attest to some of that. It is many hours of very hard work. Now days grave heaters thaw the ground in thewinter and mechanical diggers do the work in a short time regardless of the weather. Pumps can even pump out the water in the hole. When I placed a stone in a family plot on another cemetery the sextonwarned me to be careful digging even for a foundation for the stone as he stated he discovered thatsometimes old graves were not dug very deep. With the wooden casket rotted away human bones were allthat is left and as a hand shovel planted them there a hand shovel sometimes unintentionally disturbs themmany years later.Stillborn burials were sometimes placed on top of a prior burial or in a shallower grave. The villageundertaker came much later in time and was mainly a business to transport the body. Ormal Stevens andCharles Beebe may have been the first. Beebe had purchased a horse drawn hearse. They did not have or offer embalming, reconstruction and other funeral services we have today. Remember this was a very ruralarea and was mostly farmland. The village itself just had a few little shops.Also consider that many stillborns and newborns were
were rarely marked
. Many were
buried ontop of regular already used lots.
Very few of these were noted on any existing grave stone. Even nowmany families have baby graves without markers. Consider that
the older graves were most often notmarked by stones at all
the older part of the cemetery was considered full by 1945
and manyfamilies had to buy lots elsewhere. Consider that
there are 2600 grave spaces
inside the currently fencedarea even after subtracting aisles and drives and that there is considerable more cemetery property outsideof the current fence at the back. Consider that the “back” of the cemetery where many babies & pauperswere buried extended much further than the now fenced in area and was destroyed by the 1950s Red Run project and by erosion since. The fence was erected in 1986. Families who suffered stillborn or baby deathsdid not usually want a big funeral or a stone as there was a stigma about this. The family home served asthe funeral home and most families just buried the remains in the cemetery quickly and privately and didnot want a marker
to remind them of a stillborn or sickly often unnamed baby which would prolong thesorrow of the guilt ridden grief stricken mother.
County Death records for Warren indicate 50% of the recorded deaths were children prior toWWI. The sister cemetery St Clement with good records shows 1.5 children buried for each adultwith only about 6% of child deaths registered at the county.
Using that rate suggests the
possibilitythat there could be as many as 1500 babies and children buried there.
Add another possibly fewhundred or so adults without markers and you have the cemetery up to capacity. As we have been told bythe oldsters many times that the cemetery is full. The above makes mathematical since. But no one alivenow knows for sure. Additional collection of family records will give us just a few.Also the infant mortality rate back then was very high approximately 200 per 1000 per annum.Many other old cemeteries have hundreds of now unmarked graves many of which are children. Figure of the 1000 burials in Warren Union Cemetery only 150 show children when county death records of Warrenshow there are 500 child deaths per 1000 registered deaths average. That shows many unmarked plus whenone considers that
less than 6% were even registered
and considering the actual rate per the sister cemetery which is much higher, and also considering the mortality rate there are hundreds of additionalunmarked burials.
Researchers have done the math of all of the above and say that there is high probability thathundreds of children and many adults are buried in Warren Union Cemetery without markers
. Weshould at least recognize the possibility of this. In fact it is much more likely that there are many unmarkedgraves than now marked. This is true of many older cemeteries. Remember this is not a commercialcemetery like Forest lawn or Detroit Memorial where records have been maintained and burial practicesstandardized.A beautiful memorial was donated in memory of the children and pioneers now without markers.