Although more questions than answers remain at this point, a local family is in the very early stages of discovering more about their ancestry through the discovery of an 1800s-era cemetery recently re-discovered in Enon.

Since 1951, at least three individuals have attempted to preserve the legacy of this cemetery located in a field near the southern edge of the Green Meadows platte, yet over time it has been increasingly encroached upon by farmland, leaving only piles of rubble and a few partially-whole headstones.

Virginia Oost, who teaches piano classes in Enon, spoke with the Enon Eagle last week along with her adult children, Russell and Katrina (Kitty) Oost. Kitty stumbled upon a picture of a headstone from the graveyard on Facebook, and since then, the family has pulled out their history books, searching for more information on past relatives.

The cemetery, known as the Shellabarger Cemetery, is reported to be 50 feet wide and at least twice as long, but today just looks like a pile of debris bordering a field. In 1974, two women who lived nearby in Green Meadows attempted to preserve the physical and spiritual remnants of the cemetery by informing proper officials of its presence. These two ladies, Ada E. Lewis and Anne Snodgrass, compiled a list of all the names they could decipher from the headstones in the graveyard that had already fallen into disrepair back in the 1970s. A quote from one of these women in the 1970s states:

“On first site, the remains of this old cemetery looked like a spot of rubble…almost every stone was in two or more pieces. It looked as though there were probably stones here that are completely shattered. It is just a semi-circle at the edge of a plowed field, with the straight edge being the back yards of a housing development. Before we had finished copying (the names), we were surrounded by children from the houses. It is probable that nothing will remain in a year or so.”

Forty years later and virtually nothing remains, due to three decades of farming, erosion, and perhaps some meddling neighborhood kids. Russell Oost understands the gradual deterioration of the nearly 200 year-old graveyard, but believes now that the location of the cemetery is known, that his ancestors should be allowed to rest in peace.

The 1974 listing of those buried in the Shellabarger Cemetery includes: John Confer, James Maitten, John A. Ross, John (Earson?) Ryn, Caleb Winget, John Winget, Mary Winget, Maria Winget, J. Winget, and a woman with the first name of Martha Ann.

If anyone has more information on any of the deceased buried in this cemetery or of the cemetery itself, email Maggie Yowler at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..