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Monument to Lowell’s past

Town’s early leaders are buried in Buell Cemetery

June 16, 2012
By Evan Bevins - The Marietta Times (ebevins@mariettatimes.com) , The Marietta Times

LOWELL - On a hill in Lowell stands a more-than-12-foot-tall monument to Capt. Frank Buell, remembering him as "a true soldier" and "a brave officer."

"The members of his artillery unit had this erected in his memory," said local historian Scott Britton.

The towering grave marker is at the center of the Buell Cemetery, the final resting place of multiple key figures from Lowell's history, Britton said. The cemetery is located on private property off Walnut Street in Lowell.

Article Photos

EVAN BEVINS The Marietta Times
Local historian Scott Britton looks at the monument to Capt. Frank Buell, a Washington County prosecutor killed at age 25 in the Civil War, at the Buell Cemetery in Lowell.

Frank Buell's father was Perez Barnum Buell, an early settler in the area and the first postmaster in the village, when it was originally named Carroll. He built a log house on the hill in 1835, not far from the cemetery.

Perez Buell and his wife, Elizabeth Rector Buell, are interred next to their son's grave. The Buells and the Rectors were two prominent early families in Lowell's history, and most of the people buried in the cemetery are relatives and descendants of theirs.

Frank Buell was elected Washington County's prosecuting attorney at the age of 22. A few years later, he and members of a local militia group enlisted in the Union Army a week after the start of the Civil War.

Fact Box

Buell Cemetery

Location: Private property off Walnut Street in Lowell.

Interments: More than 18.

Last burial: 1923.

Maintained by: Adams Township trustees.

Notable burials: Capt. Frank Buell, former Washington County prosecutor and Civil War veteran killed in action; his father, Perez Barnum Buell, Lowell's first postmaster.

"When the Civil War broke out, he raised the very first company that came out of Washington County," Britton said.

The Union Blues, as Company B of the 18th Ohio Infantry was known, served three months guarding railroads, and many of them re-enlisted afterward.

Buell wanted to start an artillery unit, but Ohio military officials said they had enough of those and suggested he form an infantry unit. Instead, Buell contacted Virginia leaders that remained loyal to the Union and offered them his services.

"And they said, 'sure,' because the western part of Virginia was having trouble recruiting soldiers," Britton said.

Buell's battery, the 1st West Virginia Light Artillery Battery C, battled Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson, "chased him around the Shenandoah Valley in 1862," Britton said.

In August of that year, they became involved in a skirmish at Freeman's Ford in Virginia, not far from where the Second Battle of Bull Run would be fought a week later. Buell's unit was charged with stopping Confederate forces from crossing the ford.

"The next to last round (of artillery) that was fired by the Confederates hit (Buell's) horse, and his horse fell on him and crushed him," Britton said.

Buell died from his injuries later that day.

A letter sent by the soldiers in Buell's unit to Buell's family and local newspapers described him as "a father, brother and friend," Britton said.

Britton's heard stories that Buell's horse, named Billy, was buried in Lowell with him, but he said it's unrealistic the animal would have even been brought back from Virginia.

"There's certainly not any room here that I can see" where the horse would have been buried, he said.

There are 18 markers still standing in the cemetery, and Britton said there are likely more people than that buried there, their monuments lost.

The cemetery is now maintained for by the Adams Township trustees, but Yasuko Brown, 81, who lives nearby, said she and her late husband used to care for it out of respect for the dead.

"I used to do it," she said. "I liked to keep everything clean."

 
 

 

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