The new Oak Ridge Cemetery on Front Street, originally 10 acres, was purchased from Warner Hamilton in 1864 for $500, to replace the first known cemetery in Buchanan, "The Old Burying Ground." The first burials were made in 1867. Records show that bodies were moved from "The Old Burying Ground" cemetery in Buchanan, to Oak Ridge as late as 1898.
Oak Ridge Cemetery is located on the western edge of Buchanan, Michigan, between Terre Coupe and Front streets. Oak Ridge Cemetery currently consists of approximately 45 acres. There are 5 entrances: two on Front St., two on Terre Coupe, and the Polis St. entrance. Source: Oak Ridge Cemetery Buchanan, MI, Friends of Oak Ridge Cemetery, 2005.
|Terre Coupe Street Entrance, Oak Ridge Cemetery, Buchanan, MI|
Closest entrance to the Smith graves
On the gravestone, shaped with two hearts, is chiseled birth, marriage and death dates. It reads: SELMA Jan 27, 1919 - July 24, 1980; MARRIED Oct 24, 1940; OLEN June 9, 1918 - Sept. 13, 1995.
However, there are other documents, including Henry Batke's Declaration of Intention to become an American Citizen, that states Selma's birth year was 1918.
Olen Albert Smith and Selma Batke Smith are buried in Section A, Lot 317. The GPS coordinates for the grave are: N 41° 49' 24.0"; W 086° 22' 41.9".
Olen Smith Obituary
Olen A. Smith, 77, of Boca Raton, Florida, formerly of Buchanan, Michigan, died Wednesday, September 13, 1995, at Healthwin Hospital, South Bend, Indiana.
The funeral was held at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Swem Funeral Home, Buchanan. Memorials may be made to the City of Buchanan for the Buchanan Commons or Buchanan High School Athletic Department.
Mr. Smith was born June 9, 1918, in Virginia. He retired as the independent owner and operator of Reclamation Oil Fields after 38 years. He was a navy veteran of World War II.
Survivors include: two daughters -- Judy Maxwell of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, and Cheryl Richeson of Decatur, Alabama; a son Roger Smith of Coloma, Michigan; three step daughters -- Polly Koenegsknect of West Bloomfield, Michigan; Christine Gardner of Noblesville, Indiana, and Linda Morrer of Charlotte, North Carolina; a stepson, John Donley of St. Joseph, Michigan; nine grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by his first wife, the former Selma Batke, in October 1940 (sic) and by his second wife, the former Agnes Donley, in 1981.
Tri-City Record, Watervliet, Michigan, September 20, 1995
Selma Batke Smith Obituary
See The Children of Henry and Katherine Batke - Obituaries