Descendants of Samuel Waggoner attend memorial service

| May 21, 2018

WEST LAFAYETTE – Tucked back in a small corner of West Lafayette sits a peaceful and quiet cemetery where 10 veterans are laid to rest. The cemetery is the resting place of eight Civil War veterans, one WWII veteran, and one Korean War veteran. Each year, the Friends of the Waggoner Cemetery have a memorial service to remember the veterans who are buried there. This year was no different and while the past was remembered, each speaker also gave a voice of hope for the future of America.

“Our group should be very proud of all of our efforts since 1992 and use that pride to guide us into the future,” said Michelle Carpenter, Friends of the Waggoner Cemetery member.

Pastor Harold Sprague of Pleasant Valley Baptist Church gave the opening prayer and Carpenter led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Guest speaker was Larry Householder, state representative of the 72nd district, who spoke about courage.

“The folks that gave their lives, that’s courage,” said Householder. “Some died on their own soil like the eight buried here or are called to go on foreign lands and suffer the rain in the jungle or the cold in Germany. That’s real courage.”

Householder said that while we need to remember the past, we also need to face the future with faith, freedom, and liberty.

“The folks buried here at Waggoner Cemetery and cemeteries like this are a testament to what America is and the commitment to our faith and our liberty,” said Householder.

A list of veterans buried at the cemetery was read and Householder and Carpenter placed a memorial wreath by the flag. A gun salute and TAPS were performed by Newcomerstown Veterans Organizations.

Although only a handful of people come to the cemetery each year, this year had special guests from Oklahoma and Texas. Samuel Waggoner’s decedents were in attendance including his great-granddaughter, Joanne Waggoner Barrick, who came all the way from Stillwater, Oklahoma.

“I just want to keep it in the family heritage,” Barrick said. “It means a lot to me to heave relatives from way back in 1832, which is when we believe he settled here. This used to be Gordon Waggoner’s farm, which was Samuel’s great-grandson.”

She said she’s happy with the way the cemetery has been kept up by the Friends of the Waggoner Cemetery.

“I love it,” she said. “They do such a good job. Everybody contributes to the cemetery. We want to keep it up as long as we can.”

Mark Fletcher came all the way from Dallas, Texas to be at the ceremony. He is related to the Waggoner family on his mother’s side. He grew up on the old homestead which is located close to the cemetery.

“The main statue in the cemetery has two portraits on it and was sculpted in Italy from two snapshots,” said Fletcher. “The phosphorous in the stone would absorb the sunlight and the faces would glow after dark. I remember it used to be a big thing that the children would be brave and come over here after dark to see the glowing faces.”

He said there also used to be a schoolhouse and Waggoner picnic grounds nearby.

“When they had steam engines, they would stop and re-water the locomotive and let the passengers off at the picnic grounds,” he said. “The pump for pumping water is still there.”

There is also a small shed on the cemetery grounds that was known for housing stowaways on the train. The family is currently raising money to have the sycamore tree located next to the shed trimmed and cleaned up.

The Waggoner Cemetery has their annual memorial service each year the third Saturday of May. The public is always welcome to attend.

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About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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