|Grave of Rev. Aaron Grosh,|
Marietta Cemetery, Marietta
I made note of it at the time, filed it under "people of importance whose grave I should visit," but as with everything else, it got jostled to the back of my "to do list." But a phone call from Charlene, the National Grange Youth Director (and a really good friend of mine) set me off on another series of adventures to locate not only the two founders in Pennsylvania, but a long-term goal of visiting the final resting places of all seven founders.
A phone call earlier this year set me off on another interesting adventure. "We're trying to find the graves of the founders of the Grange and Ed (the National Grange Master) wants to know what the condition of those graves are. Interested?" Of course I'm interested. It would be another adventure and I'd get to see some new parts of the state that I hadn't visited before.
Reverend Aaron Grosh, along with Oliver Hudson Kelley and five other men formed the agricultural organization Order of the Patrons of Husbandry (also known as the Grange) in 1867. Of the seven founders, less is known about the early life of Rev. Grosh than any of the other founders.
What is known about Rev. Grosh is the fact he was born May 22, 1803 in Marietta and was a pastor of the Universalist faith. It is known he worked on a farm and was a teacher for a while before becoming a minister. Due to health issues, he later stopped ministering and took a clerk job at the Department of Agriculture. Grosh became involved with the founding of the Grange through a friendship he had with another of the founders, William Saunders.
Rev. Grosh was the first chaplain of the Grange and under his penmenship, many of the songs and and the ritual that is a part of the organzation was written. He also wrote the Odd Fellow's manual and much of the ritual that they still use to this day. Grosh died May 27, 1884 and was buried in Marietta, his hometown.
After a couple back and forth messages with Charlene, I made the mistake of bragging "I'll have his grave found in fifteen minutes or less." After all, how big can this cemetery be? Marietta doesn't look that big on the map. Little did I know what I was getting myself into.
|Looking from the roadway in Marietta Cemetery -|
Rev. Grosh's grave is under the tree to the left
Early one morning, I picked Adam up and south we headed. As I pulled into the cemetery, I mumbled under my breath, "What have I gotten myself into?" The map online of the cemetery didn't quite look as big as it really was. The grounds were crowded with old headstone and a couple sections of newer stone (which thankfully I could cross out on my list of places to search).
"Fifteen minutes?" Adam spoke. "There's a couple thousand stones in this cemetery. Where are we going to start?" We spread out and in less than nine minutes, Adam called out that he had found it. I hurried over to take a look. The old stone was weathered and showed it's age, but it was still legible for the most part. At the base of the stone was a marker placed there by the Grange during its one hundred year celebration.
Next to him is buried his wife, Sarah, whose stone is in as excellent condition as that of Aaron's. We took a couple of pictures and I took the time to clean the dead grass off of his stone before deciding it was time to leave this old cemetery in peace.
Finding his grave isn't too hard - there is only one road that leads in and out of the cemetery. Enter into the cemetery from West Fairview Avenue on that road. There is one mausoleum in the Marietta Cemetery -stop and park in front of it and look to the right. There are two pine trees in the cemetery in view looking to the right - he is buried under the farthest pine tree.
With one founding father down, it is time to turn my attention to another of the founding fathers, William Ireland.