Did you know the City owns and maintains five cemeteries throughout Hudson? You may know of the adjacent Markillie and St. Mary Cemeteries set far back on North Main Street. In addition to these popular cemeteries, there is O’Brien Cemetery located in the woods on Hudson Drive, the Olde Hudson Township Burying Ground near Western Reserve Academy, and Draper Cemetery, where Hudson’s first historian is buried.
The small cemetery staff, made up of one part-time and two full-time employees, spend the majority of their time maintaining the grounds of the five cemeteries by mowing, weed eating, trimming trees, picking up leaves, shoveling snow, and salting the pathways.
When they aren’t keeping the City cemeteries looking beautiful, they are providing personalized, quality service to customers. Cemetery Sexton, Randy Maag, takes the time to show customers around and walk them through the burial process to choose their best options, whether it be cremation, a traditional burial, a columbarium, or a mausoleum. All these options are available at the active Markillie and St. Mary Cemeteries. Cemetery staff also conducts internments, prepare for burials, and continually looks for ways to improve the cemeteries. A covered area for services during inclement weather was recently installed at Markillie Cemetery. A gravel path was also installed this month to provide an easier way to walk the immaculate cemetery grounds.
Not only are all Hudson cemeteries beautifully maintained, but are also steeped in Hudson history. Markillie Cemetery was established in 1850 by John Markillie, Hudson’s first professional photographer, and is the largest cemetery in the City. The first burial there was John Markillie’s mother Lucinda Markillie. The cemetery is now Hudson’s principal burial ground due to its large size. It has four sections: Memorial, with only flush mounted grave markers; Markillie, the most mature section; Old Hickory, where many WWII burials can be found; and Hoffman-Mills, the newly developed area of the cemetery.
The Markillie Chapel is one of the most fascinating and beautiful aspects of Markillie Cemetery. The chapel was restored in 2004 and features exquisite stained glass windows created by the late Hudson artist Peter McDonald. Each of the side windows Peter designed depict a landmark unique to Hudson and well-recognized by all who live in the City. The windows include the old Town Hall, Case Barlow Farm, the Gazebo, and the Clock Tower, and many more. It is well-worth a trip to the chapel to see these lovely works of art. The chapel is available to rent for small services.
St. Mary’s Cemetery is adjacent to Markillie Cemetery and shares the same driveway. It is an active consecrated Roman Catholic cemetery that was founded by an Irish serving girl who saved enough money from her meager salary to contribute a sizeable amount to establish the cemetery in 1880.
Draper Cemetery was established around the 1860s and was founded by Moses Draper, who was buried there in 1873. Hudson’s first historian of note, Lora Case, is also buried there. This small cemetery is still active, with a few full burial spots left.
Pioneer men and women prominent in the founding of Hudson are buried in the small, historic Olde Hudson Township Burying Ground, including David Hudson and Owen Brown, father of abolitionist John Brown. No burials have been made on these grounds for more than 100 years, but the lawn is maintained by cemetery staff.
O’Brien Cemetery is one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the City as it is located on a grassy knoll and overlooks a small lake with many magnificent old trees. The first burial record there is of Mary Deacon in 1806. The cemetery was named after Henry O’Brien, a Protestant Irishman, who was one of the founders of the Episcopal Church in Hudson.
Price information for the Markillie and St. Mary Cemeteries are available on the cemeteries page. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call the cemetery department at 330-342-1750