St. Patrick's Cemetery
1863 - 1924
The Parish of St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church was founded in April, 1862, by Father Edward Hannin and served a mostly Irish immigrant population. On July 15, 1863, land was purchased for St. Patrick's Cemetery. The 17-acre parcel of land was located off Western Avenue, between Dale and Champion streets. The North border was Wayne Street (Plank Road in those days; which ran parallel to the railroad tracks). The cemetery was in use from the first recorded interment, November 20, 1863, until 1889, when the Diocese agreed to develop Calvary Cemetery for all Catholics, regardless of Parish affiliation. It was at this time that Father Hannin encouraged parishoners to begin using Calvary Cemetery. From this time until 1915, approximately 600 interments, per court records, were moved from St. Patrick's Cemetery to Calvary. The Toledo-Lucas County Public Library has in its collection the original book of "Contracts to Remove Bodies from St. Patrick's Cemetery and Reinter Said Bodies in Calvary Cemetery, 1888-1891".
By February 5, 1917, court records indicate that St. Patrick's Cemetery was considered abandoned as no provisions or funds for the care of the burials were made. The neglect and failure to care for the burial places was repeatedly the subject of attention by the Health Department. St. Patrick's Cemetery was again declared a nuisance on October 2, 1924 by the Commissioner of Health.
After the voluntary removal of remains to Calvary Cemetery by interested persons (prior to 1915), there were left "some persons whose names, identity and exact spot of burial in said cemetery were unknown, and could not be definitely ascertained or located, as no records could be found of burials other than those whose remains have already been removed." (exerpt from court records). On September 25, 1924, the Department of Health issued a permit to remove all remains which may be found (a personal estimate of about 1,000 interments remained). Calvary Cemetery records indicate that the above mentioned 'unknown' were interred in Section 4 Lot 28 with the headstone pictured below.
It is those unknown persons which sparked our interest in Historic Old St. Patrick's Cemetery. It is those unknown Irish immigrants that adopted and built a new country. It is the infants and children, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers that we seek to remember. It is not enough to remember them in a mass grave with a meeger headstone. They all had names, loved ones and enriched the Toledo community with their lives.