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History of the Cemetery

The precise time when the present burial ground was first occupied as 'God's Acre' cannot be ascertained from church or civil records. It is probable that the graveyard was commenced before Wythe County was formed in 1790. Some of the graves bear evident marks of extending back into the 18th century, although no legible inscription dates further back than 1805.

There is a sacredness attached to this hollowed ground, the final resting place of Wythe County's rich and poor, old and young, famous and forgotten, who now rest from their labors. Among the first graves that were marked, we find the names of Rader, Kegley, Sharitz, Repass and Brown. One of the most recognizable graves is that of Pastor George Daniel Flohr. His grave is marked by a native stone known as 'mountain marble', hewn and chiseled in the form of a coffin. Another burial plot of note is the Gibboney square which is located within the foundation of the original church. First intended to be reserved for pastors, the plot was sold to the Gibboney family by special concession.

A number of members of Wytheville's founding families are buried at old St. John Cemetery, including such names as the Simmermans, the Spillers, the Hallers, the Crocketts, the Baumgardners and others.

The graves, the monuments, and the inscriptions of this old cemetery are witnesses to the faithful departed and memorials of the devotion of the living for their dead.

All text above is taken from "Historic St. John Lutheran Church" brochure.