Archive for June, 2009

J. Harry Hartman, Monument, Lancaster Cemetery, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

J. Harry Hartman had just started his life when it was cut short.    His obituary appeared in the Lancaster Daily Intelligencer on 22 October 1881 and shows he was well loved and born into a family “of privilige,” as his monument also suggests.

The obituary:

Death of J. Harry Hartman.

J.Harry Hartman, son of Dr. S.B. Hartman, died at his father’s residence on North Prince street, after a brief illness from typhoid fever.  He was a well-known and highly popular young gentleman, a member of the senior class of Franklin and Marshall college, a fine musician and an admirer as well of athletic sports, an officer of the Lancaster bicycle club and a skillful rider.  He was a delegate from the local chapter of the Chi Phi fraternity to the national convention of the order soon to assemble in Baltimore, and was stricken with his fatal illness when engaged in preparation for the journey. He was aged about eighteen years, and his death is a source of poignant grief on the part of his parents and other relatives, and of sincere mourning throughout a large circle of friends and acquaintances.

Hartman plot, Lancaster Cemetery

His monument stands out in this large cemetery. As you drive (or walk, as I have done on many ocassions!) down the main road it is at the end of your destination, standing, tall, proud, and untouched by vandalism or age. There is the obligatory little step into the site that has no surround, and young Mr. Hartman is buried with his parents and other member of his family.  According to one of the members of the “Friends of Lancaster Cemetery,” the statue was sculpted in the likeness of young Mr. Hartman.

Inscription on the front of the monument 

The inscription reads:
BORN JAN. 7, 1863
DIED OCT. 21, 1881
APR 1, 1830 – JAN 30, 1918
JULY 23, 1835 – SEP 14, 1930

. . .  and now, as Paul Harvey would have said, for the rest of the story!

When I was searching for the obituary so I could write this blog, I came across, not one, but two Hartman’s who died on that day!  . . .  and believe it or not, their obituaries were in the same day’s paper, they lived on the same street (four blocks apart), they died on the same day and they were buried on the same day in the same cemetery!  . . . and they are buried in neighboring plots!

Jacob Hartman was older, and lived a full life as his obituary shows:

Death of Jacob Hartman.

Jacob Hartman died at his residence, No 432 North Prince street, about one o’clock this morning, of consumption of the stomach, after an illness of some duration  Mr. Hartman was well known to almost every body in Lancaster, having been born and lived all his life in this city, and been for many years engaged in active business pursuits.  He was a son of the late John Hartman; learned the coach-smithing business, and for some years carried it on in a frame building where the Pennsylvania railroad depot now stands.  He next engaged in the marketing business, running a market car between this city and Baltimore.  Quitting this trade he engaged in the ice business and for the past thirty years, or more, carried it on extensively, and only relinqished it in April, 1880, when immpaired health prevented him from continuing it.  Mr. Hartman at the time of his death was a widower, in the 64th year of his age.  He has one son, and one adopted son living and several grandchildren.  His brothers, John Hartman ice dealer, and Daniel Hartman, railroad engineer, are well-known citizens.  Mr. Hartman was an active business man, and by his own industry and tact accumulated quite a handsome fortune.  He was a kind-hearted, pleasant companion and will be missed by a large circle of acquaintances.  His funeral will take place on Tuesday next.

Jacob Hartman’s headstone no longer stands.  The site where it is supposed to be has two headstones, one belonging to John Hartman, Jacob’s son, and another that is lying face down.  It is on the right in the rear, in the picture below. Perhaps I’ll talk my husband into taking his “lifting bar” and head to the cemetery.  Couldn’t do it today, it was their annual “Victorian Day at the Cemetery” and we just couldn’t draw attention to our venture. . . .


Meanwhile, Two obituaries and one beautiful monument ain’t so bad now, is it?

