Typed by Frank Manning.
SILENT CITIES OF THE DEAD.
In the earliest history of the town of Wheeling we find that there was a small city cemetery, situated in North Wheeling, upon the sites of the residences of George K. Wheat, Jacob Snyder and the late William Shriver. This cemetery was in existence up until probably 1818 or 1820, but may not be as long as that, as our authorities differ in regard to the time; Isaac Irwin, Esq., who was born in 1805, remembers the graves, but not much more. It is said that this cemetery was removed to make room for the Northwestern Bank, the successor of which is the National Bank of West Virginia of today. George K. Wheat, in excavating for the cellar of his residence some years ago, unearthed a large number of bones, relics of the graveyard, which he boxed up and buried in Greenwood.
THE CHAPLINE GRAVEYARD.
At the head of Twenty-third street, above Eoff, there is one of the most unattractive, desolate-looking places imaginable. and yet some years ago it was one of the, if we may he allowed the term, fashionable cemeteries in the city. In it were buried the Chaplines, Eoffs and others of the first settlers, and what were then the first families of the neighborhood, and their names may yet be traced on the old tombstones and tablets that are fast crumbling to pieces on that bleak and uninviting hillside. The cemetery is probably one of the oldest in the city, and was formerly a portion of the Chapline estate. It was laid out as a public cemetery by the late William Chapline, who died in 1852. It would be very hard to fix the exact date at which interments began there, but from the best data at our command we would infer that there were burials in it some years anterior to 1800.
THE BOGG'S RUN CEMETERY
Just below the limits of Wheeling, in Marshall county, on the hillside above the mouth of Boggs' run, is a very old cemetery, one of the oldest in this neighborhood. It is not very large, and was used by the early settlers of this section as a place of interment. Our reporter was most assiduous in his efforts to ascertain something of the early history and incidents of this cemetery, but could glean nothing beyond what we have given above.
THE "STONE" CHURCH CEMETERY.
Just beyond Elm Grove, south of the National Road, is a church that played an important part in our national history. We refer to the "Stone" church erected by the Shepherds many years ago, and for a long time a popular place of worship, not that it is less so now, but in those clays people came miles and miles to hear the gospel preached, and accounted themselves fortunate in their proximity to a church. Surrounding this church on three sides is a large and rather attractive cemetery, which is older than the church, and is well known, for here interments are said to have been made when Wheeling was Fort Henry, and people came to funerals with their rifles on their shoulders.
This cemetery was once a part of the immense Shepherd estate, and in it lie the remains of Moses Shepherd, Louis Cruger and Mrs. Lydia S. Cruger, the last of whom lived within the recollection of young ladies and gentlemen of the present clay. There are also the remains of many citizens of Wheeling and vicinity. The late C. D. Knox, Samuel McClellen, Mr. Dicke, James Vance, father of J. N. Vance, Esq.," are buried here, but it is not necessary to give the names of others. The early history of the settlement and the progress of a large part of this section is written upon the headstones in this old cemetery. For many years it was known only as a graveyard, but in October, 1865, Charles De Hass, at the instance of the "Stone" church congregation, surveyed and laid out a cemetery in modern style. More ground was added, a superintendent appointed and now the grounds are both beautiful and attractive.
THE HEMPFIELD CEMETERY.
This graveyard was a very old one, and in it was buried a majority of the citizens of Wheeling for a period of over thirty-five years. In looking over the records in the county clerk's office, we found that the deed conveying these grounds to the city was made October 5, 1816, by Noah Zane and Mary, his wife, to William Irwin, mayor of the town of Wheeling, and specified that they were to be used for "the use, purpose and advantage of a burying ground." The bodies of many of those who had been buried in the North Wheeling cemetery were at once removed to the new one. The grounds for many years were bounded by Chapline or Fourth street on the west, Zane or Seventeenth on the south, Fifth or Eoff on the east. while the northern boundary was the northern front of the capitol building or thereabouts. This cemetery was at the very outskirts of the city when it was started, but the steady growth and prosperity of Wheeling necessitated the use of more ground for building purposes, and in 1840 it was almost surrounded by houses, and by that time it was also nearly full. Interments, however, continued until the latter part of the "forties" or until 1850, when the Hempfield Railroad Company began looking around for a terminal point upon which to erect depots, etc., and the old cemetery was selected as the site. The council interdicted any further interments in it and appointed a committee whose duty it should be to buy a new ground for a cemetery, and to remove the dust of those lying in the old one.
