Sticking with one of my favorite cemeteries, Lancaster Cemetery, in the heart of the city, I found this beautiful monument in a prominent place, close to the front of the cemetery.
This monument reads:
SACRED TO THE MEMORY
REV DR FREDERICK A. RAUCH
OF MARSHALL COLLEGE
BORN AT KIRCHBRACHT
JULY 27, 1806
DIED AT MERCERSBURG, PA.
MARCH 2, 1841.
Before Lancaster’s Franklin and Marshall College was Franklin and Marshall, there was Marshall College, and Rev. Dr. Frederick Augustus Rauch was it’s first President. Although he did not live, nor did he die in Lancaster, his remains are here. Besides from the obvious carvings, the thing that makes this monument most interesting is that Rev. Dr. Frederick Augustus Rauch’s remains and his monument are not in the spots they were originally placed. .
According to “A Biographical History of Lancaster County,”
“His remains, after resting in Mercersburg for eighteen years, were brought to Lancaster in 1859, and now lie in front of Franklin and Marshall college edifice.”
There is a much more detailed description of his original burial at Franklin College in Mercersburg, transfer of his remains to Franklin and Marshall College Campus in Lancaster and final transfer to Lancaster Cemetery in “A Century of Education in Mercersburg, 1836-1936.” This book contradicts the above referenced “A Biographical History of Lancaster County,” in stating:
“The Board of Trustees of Franklin and Marshall College, at its meeting in July, 1856, instructed the executive to purchase a lot of ground in the Lancaster Cemetery and have the remains of Dr. Rauch removed and interred there. . . Eighteen years after his death the body of Dr. Rauch was brought to Lancaster for reinterment.”
"A Christian Philosopher"
The confusion probably lies in the fact that a monument was erected in honor of Dr. Rauch on the Franklin and Marshall campus and according to the Mercersburg book:
Twelve years after this occasion another event took place in Lancaster – – – the unveiling of the Rauch monument on the Franklin and Marshall College campus. It occupied a prominent place there until the erection of the DePeyster Library when it was transferred to the spot where Dr. Rauch lies buried in the Lancaster Cemetery.
Three different entities, Alumni of the former Marshall College, alumni of Franklin and Marshall College and The Synod of the Reformed Church were responsible for commissioning Davoust Kern of Lancaster to sculpture this monument. It was referred to as “A Christian Philosopher” and was a portrayal of Dr. Rauch’s Study.
This monument is what is today ~
Linda’s Headstone of the Week; Week #25
- Harris, Alexander,. A biographical history of Lancaster County : being a history of early settlers and eminent men of the county, as also much other unpublished historical information, chiefly of a local character. Lancaster, Pa.: Elias Barr & Co., 1872, pages 389, 390.
- Klein, H.M.J., A Century of Education at Mercersburg, 1836-1936.Lancaster, Pa.: Lancaster Press, Inc., 1936, pages 111, 112.
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