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Monday, February 5, 2018

W. P. A. Cemetery Survey - St. Stephens Catholic Cemetery, Delaware Bend

The Works Progress Administration was formed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in reaction to the Great Depression as a means of employing Americans and stimulating the economy.  Established in 1935, one of the projects of the W.P.A. was to conduct Historical Records Surveys, one of which included finding information on cemeteries and the graves of veterans.  The W.P.A. was disbanded in 1943, but the historical information provided on these surveys continue to be of interest and are, thankfully, preserved.

In this series, some of the general surveys of Defiance County cemeteries will be shared, transcribed as written with a few punctuation and/or spelling changes for readability.  The surveys were probably done around 1936.
For more up to date information on the cemeteries, check out this chart on our website:

The Delaware Bend Catholic Cemetery
 of the St. Stephen's Holy Roman Catholic Church Parish

1. Name of Cemetery:
The Delaware Bend Catholic Cemetery of the St. Stephens Holy Roman Catholic Church Parish

2. Location; how reached:
On the hill across the road from St. Stephens Catholic Church, and along the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at the Delaware Bend crossing in the Village of Delaware Bend, which is eight miles from the city of Defiance, west along the Maumee River.  State highway #18 is one mile to the north and U.S. #24 one mile to the south.

3. Name and address of caretaker:
Members of the St. Stephens Parish of Delaware Township, the Rev. Father Paul Bissell is the pastor and supervisor.  His address is Delaware Bend, Defiance County, the Parish of St. Stephen's Catholic Parish.

 4. General description, size, appearance, etc.:
This is a well kept up, modern graveyard, fenced with ornamental wire and has an iron metal gateway.  It is laid out in lots and in all compromises about three acres.  It is interwoven with gravel paths, and is surrounded with shrubbery and dotted with a few trees which are now quite large.  It is well drained.  

It has around two hundred graves and numerous fine and stately grave stones, most of them the modern Roman, heavy granite type of white, gray and red granite. Most of them are surmounted with crosses; the crucifix sets in the center of the cemetery.  The cemetery is holy, consecrated ground and only thos of Catholic faith can be buried in it.

It is a sister graveyard of the Delaware Township Catholic graveyard on U.S. #24, described earlier as "Old Delaware Township Catholic Graveyard."  Some of the graves in this cemetery were moved here from the older graveyard on U.S. #24

5. Name and date of first burial recorded:
This graveyard was started in 1880, the same time as the church of St. Stephen; however, the oldest grave stone is that of James McNamara, 1868, but his body was moved here later.

Photo from www.findagrave.com
6. Names of important persons buried there:
The Wonderlys are the most important people, Levi Wonderly at one time being sheriff of Defiance County.

Photo from www.findagrave.com    No stone found for Levi Wonderly.
7. Markers of unusual appearance:
There are thirty or more magnificent markers, but of the modern type, none of the unique or unusual.  The highest is that on the McNamara lot which is of the pedestal and obelisk type, surmounted by a cross.

8. Unusual epitaphs:

9. Is cemetery used for new burials?  Yes.

C. Cadwallader and C. Gish, Reporters
Rev. Paul Bissell, Delaware Bend 

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