Thursday, June 9, 2011

William C. Schenck, founder of Franklin, Ohio

On Memorial Day this year, as I was visiting family grave sites back in my hometown, I took a few minutes to explore parts of the cemetery I had never visited. It was sunny and terribly hot—my husband sat patiently in the air-conditioned car as I wandered farther and farther away—and just as I was thinking I should head back to the car, I spied it: The grave of the town’s founder, William C. Schenck (b. 1773, d. 1821).

The inscription on the top of the chest tomb is weathered and, to my eye on that day, illegible. I am hoping that when the local American Legion post placed a new monument, they transcribed the original accurately.

sacred to the memory of
1773   age 48 years   1821
founder of franklin 1796
he lived universally respected
and died universally lamented

Click images to enlarge

From Franklin by Geoffrey G. Gorsuch (Images of America series),
William C. Schenck was the skilled land surveyor credited with laying out the village in 1796. Later he and other members of his family came from New Jersey to live in this community of cabins along the river. Schenck died at the state capital in 1821, probably of malaria, while serving in the legislature. He was originally buried in the Franklin Graveyard downtown.

Woodhill Cemetery, Warren County, Ohio

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