Posts Tagged ‘Lancaster Cemetery’

Do you ever, in your journeys through graveyards, wonder why a certain memorial is chosen for a person? or why the wording is the way it is? In my wanderings in and out of cemeteries from coast to coast, I’ve come across my share of “Wonder Whys!”

In the heart of the city, lies the old and very large Lancaster Cemetery. I’ve been in that cemetery too many times to even count and each time I come out with a picture of something I’ve never seen before. Last week I came across one of those “wonder whys” and thought it would be a good time to do a blog on some of them! Herbert W. Rill was only six days old when he died. I wonder why his parents had the year only put on the headstone once ~ half way between the birth and death dates. Jim’s suggestion was that the “SAVED” at the top of the headstone meant they saved money by not having it put on their twice!Across the street from the beautiful Longwood Gardens is Longwood Cemetery, with burials dating back many years ago. In the midst of upright, traditional headstones are a few that stand out because of their uniqueness. Marianne Hoy’s in one of those. It is beautiful and serene and I wonder if it was her wish or something her family did because it reminded them of her. I wonder why . . . On a visit to Centralia, Pennsylvania, the ghost town with a fire under it we took a side trip to St. Mary’s Russian Orthodox Church, high on a hill above the town. We found this grave marker in the Cemetery behind the Church and wondered why

a bird chose this spot to start her family!

Driving through the backroads of northwestern Lancaster County, I came across the old East Donegal Cemetery  in the Maytown area. (You may have heard it referred to as Reich’s Church Cemetery) This beautiful fence caught my eye before I knew there was a Cemetery behind it.  I wonder why nobody caught the fact it was growing into a tree before it actually became part of the tree?

. . . and finally I really wonder why more respect is not shown to those that have served our country so we may have the freedom and liberties that we enjoy today!

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First of all, I found my very own Graveyard Rabbit! He looks like a baby to me, and didn’t have the good sense to hop away.  Of course, that iron fence between Lancaster Cemetery and St. Mary’s Cemetery was his protection from this Graveyard Rabbit.He was as curious about me as I was him and even posed for me!  Twice!  Now the second jackpot could be fodder for a number of jokes, because I found a graveyard in a Trailer Park! Yes, Brubacher Cemetery is located under a tree, behind the barn and next to one of the trailers in King’s River Haven Mobile Park, just north of Bainbridge, Pennsylvania.
Sounds like something on the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, doesn’t it? Jeff Foxworthy could probably think of a quadzillion jokes! All of that went thru my mind, too, until I saw the spot. Notice how manicured the lawn is? and no broken headstones! But the truly remarkable thing to me is the fact that after almost 200 years, the headstones were still readable!
Abraham Brubacher’s headstone is over 200 years old and has been thru that many winters, very close to the Susquehanna River, is still in one piece and can still be read without any effort or strain. Every one of the seven headstones there were in the same condition.  I just wished I had Brubachers in my family tree!

With my good luck rabbit and my Trailer Park Graveyard, I can honestly say

It’s been a good week in Graveyard’s for this Lancaster Graveyard Rabbit!

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My headstone of the week for this week can be found in Lancaster Cemetery directly behind (or in front of, depending on where you are standing!) the monument of John F. Reynolds, the Civil War General who was killed on the first day of the Gettysburg battle.

This headstone reads:

AGE 76 YRS, 10 MOS, 24 DS

Jonathan Foltz was the father of Jonathan Foltz, the Surgeon General of the United States Navy.  According to an article in the NY Times on 12 November 1880*:

“It is of a particular color of stone, representing the trunk of an immense oak, and is so natural in color and design as to deceive persons at first glance into the belief  that it is really the stump of a tree.  Here father and son ~ the one honored and loved in the narrow circle in which he moved, the other distinguished in his country’s service ~ lie side by side.”

The article is right.  I did think it was a tree stump from a distance.  It is massive,  beautiful and stood the test of time.  It is the reason why it is

Linda’s Headstone of the Week; Week #42

*NY Times, Gleanings from the Mails, Lancaster’s Dead.  The Graves of Buchanan, Stevens, Reynolds, and Foltz., published Nov. 12, 1880,  <http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archivefree/&gt;

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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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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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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.

img_0175This monument reads:

JULY 27, 1806
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"

"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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On the above referenced date, two people died in the city of Lancaster.  . . and on the 12th of July both were buried in Lancaster Cemetery.  One was Jacob M. Long and the other was Susan Ward Axer Cole.  I’ve written about Susan, but I’ve never written about Jacob ~ never had a reason to, he’s not part of my family.  


I had seen Jacob’s headstone while in Lancaster Cemetery several weeks ago and thought it unusual and beautiful.  Since I wanted to do a blog on it some day, I looked for his obituary to find out something about him.  Well, I found it, and directly under his, was Susan’s.  

