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History of Lone Oak Cemetery

In 1923 Lone Oak became a Memorial Park and chartered corporation, under the laws of the state of Florida. Any one person does not own lone Oak. It truly belongs to the people of Leesburg and the surrounding area. Today our executive director, Midge Dodge, and a board of Trustees run the cemetery. 


We all have an innate desire to be remembered. Lone Oak Cemetery is dedicated to preserving the memories of our community and honoring the lives of those whose worth should not be forgotten. 

Lone Oak Cemetery is named for the lone oak that stood on this property among the cedar and pine trees. 

The cemetery is over 150 years old and is the final resting place for over 5,000 souls. 

The 37 acres includes traditional burial spaces as well as a mausoleum with chapel, crypts and niches for urns, a columbarium, a cremation garden with scattering area, and an area dedicated to persons of the Catholic faith. 

 

Tradition is that Annie Oakley  wanted to bury her famous dog “Dave” in Lone Oak Cemetery but was denied.  Dave, beloved setter owned by Annie Oakley & Frank Butler, died in 1923 at the age of 10, struck by an automobile in front of Lakeview Hotel, Main Street, Leesburg. He was buried at the George Winter home in Montclair, Florida.

"The lone oak among the virgin pines and cedar trees, for which Lone Oak Cemetery was named, is long gone from the scene, but the driveways flower with oleanders and other blooming trees, and many of the pines and cedars still drop their aromatic needles in the older parts of the cemetery." --(Daily Commercial, July 3-4, 1976) 


Lone Oak is the oldest cemetery in this section of the county. It was so named because there was, at that time, only ONE oak tree amongst the pines, near the log cabin that was used for both church and school purposes with a little graveyard beside it. Early settlers in the vicinity of Leesburg first held their joint religious services in the area of Lone Oak in a brush arbor and laid their loved ones to rest nearby. The first place of worship was a brush arbor erected in 1858, when a circuit rider visited the section, and brush shelters were used until the log cabin was built at Lone Oak. By 1870, the churches were using other buildings away from Lone Oak. The land for the cemetery was entered on the records by Dr. J. S Bauknight for cemetery and church purposes. 

LONE OAK CEMETERY  - ESTABLISHED 1867 


"Lone Oak was in use for almost 20 years before the land was deeded by Dr. Sydney J. Bauknight and his wife on January 3, 1884 to Josiah A. Lee, Obed Fussell and Josiah S. Dyches, as trustees of Methodist Episcopal Church, South, of Lone Oak, and their successors in office. The deed was recorded November 1887, by which time W. W. Ward and Joel F. McClendon had been elected successors to Lee and Dyches." 
The first recorded interment was that of Mrs. Minerva Howell, on February 2nd, 1867, and a pole fence was built around the grave to protect it from the "varmints", as the old settlers called the wild animals. A marble headstone now marks the site of this grave. 


One day in January 1893, a number of Leesburg ladies met at the residence of Mrs. J. A. Hansbrough, for the purpose of organizing a Cemetery Improvement Association. Soon after this group became active, they had erected a wrought iron fence around the cemetery grounds. This fence now lines the roadway in front of the historic section of the cemetery. 


Lone Oak Cemetery is not owned by one person or company, nor by the City of Leesburg. Officially, it is a memorial park entrusted to the people of Leesburg and the surrounding area. You, as community members and cemetery property holders, are the true owners of Lone Oak Cemetery. 
There are over 4,000 burials in Lone Oak. 

Earliest records show that in 1858 a brush arbor was erected here for joint religious services with a small burial ground nearby. Within a few years, a log cabin and then a hexagonal building was built. This was also the home of Leesburg's first schoolhouse. After the land was donated as a burial place for the people of Leesburg and the community, a group of ladies organized a Cemetery Improvement Association in 1893. Annual dues were only 25c. They raised money for a fence, a pavilion and headboards for unmarked graves as well as taking care of the grounds. For many years in the early 1900s, afternoon Sunday walks along the windy clay road to the cemetery were a common occurrence. Families would stroll to the cemetery with visiting relatives to honor their kin. Children delighted in picking the wild blackberries and violets along the way and walking among the tombstones to pick out their favorites. 


We all have an innate desire to be remembered. Lone Oak Cemetery is dedicated to preserving the memories of our community and honoring the lives of those whose worth should not be forgotten. 
 

Morris methodist First Church Building at Lone Oak Cemetery
Morris Methodist Church First Building, Leesburg, FLg
Morris Methodist Church Marks first building
Cremation Section of Lone Oak Cemetery
Lone Oak Cemetery-Historical Section
Grave Sites and Tombstones at Lone Oak Cemetery
Grave sites and historical grave sites at Lone Oak Cemetery
Lone Oak Cemetery-Historical Section

CONSIDER SUPPORTING
LONE OAK

Lone Oak is a serene spot of yesterday and today. The beginning of Lone Oak Cemetery was in November 1867 with only one oak tree near the cabin and a little graveyard beside it. Lone Oak’s first known interment was Minerva Howell on February 2, 1867. A fence was built around the grave to protect it from wild animals or what the old settlers called varmints. 
           
            Throughout the years Lone Oak Cemetery has been able to preserve the antiquity and beauty with the help of various organizations such as Lone Oak Improvement Association which began in 1893.  The association conducted the first fund raiser for building the cemetery fence.        

Lone Oak Cemetery Entrance and Sign
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 (THE) Bertha Hereford Hall Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, in 1932, dedicated a bronze plaque inscribed “To the Pioneers of the Community of Leesburg”, which marked the first church and school in Lake County.

 

(THE) United Daughters of the Confederacy, Chapter #641, with the cooperation of the cemetery Trustees, presented the Memorial Day program in 1935 . The beautiful rock fountain and pool were also presented on that day. The program was in honor of all the soldiers resting in Lone Oak Cemetery. 

Ring of Memories

Ring of Memories

Our Ring of Memories is one our newest areas.  This creative idea came from our long time Director Mary L. “Midge” Dodge and was constructed in 2017.  It located just adjacent to the cemetery office.   Here, one hundred and twelve spaces are umbrellaed by the majestic limbs of a huge oak tree.  At the entrance, you will find an eagle carving donated by Gordon and Peggy Dorris and sculpted by Keith Carroll.   Families can purchase spaces here to place cremation benches and private columbaria.  They can visit their loved ones while relaxing on the wall seating area around the tree.   

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