Deputy seeks to return stolen 1800s tombstone

The discovery of a stolen 1800s tombstone has led a Clark County Sheriff’s Office Deputy on a mission to return the grave marker to its original home.

A fisherman at Buck Creek State Park found the tombstone in the water late last week, said Ron Ray — who works in the Clark County Sheriff’s Office property room.

“It was shocking that someone would take a tombstone and transport it somewhere else and dump it like a piece of trash,” Ray said.

A deputy picked up the tombstone and brought it to the North Fountain Street sheriff’s office, where it now safely sits in the property room.

In the meantime, Ray has taken it upon himself to learn about the woman whose name the stone bears.

It reads: “Rebecca S. — wife of J. W. Kills.”

With the help of people at the Clark County Historical Society, and the Clark County Public Library, Ray uncovered that Rebecca Kills was the wife of Jacob Kills.

She died in 1859 and was buried in Greenmount Cemetery, which is located in the city block along Greenmount Avenue and East Main Street.

The cemetery sits across the street from the Westcott House, on High Street. Tom Fyffe, chief financial officer of the Westcott House, said he hates to hear about vandalism of the historic cemetery.

“It’s just a shame that people have such a lack of respect for other people and their property and their history. Why would they want to do something like this?” Fyffe said.

The cemetery was active from the early 1840s until until the turn of the 20th century, said Kevin Rose, a historian with the Turner Foundation.

The Kills family included successful business owners in the early 1800s in Springfield, Ray said, and manufactured paper in Springfield. Their mill was located along Buck Creek at Mill Run, where the Springfield Regional Medical Center and Springfield Regional Cancer Center now sit.

Now that he has uncovered who the stone belongs to, Ray said he hopes to be able to return it to its proper place in the cemetery.

“I personally would like to see the stone reset,” Ray said. “I’m not sure how to go about getting that done. But I’m sure there’s somebody out there who could help us or would help us.”

Ray is looking for any ancestors of the Kills family to come forward. He searched the phone book to see if any of the Kills family still lives in the Clark County area, but hasn’t found any.

The sheriff’s office said it does not know who vandalized the tombstone, but will keep it safe in the property room and work to get it back to its intended place of rest.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

Trump to headline Ohio GOP fundraising event in Columbus

President Donald Trump will make his second political trip to Ohio in less than a month when he headlines the Ohio Republican Party’s state dinner on Aug. 24. Ohio GOP Chairwoman Jane Murphy Timken announced Wednesday that the president will speak at the party fundraiser where tickets start at $250 per person. Trump held a rally in Delaware County...
Frontier adds nonstop flight to Florida location from Columbus
Frontier adds nonstop flight to Florida location from Columbus

Frontier Airlines is adding a flight from the Columbus International Airport to popular vacation destination West Palm Beach, Florida. The new twice-weekly flight will start in November, and operate seasonally, ending in the spring, a Frontier spokesman told the Columbus Dispatch. The route could become permanent if demand calls for it. BIZ BEAT: Popular...
Black Americans aren’t buying Omarosa’s turn against Trump
Black Americans aren’t buying Omarosa’s turn against Trump

For years, Omarosa Manigault Newman stood at Donald Trump’s side, making her deeply unpopular with African-Americans who see her as a sellout for aligning herself with a president who has hurled one insult after another at black people. The Central State University graduate’s falling out with Trump and her decision to call him a racist...
Clark County Municipal Court cases
Clark County Municipal Court cases

CASES CALLED MONDAY INCLUDED: Robert Lee Cordle Jr., 34, of 909 Emery St., turn and stop signal, dismissed. Michael E. Farmer, 36, of 604 Tibbetts Ave., theft, guilty, 180 days jail, pay costs and $128 restitution. Nicholas C. Hart, 33, of Medway, possession of drugs, dismissed. Roscoe A. Kidd Jr., 53, of 1269 S. Yellow Springs, domestic violence,...
7-Eleven offering buy one, get one free Slurpees this week
7-Eleven offering buy one, get one free Slurpees this week

7-Eleven stores are celebrating back-to-school season with a week of buy one, get one free Slurpees. The convenience store chain is running a Two Cool for School deal that offers one free Slurpee with the purchase of one from Aug. 13 to Aug. 19. The deal, which is all day, everyday throughout the promotion period, can be used for a Slurpee of...
More Stories