In 1816, James and Margaret (Ramsey) Gallaher Sr. moved to New Washington, the first white settlers in this section of the county. James served in the War of 1812.
Other early settlers included Caleb Bailey Jr., who came in about 1820, two miles east of Burnside. John Byers came in 1821 about a mile from New Washington.
Jacob Lee came in 1822 about a mile north from New Washington. John Rorabaugh came in about 1824 and Joseph McMurray settled in New Washington between 1830 and 1833.
The cemetery, as shown in the 1878 sketch (top center), was established in about 1830. The first known burial is Jane Gallaher Lee.
She died Feb. 6, 1835, at the age of 36 years. She was the daughter of James Sr. and Margaret Gallaher and wife of William Lee, the son of Jacob and Margaret Lee.
Crawford Gallaher (son of James Gallaher Sr.) had a warrant for 400 acres that was dated 1828. In an 1860 deed recorded to replace a lost deed of about 25 years ago, (c. 1835) he donated a lot of ground to the church. (Land was usually donated to a church that was already bring used for burials.)
The first preaching in the township was in Mr. Gallaher’s cabin in 1822 by the Rev. John Bowen, minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
The old hewed log church (Methodist Episcopal) was built in 1835/1836. It was dedicated in 1839 with the Rev Joseph S. Lee and the Rev. Joseph Ross.
This church was near the center of the old part of the cemetery. A new, larger two-story church was built on Front Street in 1860 and was used for 50 years. (It’s shown with the cemetery in this sketch.)
In 1911, construction was started on a new, smaller building, and the first service was held in the current church on March 31, 1912.