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Rumin1My headstone of the week was found in St. Ignatius Cemetery in Centralia on our visit there this month.  There are two exactly like this, one for Edw J and one for Joe Rumin.  There are no dates on and/or near either one of them.  They are made from some type of iron and it has rusted over the years.  I am almost positive they were made by the same person since they are identical.  I’m guessing that the person who made these was an ironworker of some sort.  What do you think?


I was fascinated by these when I saw them from afar and that is why they are

Linda’s Headstone of the Week; Week #36.

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ShellsMy headstone of the week for this week was found in the cemetery across the street from Friendship United Methodist Church in Millsboro, Delaware.  What makes this unique is the obvious hand inscription and the sea shells that are imbedded in the top of the headstone.  The soil is very sandy at this cemetery and there are shells scattered and visible everywhere, but this is the only headstone that I found with the shells imbedded in the headstone.  It is unique and touching to me and is the reason it is

Linda’s Headstone of the Week for week #35.

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Wow!  What a title!  A town that belongs in a graveyard??  Yes, that would be Centralia, Pennsylvania.  The town with a fire underneath it.  The town that was once a thriving community, with schools, Churches, stores, diners and pubs.  Now there are a few scattered homes, an empty police station, one church, a few empty lots, but mostly trees.  Streets lined by nothing, with a four way stop in the middle of what once was Centralia.

Having never seen the town, or what is left of it, we decided it warranted a road trip and set off on Wednesday morning to see Centralia.  Our first stop was south of town for this shrine.


We had to stop to see what this was. We are used to seeing crosses with plastic flowers along the side of the road, and I’m sure everybody has seen those, but a shrine? with a power pole in the back of it? real flowers on either side? and absolutely no building anywhere around it!  There was a flat building lot just below it, and a part of an old driveway that we pulled into, but that was the only evidence that there had ever been any house around this spot!  and there was no name in the shrine!  A Mary Mother of God Statue, some roses pinned to the wall, a school picture of a little boy and a couple of other things, but no name or date.


Our next stop was St. Ignatius Cemetery, seemingly in the middle of no where.  It was well kept and had very early stones in it.  Many seemed to be homemade, but still standing.  This one was tiled and the only one like it we saw, no dates, simply a name.  There were many cement crosses, all the same size, some with names and dates, some without.  Some had the names as they were known in their home countries.  It was a diverse cemetery, Irish, Portugese, Polish, and many other nationalities.  

CementThe cemetery was well kept and we saw why.  When we entered there was a man clearing the dead flowers from some of the graves, putting them in a trash can.  Later we saw a lady with a push mower, mowing the area around several graves.  We went up and talked to her and she seemed eager to tell us about Centralia.  

Some of the things we learned:

  • She was simply cleaning up around her parents, grandparents and cousin’s graves.  She had been a resident of Centralia and had been “relocated” to Mt. Carmel.  
  • She told us where we were had once been a thriving area with St. Ignatius Church, Catholic School, Rectory and row of homes on either side of the street.  There are nothing but trees and weeds today.  
  • She had attended the Catholic Church and School, but had to graduate from Mt. Carmel after the fire.
  • She showed us the path of the underground fire.  You could see the difference in the color in the landscape.  She also pointed out the pipes the were in the area where the government tested the temperatures beneath the earth.  
  • We asked about the Memorial down the hill and she explained the people who had once had a home there came back every day to clean the site of the memorial and put fresh flowers.  It was simply a memorial to Virgin Mary.
  • We learned that as soon as the State bought the residents home they destroyed their old homes.  According to her, the residents didn’t actually see any money.  They found a new home and the State then bought it for them, taking their home in exchange.  No money ever saw the owner’s hands.
  • We learned the fire started behind the Odd Fellows Cemetery, right across the highway, our next stop.

TireToday this tire is all that marks the St. Ignatius Church site.  The cemetery can be seen in the background.  

Want to know where the Winners from Centralia are buried?  Why, it’s in the Odd Fellows Cemetery, of course!


