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Southfield Township Cemeteries

Tombstone of Southfield pioneer Samuel Beekman

Beekman Cemetery

On October 13, 1830 Samuel D. Beekman from New York City purchased land in Section 12 of Southfield Township.  Later he set aside 100 square feet for a burying ground in which his family members and others were buried.  Later, Mr. Fons bought the land and eventually opened Southfield Downs Trailer Park.  The gravestones gradually disappeared.  In 1963 two boys found the broken tombstone of Samuel Beekman, the last remaining indication of the original cemetery.   The graveyard was restored in 2010 through a partnership of the City of Southfield a nearby residential developer.

Located at Section 12 at 12 1/2 Mile Road east of the subdivision.

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Boden Cemetery

Boden Cemetery 1952

Boden Cemetery 1952

The Boden family cemetery was located in Section 32 on the north side of 8 Mile Road just west of Shiawassee.   The death record for Mary A. Boden, age 87 (born Mary Ann Mucklow in England, 1814, wife of Thomas Boden) indicates her burial in the “family cemetery” in 1901 and plat maps and topographic maps indicate the cemetery existed in the same location from at least 1908 to 1952.  The cemetery was closed some time after 1952 to allow commercial development of the property and most of the remains were re-interred in Grand Lawn Cemetery in Detroit.

 

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Franklin Cemetery located in the historic Village of Franklin.

Franklin Cemetery

Elijah Bullock deeded one acre of land in 1828 to be used as a public burying ground. Twenty years later additional land was deeded to the Franklin Cemetery Society.  Since that time additional land has been also acquired by the Cemetery Association.  Many Southfield Township pioneer families are buried here, including the Bullocks, Whites, Phillips, and Daniels families.

Located in Section 6 on Franklin Road, Franklin, Michigan.

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Southfield Pioneer (United Presbyterian Church)

Upon the death of his daughter in 1832, John Thomas donated part of his farm to the township to form a public burying ground.  He gave an adjacent parcel to the Presbyterians who built a church there in 1837.  Although nonsectarian, the cemetery became known as the United Presbyterian Church Cemetery.

All but seven graves date from the nineteenth century.  One of Southfield’s first settlers, Isaac Heth, is buried here.  Other early settlers buried here include the John Thomas and John Parks families.  The last interment was in 1926.

In 1973 the cemetery was designated as a historical site by the Southfield Historical Society.

Located in Section 22 on the east side of Lahser Road north of 10 Mile Road.

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Southfield Reformed Presbyterian Cemetery (Reformed Covenanters)

David Steward, one of the first covenanters in the township, founded the church in 1834.  His son-in-law, John Parks, donated the land for the church and burial ground.  In 1838 the Reformed Presbyterians built a church on this lot.

The burying ground is on the church property and many early settlers including the McLaughlin, Stewart, and Thompson families are buried here.

Located at 26580 Evergreen Road in Section 23.

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Southfield Township Cemetery (Southfield Center)

According to tradition, the first interment here was as early as 1828.  In May 1968 the cemetery was designated a historical site by the Southfield Historical Society.  The marker describes how a group of early settlers known as ‘the proprietors of the burying grounds’ purchased the original one acre of land from Thaddeus Griswold on April 18, 1833 at the cost of $8.00.

The proprietors continued to operate the burying grounds until 1847 when it was deeded to the Township of Southfield.  At the same time the Township purchased 2 1/2 acres of land costing $37.50.  Additions since 1847 make a total of 5.6 acres.  The cemetery has continued to operate into the 21st century.

The most famous person memorialized in the Southfield Cemetery is

Memorial to test pilot Harry Brooks.

Harry J. Brooks, a test pilot for the Ford Motor Company.  In 1928 Brooks set a world distance record flying the “Ford Flivver”.  Brooks crashed in the Atlantic Ocean on his return flight and his remains were never recovered.  A headstone memorial in his honor has been placed in the Brooks family plot.

Located at 23520 Civic Center Drive, Section 21 on the north side of Civic Center Drive between Berg and Lahser.

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Sources:  Southfield Township Cemeteries, Oakland County, Michigan. Joan Pate (Ed.), 1989

USGS topo maps, 1952.  http://store.usgs.gov/

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