Jonathan Alder Grave Site

NE Plain City-Georgesville Rd
Plain City, Ohio 43064

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Jonathan Alder Grave Site

The final resting place of Jonathan Alder, Madison County’s first white settler.

Located on the western edge of the Prairie Oaks Metro Park and situated within the tranquil grounds of Foster Chapel Cemetery is the final resting place of Jonathan Alder. Alder was a central figure in the early history of Ohio and Madison County. In 1782, Alder and his brother were kidnapped by Shawnee Indians in his home state of Virginia and brought to Ohio. His brother did not survive the ordeal, but Alder made it to Ohio and was eventually adopted by a Mingo chief. Alder came to embrace his new life and even fought alongside the Native American confederacy against General Anthony Wayne's forces in 1794.

Alder would eventually leave his Native American community and marry twice after the signing of the Treaty of Greenville. He built a log cabin on the banks of Big Darby Creek in 1806 where his wife gave birth to a dozen children. Alder died in 1849 at the age of 75, but not before leaving his mark on Ohio’s history. Today, Alder’s cabin is still intact and on display at the Madison County Historical Society in London, Ohio.

In addition to serving as the eternal resting place of Jonathan Adler, the cemetery contains some of the oldest grave markers in Madison County, including veterans of the War of 1812 and the American Civil War.

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Notes for Travelers

There is no parking lot for this site. Visitors can park in the turnaround adjacent to the cemetery or at the nearby Prairie Oaks Metro Park. The park was the scene of a serious crime in the 1990s, but the grounds are safe to visit today.


Melvin Barnes