Cemetery Photographs
Delaware County

Photographs and historical significance of gravestones provided by: Mark Kreps

Olive Branch Cemetery

Washington Township

LOCATION: Washington Twp. - SEC 11 - Proceed north on Wheeling Pike until reaching the town of Wheeling where Wheeling Pike t's into 1183-North. Head east until shortly thereafter reaching 364-West. Turning north onto 364-W-South and then proceed to 1268 North, turning west which turns into around the corner to 400 West. Proceed north passing the Elizabethtown historical marker (Photo below). Turn west to the next road north which is in Grant County, there is a Dead End Sign. Then turn onto the Dead End where it circles around and heads south back to Delaware County. The Olive Branch Cemetery is on east side of the road about 1/8 mile down the deadend.

HISTORY: Historian, John Ellis wrote about the settlement of Washington Township: "The first cemetery in the township was Olive Branch cemetery, at the north center of section 11, and near the Grant county line. It consisted of one acre of land, and was donated by William Heal, in 1836, to the township. The first person buried in this cemetery was the remains of John Watson, who died in 1837."
Historian Thomas Helm: "The remains of the donor and his wife, Olive, are also among the occupants of this silent city." My note: it is generally thought that the cemetery was named after Olive Heal. This is quite likely, as the M. E. Church built in about 1834 was named after her - she an active and interested member of the church.


Olive died Sept 9, 1843, aged 44y 11m 5d
William died April 16, 1842, aged 55y 7m 17d
William a War of 1812 Veteran.
His cabin was relocated and is now at the Delaware County Fairgrounds.

Daughters of Thomas and Susannah Littler
Rebeca A Littler, died Sept 17, 1830, aged 1y 7m 5d,
has the earliest known marked burial of Delaware County.
Sister, Jane Littler, on same stone, died Jan 18 1836, aged 6y 27d.

HEAL & LITTLER EARLY PIONEERS - Historian Thomas Helm wrote:

    In the early part of the year 1829, William Heal started on foot from his home in Muskingum County, Ohio, to select and enter a farm in Indiana, and finally decided upon the tract in Section 15, which he entered at the Fort Wayne Land Office on the 12th day of September of the same year. He returned to Ohio for his family, and, with three two-horse wagons, they set out on their journey.
    At Columbus, Ohio, they formed the acquaintance of Thomas Littler, who, with his family, was on route from Virginia to the prairies of Illinois. The two families became companions on the journey, and as Mr. Heal was the first to reach his destination, reluctant farewells were about to be exchanged, when Mr. Heal suggested to his friend that this would be quite as good a location as the point upon which he had decided. Pleased with the location, and unwilling to sever a friendship so firm as that which had been formed between the two families, Mr. Littler went to Fort Wayne and entered land adjoining Mr. Heal.
    These two were the first real pioneers of the township. Their entire attention was occupied in the development and improvement of their respective farms, and their labors were bestowed upon this object with an energy that brought about rich results. Both improved large farms: Mr. Heal occupied his during the remainder of his life; Mr. Littler sold out in 1865, and removed to the State of Iowa, where he still resides.

Died Feb 1849 - Aged 92y 7m
The person with the earliest birth (abt 1756)
buried in Olive Branch Cemetery.


Joseph Wilson and Uriah Powers first operated a flour mill and saw mill around which the village of Elizabethtown grew up in the 1830s. Wilson named the town after his daughter Elizabeth, and had high hopes for the community for the prospective county seat of a county which was to be formed from land in the northern part of Delaware County and unorganized territory to the north. When Blackford County was platted in 1839 and did not include Elizabethtown its importance began to wane, though a distillery and mill continued to operate here until 1870.

Rees Cemetery