Glendale Cemetery

By Christopher Sector

Glendale Cemetery is a beautiful 150 acre rural cemetery laid out between West Exchange and S Maple Streets. Notable residents of Glendale Cemetery include John R. Buchtel (founder of Buchtel College, predecessor to University of Akron), F.A. Seiberling (founder of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company), Ohio Columbus Barber (Ohio Match Company; founder of Barberton, Ohio), Julia Amanda Perry (Composer), and Marian Mercer (Actress). Founded in 1839 by Dr. Jebediah Commins, Glendale is Akron’s oldest cemetery. Dr. Commins owned a drug store on S. Main Street and wanted a suitable resting place for his recently deceased son, who had passed from illness. During the summer of 1838, Dr. Commins visited Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Pleasantly impressed with the rural nature and landscape of Mount Auburn, Dr. Commins realized the need for a similar cemetery in Akron, to accompany its continually growing population. On January 10, 1839, Dr. Commins submitted a petition to the State Legislature and two months later, on March 18, the charter was granted and subsequently the Akron Rural Cemetery Association was formed. Along the eastern grounds of Glendale Cemetery are located four buildings, next to the Glendale Avenue entrance. The Caretaker’s House was completed in 1869. The Civil War Memorial was completed in 1875. The Bell Tower was completed 1883 and the Cemetery Office in 1902. All four of these buildings have been added to the National Register of Historic Places.