Providing Compassionate Service since 1863 - Before, During & After

Our History

Ferncliff Cemetery Workers - 1891

Celebrating Life Since 1863

Springfield’s magnificent Ferncliff Cemetery began in 1863 when 70 acres were purchased with $300 from each of the founding members of the Cemetery. Subsequently a charter was secured from the State of Ohio. Ferncliff Cemetery was incorporated as a nonprofit organization, and the Ferncliff Cemetery Association was established.

The association consists of 25 members, men and women, who must be lot owners. The association members elect any new member to fill a vacancy and also elect nine of their fellow members as trustees to perform Cemetery governance.

The name Ferncliff signals the beautifully unique fern-grown cliffs located near today’s Plum Street entrance. Then, as now, Ferncliff stands unequaled in its beauty, landscape, and constant care. Most importantly, Ferncliff’s mission was, and is, to steadfastly serve Springfield in a fashion unrivaled by its peers. Ferncliff currently contains 240 acres with estimates indicating that it can compassionately meet the community’s needs for at least the next 100 years.

Today, Ferncliff’s Board of Trustees serve without fee and are committed to maintaining its historically high standards. Proceeds from lot sales and other sources are Ferncliff’s means of financial support. Minus necessary expenses, proceeds are invested with the income directed towards perpetual maintenance. Thus, lot owners and their descendants are guaranteed their loved ones’ resting place is given continual care, as the Ferncliff Cemetery grounds are improved, enlarged, and beautified.

Meticulous records of the over 67,000 burials have been maintained by hand over the years, and modern information technology has made it possible to computerize these records. Genealogical records may be requested by emailing our team

Notable People

Asa Smith Bushnell

1834 – 1904
Bushnell Mausoleum
Section P
40th Governor of Ohio

Harry C. Chakeres

 Died 1958
Section Q
Founder of Chakeres Theatres

Ray Cantrell

 1940 – 2004
Section 55
Owned Rick’s Fashions Americain – specialized in renting costumes plays, TV, and movies, including Seabiscuit, Forrest Gump, and Goodfellas.

John S. Crowell

1850 – 1921
Section I
One of the founders of Crowell-Collier Publishing – published The Woman’s Home Companion from 1873 until 1957.

George W. Clemens

First burial in Ferncliff Cemetery.
Died of spotted fever.

Oliver Smith Kelly

1824 – 1904
Section A, overlooking Kelly Lake
Local business leader, founder of O.S. Kelly Piano Plate Co. and mayor of Springfield.

George & Sarah Gammon

George 1803 – 1904
Sarah 1808 – 1902
Section F
Activist in the Underground Railroad – owners of the Gammon House – a noted safehouse.

Gary Adam Geis

1943 – 2016
Section U
Dance teacher and founder of the Gary Geis School of Dance and Company.

Ralph W. Hollenbeck

1880 – 1938
Section P
Insurance broker and co-founder and 1st president of Credit Life Insurance Co. Charter member of the Springfield Rotary Club and Springfield Chamber of Commerce. Prominent leader in the YMCA and Boy Scout movement.

General J. Warren Keifer

1836 – 1932
Section H
Brigadier General in the Civil War. U.S. Congressman 1905-1911

Ezra Keller

1812 – 1848
Section E
Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. One of the principal founders and 1st president of Wittenberg College.

George Durgans

1816 – 1882
Section F
Activist in the Underground Railroad

Bradley Kincaid

1895 – 1989
Section 28
Owner of Kincaid’s Music Store. Pioneer radio entertainer.

Richard Kuss

1923 – 2010
Section O
Community leader and philanthropist.

Brooks Lawrence

1925 – 2000
WWII Annex
Professional baseball player with the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds.

Johnny Lytle

1932 – 1995
Section 29
World-renowned musician.

Davey Moore

1933 – 1963
Section Y
World Featherweight Boxing Champion from 1957 – 1963. 1952 Olympian. Died from a championship bout in 1963.

Dr. Frederick F. Mueller

Section 34
Founder of the Clark County Board of Mental Retardation and the Town & Country Day School in 1952.

Christ Patsiavos

1904 – 1994
Section V
In the shoe shine business from the age of 14, he moved into the landmark red boot-shaped shop in 1952, and continued his life’s work until 1994. A founding member of the Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

James R. Schlesinger

1929 – 2014
Section E, Snyder lot
Economist and public servant. Served as Secretary of Defense and the nation’s first Secretary of Energy.

Henry Snyder

1783 – 1869
Section E, Snyder lot
Miller, Distiller, and Real Estate Holder. Donated 217 acres of land along Buck Creek, now known as Snyder Park.

Eliza Daniels “Mother” Stewart

1816 – 1908
Section L
One of the founders of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), and a great crusader in the Prohibition movement, she lead the “Women’s Whiskey War”.

Harry A. Toulmin

1855 – 1942
Section C
Nationally renowned patent attorney who oversaw the patents for the Wright brothers.

Harry Morris Turner

1904 – 2000
Section X
Cofounder of the Cincinnati Insurance Co. Philanthropist and founder of the Turner Charitable Foundation, major supporter of area non-profits, including the Springfield Arts Council.

James Richard Ward

1921 – 1941
WWII Mound
First Clark County man to die in WW II. He was trapped below decks of the USS Oklahoma, after rescuing 18 fellow crewmen, in the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. Though buried at sea, he is memorialized on the WW II Mound.

Jeremiah & Ann Aston Warder

Jeremiah 1780 – 1849
Ann Aston 1781 – 1871
Section C
Jeremiah was an owner of Warder, Mitchell & Co, manufacturers of the Champion Reaper. Through merger, this became International Harvester (IH). Ann was an early leader in the Underground Railroad. Together, they donated land to establish a free library, the Warder Public Library.