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In 1849, the year of the worst cholera epidemic in Ohio, the German Catholic Society, now the Cincinnati Catholic Cemetery Society (CCCS), purchased land from Mathias Schulhof to provide proper burials for the many German Catholics of the community.  Located on the north side of present day Vine Street, across from Orchard, it had once been a 27.2 acre family farm.

St. John Cemetery, Schroeder.jpg

Even though the grounds were consecrated in October, 1949, some monuments indicate much earlier burials, some of which are in unmarked graves.  Beautiful statuary notes the graves of early German families, including that of founder, John Bernard Schroeder.

Because St. John’s was becoming so overcrowded, it became necessary to find another burial location.  Land acquired in 1873 from the Reuben Kemper family estate on Ross Avenue eventually became St. Mary Cemetery.

According to the current CCCS website, St. John Cemetery handles less than two dozen burials per year.  While records for this cemetery are now maintained by St. Mary’s Cemetery, they do not have the earlier burial records for St. John’s.


Kay Heller Phillips

Sources:  History Room Archives; St. Bernard, Ohio 1878-1978, p. 147; The Millcreek Valley News, St. Bernard 50th Anniversary Edition, 18 Oct 1962;; ; Interview of 30 Jun 2010 by Marge Niesen and Jan Boylan with Steve Bittner of CCCS; Gloria Howell, staff member of St. Mary Cemetery.

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