CBAP Grantee: East Hill Cemetery

Most Rush Countians know that U.S. Presidential candidate Wendell Willkie is buried at East Hill Cemetery. But did you know that the composer of the popular gospel song, “Bringing in the Sheaves” is also?


Fascinating historical anecdotes like this can be learned from new signs at the cemetery. All it takes is a scan of the QR code with your phone to be transported back in time. An RCCF grant awarded through the CBAP (Community Based Action Planning) initiative, made these additions possible.


Once the project is completed, 18 signs will prompt visitors to learn about local leaders who are buried here and their contributions to local and national history.


Delbert Frazier, president of East Hill’s board of directors, shared “We’re really excited about the signs! We see people use them frequently.”


East Hill Cemetery is certainly one of the most beautiful spots in Rush County. It is what is known as a garden cemetery and is one of the first in the U.S. According to Find a Grave, “Unlike a ‘burial ground,’ a ‘garden cemetery’ is laid out with a system of intricate avenues that take advantage of the natural contours of the land and the beauty of the location to create a park-like setting.”


It was established in 1859. The designer, Leo Weltz, was born in Prussia and served as the head gardener for Tsar Alexander III of Russia before coming to the United States in 1851. It took several months for him to complete the design.


The next time you’re looking for something to do, why not head to East Hill to take in the scenery and discover some facts about local history? You’ll be glad you did.

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