Carpenter’s Run Pioneer Cemetery

Price Thompson (3/20/1756-3/1/1842), a native of New Jersey and a veteran of the Revolutionary War, claimed land in the Miami Purchase from John Cleves Symmes, circa 1795.  He joined Carpenter’s Run Baptist Church in 1799 and gave an acre of ground for the establishment of Carpenters Run Pioneer Cemetery.

 Property at Cooper and Plainfield Roads was claimed by four men:

  Richard Ayers’ acres were NW, on what is now the golf course;

Price Thompson’s land was NE;

Abner Denman’s acres were SW;

James Carpenter’s acres were SE.

Pioneers buried in Carpenter’s Run Pioneer Cemetery include Price and Mary (Molly) Denman Thompson, Mary Ayers (wife of Richard Ayers), many members of the Hunt family, and Nathaniel Denman.  In addition to Price Thompson, other Revolutionary War veterans buried here are Nicholas Johnston, a native of Dumfrieds, Scotland, Francis Nichols and John Enems.

Also buried here is Louis Marie Guesnard of LaRochelle, France, who had fought under Napoleon and was probably a refugee.  It is unknown how or when he moved to this area or the circumstances of his death.

The oldest grave, that of Francis Nichols, dates to 1808.

The most recent grave is that of Stella Reinhart, which dates to 1979.  Research shows that Stella was a spinster, lived in a boarding house in downtown Cincinnati, and was a knitting instructor.  Her last residence was a Blue Ash nursing home.  There are no references to place of birth, family, or when she located to the Blue Ash area.

The cemetery is currently maintained by the City of Blue Ash, and is open to visitors at all times.  Please respect the site.  Take only photos, leave only footprints.  The stones are very fragile; please do not take rubbings of the markers.

There are approximately 240 graves in the cemetery.  We have a complete list of those buried in the Carpenter’s Run Pioneer Cemetery that is available to anyone who is interested.  The reading runs for 65 pages and can be sent as an attachment.  We are not printing copies for distribution.  If you wish to have a copy, send a request to Marlene Morris at and mark in the subject line Cemetery Reading.  The burial locations are shown as W for the west side of Plainfield Road and E for the east side.  Inscriptions from markers are included in the reading.

Have you ever visited a cemetery and noticed coins on the headstone?  A coin on a headstone is a symbol of remembrance and respect; it conveys to all who pass by that the person was loved and visited.  Apparently this dates back to Roman times, but in the United States it started during the Vietnam War to leave messages to the family of the deceased without contacting them directly.  So the next time you visit a cemetery, take a pocketful of pennies.

2014 Cemetery Tour:

The first pioneers settled in Marietta, OH, in 1788, just months before pioneers arrived in what is today Cincinnati.  There is a tombstone in the Newport Cemetery, upriver from Marietta, for pioneer Luther Dana. The inscription is as follows: “Let not the Pioneers of Ohio be forgotten.”  And, that was our theme for the day.  We were pleased to tell the stories of the brave pioneers who made their way to Blue Ash. 

We will continue to drive past the cemetery and may now and then walk amongst the markers.  We hope these photos and the stories told are a fitting tribute to the brave pioneers who left organized communities on the East Coast to settle in the Ohio Country.

Many thanks to those who were guests on August 9 at our first tour of the Carpenter’s Run Pioneer Cemetery.  Special thanks to Donna Dinkelaker of the Ladies of the Living History Society of Greater Cincinnati, who portrayed a woman in mourning, and to Kurt Rosenacker of the Mihovk-Rosenacker Funeral Home, who enlightened us on burial practices.   They were wonderful!  And, a big thank you to Will McGuire and Jim Schaffer for capturing the event in photos.  The members of the Blue Ash Historical Society appreciate your presence, your questions, and your comments.  We are indebted to Kathy Swensen and the City of Blue Ash for their amazing support. 

“The wilderness masters the colonist…It takes him from the railroad car and puts him in the birch canoe.  It strips off the garments of civilization and arrays him in the hunting shirt and the moccasin…Little by little he transforms the wilderness, but the outcome is not the old Europe…here is a new product that is American…”–Frederick Jackson Turner, Significance of the Frontier in American History, as printed in The Century by Peter Jennings and Todd Brewster

2014 Cemetery Photos Courtesy of Jim Schaffer:

2016 Cemetery Tour:


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