October 3rd, 2007
Preliminary steps were taken at a meeting at Peter Schaeffer’s house for establishing the Watsontown Cemetery Association. George Burns was elected president with A.B. Latshaw as secretary and Silas Rambach as treasurer. Original Stockholders included: Silas Rambach, Christian Gosh, Simon Lantz, Samuel Whitman, Samuel Miller, George Burns, F.S. Witman, Wm. H. Follmer, Joseph Hollopeter, Enos Everitt, A.T. Goodman, Peter Schaeffer, A.B. Latshaw, John Bly, Wm. Cooner, Robert Johnson, O.S. Kramer, Joseph Albright, Joseph Everitt, Jno. Y. Ellis, and Cyrus Brumbach.
It was decided to purchase a piece of ground east of town from Peter Scheaffer for said cemetery. The tract of land consisting of approximately 8 acres of land at $125 per acre. The layout of the new cemetery would be based on that of the Turbotville Cemetery in the shape of a rhomboid.
The charter for the Cemetery Association was read and adopted on August 1, 1866. The official date of organization took place on November 5, 1866 with the same officers of the temporary organization re-elected to their same positions along with Joseph Hollopeter, F.S. Whitman, A.B. Shaw, Peter Schaeffer, Silas Rambach, and D.S. Kramer as managers.
The first person interred was Mrs. Joseph (Mercy) Everitt who died February 18, 1867; the second Mrs. George (Eliza) Burns who died January 11, 1868. Among the first transfers from the old burying ground were the remains of the Watson family. On January 15, 1870 the services of Samuel Daughtery was procurred as sexton of the cemetery. His duties were to open and close the graves and keep the cemetery in a neat and pleasant condition. He was succeeded on May 6, 1878 by George Rank. By 1895 the original stockholders had been paid in full principal and intent and from this point on all lot holders would become stockholders being eligible to vote for the officers of the Cemetery Association consisting of a manager and six directors elected each year.
Numerous improvements were made to the original land over the years. On February 12, 1879 it was agreed to build steps over the new fence in the ravine along the new road; a house was erected for the sexton in 1884; installation of concrete steps at southwest corner of the cemtery was approved at the April 15, 1902 meeting; and on May 17, 1902, the Soldiers Monument was unveiled with appropriate services.
On August 13, 1959 the Watsontown Cemetery Association gave authorization to the officers to transfer the holdings of the Association over to the Borough of Watsontown provided that the Borough accept. It was the concensus of opinion that the operation of the cemetery by the borough government would be more efficient and desirable than to have it operated by volunteer services of individuals. Those serving as officers at the time of the transfer included Fred H. Carson, president; Charles A. Nicely, secretary; Jacob H. Wagner, J. Nyce Patterson, Mason S. Wagner, Ira Frantz, William S. Savidge, and George S. Sterner, managers. In June of 1960 the transfer was completed and the cemetery continues to be owned and maintained by the Watsontown Borough.
Those who have served as president of the Watsontown Cemetery Association include:
|George Burns||1866-93||J.C. Fowler||1930-37|
|A.T. Goodman||1893-01||W.A. Nicely||1937-39|
|George H. Shannon||1901-17||Charles A. Nicely||1939-57|
|D. Frank Wagner||1917-30||Fred Carson||1957-60|
[Cited: The Record and Star, Silver Anniversary Edition, 1907, pg 6; The Secretary’s Minute Book of the Watsontown Cemetery Association, 1866] Last Modified: 09.07.07