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Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

March 9, 2012


Back in about 1972, my great aunt told me of a cemetery on the edge of town. Some of my relatives were buried in it. The old East Cemetery.  “East” was my mother’s, mother’s, mother’s family. Something like that. They used to be the Easch family but that was too German and they were Hessians hired to fight the Colonists in the Revolutionary War.

One of the old Easch’s got captured. Sat out the rest of the war in a prisoner camp in Pennsylvania and was released when the Colonists won. He evidently was not about to return to Germany and was a bit uncomfortable with the German name hanging over him. He anglicized it and moved to Ohio. He set up a life in northwest Ohio and lived and died surrounded by countless Easts in the old graveyard.

A couple centuries later, Aunt Gladys tells me about the cemetery. I get a couple friends and go to the site. We enquire of the property owner about the cemetery on the back of her property, and within 15 minutes are nearly arrested by the local sheriff, who pulls up in a flashing squad car.

Seems the well-intentioned neighbor across the road saw four hooligans walking back to the cemetery and called the sheriff. The sheriff’s deputy was courteous and after ascertaining that we had permission from the landowner, shook our hands and drove away.

The cemetery had about three dozen slab tombstones. We took pictures, wondered about my relatives and left. A few of the tombstones had been knocked down and were propped up against trees. It was hard to know who was buried where.

That was 1972. I returned in about 2002. By then all the tombstones were knocked down and stacked against trees. A few years later, Meiers’ stores purchased the corner property and petitioned to move the cemeteries remains. My mom, one of the few known living relatives of the Easts was asked if the cemetery could be moved and new markers located in another township cemetery. It was OK by her, since the cemetery was in shambles anyway. The new group-tombstone commemorates all the buried Easch/East family members and that suited Mom just fine.

I spend a lot of time in cemeteries. It comes with the profession. In the past three weeks I have been in three cemeteries: one nearly forgotten cemetery hidden off a road near my home, one historic cemetery in Dublin and one “still-working” cemetery in town.

I thought of this the other day as I walked the Indian Run Cemetery here in Dublin just behind the library. It’s a fine place. I tip my hat to whoever is responsible. Yes, there are a few slab tombstones leaning against the stone fence, but many of them are weathered and still in their proper places. The “Dubin-esque” stone fence around the cemetery is immaculate.  The nearby Dublin Veterans Park is a fitting addition to the grounds.

How we treat our dead and their memory says a lot about us as a community.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing

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