A Plea for Enforcement of Miss Mary Hedges's terms requiring Preservation & Maintenance of ancient Hedges Cemetery at Dunlap Station, Section 30 Miami Purchase, Township 2, Entire Range 1, inside the horseshoe bend of Great Miami River, Hamilton County,Ohio. Inter alia:15 Sept 1910 Transfer by Deed recorded 27 April 1912, Deed Book 1065, p63, microfiche cartridge, Hamilton County Recorder, 2nd floor with public access. My work during 2012-2014 on Findagrave is to attempt to resurrect Hedges Cemetery at Dunlap Station from its neglect and deterioration. The c1990-2013 purposeful neglect which The Gamble House has suffered [now demolished] at the hands of Louise Nippert's Indian Hill foundation, Greenacres has taught westside historians a lesson in not being proactive. This follows the bizarre 1960-1980s planned desecration of pioneer methodist, Ebenezer Cemetery, and the county's inaction to compel removal and re-burial of say 200-530 persons still buried there; Harold Hopping (1924/2005) findagrave 73037431 protested that loudly but is now sadly deceased and too many young people don't even seem to realize that the bodies are yes, all still buried there, although nary a stone remains on top of any grave. Harold traced his own heritage on a stunning mausoleum, New St. Joseph's Cemetery and fought to preserve westside settlers' stones after the Methodists (Ebenezer Methodist, Wilke Memorial, Oak Hills Methodist-burials lie under giant parking lot/day care center,5 points intersection) set them out for the trash. Not a joke.
On the Hedges Cemetery matter, like Harold Hopping, with whom I used to talk on the phone and later met with at the Indiana Alzheimer's care center where he later resided, I cannot accomplish the task alone so please do what you can and raise your protests too. The failure of the county to digitize its records and make them easily and readily available raises questions as to their full compliance with Public Records laws; this includes land deeds, commissioners minutes, and other early records now on microfiche (with broken equipment everywhere). One of the microfiche with important wording has been oddly scratched, 2005-2013, as if to destroy the one and only public record, or squashing the matter in effect.
I am particularly seeking descendants of Elias Hedges, wife Elizabeth Gaston Hedges, originally of Morristown NJ who removed from NJ about 1791; their disintegrating pioneer graves, among many others need preservation/replacement in the ancient burial ground on Elias & Elizabeth's farm which he purchased about 1805. 2013 was the 200th anniversary of his 1813 death and needed celebrating. Also see Johanna Curry Ludlow and related pic captions. Please post onto the public message board, and link your lines to the burials at Hedges.
The ownership of this cemetery is unreconciled, and ripe, with legal dispute established, 2005-2014. Miss Mary Hedges who never married, and died before 23 Aug 1920, was last descendant of one son of Elias & Elizabeth Hedges to own the family farm and cemetery. She was a daughter of Stephen Ogden Hedges and Sarah White Hedges, his wife. Mary carefully planned her 1910 transfer by deed, as proved by the 1912 recorded deed along with other descendants including Martin Pinney [Spring Grove Cem.], son of Sidney Pinney and his wife [at Venice Cem.]; he brought the 1910 Petition to the 3 Commissioners.
Mary planned for an executed contractual Agreement which required both Maintenance and Preservation for the cemetery. This critically important Agreement was entered into, a Petition was Presented and agreed to, an escrow account was funded/set up?, a deed was agreed to and duly recorded. But it seems that for the last 100 years the terms have not been enforced or even acknowledged...
I am having significant difficulties with Colerain Township (who regularly cuts the grass) and the Hamilton County Commissioners office in easily resolving the ownership, maintenance (above grass cutting), and preservation matters, so please write if you have insights or interests in this historic .44 acre cemetery, East Miami Rd, between Proctor & Gamble plant and new Heritage Park. Funding, historical insights, lineages, missing burials, et al is needed! I am trying to create Exhibits to prove that the owners of the cemetery are the three present (2013) Hamilton County Commissioners (not the county but the three persons) - errors may exist here so please verify details:
A. Last Will of Miss Mary Hedges, daughter of Stephen Ogden Hedges and his wife. Case #87746, as shown on her Will, Vol 149, p325-p328 (4 pages. Mary signed the Will,30 July 1914, witnesses, Arthur T Good, Eliz J Black. The Will was presented on 23 Aug 1920, but the date of 30 Aug 1920 also is there. This is online at Hamilton Co Probate Court (try probatect.org, then Archives Search under Record Search)[also 1920-1922 Estate, Book 62 p406 & p540,#87746]
Item 2, Will is where Miss Mary Hedges leaves her 76 acres, Colerain Twp., Hamilton County, to her sister, Amelia Hedges Willey and to Amelia's four named children: Anna M Bevis, Stephen E. Willey (1861/1945), Dora E. Willey and David H. Willey(1875/1959, he m. Olive Weaver; Spring Grove Cem).
Item 3, subsection (2) is where Miss Mary Hedges directs her executor to pay the Trustees of Colerain Township, Hamilton Co., OH the sum of three hundred dollars, which sum of money said Trustees shall invest and manage for the purpose of maintaining in an orderly and appropriate manner the Hedges' Family Cemetery located upon Mary's above described farm; the next clause of this Item 3, subsection (2) adds a bit of confusion into the mix: here the verbiage states "which cemetery has heretofore been conveyed to said Trustees".
ERROR: This recitation clause is somewhat inaccurate given that the 1910 Deed recorded in 1912, actually transfers the cemetery to the three 1910 Hamilton County Commissioners and their successors in that office, rendering the 3 current 2013 commissioners as the actual owners. So whether the word "Trustees" actually means "Commissioners" may become a sideshow issue to justify further delays.
The final clause of Item 3, subsection (2) states, "I direct that said Trustees shall annually expend on said cemetery in said manner the net income of said $300.00."
Will the county, commissioners, or the township be able to produce records reflecting this 1920- so 90+ yr old escrow account-- and its use of the interest for Hedges Cemetery at Dunlap Station. Mary also left her one half interest in a farm, Ross Township, Butler Co., OH to explicitly be sold and converted into cash (Item 3) to fund her cemetery escrow account among others. Written by DBardes, Feb 2013, but space does not allow further explanation here.