The future village of Milford, situated upon the Little Miami, in a natural setting of beauty, certainly must have been an attractive sight, an ideal location, to those seeking to establish a home, where, in the uncertainties of pioneer life, they might hope to find permanence and happiness. People located in this attractive spot, and among them in 1840 were a few Catholic families.
Inevitably more Catholics located in the Milford area, mostly Irish and German, and just as inevitably, in the midst of their new found life, they encountered hardship, disease and death. Cholera, consumption and flu pandemics caused many fatalities, especially in the face of the lack of drugs and medical treatment.
This led to little groupings of families in cemeteries around the Milford area, one of them being on South Milford Road on the property of George Fredrick Laudeman , a Bavarian farmer, (born 1819 – dec’d 1896) According to cemetery records, the Guilday family buried their six day old son in 1858. He was named after his father, John Guilday, and was joined in October of 1865 by his four year old sister, Margaret. Grandpa John Guilday was buried in 1867 at the age of 45. Thomas Butler (born 1821) was buried in 1866, the year the cemetery officially opened. The earliest born of cemetery occupants was Patrick Hocter, born in Tipperary, Ireland in 1772. He is also the eldest, having lived to the age of 101 years in 1873. Two “Sons of the Parish” rest in our cemetery: Rev. James T. Hurley, born 1904, ordained 1930, dec’d 1980; and Rev. Edward F. Lawler, born 1911, ordained 1938, dec’d 1995.
In 1866, George F. Laudeman sold approximately three acres of his 160 farm to Rev. John B. O'Donoghue, pastor of the newly formed St. Andrew Parish. The cemetery, as it was developing prior to that, had been legally named “The Milford Catholic Cemetery Association,” whose Board was comprised of members from Milford and St. Columban Catholic Church, Loveland. The cemetery contains 230 lots on a high tract of ground, very picturesque in a natural setting surrounded by the SEM Retirement Center. In 1873 the cemetery property was officially transferred to the ownership of Bishop John B. Purcell, Archdiocese of Cincinnati. On April 4, 1919, $162.33 was transferred on “the books” from The Milford Catholic Cemetery Association to St Andrew Cemetery Association.
At the urging of the Board in 1898, grave owners were encouraged to secure deeds through the St Andrew Cemetery Association. Many of the earlier purchases had been made through Rev. John B. O’Donoghue, with receipts subsequently issued by Rev. Wm. O’Rourke on January 23, 1874. Present day records show that St. Andrew Cemetery is now home to 1207 people, of which 124 are age 21 and under (infants and children). 109 are Veterans of various wars. 1358 graves are presently open, of which 758 are reserved. Special sections are set aside for burial of infants and cremains
Before the era of the backhoe, graves were dug by parishioners who received as much as $1.25 per day for their labor, sometimes an additional $2.00 if the ground was frozen or the grave was wider than the usual size. Names like Bosch, Bergman, Beckler, Dean, and O’Connor appear on the list of those receiving payment for their grave digging services. However, the longest serving and most dedicated to the maintenance and preservation of the cemetery is Bob Whalen, who joined the parish in a maintenance capacity in the early 1970s. The original utility building, built in 1919, was wrecked and replaced on Lot #121 in 1976 for the sum of $878.50.
Upon the request of Rev. Robert Buschmiller in 1978, the cemetery was granted an easement for a 10’ Egress through the property of S.E.M. Villa II, Inc on the south side. The easement was established to expedite traffic from funerals and other large gatherings in the cemetery on holidays and special occasions. The original roadway coming in from South Milford Road was extended to the far west end of the cemetery. Herb Schutte carved a wooden corpus for the cross to be placed in the circular garden area in what is now the center of the cemetery. It serves as a comforting reminder that those who now sleep in this holy place will one day rise again.