After town organization, the lack of a suitable burial place was painfully apparent. Having in his possession near his residence a tract of land (a part of the old “Mighill Farm,” Killingly) which he deemed especially suitable for this purpose, Chandler Spalding offered it to the town for a public burying ground. The town instructed its selectmen to purchase the ground, but its many urgent burdens and expenses compelled delay and reconsideration, during which interval Mr. Spalding proceeded to lay out the land and prepare a cemetery. July 4th, 1856, the first interment was made. Many persons secured lots, and the ground was constantly improved and beautified by Mr. Spalding till, in 1866, he conveyed it to the Putnam Cemetery Association, formed by citizens of the town desirous of having said cemetery hereafter well cared for, protected and further improved and enlarged. These desires have been satisfactorily accomplished, and the Putnam Cemetery is regarded with much interest and pride, and is every year freshly consecrated by memorial prayers and offerings. President of the association, Otis E. Keith; secretary and treasurer, Charles N. Fenn.
A little east of the modern cemetery, overgrown and enmatted with tangled shrubs and vines, is the lot of land given to the town of. Killingly for a burial place by its most honored citizen, Peter Aspinwall. Mouldering stones bearing the names of the earliest settlers of this vicinity, are to be found there. Killingly’s choicest worthies, Captain Joseph Cady and Justice Joseph Leavens, its first ministers, Reverends John Fisk, Perley Howe and Aaron Brown, its town fathers and town mothers for at least two generations, were interred in this time honored grave yard. A tombstone under a spreading pine tree tells the sad fate of the young bride of Othniel Brown, August 13th, 1786:
“That awful day, the hurricane
When I was in my prime
Blew down the house, and I was slain
And taken out of time.”
The laying out of other burial grounds led to the partial abandonment and neglect of this most interesting ground, but recently it has received more attention, and it is hoped that it may be more thoroughly restored as an unique memorial of the past.
The Pomfret Factory burying ground, on the Pomfret road, west of the former home of Mr. Wilkinson, is no longer in existence. This land was probably devoted to this purpose by Captain Cargill, his little granddaughter, Laura Waldo. being the first person there buried. Included without reservation in the sale of the Cargill land, it was freely used by persons in the vicinity, particularly by the descendants of Captain John Sabin. As the old families became extinct and the land more valuable, it was devoted to other uses. Such stones as were sufficiently preserved were removed to the new cemetery.
The cheerful and well kept burial ground at Putnam Heights is of comparatively modern origin. The first person buried there was Captain Luther Warren, who died August 9th, 1839. The venerated pastor, Priest Atkins, was also buried there, and many of the later residents of the village and vicinity.
Source: History of Windham County, Connecticut, Bayles, Richard M.; New York: W.W. Preston, 1889