The first formal burial grounds for the early settlers of Steubenville, were established by Bazaleel Wells who gave the ground to Presbyterians and Methodists. One was located on the grounds where Grant School would once stand the other at the intersection of Fourth & Fifth Streets. With the coming of the railroad and the booming river traffic, the bustling river town began to expand and its commerce flourished. The cemeteries were soon surrounded by residences, which in turn were being replaced with businesses common to those days.
And so it was that in the summer of 1853 that a meeting was held at which time action was taken to relieve the situation. At a great mass meeting a committee on location for a new cemetery was named. The committee was made up of: Dr. Charles Clinton Beatty, Col George W. McCook, Rezin Permar, Frederick Frye, Dr. John Andrews, Alexander Beatty, William McDonald, David McGowan, Joshua Manly, Kinsey Swords, Ambrose Shaw and John McCracken.
The committee reported on December 16, 1853 that the William Huscroft farm west of the city was most suitable. They met constantly to work out the details to abandon the old cemeteries and start the new one. The Union Cemetery Association was incorporated with a capital stock of $10,000 on February 25, 1854.
The original tract of forty-eight acres was increased by additional purchases until 1877 with a total of one hundred forty-three acres. In 1905 the Thompson farm was purchased which added eighty acres of ground to the cemetery. On August 4, 1930 a tract of ninety-nine acres was sold to the city for a park, leaving one hundred twenty-one acres for cemetery purposes. In 1967 twenty-four acres to the cemetery was added. Today the cemetery consists of one hundred ninety-nine acres.