“Are you at the library now? I’m in town and can stop in. I’d like to see that picture of the field…”

After posting part one of the Worthington Cemetery Project, we received word of the name of a farmer who used to farm the land where the cemetery is located. I contacted the farmer by phone, and it just so happened he was in Defiance and could stop in. He had heard about the Worthington Project, knew of the field, and had identified a spot where he believed the cemetery to have been located. In less than 10 minutes, he had arrived at Defiance Public Library. He was shown the display, and the aerial photo with the cemetery location circled in red. He pointed his finger to the circled spot and started nodding his head. That was the spot, he said, and he believed it to extend some distance beyond the circle.

His family has a “hundred-year farm” just down the road a bit from the field. They had farmed the area for some years, but currently, another farmer uses the land. He remembers his father, who is gone now, talking about seeing gravestones in the cemetery when they were still standing. He also talked of it being a prairie before it was farmed, and a raging fire that once roared across it, giving rise to giant fireballs that flew from the field as you might see in the movies. All the while, the cemetery remained. He has found bits and pieces of stone markers in the dirt. Generally, everyone in the township knew of the cemetery.

This is wonderful confirmation for us in this research. The farmer said he would look at home to see if he kept any of the remnants, and remembered his father had also said the stones were used for other purposes once the field was farmed. The community shares pieces of this story, and those pieces can come together to create a full picture that honors those buried at Worthington Cemetery.

Click here to read part one of The Worthington Cemetery Project

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