Meet characters from Bellville’s past at Saturday Cemetery Walk

BELLVILLE — Robert Stands, of Columbia Station, Ohio will portray his Bellville ancestor, Robert Bell, who came from Belmont County, Ohio, purchased land and platted Bellville in 1815. Stands will portrah him during the Bellville Cemetery walk Saturday, Oct. 5, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the cemetery. In case of rain, come to the meeting room of the Bellville branch of the Mansfield Public Library. Accompanying Robert at the cemetery will be his consort — meaning she died before he did — Mary Yost Bell, mother of six children and grandmother of 65 second generation Bell descendants. Mary will be portrayed by Merry Bering of West Branch, Michigan, also a sixth-generation descendant. Robert and Mary Bell were born in New Jersey.

Five other interesting Bellville people will be portrayed Saturday. They include Everah Celestian LeBlond, aka Celestial Light, portrayed by Jason Ireland of Lexington; McKiah Hill, veteran of the War of 1812, portrayed by his descendant Larry Hill of Shelbyville Indiana; John Spayde, portrayed by his great-great-grandson Dick Spayde from Bellville; Captain Daniel W. Wilson, a veteran who was in the Union army from the beginning to the end of the Civil War, who is being portrayed by Peter Moore, a member of the Mansfield Playhouse; and colorful tall tales teller Cy Gatton, portrayed by Aaron Sharp, also an actor from the Mansfield Playhouse.

Bellville has a very interesting history, and the cemetery walk is an easy way to learn some of it. Bring the whole family and come to hear what the characters have to say. Please plan to be at the cemetery for a little more than an hour. Presentations are approximately ten minutes each, plus there is a little walk time between stones. Groups will form at either gate and depart every 15 minutes or so. Waivers will be required because of the unstable condition of some of the stones in the old area of the cemetery. It is extremely important that everyone stay away from the stones. Each group must be accompanied by a guide.

In case of rain, come to the meeting room of the Bellville Branch Library. The cemetery walk is sponsored jointly by the Mansfield Public Library and the Bellville Jefferson Township Historical Society.
Meet characters from Bellville’s past at Saturday’s Cemetery Walk


By Lynn Fox

Special to the Inquirer