The removals were made to the Mount Wood, Peninsula, Manchester and East Wheeling cemeteries. The Hempfield cemetery was considerably higher than the present site of it. An adequate idea of its elevation can be had by referring to the property of Alexander Rogers, Esq., on Eoff street and the lots adjoining it, which are yet much higher than the street. The grade, however, was reduced, and the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, the board yard and the capitol building now occupy the site of one of Wheeling's earliest institutions.
A long and tedious law suit took place with regard to the ownership of certain grounds in excess of what had been deeded to the city by Noah Zane, but the suit was finally compromised and the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad now holds undisputed possession of the ground not otherwise occupied.
THE EAST WHEELING CEMETERY.
Next in order of time to the Hempfield cemetery comes what is known as the East Wheeling cemetery, which is situated at the convergence of Sixteenth and McColloch streets. In hunting up the history of this graveyard we had recourse to the court records, and found that on August 22, 1829, Richard Simms, Dorcas, his wife, Marcus Wilson, Ann E., his wife, and Zachariah Jacob deeded to Henry Moore lots 211, 212, 213 and 214 to be laid off and occupied as a private cemetery. The lots were at once converted into a burying ground, and the private parties who were represented by Mr. Moore sought to include the alley at the western end of their enclosure, but some of the residents of that section rebelled, knocked down the fence and for a little while there was a prospect of trouble, but the cemetery owners abandoned their idea of taking in the alley, and quiet once more prevailed.
We do not know that the cemetery was regularly laid off into lots or not, as the plat of it was not recorded until July 1, 1853.
Among the names appearing upon the stones in this cemetery we notice the following: Thomas Paull and others of his family; Robert Ray, John Gilchrist. Dr. J. Morton, Edward Booth, Fielder Berry, Mrs. S. C. Reed, William McKay, S. D. Harper, John Fisher, the Mitchell family, Dana Hubbard and wife, M. White, and A. Alexander Weed, son of Rev. Dr. Weed. The father of Messrs. W. F. and B. W. Peterson is buried in this yard, and the remains of their brothers and sisters also lie near him. A beautiful granite monument marks the Peterson lot, which is situated in the northwestern corner of the yard. In common with add other odd cemeteries, this one is rapidly falling into disuse, and as a consequence a dilapidated appearance of things prevails, and we doubt not that a few years at the most will witness its removal. There is but one vault in this cemetery, which belongs to the Paull family, and contains the remains of the date Thomas Paull and his family.
MOUNT WOOD CEMETERY.
The crowded condition of what is now known as the Hempfield cemetery, together with the imminent prospect of its removal on account of the construction of the Hempfield Railroad, moved a number of the prominent citizens of that day to look about for another place of interment, and finally Mount Wood was selected as the site, with the following named gentlemen as members of the company and who also signed the application for an incorporation: Thomas Sweeney, Moses C. Good, Henry Moore, Neil McNaughten, Morgan Nelson, Alfred Caldwell and J. M. Bushfield. A meeting was held soon after for the purpose of organization, ? at this meeting John McLure, Sr., presided, while F. W. Bassett acted as secretary. These gentlemen became permanent officers and John R. Morrow was elected treasurer. Mr. McLure was afterward succeeded as president by John Goshorn and he by John Bishop, Esq., who held the office until the time of his death, when Robert Campbell, Esq., was elected, and he is still the president. F. W. Bassett was the first secretary and continued in that office until 1871, when I. H. Williams was elected. The first directors were John McLure, S. P. Hullihen, James E. Wharton, John R. Morrow, M. Edwards, Henry K. List, William McCoy, Philip Sutton and F. W. Bassett.
The grounds, we are informed, at first comprised over 20 acres, and were laid out by Robert Woods, Esq., in beautiful style. Mount Wood cemetery, from its naturally beautiful and attractive situation, at once became the popular cemetery not only of the city of Wheeling, but lots were purchased by residents of the country round about. It is situated on an eminence immediately east of North Wheeling, and from it an unobstructed view of the country in all directions for miles and miles is obtained. For many years the grounds were neatly and tastefully kept, the walks were graveled and bordered, and were well attended to; the vaults were neat and attractive, the shrubbery was fresh and beautiful, and there was no cemetery in the West that presented a more inviting appearance, but of late years, or since the establishment of Greenwood cemetery, there is not the same appearance of things that was admirable and noticeable a decade ago. We do not mean by what we have said to underestimate or underrate what is still a beautiful graveyard, but there is something about it now that shows the beginning of its decline. Some of the stones are inclining, and upon others the inscriptions are faded and worn, the result of the effects of sulphur and the elements; then, too, the tombs do not generally show that care and attention that are necessary to keep them at all times presentable, but this we apprehend is attributable to the fact that the friends of many who are interred here are either gone from the city or have ceased to take an interest in beautifying the lots. These remarks and stricture are the result of visits to the cemetery. Many of the tombs, however, and by far the larger part of them, are in very good condition; indeed, some of them are really beautiful, and show the effects of tender care and love in every little particular of adornment and embellishment.
