Our County History
by County Historian Marion W. Coplen

Because of Memorial Day observances next Saturday, interest is focused this week on our cemeteries. In this column today we will relate some of the history concerning Warsaw's cemetery, hoping that others will send in information on other cemeteries in our county for future inclusion in this column.

The first graveyard in Warsaw was a two-acre tract of land given to the county commissioners by Richard L. Britton in 1848. Actually, burials had been made in that tract for eleven years previous, beginning with the interment of Mrs. Daniel Webb in June of 1837. The location of this graveyard was near the present intersection of the Pennsylvania and Big Four railroads and just south of the gas works. This burial plot was so small and served so wide an area that it soon became filled. It became increasingly difficult to bury without trenching on a former grave.

Realizing the need of a more satisfactory burial ground, leading citizens of Warsaw began to urge the purchase of a new site. In the July 23, 1868 issue of a Warsaw newspaper, the editor stated that "the project of establishing a new cemetery in this place meets with favor--the ground at present does not contain more than two acres, it is too close to town, and cannot be beautified."

Several areas were considered, one being what is now Lakeside Park between Center and Pike lakes. When Dr. Jacob Boss offered a 40-acre tract of land on the eastern shore of Pike lake to the town of Warsaw, the trustees felt that this site was the best possible. It was just 79 years ago this Memorial Day, on May 30, 1874, that trustees James McManay, Hiram S. Biggs and Caleb Hendee purchased the site from Boss and his wife for $2,000. One of the stipulations which Boss made was that he was to be the first person buried in the new cemetery.

Man of the bodies were removed from the old to the new cemetery. There were a number of the bodies, however, which were left in the old burial grounds. Rather frequently some of these bones are dug up in the process of making excavations in the area of the old cemetery.

Warsaw Times-Union Tues. May 26, 1953