Vacation turns into 15-year commitment
Benjamin Carroll walked with a limp to his mother and father’s graves Thursday afternoon.
&uot;I hurt myself working out here,&uot; said Carroll. &uot;I got a vine wrapped around my leg and I hurt my hip. It caused my arthritis to flare up. But I enjoyed doing it. Sometimes a peace of mind means more than money.&uot;
Carroll a native of Greenville moved out of the Camellia City and up to Warren, Ohio at the age of 21 to pursue his career at the age of 21. But, he never forgot his roots and in 1990 returned to Greenville on a vacation to check on his parent’s final resting place and was shocked at the sight that lay before him.
&uot;You couldn’t get out there unless you cut a trail,&uot; said Carroll.
From that point, Carroll began doing his part to push the forest back and bring the Peavy Cemetery into the public’s eye.
Peavy Cemetery, located off of Kolb City Road was originally used by Simpson Chapel Church and according to Carroll’s sister, Annie Singleton had a lot of it’s members buried here.
&uot;The Peavy family donated the land to the church,&uot; said Singleton.
According to Carroll and Singleton, there are 97 known graves in the cemetery. That’s 43 with visible markers and 54 without. Despite not being marked, there are still people under the ground.
&uot;That hump over there is my father’s mother and daddy,&uot; said Carroll. &uot;Back in the old days, people weren’t buried in vaults. They were just put in boxes and then put into the dirt.&uot;
The graveyard has ties to people in various parts of the country: Philadelphia, Detroit and New York, according to Carroll.
&uot;A man was buried out here two years ago from Chicago, he requested for his body to be brought back here and buried,&uot; said Carroll.
Despite the word-of-mouth knowledge, Carroll and Singleton were surprised when they looked at a Butler County map and saw that their cemetery was not listed on there.
&uot;This cemetery was donated to the people and the church probably in the late 1700’s,&uot; said Carroll. &uot;I was very disgusted with my parents being here and the initiative and interest shown towards the cemetery. It wasn’t on Butler County’s map. It was other people buried out here. It was like a community grave as well as a church grave. There was no one with interest in cleaning it up. I started working on this in 1990 and then finished it in 2005. There is history out here. There are people’s parents out here. Parents were buried out here many years ago but they have taken no interest in maintaining and the upkeep of the graveyard. Everything out here that has been accomplished and achieved has been accomplished at my expense.&uot;
Both Carroll and Singleton are working hard to put their cemetery on the map. On Thursday, the siblings met with members of the Historical Society to gain information about putting Peavy Cemetery on the historical map.
&uot;After my death I’ve made provisions for the cemetery to be maintained,&uot; said Carroll. &uot;The county wasn’t going to upkeep. It’s not in the city so the city’s not going to have anything to do with it. It had to be done by a group of people or an individual. I chose to be that individual. I did it not only for the sake of my parents, but for the sake of other people’s parents that are buried out here.&uot;
Carroll plans to return to Warren, Ohio in early February. People who are interested in finding out more about Peavy Cemetery can contact Carroll in Ohio at 330-898-0014.