Every so often I come across these “Blue” headstones.  They are some sort of metal and have weathered over the years.  Those three little rosettes hold that family shield in place.  The headstones are four sided with room for either a design or more family information on each side.  This one had names on the front and back and a religious design on each side.


On our way to the hill on the other side of the valley to see St. Mary’s Catholic Orthodox Cemetery, we saw a Memorial which was “dedicated to those who served their country in all Wars.”  We had to stop.  The bell on the Memorial once belonged to Trinity Episcopal Congregation.  The Memorial is on the former site of the American Legion.

RussianThe Borough Hall and Police Station were empty, however, there was a flag on the flagpole ~ interesting!  Notice the peeling paint ~  

BoroughHallStreets leading to virtually no where are still existing.  They now have trees and weeds where families once had homes.  Driving down one we came across this lot, beautifully mowed and seemingly marking the spot that once had been somebody’s home.  Where children had played in a backyard and adults had sat on a front porch.  Somebody still had those memories and wanted to keep their family’s memories alive.  They still had pride in their little piece of Centralia.

empty lot

Our next stop was the Cemetery for St. Mary’s Orthodox Catholic Church. It sat on hilly, rocky ground and was serene and quiet, seemingly tucked away from the world, accessible only by a road hidden from the road that wraps around the trees that shield it from view.


 A lot of the headstones are in Russian and we were fortunate to have a friend along who could read Russian!  How many people do you know can do that??  We had not a clue that Martha had that knowledge . . . until we got there.

Russian1This Cemetery is built on the side of a hill.  The ground is covered with rocks and the wall around the cemetery and Church was built with rocks. The assumption is the rocks came from the surrounding area.  These are huge rocks, and not ones easily moved by one person!  The picture below shows the walk behind the Church leading to the cemetery.

WalkChurchThe stairs leading to the front door of the Church are steep and narrow.  We were wondering how the elderly made those stairs or if there was a back entrance!  The next picture was taken from the road and shows more of that stone wall.


Since this was our last stop in Centralia, I took one final picture of the town from the top of the Church steps.  You can see the trees that once lined the streets  and faint lines of the streets.  The St. Ignatius Cemetery is behind the row of trees at the top of the hill in the picture.  I did zoom in to get the shot.  It was an awesome view.

ViewOur time in Centralia came to a close and we had seen what was left of the town.  What was once a town of over 1500 people has been reduced to a few scattered residences with most of its allure now in its history of the last 40 years!  Real families had once had real lives in this town and its former residents are still proud of what had once been the center of their lives!  

We know, we had met one of them!


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HSOTW#34My “headstone” of the week was found in the Cemetery behind  St. Mary’s Russian Orthodox church in Centralia, Pennsylvania.  The simplicity of it stuck us as we walked through this cemetery and then we saw IT!  

HSOTW34The cross, evidently, had been built from hollow pieces of wood and as it aged part of it fell away.  An opportunistic bird found the right spot to raise her young and built her nest in the hollow spot.  Guess she picked it because there was no name on this Orthodox cross and figured it was free to all!  It is one of the reasons it is 

Linda’s Headstone of the Week; Week #34.

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Pic_13When State Trooper Kelly had come into the Historical Society several weeks ago she left with a stack of papers pertaining to the family of Cpl McEvoy.  We had learned his two children had since died and their obituaries named their children, grandchildren of Cpl. McEvoy.

Since her goal was to get as much information on this State Trooper, and perhaps a good picture of him to place on the Wall of Honor, she wanted to contact one of them . . . and she did!  She telephoned his grandson, Terry, and left a message on his answering machine.  Before she was able to contact him again he had googled his grandfather’s name and came up with my previous blogs and sent me an e-mail. 

We then knew the family was interested and Kelly called him and set up an appointment to go visit him.  The date was set for June 9th and she invited me to go along.  There was not a question in my mind!  

