Category: Bethel Cemetery

  • Amelia Huls Tombstone, Bethel Cemetery

    Amelia Huls

    An easily identified work of the Master of the Robinson Run Reliefs, whose trademarks are all present:

    • thistle decoration flanked by flowers
    • fan patterns in the corners
    • curled tail on the top of the lower-case g in age
    • “IN” in all capitals, “memory of” in all lower case, name in all upper case.

    Interestingly, there is a Henry Huls buried in the Peters Creek Baptist Church Cemetery, whose tombstone is also by the Master of the Robinson Run Reliefs. We therefore know of at least three cemeteries in which this fine craftsman worked.

    The inscription:
    IN
    memory of
    AMELIA HULS
    who departed this life
    April 16th 1836 in the
    49 year of her age

    This picture was taken in 2015.
  • Gillfillan Family, Bethel Cemetery

    Gilfillan family plot

    The old Bethel Cemetery is full of Gillfillans (or Gilfillans), whose memorials are in all styles from the early settlers’ handmade tombstones to elaborate marble monuments from the middle 1800s.

    Sarah Gillfillan

    IN

    memory of

    SARAH GILLFILLAN

    Who departed this Life

    March the 2nd 1818 aged

    20 years.

    Alexander Gillfillan Jr.

    IN
    Memory of
    ALEXANDER GILLFILLAN
    Who departed this Life
    Agust the 11th 1821 in the 27th
    year of his age.

    Alexander Gillfillan Sr.

    SACRED
    to the memory of
    ALEX’R GILLFILLAN
    who departed this life
    Sep. 6th, 1836
    in the 91st year of his
    AGE.

    PVT 4 CO 2 PA BN
    WASHINGTON COUNTY MILITIA
    REVOLUTIONARY WAR
    1745–1836

    Martha Gilfillan

    SACRED
    TO THE MEMORY OF
    MARTHA, Wife of
    ALEXANDER GILFILLAN
    who departed this life
    February 19th, 1840
    In the 81st year of her age.

    John Gillfillan

    JOHN GILLFILLAN
    BORN JUNE 21, 1784
    DIED JUNE 20, 1859.

    “For if we believe that Jesus died
    and rose again, even so them also
    which sleep in Jesus will God bring
    with him.”

    Alexander Gillfillan

    ALEXANDER
    SON OF
    JOHN & MARGARET
    GILLFILLAN
    Who died in Philada.
    Dec. 7, 1845
    Reinterred in this place
    Jan 1, 1846
    in the 26 year of his age.
    Resident[?] of Jefferson Medical
    College Philadelphia

    John Gilfillan
    John Gilfillan inscription

    IN MEMORY OF
    JOHN SON OF
    ANDREW B. AND ANN GILFILLAN
    WHO VOLUNTEERED IN THE SERVICE
    OF HIS COUNTRY SEPT. 1861.
    IN CO. E. 101ST REGT. PA. VOL.
    WAS WOUNDED AT THE
    BATTLE OF FAIR OAKS
    AND DIED JULY 1ST
    1862,
    AGED 23 YEARS
    AND 11 DAYS.

    These pictures were taken in 2015.
  • William Davis Tombstone, Bethel Cemetery

    William Davis

    If Father Pitt reads this eroded inscription correctly, this is a tombstone for a two-year-old child named William Davis, son of James and Eliza Davis, who died in 1848. The epitaph is almost certainly a poem, but illegible in this light. The tombstone itself is a restrained example of the middle-nineteenth-century style that old Pa Pitt calls the “poster style,” because it resembles the style of printed posters of the same era.

    This picture was taken in 2015.
  • Rev. John and Margaret Clark Tombstones, Bethel Cemetery

    Rev. John and Margaret Clark

    Two ledgers marking the grave of a minister of the old Bethel Church and his wife. The inscriptions long ago eroded away, but fortunately the Rev. John’s was duplicated on a bronze tablet.

    HERE LIES THE BODY OF THE REV. JOHN CLARK WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE JULY THE 16TH, A. D. 1797 IN THE 79TH YEAR OF HIS AGE.

    “IN YONDER CHURCH I SPENT MY BREATH AND NOW LIE SLUMBERING HERE IN DEATH:
    THESE LIPS SHALL RISE AND THEN DECLARE AMEN TO TRUTHS THEY PUBLISHED THERE.”

    DURING THE WHISKEY INSURRECTION, REV. JOHN CLARK MET WITH THE ANGRY FARMERS AT FORT COUCH ON JULY 17, 1794, IN AN EFFORT TO PREVENT AN ATTACK AT BOWER HILL, ON THE HOME OF GEN. JOHN NEVILLE, FEDERAL TAX COLLECTOR.

    Addendum: Here is an account of that same incident from Hugh Henry Brackenridge, who was an eyewitness to many of the most important events of the Whiskey Rebellion:

    “Great pains were taken, at Couche’s fort, by an aged and venerable clergymen, the reverend John Clark, to dissuade the people from the object they had in view. It was to no purpose. They considered him as in his dotage; or as having skill in spiritual affairs; but not in the temporal interests of the country. It may be thought from hence, that dissuasion from no one, could have had effect. That does not follow. Regard might have been paid to the representations of those who were supposed to know the law, and to be able to calculate the probable consequences of the act.”

    ——Incidents of the Insurrection, Chapter III.

    Margaret Clark

    Unfortunately the inscription for Mrs. Clark was not duplicated before it vanished, partly eroded and partly obscured by the bronze plaque that replaced it.

    Margaret Clark
    These pictures were taken in 2015, but have never been published here before.
  • The Poster Style in Bethel Cemetery

    EDWARD H. KELLEY,
    DIED
    May 27, 1849,
    In the 41 year
    of his age.

    In the 1840s and 1850s the style of tombstone old Pa Pitt likes to call “poster style” became popular—a style that resembles printed posters of the time. The stone is usually limestone, which is soft and easily eroded; so that many of these stones are almost illegible now.

    Bethel Cemetery has a good collection of poster-style tombstones, and this article will serve as a good introduction to the style.

    ELIZABETH MISSKELLY
    DIED
    Aug. 7, 1847
    in the 90th (?) year…
    [the rest is buried]

    HANNAH SAWYER
    DIED
    Nov. 2, 1849,
    In the 19 year
    of her age.

    MARY ? SAWYER
    DIED
    March 22, 1849
    In the 15 year
    of her age.

    ABAGAIL
    Wife of
    JOSEPH WOODS
    died March 20, 1850,
    in the 35 year of her age.

    Also an Infant son…

    MARY —?
    daughter of
    J. & A. WOODS
    died Jan — 18—?
    Aged 1 year…

    Died May 23, 1848
    Mrs SARAH WOODS
    WIFE OF
    Mr. JOHN WOODS
    in the 34 Year
    of her age.

    SARAH HICKMAN
    DIED
    Jan 18, 1848…

    ANN,
    wife of
    THOMAS MORROW,
    died July 26, 1849,
    in the 37 year
    of her age.

    ELIZABETH, PA.

    MARY,
    WIFE OF
    THOMAS MORROW
    BORN
    MAY 18, 1810,
    DIED
    MAY 26, 1858.

    JAMES KIDDOO
    DIED
    Sep. 20, 1823
    in the 61 Year
    of his age.

    We can see James’ wife Mary’s stone leaning against his; she died in 1847, and James’ stone was probably ordered at the same time as hers, since it is definitely in the style of the 1840s rather than the 1820s.