As of July 15, 1996
BEI.LEFONTE CEMETERY LOCATION, Historic Section bounded by High Street, Wilson Street, Howard Street. and North Ridge Street. New Section bounded by Howard Street. Wilson Street, and Lamb Street.
SIZE: 19.6 acres (16.6 in historic section. 3 in new).
NUMBER or GRAVE SITES: Listing for more than 5,000 individual graves, but because of lost records. this is only perhaps half of thane actually interred. An estimated 400 sites remain available. (in 1996)
HISTORY. The first Bellefonte cemetery, operating from about 1796 until the early 1800s. was located at the bend at the west end of Linn Street. colonel John Boggs, a veteran of the American Revolution. was the first to be buried there--in 1796 at the age of 64.
At the same time, or a few years later (definitely by 1806, the date of the first burial) James Harris and James Dunlop. cofounders of Bellefonte, set aside a plot of land to be called the Bellefonte Grave-Yard. It was located about halfway up the hill southeast of the present Gatehouse on Howard Street. some 300 feet to the east of the drive. John Rogge's remains, along with those of several others. were transferred to the new cemetery from the original The gate to the original cemetery was located about one hundred yards past of the present Gatehouse. It was torn down in the mid 1960s.
After the Civil War the cemetery expanded toward the present Centre County jail and east to Wilson Street. Finally, about 1949, it was extended across Howard Street.
PERPETUAL CARE - At the September 26, 1908 meeting of the board, the subject of perpetual care was addressed for the first time in the minutes. Until then, families either cared for the graves themselves or paid a seasonal fee to have the cemetery association do it The board adopted a perpetual care policy that was refined at the May 22, 1909 meeting when the treasurer was authorized to print certificates for those purchasing the service.
MAUSOLEUM, At the April 24, 1911 meeting. G. W. Loudon and Wilbur Rice proposed that a public mausoleum be erected at the cemetery. The next mention In the minutes of a mausoleum comes sometime between 1928 and 1931 when, at an undated board meeting at James C. Furst's office, a representative of the Bellefonte Mausoleum Company submitted plans for erecting a mausoleum. The board accepted the contract and inserted a clause giving the cemetery association $5 for the attendance of the superintendent at a burial. The next reference was on July 22. 1931. "The young men who proposed building the Mausoleum had announced that they expected to go ahead with the work in September of the current year." By then, however. Mr. Loudon and Mr. Rice, the original proposers, could hardly have been those same "young men." The next reference appears on May 17. 1934, when the association decided to buy the "Lose lot on High Street as the Mausoleum Lot." possibly from the First National Bank of Bellefonte. No other reference can be found, and no such structure--other than the private Meek mausoleum--was ever built. According to Jane Beaver. the mausoleum had been planned at one time for a plot of ground at the east boundary of the cemetery next to the private homes on High Street.
GATEHOUSE - From early to mid-1858, the cemetery association received bids from contractors for, as one bid reads, the "Semetry" Building." They range from J. F. Batcheler's quota of $1,337 to Daniel McGinley's bid of $850. Cemetery accounts for April 19. 1859 show a $910 payment to Daniel McGinley. a local Bellefonte contractor. "for building house." Batcheler's bid contains reference to "the cornice as you can see it on Mr. Blanchard's office" and to eight gables. as well as to a "gate either to swing or to be raised up In to the room above." The law office and the gatehouse wore both examples arched; those of the Gatehouse are similar to the windows on the first floor. These records. pine the fact that the renovation of the Gatehouse in 1986 to 1989 showed no evidence of assembly from another structure. would seem to cast doubt on the claim by 20th-century Bellefonte historian J. Thomas Mitchell that the Gatehouse was the 'bulk" of the Blanchard and Curtin law office that stood where now stands the Crider Exchange. At the October 8. 1915 meeting, the board approved the installation of a Bell Telephone in the superintendent's house. One-half of the $18 yearly fee was to be paid by the cemetery association. and half by the superintendent On July 1. 1921. the board accepted a hid to install a "bath and closet" (water closet) in the Gatehouse. At the September 1947 meeting. the board decided to install a heating system using stems heat and "radiation' in the Gatehouse,
AFRICAN AMERICANS' Bellefonte at one time was home to scores of black families. and the Bellefonte Cemetery is an exception to the "Caucasian only" burial restrictions that many American cemeteries carried. The Bellefonte Cemetery Is known to have been integrated for more than 100 years (Webmasters NOTE -this implies at least since 1897 - this is being researched)
First burial on record; April 1806 Dr. William Harris, who was from Nova Scotia and who practiced medicine in Bellefonte as early as 1798.
Oldest tombstone still readable' .James Smith, owner of Smithfield (the west end of town). who died in 1808.
Governors buried' *
Andrew Gregg Curtin, 1816 9(* - Included on tour) ,
James A. Beaver, 1837-1914
Daniel H. Hastings, 1849-1903
Extracts from Charter and By laws of the Bellefonte Cemetery Association of 1856.