Monday, June 9th:

Cpl McEvoy’s Grandson:

We located his address on a map and headed out to the Northern part of the county to meet Cpl McEvoy’s grandson.  This was the next step and Kelly was as excited as I was.  When we arrived, he invited us in and we introduced ourselves (although Kelly needed no introduction since she was in uniform!)  We sat and explained what we had done and what Kelly wanted to do for his grandfather.  He told us that the family had no idea where he had been buried since his grandmother had died shortly after his grandfather, leaving his father an orphan at 9 years of age!  

Terry shared some wonderful pictures of his grandfather with us and I am sharing them with you, the reader of this blog, with his permission.  The picture at the top of this post shows Cpl McEvoy on his horse.  At the time the picture was taken he was the 30th Trooper stationed out of the Pottsville Barracks.  How did we know that?  


Pennsylvania State Police Historical Society:

The picture above shows the number “30” and the letter “C” before it.  The “C” was the Troop stationed at the Pottsville Barracks and the “30” was his number that was assigned to him when he reported to the Pottsville Barracks.  When and if he left, he’d assume the next available number at the new Barracks and leave “30” behind for the next person who reported.  He would take his horse, however.

. . . and where did I learn all of that?  In Hershey at The Pennsylvania State Police Historical, Educational and Memorial Center!  After we left Terry’s home we headed to the State Police Academy and the PSP site listed above.  The Museum was well worth the trip, but the information I learned from the woman there was priceless!  I also learned that the hat Cpl McEvoy is wearing on the picture below was fashioned in the style of Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders and hence is called, yes, a “Rough Rider Hat!”

Rough Rider

Kelly had a packet of the paperwork, census records, marriage license, obituaries and various newspaper accounts and gave it to the Historical Society, along with the pictures she had just received by his grandson.  They are the only pictures the Historical Society has.  

McEvoy Family

The picture of his family was taken in 1914 when his son, Shea, was a baby.  Shea is in the lap of his older sister, Martha.

Pennsylvania State Police Academy:

After we left the Historical Society we drove up the driveway to the front of the Offices for the Academy.  Outside of the building is a beautiful memorial wall which lists all of the Troopers who died in the line of duty.  McEvoy’s name is in the first column.

Memorial Wall

We took a short tour of the building to see the wall inside that has a short bio and a picture (if available) of each Trooper named on this wall.  There is only a silhouette for Cpl. McEvoy presently, but there soon will be one with the pictures that were given to the Archives today!


 . . . and the best picture of all!  Ben F. McEvoy had another life outside of the Pennsylvania State Police.  We all do, so it came as no surprise.  What was a surprise was what he did.  The picture below shows Ben with his Violin.  Yes, he was a Violinist!  


What a great picture of a man who’s life was cut so short!

Stay tuned for Chapter 4!   

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Today was “Victorian Day” in the Lancaster Cemetery.  It is their annual fund raiser, with walking tours, Civil War re-enactors, Ladies of the Patriot Daughters of Lancaster and even “meeting” Mayor Sanderson who served the city from 1859 – 1869. 


 Our tour guide knew the Cemetery intimately.  His father had been the caretaker and he spent his childhood playing among the headstones.  We learned the first burial was on June 1, 1848 and was a child, Alice Louisa. In the picture above, Mr. Smoker is telling us about Second Lieut. Cornelius Van Camp who was shot through the heart with an arrow while leading a charge near Wichita in October of 1858.

drummerboyOne of our first stops was at the gravesite of George Brientnall, “the Drummer Boy of Shiloh.”  While at the gravesite, we were read the poem about “The Drummer Boy of Shiloh” by our Tour Guide and then continued on to the gravesite of the first Revolutionary War patriot buried here.

RevWarVetMichael Kline (4 Aug 1744 – 21 Aug 1828) and five other members of his family are buried in this site.  He was a Revolutionary War veteran.


We learned the story of Elliot Eskridge Lane’s death.  Elliot was a nephew of President James Buchanan and had been the victim of food poisoning at the Inauguration dinner for his uncle.  He died days later! 

