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Society of Friends, Quakers

Record of Removals from Friends, Quakers Burying-Ground to Oak Hill Cemetery
Battle Creek, MI 1921

 
The following transcription is taken from a manuscript housed at Willard Public Library, Battle Creek, MI. There is no author given.
 

1835 – Four New York Quakers: Johnathan Hart, Abram, Joseph, and Isaac Merritt purchased a one half interest in the village of Battle Creek, then Merriton.  

1836 – A Meeting was organized, and a parcel of land was selected outside the village, on the east side of the Emmett line for a burying-ground.  

1848 – Having become too near, it was abandoned and a new site purchased on Fremont St. to which the bodies were removed by Ogden Green and David Waters.  

Members of this early Meeting were Eli and Rachel Lapham, Isaac and Mary Merritt, Isaac and Sarah Sutton, Jacob and Mary Frost, William and Gulielma Knowles, Joseph Kirby and wife, Reynolds and Deborah Cornell, Jonathan and Mary Hart, John Meachem, Linlay Bowne, Henry and Phoebe Willis, Erastus and Sarah Hussey, Isaac Mott, Elias and Amy Manchester, George Tagg, Cholett and Martha Cady, Nathaniel and Eliza Potter, Homer Case, Amos Harrington, Almon E. Preston, George Bradley, Ambrose Cocke, Jeremiah Brown and wife Deborah.  

Mary Tagg and Linlay Bowne were the first to be married in the Meeting.  

1843 – The society erected a Meeting house on Maple St., now Capitol Ave.

1860 – This property was sold to the Catholic Denomination.  

1861 -A second Meeting house was erected on West Main St., now W. Michigan Ave. in Bedford Township, Calhoun Co. where there were several families of the faith: Taggs, Stringhams, Pugsleys, Kirbys, Frosts, Bownes, Beviers, Shotwells, Bunnells. The building is still standing (1934). It is used as a dwelling.  

1871 – After selling the Main St.house, a little white building was erected in their burying-ground on Fremont St. It is still standing (1934). Nathaniel Potter and George Bradley helped with the building. Nathaniel Potter was the last one buried in the burying-ground.  

1899 – Lack of immigration of Friends from the East, marrying out of the Meeting, Spiritualism, and other religions and the, “call of the world” had so reduced the membership to six: Levi Pitman and wife, Isaac Willis and wife, George Case, Amos Farrington; so the Meeting was “laid down” and the members became members of the Half-yearly Meeting, its superior, at *Pelham, Ontario, Canada.   

The last Meeting was held by one person, George Case.  

1899 – The city secured the lease of the property for park purposes. The lease is to own 99 yrs., at $50 per year. At its expiration to be returned to the Friends’ control. It was called Fremont Park.  

1899-1900 – Bodies were removed to Oak Hill Cemetery. See Burial section.  

*The Battle Creek Monthly Meeting and the Pelham Half Yearly Meeting belonged to the Genesee Yearly Meeting, which was composed of the Liberal Branch in Western New York, Ontario and parts of Michigan and Ohio.  

1921 – The Battle Creek Chapter D.A.R. by petition, secured the name Fremont Park changed to Quaker Park, and placed a boulder with a bronze plate mark the Friends’ last spiritual home and meeting place:  

Site of Burying-Ground
And Meeting House
Of the
Society of Friends, Quakers
(Insignia)
Placed by the Battle CreekChapter
Daughters of the American Revolution
1921

                                                           Removal from
Name                     Age     Death      Notes          Friends Ground
Atkinson, Caleb                                            11 Oct 1899
Atkinson, Caly                                             11 Oct 1899
Atkinson, Thomas         74      9 Sep 1863                11 Oct 1899
Bowne, Theodore          7       Jun 1851 (poss. 1857)     1891
Brown, A. D.                                               1899 [?]
Carpenter, Dr. S. D.             16 Nov 1857               11 Jan 1900
Carpenter, Phebe                                           16 Apr 1900
Cook, Emma                                                 24 Oct 1899
Cook, Emma M.                                              24 Oct 1899
Cook, Harry F.                                             24 Oct 1899
Cook, Joseph                                               24 Oct 1899
Cox, John                69      Mar 1878                  23 May 1891
Ensigh, Datus                                              1899 [?]
Gray, Duane                                                12 Jan 1900
Halsted, James           15      Sep 1867                  1899
Hart, Johnathan          63      Sep 1858
Hart, Mary L.            38      Feb 1840 wife of Johnathan
Iden, James R.                                             31 May 1900
Iden, Thomas G. Sr.                                        18 Oct 1899
Iden, Thomas Jr.                                           18 Oct 1899
Jackson, Jacob           5       Dec 1845                  1899
Jackson, Lewis                                             1899
Jackson, Mary                                              1899
Jackson, Sarah A.                                          1899
Knickerbocker, Josephine                                   20 Dec 1899
Knickerbocker, Samuel (?)71      3 Apr 1881                20 Dec 1899
Merritt, Albert          3       1857                      8 May 1899
Merritt, Daniel          21      1839                      8 May 1899
Merritt, Dwight                  1863                      8 May 1899
Merritt, Emma            8       1852                      8 May 1899
Merritt, Johnathan       21      1837                      8 May 1899
Merritt, Joseph          71      1863                      8 May 1899
Merritt, Phoebe          79      1870                      8 May 1899
Morey, Bethia                                              20 Dec 1899
Morey, Susannah                  Aug 1846 Dau. Of B. & T.  20 Dec 1899
Morey, Thomas                                              20 Dec 1899
Mott, Mary A.                                              10 Jan 1900
Phaling, Phebe           34      1875                      ?
Pugsley, Palmer                                            2 Nov 1888
Streeter, Rebecca                                          11 Oct 1899
Stringham, Jacob         65      1856                      ?
Stringham, John          61      1876                      ?
Stringham, Julia E.      7mo. 9da1890     Dau. Of E. & G.  ? 
Stringham, Sara          75      1866     Wife of Jacob    ?
Titus, Frances W.        77      1894                      24 Mar 1908
Titus, Richard           68      1868                      24 Mar 1908
Titus, Richard, Sr.                                        24 Mar 1908
Williams, Isabel                 1850     Dau. Be[?] Sarah 1900
In 1900, Battle Creek bought 68 burial rights in Oak Hill cemetery for Friends' removal.

There were over 30 unknowns, but as many of the markers were made of wood.  The old Friends did not believe in monuments, and at one time, grave stones were abolished.