Old City Cemetery

The Historic Old City Cemetery

The old City Cemetery on High Street is the most historic cemetery in Logan County. Henry Clay Ragland and many other of the town’s early prominent citizens are buried here. No one knows who and when the first person was buried here. So it’s hard to determine its age but it’s probably as old as the town itself. The Logan Courthouse Village was first established as Lawnsville in 1827. Anthony Lawson acquired a track of land containing the cemetery in 1842. His wife, Ann Lawson was murdered by slaves in 1847 and was buried here.  The name of the cemetery when Ann Lawson was buried has yet to be ascertained. When the town was first incorporated in 1852 as Aracoma, the cemetery became known as the Aracoma Cemetery (See comment below). The Aracoma name was changed to Logan in 1907 and sometime after that the cemetery was called the Logan Cemetery, the Logan City Cemetery and now it’s referred to as the the Old City Cemetery. Despite its long history and the prominent citizens buried here, the cemetery has a long history of neglect.

The Graves of Our Dead
Logan County Banner, March 31, 1898

We are told that the best evidence of our civilization is the manner in which we care for the graves of our dead. The savage, for a little time, bewailes [sic] the departed loved one, but marks his resting place with no stone, and never revisits the place which of all others should be the most hallowed. Civilized men, while bowing with resignation to the stern decree, which for a time severs the tenderest ties, never loses the hold upon the silken cord of memory, marks with monuments of stone, tree or flowers the graves of those he loved, and visits ever and anon their sacred urn. How is it with us of Logan county? How treat we the graves of our dead? Our cemetery here at Aracoma is sadly neglected. A few of the graves are cared for, but the great majority have been so neglected, that it is impossible to locate the graves of many who died even within the last decade. Just across the river from this place is the old Dingess burying ground, where the ashes of Peter Dingess, one of the fathers of Logan county and several of his children, as well as many others of the old pioners [sic] rest, which is in a sad and dilapidated condition. The fathers, mothers, wives and children of some of our wealthiest and most respected citizens sleep within its narrow confines. Their graves were once marked with respectable headstone, but today, the fences around it are destroyed, stock wanders over the sunken graves and the headstones are thrown down and broken. Something should be done to restore these graves, and that something should be done at once. Here in our cemetery at Aracoma, the authorities of the town should take hold of the matter, and see the cemetery is at least kept clean and under fence. Either our citizens or the town council should act at once.

*Credit and thanks to Brandon Ray Kirk for searching through the Logan County Banner microfilm at the WV State Archives in Charleston to find the above article.


 Taken Feb. 10, 2017 courtesy of Paula Solar.

The gallery below shows some of the headstones easily photographed without having to dig through the heavy brush and briars. Everyone is welcome to share any additional images or information about this cemetery.  If you would like to share a photo, please send it to the admin at loganwv.us@gmail.com.

Old City Cemetery

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20 Responses to Old City Cemetery

  1. Allen Lardieri says:

    I would love to try and help with the preservation of our old cemeteries.

  2. Nancy L.Chafin Nieves says:

    Nancy A Coalmer and Joseph Coalmer are my relatives…….Wm. A. Coalmer is also buried there. They were my mother’s parents and brother. Lived on Dingess Street.

  3. Michael Taylor says:

    I saw some WARD stones there, and Iwondered if there was a connection
    to the naming of Ward Rock Mountain?

  4. Dwight Williamson says:

    There is no deed on record for this cemetery, although the property is mapped and on record in the Logan Assessor’s office as “City Cemetery”. It is a one acre piece of property with a great deal of history. About half of the cemetery is covered in brush. Records show Mamie Thurman’s father to be buried at Aracoma Cemetery. If so, he’s in the brush. Soon I will be asking Logan County Commission to look into using non-violent inmates to clear the cemetery as it is not Logan City government’s responsibility and Henry Clay Ragland’s will only calls for his family plot to be taken care of by the Baptist church. I can find no record of burial plots, but there must be somewhere. One might be interested to know there was a cemetery beside of what is now Honaker Funeral Home………..many years ago.

  5. Jennifer Smith says:

    whoops. I meant to say, that I entered this cemetery on findagrave.com after visiting Logan. I’m working on changing the name at findagrave, but it’s not as simple as I first thought. I think I’ll have to go to the moderator of the site and make a request.

  6. Jennifer Smith says:

    I’m so glad that this cemetery is getting attention. I am descended from the Buskirk family, and entered this cemetery after visiting Logan a few years ago. I think I found the name “City Cemetery” from mapquest or google maps. Since then, in my genealogy research, I’ve found H.C. Ragland’s will, in which he calls this “Aracoma Cemetery.” He also bequeathed, upon his death, his home to his wife Louisa Goins Buskirk Ragland. Upon her death, the house and property were to go to the Aracoma Baptist Church, to use the house as a parsonage, and property proceeds for upkeep of the cemetery.

  7. Patricia Irvin Brown says:

    I’m so happy I’ve found out the name of this cemetery. It’s bothered me for years. It was almost in our yard.

    We used to play there occasionally, but the weed and snakes were pretty bad in the summer.

    I remember Claude and Jean White had the twin of Bill White buried there. That would have been about 1942-43. It was around the time I was born.

  8. Nancy Nieves says:

    My Grandparents and Uncle are buried at the City Cemetery. William A. Coalmer,
    Nancy A. Coalmer and Joe Coalmer. W. A. died and was buried on 3/4/1909 and
    Nancy A. 4/4 1915. Uncle Joe I do not have his dates. The graves are down by the
    wall in front of the cemetery. I was born and raised in Logan and played in the cemetery. We lived on Dingess Street my maiden name is Chafin. Thank all doing wonderfull things with all the W.Va. web..

  9. Patricia Irvin Brown says:

    I’m still looking for the name of the cemetery on High Street in the city of Logan WV. I remember it as a kid, living at 16 High Street. We lived where the big stone wall is/was. Maude and Hershel Williamson lived behind us and the White/Bennett’s lived on the other side.

    I know it was there, we used to play hide and seek.

  10. Barbara Randant Thomas says:

    Hello was told that the First Baptist Church was the over the up keep of the cemetery ‘Going to call tomorrow to see what i can find out . Seems no one knows this . Sure would love to find my uncle Kernney Henderson’s marker or grave He was buried there around 1930- 32. Does anyone have a map of the burial plots? Would be nice to get a reply thanks Barbara

  11. Barbara Randant Thomas says:

    Who owns this cemetery does anyone know? If so please post it here . Thanks

  12. Barbara Randant Thomas says:

    Henderson ,Hicks , are some of my family . They both are old family from Logan ,

    Barbara Randant Thomas

  13. Barbara Randant Thomas says:

    My uncle Kernie Henderson is buried there, I tried finding his grave with no avail. I was in Logan last summer my sister and i with our cousin who’s the granddaughter of K Henderson. What we found there was very sad. I would love to help in some way , Can you end me information ? Thanks

  14. Shelby Burgess says:

    Thanks, for the City Cemetery pics. I dont remember where, but I read that the head of the Chambers clan is buried there. The Rum Creek Chambers and the Burgess’ intermarried, and some are buried in the City cemetery.

  15. ralph h. mcneely says:

    hi… i dont know if anyone has seen this, but in the first photo here, the ragland site.
    to the left of that is a wall and weeds on top.. that is a family plot site, the gate to it is one the left side facing city view.. i tried to get in it but it is full of tall weeds.. i could not see a name on any of the stones,, the one to the right just inside the gate just says baby.. the gate is very nice and well made…

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