Pine Grove Cemetery Established in 1871

Here are a few items which may be of interest to the citizens of Oxford in connection with the Oxford Pine Grove Cemetery and which seem to be the first records available in this connection. On April 26th, 1871, a meeting of citizens of Oxford and vicinity was held in Scotia Hall for the purpose of considering the advisibility of procuring grounds for a “grave yard”, as it was then called. The following committee were appointed to select suitable sites and obtain prices on same. Committe appointed was John ROBB, Rufus THOMPSON and John H. GILROY, who later reported as follows: Locations, Sand Hill, Geo. D. HEWSON, $5.00 per acre; Valentine WOOD, Black River Road, $4.00 per acre; James M. THOMPSON, Lower Main St., $10.00 per acre. At a later meeting it was resolved that this committee purchase two or three acres from Valentine WOOD on the Black River Road and a resolution was passed that the purchase money be raised by subscription and $11 was subscribed on the spot. 

On June 9, 1876, a meeting was held, Wm. Rufus SMITH being appointed chairman and D. B. STEWART secretary for the evening. Mr. John ROBB, as secretary of the committee previously appointed, gave a detailed account of the previous meeting, with his financial statement at that date, after which he tendered his resignation as secretary. 

Wm. DUNSMORE was then appointed as secretary and Rufus WOOD as trustee. After disposing of the business in connection with the cemetery, the chairman introduced the naming of the streets of the town. The matter of Fire Protection was also laid over to be considered at a later meeting. In May, 1886, another meeting was held in the school house for the purpose of discussing cemetery matters and other matters of general interest to the town, I. J. HINGLEY being elected as chairman and A. S. MACKINTOSH as secretary. 

Mr. John ROBB, as treasurer, reported that a number of lots in the cemetery had been sold and the land fenced with a pole and barbed wire fence, leaving a balance on hand of $28.00, less a $5.00 note on the Bank of P.E.I., which bank at that time had become defunct, leaving a net balance of $23.00 in the treasury. After some discussion, Mr. ROBB agreed to act as treasurer for another year, providing Mr. DUNSMORE be appointed to sell lots and that he be allowed a 5% commission on all moneys collected. 

The matter of naming the different streets was then proceeded with and the following streets were named at this meeting, viz.: Main St., Water St., Waverley St., Duke St., Prince William St., Ellis St., James St., Rideau St., Hanlan St., Jackson St., and Elm St. (date May, 1886). The matter of Fire Protection was again laid over for future consideration. 

Again on Feb. 12th, 1890, a meeting was held in the school house to appoint a committee to apply for an act to incorporate the Oxford Cemetery, and J. S. HICKMAN, A.S. MACKINTOSH and Wm. DUNSMORE were appointed and empowered to engage a lawyer, if necessary for this purpose, and on the 15th day of April, 1890, the Oxford Pine Grove Cemetery was duly incorporated, according to an Act of Parliament. 

Mr. A. S. MACKINTOSH was then appointed president and John C. MCCORMICK appointed secretary-treasurer and James STEWART, caretaker. 

For a number of years the cemetery company drifted along, it becoming difficult to get a quorum to hold a meeting, until the president, Mr. MACKINTOSH, conceived the idea of getting younger men on the board of trustees, and through his efforts and influence the following were added to the Board of Trustees, viz., T. M. JOHNSON, president; S. A. MARCHANT, S. B. PATTON, G. M. MACKINTOSH and J. S. VABUSKIRK. This was on May 20, 1924. 

Shortly after this it was resolved to have some additional clauses and admendments added to the act of incorporation to levy and collect certain taxes from lot owners to cover the expenses and general upkeep of the Oxford Pine Grove Cemetery. And on April, 1928, the additional clauses and amendments, having been prepared by the trustees, aided by their solicitor, were forwarded to the Legislature, legally passed and added to the incorporation act. 

At this time a charge was made of $2.00 per lot for the upkeep of the cemetery. After a few years the condition of the cemetery had been greatly improved and it was possible to maintain it in good condition. 

In recent years Pine Grove Cemetery was greatly enlarged by obtaining land south of the cemetery from Kenneth GORDON. A receiving vault was built several years ago, where committal services are now held, so that burials can be delayed until spring. 

Present president of Pine Grove Cemetery Corporation is Perce H. SWAN, who succeeded R. D. RUSSELL as president last year. J. D. MCGREGOR has been the efficient secretary for several years.

(Source: The Oxford Journal, Thursday, March 2, 1972 – Pine Grove Cemetery Established in 1871)