TIFFIN– The Springmier Community Library, Tiffin Community Fund and Johnson County Historical Society will hold an Oak Hill Cemetery Walk Sunday, June 1, at 2 p.m.
A free-will donation to participate will benefit the Springmier Community Library and Tiffin Community Fund.
The walk will be conducted by Loren Horton, retired State Historical Society of Iowa senior historian. He received his BA and MA from Iowa State Teachers College (now UNI), and his doctorate from the University of Iowa.
Coordinators note cemeteries are cities within a city, with residents consisting of people from all walks of life, all races, all religions and all social classes. Located along Highway 6, west of Tiffin, Oak Hill was established in 1845 in Section 30. The cemetery consists of 4.83 acres adjacent to a westward trail, and later a stagecoach route and railroad line near what was then Copi.
This will be Oak Hill’s first guided tour by a local historian. Visitors are encouraged to bring cameras to record the beauty and history of the Clear Creek area.
Horton taught in public schools and junior college for 17 years. From 1972 until 1996 he worked for the State Historical Society of Iowa, retiring as senior historian. Since retiring, he has served as an adjunct instructor for Iowa Wesleyan College and Kirkwood Community College, and is a partner in the Iowa: Eye To I bus tours of Iowa and Illinois. Horton’s research interests include travel diaries from 1833 to 1869, 19th century grave marker symbolism, and comparative funeral customs in the British Isles and the United States.
Notable cemetery residents include the Honorable Robert Walker, Yale Hamilton and Mary A. Hamilton, who served as the first justice of the peace in the new Iowa Territory. In his official capacity Judge Walker administered the oath of office to the capital commissioners who located the territorial capital in Iowa City.
Yale Hamilton was a member of Claim Association of Johnson County, which represented a number of settlers who lived on land that had not been surveyed. The group adopted a constitution, a code of laws that each one pledged to observe to defend their land claims.
Mary Hamilton wrote under the signature of Kitty Carroll for leading newspapers in Iowa including the Muscatine Journal, Dubuque Herald, Burlington Hawkeye, Keokuk Post and Tipton Advertiser. She also wrote a series of local letters from Tiffin which was said to be the genesis of country correspondence in the state.
The Oak Hill Cemetery Walk is presented by the Springmier Community Library, Tiffin Community Fund and the Johnson County Historical Society. Reservations are appreciated and can be made by calling 319-545-2960 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Springmier Community Library and Tiffin Community Fund benefit from the sale of “Before 52340: A Place in Time.” The book, honors Tiffin’s centennial in 2006, and documents 100 years of Clear Creek Township and Tiffin, Iowa, settlement, from the mid-1800s through the mid-1950s. The book was published in December 2012.
A limited quantity of books are available for sale at the Springmier Community Library in the Clear Creek Amana Middle School in Tiffin. The cost is tax-deductible and all proceeds from book sales benefit the Springmier Community Library and Tiffin Community Fund.