Mount Calvary Cemetery (Columbus, Ohio)

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Coordinates: 39°56′50.6″N 83°1′28.12″W / 39.947389°N 83.0244778°W / 39.947389; -83.0244778

Mount Calvary Cemetery, looking east to I-70 and the downtown Columbus skyline.
Postcard depicting the "Priest's Circle," c. 1907. The altar-shaped monument at the base of the large crucifix is the grave of Bishop John Ambrose Watterson.
Some of the many grave statues in the cemetery. The lights of Cooper Stadium rise above the trees in the background.

Mount Calvary Cemetery is a Roman Catholic cemetery in Columbus, Ohio, located west of downtown next to Cooper Stadium and Green Lawn Cemetery. It is the oldest active Catholic cemetery in Franklin County.[1] It is maintained by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus, and has approximately 40,000 interments over 40 acres.[2]

Mount Calvary is divided into two sections that were historically paid for and separately maintained by two parishes of different ethnic backgrounds. The north section, "Holycross," was for the German parish, and the south section, "Cathedral", was for the Irish parish.[2] Separating the two sections is the "Priests' Circle," reserved for clergy.[3]


The cemetery was established in part to replace the old St. Patrick's Cemetery, which was located in downtown Columbus and had become encircled by the city's growth.[4] A plot of just over 25 acres of land, outside the city's original limits, was purchased in 1865 by John F. Zimmer in trust for the Diocese of Columbus, and burials on the site also began that year.[1] Zimmer purchased an adjoining two-acre plot in 1866, and sold the two plots to the Diocese in 1868.[1] The land was further expanded in 1871 by three plots purchased by Father John Ambrose Watterson, later Bishop of Columbus.[4]

The cemetery was consecrated in 1874 by Bishop Sylvester Rosecrans.[1] Bishop Rosecrans further directed that no more burials were to be made in the old St. Patrick's Cemetery. The Diocese finally requested in 1887 that burials be moved from there to Mount Calvary, but met resistance from family of the deceased. The controversy was ultimately decided by the Supreme Court of Ohio, which ruled in the Diocese's favor that the old cemetery was no longer practical to maintain.[4] Burials from St. Jacob Cemetery (also known as Frey Cemetery or German Catholic Cemetery) were also moved to Mount Calvary between 1906 and 1908.[5]

On March 25, 1913, a catastrophic flood devastated the nearby neighborhood of Franklinton and covered the western portion of the cemetery, destroying some property and records.[6]

Notable burials[edit]

  • Anna Marie Hahn (1906 - 1938), a serial killer who was the first woman executed in the electric chair in Ohio.[7]
  • Graham McNamee (1888 - 1942), pioneering radio broadcaster.[8]
  • John Ambrose Watterson (1844 - 1899), Bishop of Columbus from 1880 until his death; namesake of Bishop Watterson High School.[7]
  • Louis Zettler (1832 - 1907), Columbus businessman, City Councilman, and Chief of Police.
  • Doctor Oliver C Haugh (1871 - 1907), Doctor in Dayton, Ohio died April 19, 1907, 26th person to be executed in Ohio by Electric Chair in Columbus, OH. Convicted as a serial killer - burnt his parent's home near Dayton... killing his father, mother and brother. Also believed to have killed women in Liman, Lorain, Chicago, and Cincinnati. (Mary McDonald, Luella Mueller, Amy Steingeway, Mary Twohey, Anna Patterson, Mary Rickert). From a book titled Mount Calvary Cemetery by C. L. Miller "In an unmarked grave in the single grave, or the unconsecrated section. His records and the site of his final resting place are lost in the flood of 1913.


  1. ^ a b c d Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus, retrieved July 19, 2011 .
  2. ^ a b Miller, C. L. (2008), Images of America: Mount Calvary Cemetery, Arcadia Publishing, p. 9, ISBN 0-7385-5205-4 . Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Images_of_America_p.9" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  3. ^ Miller 2008, p. 11.
  4. ^ a b c Miller 2008, p. 7.
  5. ^ Miller 2008, p. 8.
  6. ^ Miller 2008, pp. 9, 125.
  7. ^ a b Blundo, Joe (July 3, 2011), So to Speak: Aficionado really digs graves - stones, that is, The Columbus Dispatch, retrieved July 19, 2011 .
  8. ^ Miller 2008, p. 126.

External links[edit]