LongWe stopped and paid homage to the Longs.  Henry G. Long and his wife Catharine, donated the land that Long’s Park sits on today.  It is a large, beautiful park and utilized year around by various organizations and families.  Events are held there on an almost weekly basis!

KanekoI had often wondered why George Kinzo Kaneko was buried in the same area as Franklin and Marshall College dignitaries.  Today we found out why.  He was a student from Japan when he met his untimely death here.  Japan, as a gesture for the kindness shown to Mr. Kaneko, sent Ginko trees to both Lancaster Cemetery and to Franklin and Marshall College.  The College ended up giving the trees to the Cemetery and today they are scattered throughout the cemetery.  They are beautiful.

ladyWe walked to and stopped at one of the most beautiful sites in the cemetery.  Rumor has it that she has been seen walking in the cemetery.  Our guide assured us that in all his years at this cemetery, he has never seen her walk!  He did explain what the pillar next to her symbolized.  It appears to be broken and it symbolizes a life cut short.  If you will notice, Elliot Lane, above, has the same pillar for his headstone.


. . . and finally we got to meet Mayor Sanderson.  He told us about his various business ventures and how he became Mayor of our fair city.  If we were warm on this 85 degree day, I can only imagine how warm he must have been in his suit and top hat!


Esther Parker was James Buchanan’s housekeeper and is also buried in this cemetery.  No tour would be complete without seeing her headstone, as she was an integral part of the Buchanan’s househould.  

The $5 we each spent for our tour was well worth it!  We learned a lot about the “residents” in this piece of ground and would definitely recommend this to anybody next year.  

We’ll go the 8th Annual Victorian Days at Lancaster Cemetery in 2010, will you?


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My headstone of the week is in St. John’s Cemetery, Chapman Township, Snyder County, Pennsylvania.  Military headstones are among my favorites, simply for the fact that because of what these men did, I can enjoy the life I do today.  I appreciate each and every one of them!

Snyder County was created from a part of Union County in 1855.  Union County was created from a part of Northumberland County in March of 1813.  My ancestor, Joseph Britton, himself a Revolutionary War veteran, settled here after the War, and my family has roots in this area.  About once a year we travel to the area to pay homage to my family in cemeteries in Snyder, Juniata and Perry Counties.  We like to go in the fall since the area is simply beautiful at that time of the year.

Simon Herrold was born in Northumberland County in 1802 and served as a Lieutenant in the Northumberland County Militia.  He married Sarah Richter in 1823 and both are buried in St. John’s Cemetery in Chapman Township, Snyder County.  My link to this couple?

Simon and Sarah’s daughter, Louisa, married William B. Carvell, son of William and Mary Britton Carvell.  William B.’s brother, Joseph B., was my ancestor.  Joseph B., is my 3rd Great Grandfather.  The link is tenuous at best, but it is a link!

My headstone of the week is in an old Churchyard, in a quaint old village on the side of a busy four lane highway.  This graveyard is full of the history of our country and this headstone is but one of it’s heroes and the reason it is

Linda’s headstone of the week, week #40

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This cute kid is standing next to his great-grandfather’s headstone in Hemet, California.  

The grave marker is for my ex-father-in-law, William H. Bowman, and I believe I’ve written about it before.  The birth year shows 1914 when it is actually 1909.  The family never knew his actual age!  It would have been impossible for him to have been born in 1914 since his father died in 1912.  It took his ex-daughter-in-law’s interest in genealogy to uncover this slight discrepancy.  

. . .  and you are probably wondering how I took this picture since I live in Pennsylvania.  Well, I didn’t!  My son, Blaine, took his son, Ellis, to Hemet on Memorial Day to bring flowers to the Bowmans’ final resting place. Bowmans Plural?  That’s right!  Both William Henry and Ruth Hall Bowman are buried here, but her name has never been added to the marker.

Linda’s Headstone of the Week; Week #33

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