Crawford County Cemeteries



Pioneer Cemetery

Article and Listings


Submitted by Ed Caudill

Located in Titusville, Crawford County

Pioneer Cemetery - Titusville, Crawford Co. PA - Located on 100 block of Brook Street between St. Paul's United Church of Christ and St. Walburga Catholic Church. The few remaining tombstones were moved to the center of the cemetery in the late 1900's. Most were laid flat on the ground. 

Transcribed by: Ed Caudill

NEWSPAPER - Titusville Morning Herald April 1, 1880 (from microfilm at the Benson Memorial Library) 

NEGLECTED GRAVES - A VISIT TO THE OLDEST CEMETERY IN THE VALLEY - A scene of ruin and Desolation - Great Improvements Needed - Those Who are Buried in the Silent Place. 

Fronting on Brook street, make the corner of Franklin, is an acre of ground that, ten or twelve years ago, was called God's acre from the fact that it was sacred to the memory of several of our departed citizens-the early pioneers of Titusville and their families-who lay buried there. Now it is the most anybody's acre, being without a fence for the protection against vandals and other transgressors and bearing the most dismal aspect of neglect imaginable. Jonathan Titus, the first settler of this city, gave this piece of property over eighty years ago to the Oil Creek Congregation for a burying-ground and after that year by year the forefathers of this city and much of the surrounding country were laid to rest in this spot. It was then a pleasant place, shadowed by grand oaks, some of which are still in existence, and the little old church of the Presbyterian society. Situated on a rise of earth at the roadside, and at the foot of a high hill, it commanded in those days a view of the most PICTURESQUE DESCRIPTION. 

There was the broad valley reaching to the high hills on the south, the view unobstructed by the urban scenes, and a vast level area extending north and south for several miles. Here and there a farm house dotted the landscape, and the general aspect of the county was wild and beautiful. The grave yard was a hallowed acre, a place of repose, awakening and remembrance, and withal an ornament in the little hamlet. A neat fence enclosed the ground, and white marble grave stones, green walks and shrubbery indicated its character as a cemetery. Should one have enough curiosity to visit the spot to-day he would see it WHOLLY NEGLECTED with traces of desolation and decay on every hand. Time has done much toward destroying the mementos of the past, and vandals have done more. All sorts of rubbish are scattered about the graves. There are two or three mounds preserved in their original share, and these are without headstones. Half of the graves are unknown, some sunken and full of water, and others overgrown with brambles. Many headstones lay about the ground or rest against trees, their inscriptions obliterated and their identity with the graves they were made for lost. Several families lots are distinguished from the general ruin in this silent community by rotten and crumbling fences which surround them. Though these frail protections some defense from the despoliation by mischievous boys has been secured. The work of iconoclasts in this sacred place is evidenced by the spectacle of FRAGMENTS OF HEAD-STONES everywhere. With a drain on the west side of the ground and a brook on the east side and plenty of springs in the hillside above the soil is pretty well watered and in fair condition for serving the process of petrifaction of any body that might be buried there. Some one has recently cut a good deal of the unkept shrubbery and piled it up in different parts of the ground; this the only mark of renovation to be seen. Mayor Barnsdall, William Robinson and John McCort have assumed the task of repairing the place they request those who have friends or relatives buried there to tender some financial aid in the matter. It is a cause for the citizens of Titusville to support, and in this era of local booms and improvements the condition of the old cemetery should be well considered. It is now a blemish on our fair city, and even though all the relatives and friends of those who repose there should not be able to subscribe to an improvement fund it comes upon the public to restore its fair features and make it what it donor intended it to be-a silent and secluded spot where the dead might be buried and their graves respected. The city government, eight years ago (1872), forbade the burial of any person in this cemetery, aid it is believed that the edict has been obeyed. A visitor strolling about the place to-day cannot help but notice the inscriptions on the old gravestones-those which commemorate the death of the old pioneers of the Oil Creek valley. 

"Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield, Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke, How joeund did they drive their team afield! How bowed the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!" 

A WALK AMONG THE GRAVES suggests the same thoughts that prompted the immortal Gray to write the above verse. Then beside these early settlers rest the wifes who shared their hardships and reared their children, of whom many well-to-do farmers or merchants in this city and vicinity. Of those graves stones in this burying ground whose inscriptions are legible and are subjects of interest to our readers, we name the following: 

Lyman Richard, died October 10, 1868

Daniel Herrick, died November 4, 1863

Caroline Hale, died September 23, 1867

Anna G., wife of G.H. Beck, died December 2, 1862

Catherine, wife of Andrew Kraffert, died November 1867

Richard Wright, died May 17, 1846

Ruth Griswald, died September 17, 1862

Alva W. Sigler, died September 9, 1841 A captain in the One Hundred and Fiftieth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, and contracted a fatal disease in the army. Cornelius Sigler, Jr., buried beside the above, with whom he served in the army. Andrew Kerr, died July 26, 1838, age 75 years

Mary, wife of Moses Elder, died July 7, 1849

Sarah, wife of Alexander Davison, died August 17, 1834

Mary, wife of Mathew Kerr, died August 20, 1831

Pricilla, wife of Charles Kellogg, died June 26, 1848

Harta, wife of Dr. Issac Kellogg, died March 27, 1867

Dr. Issac Kellogg, died January 4, 1841

Amos, son of Dr. Kellogg, died September 5, 1843

Cordilia, daughter of J.P. and M. Wilkins, died July 8, 1867

John L. Vanderwaker, died November 18, 1865

Wm Ritter, died August 24, 1861

Caroline, daughter of J.L. Vanderwaker, died June 2, 1836

Emma ?, daughter of of J.M. and D.H. Allen, died December 3, 1853

Ruth, wife of G.S. Allen, died August 13, 1861

? A. Conover, died April 19, 1844

Ellen B. and Susan T., children of Wm. Barnsdall, died March 8 June 19, 1846, respectively.

