Donor Spotlight

Donor Spotlight

Jo Ellen Diehl Yeary | Generosity rooted in pride, remembrance, dedication to home

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Stafford Cemetery Endowment Fund

In order to grow financial resources to support the maintenance, preservation, and enhancement of the grounds in perpetuity while also increasing knowledge about the cemetery, the Stafford Cemetery Endowment Fund was created at the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio.

The Stafford Cemetery dates back to the early 1900s and was privately operated by the Ulman family until 1975 when the Stafford Cemetery Association was created to care for the cemetery. A newly minted tax-exempt 501(c)(13) cemetery association, the Stafford Cemetery Association is dedicated to providing grounds for internment that show dignity and reverence for all people. This principle of inclusivity reflects the history of the Stafford community, which was an important part of the Underground Railroad system in Southeastern Ohio. By the late 1840s, African Americans settled in the area as a result of being an important stop along the Underground Railroad.

In addition to the legacy of freedom in the area surrounding the Stafford Cemetery today, the cemetery itself illustrates a rich history of patriotism on its grounds. A number of veterans are entombed in the cemetery, including those who served in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Revolutionary War veteran John Carmichael found his final resting place in the Stafford Cemetery. Veterans of the Civil War are represented by bronze grave markers indicating their service in the Grand Army of the Republic. The legacy of the Underground Railroad extends to the Stafford Cemetery itself with the internment of John Curtis, an Underground Railroad Conductor and member of the 3rd Regiment of the United States Colored Infantry.

The creation of the Stafford Cemetery Endowment Fund, a member of the Monroe County Community Foundation’s Family of Funds, will ensure that the cemetery is cared for in perpetuity and that these grounds will continue to share its story and rich history for generations to come.

Gifts to the Stafford Cemetery Endowment Fund are tax-deductible and can be made in many ways, including cash, bequests, and life insurance. Donations can be made online by designating the Stafford Cemetery Endowment Fund when donating. Donations can also be mailed to PO Box 456, Nelsonville, OH 45764 by designating the Stafford Cemetery Endowment Fund.