Meet Battle Creek’s Ogden Green: The Man Who Dug Over 2000 Graves
Ogden Green is considered one of the most interesting figures in Battle Creek's earliest history, yet many may not know the story of the first sexton of the area. He wasn't what you would have called a gravedigger though. A Gravedigger, by definition, is a person who is employed to dig graves, while a Sexton is a church official who looks after a church building and its graveyard and may act as a gravedigger and bell-ringer. Ogden was born in Russell, New York on November 30th, 1812, and passed away in Battle Creek on February 18th, 1899.
He moved to Battle Creek in 1836 with his wife to live with a friend of another prolific figure in Battle Creek, Aesop Phelps. Over the course of 29 years. He would be responsible for digging the graves and burying 2,000 people over the course of 29 years. It didn't end there. Green was also responsible for transferring the bodies of the dead who were buried off of Champion St, and relocating them to Oak Hill Cemetery in 1872.
This is a man who did not fear death, nor did he believe in ghosts. This guy's will must have been stone cold. You can learn even more about him and hear an interview he gave about his profession below:
This is the story of Ogden Green, the first sexton in Battle Creek, Michigan who lived between 1812 -1899. During his time over three decades as a sexton he dug over 2000 graves. This video contains his experiences burying the dead during his time as given in an interview in 1893. It is a very interesting story about a man who was described in his time as 'The maker of the dead man's bed'.