Mary A., daughter of Wm. Barnsdall, died August 27, 1847

Robert, son of Wm. Barnsdall, died October 31, 1849

Mattie W., daughter of Wm. Barnsdall, died April 16, 1867

Fannie F. daughter of Wm. Barnsdall, died May 27, 18??

Elizabeth, daughter of James Kerr, died October 9, 18??

Susanah, wife of Adam Holliday, died May 18, 18??

Adam Holliday, died October 13, 1854, age 75 years

William Curry, Esq., died February 6 or 8, 1847

Eliza Jane, wife James Brawley, died March 4, 1839

John A. Curry, died October 23, 1836

Elizabeth, daughter of William Curry, died February 7, 1840

Orrin Clark, died February 6, 1854

Isabella, wife of Jacob Boggs, died June 6, 1840, aged 73 years

Ruth E., daughter of J.D. and O. Hottel, died September 4, 1862

Eva Ann, daughter of J.D. and O. Hottel, died Aug. 26, 1862

Mary, daughter of J.D. and O. Hottel, died Sept. 23, 1862

Peter Felton, died March 20, 1852

Willis Alvin, son of Z. and M. Waid, died June 14, 1854

Mary, wife of Jasper, Bennett, died Aug. 22, 1846

Wm Kelly, died Feb 4, 1861

Gilbert L., son of Garret A. Conover, died Jan. 23, 1843

Wm. Felton, died Jan. 19, 1870

Frances, wife of Charles Ridgway, died Dec. 29 1836

Samuel Kerr, died Aug. 29, 1839

Samuel Curry, died March 21, 1863

Jane, wife of above, died Jan. 15, 1870

James R. Kerr, died Feb. 3, 1862

Sally Ann, wife of John Robison, died Sept. 27, 1837

James Robison, died Sept. 12, 1843. Deceased built the American Hotel.

Mary, daughter of Norman Pier, died Feb. 20, 1858

Mary Ann, daughter of John Kerr, died June 16, 1826

Andrew Kerr, died Nov. 9, 1831

Jane, infant daughter of John Kerr, died July 12, 1821

Jane Brown, died Oct. 28, 1829

John R. Kerr, died Sept 5, 1861

Margaret, wife of Wm. Kerr, died Dec. 11, 1845

Ann, wife of John Kerr, died May 15, 1831

John Kerr, died July 5, 1841

Samuel G. Kerr, died August 26, 1852

Nancy, wife of Andrew Kerr, died February 9, 1821

Kesia Geiled, wife of William Sheffield, died August 23, 1818

Martha E., wife of Robert McRay, died August 10, 1843

Lucinda, wife of James Felton, died May 6, 1858

Elizabeth, wife of James Felton, died May 1, 1848

Eleanor, wife of John Felton, died July 26, 1802

James M., son of Wm. Curry, died October 29, 1824

James Watson, died June 12, 1832; aged 76 years

James Wood, died January 15, 1850

Mary Jane, wife of Frances H. Wood, died January 5, 1848

David H., son of F.H. Wood, died February 25, 1863. Deceased belonged to Company K, Fifty-seventh Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers.

Alexander Curry, died November 6, 1837

Ruth, daughter of James Curry, May 21, 1828

Isabella, daughter of Peter Curry, died August 11, 1832

Ruth, wife of James Curry, died June 14, 1800

James Curry, died August 24, 1863, aged 88 years

Hannah, wife of above (James Curry), died May 14, 1864

The above two names (James Curry and Hannah Curry) are inscribed on a double stone

Robert Curry, died April 23, 1838

Oliva Titus Curry, wife of above (Robert Curry), died October 5, 1855, aged 73 years

Peter T. Curry, died October 26, 1846

Mary M., wife of Jonathan Titus, died April 12, 1849, aged 70 years

Peter, son of Jonathan Titus, died July 17, 1878

Levinia Titus, died June 17, 1811

Mary L. Titus, died February 2, 1821

The above two (Levinia Titus and Mary L. Titus) are children of Jonathan Titus.

Susan E., daughter of Joseph L. and Susan J. Chase, died October 14, 1838

Ruth, wife of Dr. Samuel Fisher, died November 1, 1837

Jane, wife of E.J. Locke, died February 3, 1867

Samuel Henderson, died April 24, 1855, aged 64 years

Harriet H., wife of J.C. Henderson, died November 13, 1863

Andrew Coover, died January 12, 1834

Michael Coover, died September 15, 1825

Sarah Coover, died April 19, 1841

William Mitchell, died January 29, 1813

James P. Henderson, died February 25, 1836. 

A veteran of the revolutionary war is buried in this lot somewhere, so say some of the early inhabitants of Titusville, but no one knows where his grave is located. There are nearly three hundred graves in the cemetery, and only half of them are marked by headstones.