Butler County history: Revolutionary War veteran, family laid to rest on what used to be their farm in Fairfield

Ezekiel Walker, a Revolutionary War soldier, is buried just a few hundred feet from the Ohio 4 and Seward Road intersection in Fairfield. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Caption
Ezekiel Walker, a Revolutionary War soldier, is buried just a few hundred feet from the Ohio 4 and Seward Road intersection in Fairfield. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Stockton Cemetery one of more than 100 historic Butler County cemeteries.

It’s unlikely that most who drive through the Ohio 4 and Seward Road intersection know a Revolutionary War veteran is laid to rest a few hundred feet away.

More than two centuries ago, Abigail Walker was laid to rest on her family’s farm in what today is known as the Stockton Station area in Fairfield.

Her husband, Ezekiel Walker, a Revolutionary War soldier, was buried next to his wife in 1823. Their son, James Walker, was interred at this site in 1827, and then James’ wife, Sarah Swan Walker, in 1848.

In July 2007, the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution dedicated a marker to Ezekiel Walker, a sergeant with the Northern Continental Army under the command of Capt. James Osgood.

Known as the Stockton Cemetery, it’s one of more than 100 historic cemeteries in Butler County, according to the Butler County Genealogy Society. Two other historic cemeteries in Fairfield include the Symmes Burial Ground off Nilles Road near the YMCA and Miami Chapel Cemetery on River Road, just north of Marsh Lake Park.

A four-sided tombstone makes the four graves in the cemetery and is surrounded by a white fence off Seward Road, a few hundred feet from the Seward Road and Ohio 4 intersection. It’s also not far from “where three school buildings were built over the years,” according to “Fairfield, Ohio,” a book written by the late Esther Benzing, a Fairfield historian.

“There being no cemetery in existence in 1805, the time of the first death, many burials took place on the family farm where they could be cared for,” Benzing wrote.

The cemetery became part of Fairfield in 1955 when the Stockton and Mack Road area was annexed into Fairfield, which was then a village. A special census was conducted, and that annexation allowed Fairfield to go from a village to a city Oct. 20, 1955.

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The graveyard has remained as developments rose around it — from the Stockton Station residential development to its west and retail developments to its north, east and south.

The parcel of land where Stockton Cemetery is located had been undeveloped, but the land will be part of a new City Barbecue development. The former Gold Star Chili restaurant at the corner of Seward Road and Ohio 4 will be where the barbecue restaurant will be located, and the parking lot will be adjacent to the family graveyard, which city officials said will not be disturbed.

There will be a joint public hearing on the proposed City Barbecue development at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Fairfield City Building, 5350 Pleasant Ave.

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