The superintendent shall lock and unlock the gates of the cemetery daily .He shall find his own fuel, except such dead or decayed trees or wood on the premises as he may be permitted to use by the Manager's. No poultry. chicken houses or pig pens will be permitted inside of the superintendent's yard, and no cattle of any description will be permitted to run at large on the premises. Fees for Digging Graves. For a person under seven years of age, $2.00; for a person over seven. $5.00. No visitors, other than lot holders on foot. . .will be admitted on Sundays. without an introduction by, or a written permit from a lot holder. Saddle horses cannot be admitted. No horse may bel left unfastened without an attendant. Coachmen are to keep on the main avenues. The cemetery will be closed to all visitors on the Sabbath day, until one o'clock p.m.. to afford the Superintendent an opportunity to attend public worship in the morning, Signed by' Jas. Burnside Edward C. Humes Janes T. Hale H. N. McAllister When printed (date unknown), officers were, President, Jno. P. Harris Secretary and Treasurer, John M. Dale Managers. James A. Beaver Clement Dale C.F. Cook Chas. Cruse Ws. P. Humes Apparently these rules remain in effect.
* means included on tour
* Lt. Col. James Dunlop, 1727 1821, cofounder of Bellefonte.
* James Harris, 1786-1826, cofounder of Bellefonte.
* Dr. Evan Pugh 1828-1564 the first president of Farmers' High School (which later become Penn State).
Evan M. and Thome. McKean Buchanan, nephews of Admiral Franklin Buchanan of the confederate Navy. commander of the Merrimac. defender of Mobile Bay against Admiral David Farragut. and the first head of the U.S. Naval Academy. Lieutenant Commander Thomas Buchanan, U.S.N., was killed in the nettle of Bayou Tech*, Louisiana, Jan 14, 1863, aboard the U.S.S. Calhoun. while in command of the Gunboat Fleet. He was 25 years old. Captain Evan Buchanan. 3rd. Div. 6 Corps, Union Army, was captured and killed September 77. 1864, in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. by Colonel John Rosby's troops. He was 30 years old.
The Rev. James Linn, pastor of Bellefonte Presbyterian Church for 58 years, and the grandson of James Gettys. after whom Gettysburg is named.
* George Harris, recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor in the Civil War.
* Anna Wagner Keichline first woman registered architect in Pennsylvania, inventor, and designer of myriad local structures.
Unites States Senator and president pro-tem of the U.S. Senate Andrew Gregg.
* Benjamin Frasier. a slave said to have died at the age of 121, *
Black Civil War veterans, members of the USCT (United States Colored Troops),
soldiers of the famous Union "Army of James".
" Harriet and Eliza DeHaas. two nieces of Benedict Arnold.
Nancy Dunlop Orbison, grandmother of Sylvia Beach. who had a famous book shop in Paris in the 192ns and 1930s. and who published James Joyce's Ulysses.
* General James Irvin, who donated the land for the Farmers' High School, now Penn State.
* Hugh F. McAllister. prime mover in the founding of Penn State.
---------------------- under who's guidance the school procured three national. championship football teams In 1924-26. (webmasters note - this is being researched - possibly James R Hughes headmaster of the Bellefonte Academy)
The Rev. James P. Hughes, James (R) Hughes' father. • teacher at the Academy in 1870- 71.
Dr. Edwin Acheson. Inventor of (he lubricant used by the plane flown by Baron Manfred von Richtofen in World War I.
* Baron C. Karl Trcziyulny 1767 -1851. noted canal architect. engineer, and surveyor. who was exiled from Poland in 1793, and after whom the mountain between Bellefonte and Milesburg was named.
The parents of Col. Jack Haverly, America's most famous minstrel man.
* The parents of John Montgomery Ward, the famed Baseball Hall of Famer. a pitcher who is credited with developing the curve ball.
The grandparents of the Mills Brothers.
Many members of the Mann family. manufacturers of the Mann ax. said to have cleared the West, for whom the town of Axmann in named.
Items to note:
Items to note during walking tour (recorded tour is available at the library and the Chamber of Commerce)t
* The Gatehouse, on Howard Street.
* The tombstone split by a giant maple, in the oldest part of the cemetery, right next to the grave of James Dunlop.
* The Barre Granite Fountain along High Street. erected in 1954 in honor of Bellefonte founder James Dunlop by Anna A. McCoy. his great- great granddaughter. [The street light originally lit a corner in Erie, Pennsylvania.)
The three sets of wooden tombstones.
(1) halfway up the hill and a bit to the left from the Gatehouse, (2) about the same distance to the right. and (3) on Howard Street near Soldiers' Circle.
* Soldiers' Circle--e ring of graves fenced by a semicircular wall, holding the remain,' of Civil War veterans, purchased by the Grand Army of the Republic.
Bronze markers throughout the cemetery donated by Hrs. John Love, wife of a prominent attorney, marking graves of veterans. Among them, Revolutionary War - 10, War of 1812 - 13 , Civil War-214 ,
Spanish-American War 28