Green Lawn
A Very Special Park
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Founders of Columbus

Friends of Green Lawn, a group dedicated to preserving the heritage and beauty of Green Lawn Cemetery, invites you to take a historical tour of this treasured Columbus landmark. As one of the oldest cemeteries in Ohio, Green Lawn serves as the resting place for well-known and influential notables who made significant contributions to Columbus and the entire country.

The tour will take you back in history to 1795 when Lucas Sullivant first surveyed the area now called Franklin County. The tour continues with stories and anecdotes of famous-and not so famous-inventors, entrepreneurs and city leaders of yesterday, who helped make Columbus the city it is today.


Lucas Sullivant

Lucas Sullivant has been called by historians the man who did more to shape Columbus than any other individual.

In the spring of 1795, Sullivant was appointed by the government to survey the lands close to the state of Virginia. He and his team of men entered the land now called Franklin County. It was there, at the confluence of the Scioto and Olentangy rivers, that Sullivant decided to make a land claim and eventually build a town. Two years later, in 1797, Sullivant was back in "Ohio Country" to begin fulfilling his dream by building a city on his 6,000 acres. The city was known as Franklinton.

Originally buried in Franklinton Cemetery, he was moved to Green Lawn Cemetery in the 1880's.


Dr. Lincoln Goodale

Dr. Lincoln Goodale was the first physician to practice medicine in what is now the city of Columbus. He read with Dr. Leonard Jewett of Washington County to learn the "trade" before coming to Franklinton. Goodale also opened and ran a general store and drugstore in the city.

During the War of 1812, he volunteered and served as an assistant surgeon for the United States Army. Goodale was known for his charity in providing medical assistance to the poor. He donated Goodale Park to the city.

Originally buried in Franklinton Cemetery, he was moved to Green Lawn Cemetery in the 1880's.


Alfred Kelley

Alfred Kelley, who represented Cleveland in the Ohio Legislature, was the youngest member of that branch when he was elected in 1814. When he retired in 1857, he was the oldest member of the Legislature. Appointed as commissioner of superintendence to oversee the building of the canal system of Ohio in 1825, Kelley's vigilance over the quality of materials and the caliber of workmanship became a classic in the annals of Ohio's history. His magnificent, Greek revival mansion on East Broad Street (now gone), however, was equally well known as "The House That Saved Ohio," when Kelley pledged its worth and his personal securities as collateral for bonds floated on the New York market to complete the building of Ohio's canal system.


Simon Lazarus

Family patriarch, Simon Lazarus, opened a one-room men's clothing store in downtown Columbus in 1851. By 1870, with improvements to the industry in the mass manufacture of men's uniforms for the Civil War, the family business expanded to include ready-made men's civilian clothing and eventually a complete line of merchandise. Sons Fred Lazarus, Sr. and Ralph Lazarus joined the business and added many innovative marketing techniques. They developed many shopping firsts such as "one low price" (no bargaining necessary), first department store escalators in the country, first air-conditioned store in the country, and successfully lobbied President Franklin Roosevelt to permanently fix Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday in November, ensuring a stable timetable for the official beginning of the Christmas shopping season.


James Preston Poindexter

An elder Columbus statesman, James Preston Poindexter was born in 1819. At ten, he became an apprentice harber, learning his lifelong trade. Upon marrying and moving to Columbus proper from Dublin, he was part of the Underground Railroad, helping escaped slaves travel to Canada.

In 1858, Poindexter became pastor of the Second Baptist Church, a post he held for 40 years. Meanwhile, he served as a Columbus School Board member, advocating desegregation, and as a trustee of the State School for the Blind and of Wilberforce University. He was the first black elected to the Columbus City Council, first in 1880 and again in 1882.

After his death in 1907, the Second Baptist Church adopted his name in memory. A building at Wilberforce University bears his name and a government housing project completed in 1939 was named Poindexter Village.


