Elkhorn Creek flows into the east fork of the Whitewater River about seven miles southwest of Richmond, a location within a few miles of Wayne County’s first settlement which was started in 1805. From those early days on, the Elkhorn Creek Valley has been portrayed as picturesque and beautiful; it is because of this setting and its proximity to the “Kentucky Settlement,” as that first settlement was known, that the first two churches in Wayne County were built here. A cemetery soon followed.
Elkhorn Cemetery, the oldest cemetery in Wayne County, lies near the crossing of US 27 over Elkhorn Creek about six miles south of Richmond. It adjoins the Elkhorn Baptist Church and can be accessed from Esteb Road. Consisting of about five acres total, three are considered newer because they were platted in 1896. The lower two acres contained the first house of worship as well as the first schoolhouse.
The county’s first burial took place here in 1808, the little daughter of John Baird. The bodies of several veterans of the Revolutionary War rest at this site including the first two men of European descent to file land claims in the county, Richard Rue and George Holman. One can also visit the graves of early notables the Rev. Hugh Cull, James Lamb, and Hannah Boone Lamb and Ovid Boone, Sr., first cousins of Daniel Boone, among other early pioneers.
Described as “looking more like a city park than a rural cemetery” in the early 1900’s, the property retains that appeal even today. Some describe a journey to the Elkhorn Cemetery as a perfect Sunday activity, but the opportunity to immerse oneself in Wayne County history in such a serene setting is an activity suitable for any day of the week.