Besides the obvious gender difference, the first difference I noticed was the length of the obituaries ~ Jacob’s was 9″ long, Susan’s a mere 1″.  Jacob was a merchant, businessman, Trustee of Lancaster Cemetery and on the Board of Trustees for Franklin and Marshall College.  He never married.

Susan, on the other hand, married twice.  Her first marriage was to a linen weaver and her second marriage to a tanner curer.  She was a wife and a mother.

Susan was a teenager when Jacob was born.  Very little is known about her before her marriage to Jacob Axer.  Jacob M. Long, on the other hand, was born into a well established family.  He had a good education and entered into business with his father.  He inherited the business when his father died.  

Jacob lived in the family home,  “a handsome residence” at 14 No. Orange Street, in the heart of the city; Susan lived with her daughter and son-in-law in the city in a nice area, however the home was not her’s.

Although Jacob’s obituary was much longer than Susan’s, and appeared before her’s, Susan’s funeral was first.  Her funeral was 2:00  and his was at 3:00 in the afternoon.  They are buried almost directly across the road from each other in Lancaster Cemetery.  


Jacob left an estate of between 70 and 100K.  Susan’s was no where close to that.  Her estate mainly consisted of clothing and household goods.  Susan’s is a simple stone, next to her second husband, Abraham Cole.  I’ve written about the placement of the stone on the above referenced blog about  Susan.  

I’m sure there must have been common friends, since Susan’s son in law was a merchant in the City.  If  in fact there were common friends, how did they attend both funerals?  Did Susan and Jacob go to the same Church?  If so how did the clergy handle the arrangements?  Did the funerals cross paths at one point?  Was Susan’s family leaving when Jacob’s funeral was arriving?  Don’t you wonder about such things?

. . . and now that Jacob Long and Susan Ward Axer Cole are neighbors for eternity, are the playing grounds leveled?

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Well, THE INTERVIEW was aired very-y-y-y early this morning, and as I thought, I appeared nervous! Although talking to Lori Burkholder, the reporter, was like talking to friend, the fact that the camera was there was ever present in my mind!

See for yourself . . . but don’t judge Linda by her first TV appearance! Well, first if you don’t count the appearance when I met Richard Nixon at Ontario, California Airport on the eve of his election! (Can’t help it folks! I had to be a Young Republican since I came from a family of staunch, life-long Republicans. I was incognito, though because I was dressed in an Elephant Suit!)

It was a wonderful experience, but doubtful I’ll be contacted for a permanent position!

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In the rain, covered by an umbrella, Graveyard Rabbit Linda talked about graveyards and Graveyard Rabbits, in of all places, a Graveyard!  I had been contacted by Lori Burkholder of WGAL, the local NBC affiliate, about my Graveyard Rabbit Blog because she was interested in doing a piece on it.  We agreed on Thursday, I printed information for her and headed to Lancaster Cemetery with my sidekick, Jim, to meet the crew.

We started at Charles Demuth’s grave where we talked about the artist, what I look for in cemetries, etc., and then headed over to see a beautiful monument  for a 17 year old boy, across the way.  I’ll do a blog on this monument at a later time.


From the Hartman site we walked to the front of the cemetery in the rain, of course, as I pointed out elements on headstones, anchor on this one, well known Lancaster names on others, and finally reached the huge Reynolds site.  

General John Fulton Reynolds, had the misfortune of dying the first day of Gettysburg, after going through the likes of Chancellorsville, Rogue River, Mechanicsville, Second Bull Run, Fredericksburg, and Gaines Mills.  Blog will be coming on this site in the future, too.  We talked about several interesting headstones and monuments in the area and slowly walked back to our vehicles.  We took a few pictures, shook hands and bid each adieu after spending almost an hour with the delightful news crew from Channel 8!

Watch for the interview on Monday, the 23rd to see if Linda blows it. . . . 


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My pick for headstone of the week is found in Lancaster Cemetery in the heart of the city.  This is one of my favorite cemeteries, and a relaxing, peaceful place to visit.  My Headstone of the Week is also, not a headstone, but a row of grave markers for an entire family.

On a recent visit I found this row of grave markers for the BEITZEL family and had never seen any like it before.  The row of four stands for eternity, a little crooked here and there, but remains never-the-less.


Beitzell Family, Lancaster Cemetery

Beitzell Family, Lancaster Cemetery

Among the granite and marble headstones these lonely iron markers remain after 100 years!  Buried there, from left to right are:

Daniel H. Beitzel, 1870 to 1896 (SON)
George W. Beitzel, 1866 to 1905 (SON)
George W. Beitzel, 1827 to 1913 (HUSBAND) 
Margaret R. Beitzel, 1846 to 1926 (MOTHER)

I love the unusual and simple.  This family has gravemarkers like none other in this cemetery.


Linda’s Headstone of the Week, Week #3


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