by Sean Behling
Loveland, Ohio – A cold, drizzly morning on Saturday, May 7th, gave way to more tolerable weather by noon when a momentous ceremony was held at the Ramsey-Paxton Cemetery in the White Pillars subdivision. It was a celebration of the dedication of new headstones for Lt. Col. 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’ve made to the cemetery.
Once the parade arrived, the National Anthem was sung, and people gathered closer to witness the ceremonial ribbon-cutting. The ribbon-cutting featured, 102-year-old Kay Promton, the oldest living descendant of Lt. Col. Paxton. Joining Kay were community leaders and contributors to the Ramsey-Paxton Cemetery restoration. The large crowd then gathered and listened to the heartwarming speech that Rob Geiger, president of the Association, gave.
Following the touching speech, Geiger handed out plaques to those who had worked hard and long to keep this landmark of Loveland intact. The plaques held ceremonial keys to the cemetery and were set on pieces of cherry wood salvaged from a decaying tree that had to be removed during the cemetery’s restoration.
Receiving plaques were:
- Loveland Legacy Foundation
- Loveland Magazine
- City of Loveland
- Paxton’s Grill
- Ramsey’s Trailside
- Eads Fence
- Rainey Tree Service
- Riverview Monuments
- American Legion Post 256 and Auxiliary
- Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5749
- Emma Clemons, Girl Scout Troop 43534
After the plaques were handed out, and the new gravestones were unveiled, the ceremony ended with a musket salute. The Sons of the American Revolution lined up, their muskets loaded and pointing out into the nearby woods, firing off numerous shots, before finally putting their heads down in respect of these fallen soldiers.
Other groups participating during 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. Individuals playing important parts 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 biographies of Thomas Paxton, John Ramsey, and Isabella Paxton Ramsey.
Debby Niehaus and Paige Craig led a responsive reading.
The emcee for the event was Rob Geiger, the President of the Ramsey Paxton Cemetery Association.
Thank you to everyone who was able to make this ceremony happen and to everyone that has worked to keep this historic location alive for so many years. The Ramsey-Paxton Ceremony is located on Ramsey Court in White Pillars, so feel free to go on down and pay respects to the founder of Loveland while soaking in the cemetery’s history.
The Ramsey-Paxton Cemetery began in 1813 with the burial of Lt. Col. Thomas Paxton. Lt. Col. Paxton was a Revolutionary War Soldier who served with General George Washington at Valley Forge in 1777 as well as General Anthony Wayne at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794. The curved bridge on West Loveland Avenue over the 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, from helping to have the first polling place in Clermont County to help make the statehood of Ohio possible.
Paxton’s son-in-law, as well as Revolutionary War patriot and one of the first settlers of Clermont County, Captain John Ramsey, was buried in the cemetery in 1847, as were other family members up until 1913.