John and Mary Stead deeded 4.46 acres of land to the Utica Cemetery Association in 1863. Included in that parcel was a section referred to as the "Old Burying Ground" and a family plot called "Stead's Reserve." The first burial occurred in 1817 upon the death of Thomas Squier, who was among Shelby Township's first white settlers. Businessmen, doctors, farmers, and teachers who influenced the history of the area are buried here, including Lyman T. Jenney, the county's first doctor, and antislavery activists Peter and Sarah Lerich. Also interred here are Joseph Stead, who platted the village of Harlow in 1829, and Gurden C. Leech, who in 1833 suggested that the town be renamed Utica.