by Sean Behling
Loveland, Ohio A cold, drizzly morning on Saturday, May 7 gave way to more tolerable midday weather when a momentous ceremony was held at Ramsey-Paxton Cemetery in the White Pillars Subdivision. It was a celebration of the unveiling of new headstones for Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Paxton, Captain John Ramsey and Isabella Paxton Ramsey. After a member of the Sons of the American Revolution gave a speech detailing the historical significance of Ramsey, Paxton and their family, a parade arrived, led by living descendants, to celebrate the renovations they made to the graveyard.
After the parade arrived, the national anthem was sung and people gathered to watch the inauguration ceremony. The inauguration featured 102-year-old Kay Promton, the oldest living descendant of Lt. Col. Paxton. Alongside Kay were community leaders and contributors to the restoration of Ramsey-Paxton Cemetery. The large crowd then gathered and listened to the heartwarming speech of Association President Rob Geiger.
After the touching speech, Geiger handed out plaques to those who had worked long and hard to keep this Loveland landmark intact. The plaques held the ceremonial keys to the cemetery and were affixed to pieces of cherry wood salvaged from a decaying tree that had to be removed during restoration of the cemetery.
The receiving plates were:
- Loveland Legacy Foundation
- Country of Love Magazine
- City of Loveland
- Paxton Grill
- Ramsey Trail
- Eads Fence
- Rainey Tree Service
- Riverview Landmarks
- Post 256 and American Legion Auxiliary
- Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5749
- Emma Clemons, Girl Scout Troop 43534
After the distribution of the plaques and the unveiling of the new headstones, the ceremony ended with a musket salute. The Sons of the American Revolution lined up, their muskets loaded and pointed into the nearby woods, firing numerous shots, before finally bowing their heads in respect for these fallen soldiers.
Other groups participating in the dedication ceremony were, Clough Valley Chapter – Daughters of the American Revolution, Cincinnati Chapter/Sons of the American Revolution, American Legion Post 256 and Auxiliary, and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5749. People playing prominent roles in the dedication were, Will Freeman singing the national anthem, Kay Thomson, Bella Geiger, Kassidy Ostendorf and Robert Reid signing Amazing Grace. Tiffany Niehaus, Stephanie Pinella and Cindy Abbott read the biographies of Thomas Paxton, John Ramsey and Isabella Paxton Ramsey.
Debby Niehaus and Paige Craig led responsive reading.
The master of ceremonies for the event was Rob Geiger, president of the Ramsey Paxton Cemetery Association.
Thank you to everyone who was able to organize this ceremony and to everyone who worked to keep this historic place alive for so many years. The Ramsey-Paxton Ceremony is located on Ramsey Court in White Pillars, so feel free to descend and pay your respects to the founder of Loveland while soaking up the history of the cemetery.
Ramsey-Paxton Cemetery began in 1813 with the burial of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Paxton. Lieutenant Colonel Paxton was a Revolutionary War soldier who served with General George Washington at Valley Forge in 1777 as well as with General Anthony Wayne at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794. The curved bridge over West Loveland Avenue on Lt. Col. Paxton.
Paxton is considered the first permanent settler between the Little Miami River and the Scioto River in the Virginia Military Tract, credited with raising the first local crop of corn, and was the founder of Loveland. Paxton’s involvement goes even further, helping to have the first polling place in Clermont County to help make Ohio statehood possible.
Paxton’s son-in-law, as well as Revolutionary War patriot and one of Clermont County’s first settlers, Captain John Ramsey, was buried in the cemetery in 1847, as were other family members until in 1913.