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, Jennings-Casement helped pass the 18th Amendment, establishing prohibition, and the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote.  
 
 

Charles Eledge (Division 16, Lot 1)

Eledge was Corporal in Company C, 101st United States Infantry during the Civil War. He is one of two Black Civil War veterans in the cemetery and lies in an unmarked grave. 

 
 
Gladys Gibson  (Division F, Lot 8)
A hero of the Cleveland Clinic Disaster of 1929, Gibson chose to stay in the medical building that was filling with gas to call for help. She died from suffocation but saved countless others. Gibson was the first woman to receive the Theodore N. Vail Medal for Noteworthy Public Service.
 
 

Thomas Harvey  (Division 17)

Harvey was the superintendent of Painesville schools and the state commissioner of common schools. He authored many widely used grammar books including Harvey’s Reader and Harvey’s Grammar. Harvey also founded the Northeastern Ohio Teachers’ Association (N.E.O.T.A.). Painesville's Harvey High School is named after him.

 
 
Samuel Huntington  (Division 3)
Huntington became the Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court in 1804. He was also Ohio’s second elected governor, taking office in 1808.
 
 

Joseph Linhart  (Division 18, along Casement Avenue)

Linhart was laid to rest under the infamous “Not Guilty” grave, which has been featured on many tv shows about unusual stories and graveyards. As the story goes, after arguing over a cow, Linhart’s wife disappeared. He was later accused of his wife’s murder after she was found dead in a well. Linhart hired a prominent hot-shot lawyer, Homer Harper, who was said to have never lost a case. However, before Linhart could be tried he slit his throat with a razor. Many speculated that Linhart’s suicide was an affirmation of his guilt which meant that Harper had “lost” his first case. However, Harper had the words “Not Guilty” along with an inaccurate date of death, engraved on Linhart’s tombstone. Because Linhart’s death prevented him from being found guilty or innocent, Harper claimed that he still had not lost a case. 

 

 

John Flavel Morse  (Division 1, Lot 19)

Morse designed the Old South Church of Kirtland before becoming a State Representative. He later became Speaker of the House and a Senator. Morse was also a Captain during the Civil War and fought hardly for the abolition of slavery.

 

 

Eleazer Paine  (Division 4)

The nephew of Edward Paine, after whom the City of Painesville is named, Eleazer Paine was a drummer boy in the Revolutionary War. After bringing his family to Painesville in 1803, he opened a supply store but died shortly after.

 

 

Joseph Adams Potter  (Division 10)

A direct descendant of Samuel Adams, Potter was Captain in the Quartermaster’s Department during the Civil War, providing supplies to Union Soldiers.

 

 

Anson Sessions  (Division 8, Lot 7)

Sessions fought in the Revolutionary War and was highly admired. In fact, Aaron Burr asked Sessions to go with him on an expedition; however, Sessions refused because he did not trust Burr. He later settled in Painesville.

 

 

Abraham Skinner  (Division 4, Lot 22, Southeast Side)

Born in Connecticut, Skinner marched to Lexington during the Revolutionary War in 1775 in response to the Lexington Alarm. After coming to the Western Reserve with General Paine, Skinner erected a barn on the north end of the City which held the first court hearing in the County. Skinner Avenue is named after him.

 

 

Paul E. Tillotson  (Division 24, Lot 85)

Tillotson was a pitcher for the Cleveland Indians and later became one of the founders of the Tillotson Oil Company.

 

 

Howell Burr Treat  (Division 10, North Side)

Treat is the only Civil War veteran in a Lake County cemetery to receive the Medal of Honor. Bringing water to wounded soldiers very close to enemy territory, Treat went under heavy fire but managed to carry a wounded man to safety.

 

 

Edward Whiten  (Division 7, Lot 90)

Born in Maryland, Whiten fought in the Civil War as part of Company H, 29th United States Regiment, Colored Troops.  He is one of two Black Civil War veterans in the cemetery and rests in an unmarked grave. 

 

 

The Windeckers  (Division 2)

Coming from a family of industrialists, Charles and Robert Windecker’s chemical plant, Clifton Products, was influential in the development of beryllium. Their father, Clifton, was a founder of Diamond Alkali. This company was integral to the development of many chemical products including soda ash, an essential component in the production of glass. In 1936, the company began to work with magnesium oxide. This endeavor translated into a partnership with the United States Army to produce bombs during World War II. Diamond Alkali became the Diamond Shamrock Corporation in 1996 and moved their plant from Painesville, Ohio to Dallas, Texas. The Windecker mausoleum features a beautiful stained-glass Tiffany window.