Washington Gladden

One of the best known ministers and orators of his day, Washington Gladden authored more than forty books on religion which were internationally distributed. His most famous book, Who Wrote the Bible? presented the results of vast research by world famous scholars in a convenient and readable form for both clergy and laity. A progressive and outspoken clergyman, Reverend Gladden led a national fight against religious organizations who obtained money by questionable methods, coining the term "tainted money."


P.W. Huntington

Pelatiah Webster (P.W.) Huntington founded The Huntington National Bank in Columbus in 1866. P.W. was known for his individuality and basic, commonsense approach to business. Green Lawn Cemetery was a special interest of Huntington's. He was one of its trustees for 42 years and president for two years. He was largely responsible for the chapel of Green Lawn and donated the pipe organ. His Sunday afternoon routine included a visit to the bank and a horse and buggy ride to the cemetery to check its affairs.


Ovid W. Smith

Ovid W. Smith was a Civil War veteran who received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his participation in the Andrews Raid. In 1862, a band of 24 Union soldiers, led by Ohioan James J. Andrews, stole the locomotive General behind Confederate lines in Georgia, hoping to cripple communications. The raiders, pursued by Confederate soldiers aboard another locomotive, were captured after a 90-mile chase. Smith, who was captured and jailed before the actual raid, was the only raider whose whereabouts were unknown by historians until 1985. Smith concealed his age and enlisted in the army with the first name of "James" when he was 16. He died of pneumonia at the age of 22.


Gordon Battelle

Gordon Battelle's 1923 will provided that the bulk of his estate be used for creative research and the making of discoveries and inventions. The Battelle Memorial Institute, funded from the family's fortunes in the early steel industry, was involved in the "Manhattan Project," which resulted in the development of the atomic bomb in World War II. This eventually led to the institute's work in nuclear research. Known internationally for many contributions, the Institute is probably best known for the invention and development of "xerography." Gordon Battelle's mother was equally memorable in her day. She was one of Columbus' leading and most formidable social matriarchs.


Samuel Bush

Samuel Bush, grandfather and great grandfather of both Presidents George Bush, respectively, was an early Columbus industrialist and president of Buckeye Steel Castings. His son, Prescott Bush, left Columbus as a young man to attend Yale University. After graduating in 1917, he became a banker in Connecticut and eventually a United States senator from that state, serving from 1952 to 1963.


Alice Schille

Alice Schille, a noted artist specializing in water color and oil, was a teacher at the Columbus Art School. An international painter, she studied at the New York School of Art and at the Colarossi Academy in Paris. Her exhibitions included the Carnegie International Exhibition, the Society of American Artists in New York, the Pan-American Pacific Exhibitions in San Francisco, the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts, the Chicago Art Institute and the Boston Art Club, where she won numerous prizes and gold medals, including the Gold Medal for Water Color at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts in 1915. She painted in the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, Europe, North Africa, and the Near East, using an Impressionistic technique which evolved into a decorative style.


Eddie Rickenbacker

Eddie Rickenbacker was considered America's foremost race car driver before earning his reputation as a WWI flying ace downing 26 enemy planes in four months. He was U.S. representative for the Folkker Aircraft Corp., president of the Bear Cat Engine Company and the Rickenbacker car manufacturer, and founder and president of Eastern Airlines. A Columbus native, Rickenbacker was hailed a hero and honored with a hometown parade upon returning from WWI with the Croix de Guerre, Legion of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross and Medal of Honor.

Rickenbacker, who worked for a monument maker at the age of 16, carved the headstone for his father's grave located in section 58 at Green Lawn.


James A. Rhodes

Rising up from humble beginnings, James A. Rhodes became one of the two longest serving governors in American history (the other was George Wallace of Alabama). In his sixteen years as Ohio's top official he built highways and airports, increased industry and expanded universities. His gubernatorial career spanned the 1960's, 70's and 80's.

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