In Mount Wood cemetery there are eight vaults owned by the following families: First, the vault erected by Isaac Cotts in 1863. This vault is situated on the drive which winds around the base of the hill, and is not far from the turnstile near the superintendent's house. There are quite a number of coffins in this vault, containing the remains of the members of the family, and probably such others as the courtesy of the owners has permitted to occupy it.
Near by this vault is another very handsome one owned by John L. Hobbs, while just beyond, but below the drive, is the vault of the late John Bishop, who died a few years ago, and whose remains are laid in it. In this vault are also several coffins, the names of whose occupants were unknown to our informant.
We next come upon the family vault of General Shriver, and just beyond this are those of the Ott family, erected by Samuel Ott. Upon the summit of the mount there are two vaults, one the property of D. C. List and the other of the late Capt. John List, although unoccupied at present, the family of the latter having removed his remains to Greenwood.
The superintendent of Mount Wood cemetery at the time this visit was made was Levy Noble, who lives near the grounds and gives them all the attention one man can possibly do.
He informed our commissioner that his individual efforts were inadequate to the demands upon them, but he did the best he could. The walks needed gravel, some of them attention and the cemetery in general much more care than it gets. There are quite a number of lots enclosed by paling fences, and many of them are becoming unpainted, old and are gradually falling down, all of which detracts very much from the appearance of the grounds.
Mount Wood cemetery, or the portions of it that persons would choose for the purposes of interment is nearly all occupied, and it is only a question of time until it will be practically abandoned. Among some of the persons who are buried in this cemetery are the following, whose names we noted upon the monuments and gravestones: Dr. S. P. Hullihen, the children of Col. E. M. Norton, the wives of Benjamin Fisher and John McLure, William Wilson, Rev. Paull and many others.
THE PENINSULA CEMETERY.
When the city of Wheeling granted the Hempfield Railroad Company the right of wav through the city, together with situations for its depots, terminus, etc., it became necessary to remove the cemetery. This removal was also necessitated from other motives; the cemetery was almost in the midst of a populous and growing city, it obstructed the progress of streets, and it was an eye-sore to many of the public spirited and progressive citizens, besides it was already full of bodies, so in 1850 the city council appointed a committee consisting of Dr. A. S. Todd, chairman, George Forbes, Alexander Hadden, J. M. Ewing and Thomas G. Culbertson to purchase a site for a new city cemetery and to remove the old one. It was at first intended by the committee to purchase grounds at what is now Leatherwood, and negotiations were carried on with reference to carrying out this intention, but it was then the objections were raised that the distance was too great from the city, and the Peninsula grounds, consisting of 21 acres and a fraction over, was purchased from the late Daniel Steenrod in 1851, at a cost of $400 an acre, a fabulous price in those days. An Englishman named Pratt laid out the grounds, and the work of removing at once began. All those who had friends removed them, either to Mount Wood, the Peninsula or the Catholic cemetery at Manchester, and the committee made a contract with Jacob Amick to grade down six feet deep across the Hempfield cemetery and remove the bones to the Peninsula cemetery, which contract was faithfully performed, and the dust of hundreds of unknown ones removed to the southwestern corner of the new purchase. The gravestones were all removed and placed in position on the new graves as carefully as possible.
The Peninsula cemetery is one of the prettiest cities of the dead in this vicinity, is well laid off, has beautiful drives and gravel walks, shrubbery in abundance, and at the time of our visit was being kept in excellent order and repair by Philip Heiser, who had been superintendent for many years. It is situated on a tongue of land running from the Hempfield tunnel, in East Wheeling, northwest to the lands of Mrs. Emma B. Castor. It is admirably situated for drainage purposes, as it is bounded on the east and west by the creel:, and slopes in each direction. The lot owners are careful and attentive of their property, and no yard in the city, or near it, is more attractive. 'there is but one vault in the Peninsula cemetery, which is the property of S. I. Boyd, Esq. This vault was erected by W. D. English, who sold it when he removed from the city some years ago.
THE RED MEN'S CEMETERY.
The order of Red Men is a rather large and influential one in this community, and one of the tribes, Logan, No. 21, feeling the necessity for a suitable place for interring themselves and their families, in 1862 purchased from James S. Porter a lot of ground containing seven acres, situated on the west side of Chapline Hill, on the slope above the Riverside forge, in Center Wheeling. This ground, so far as it has been possible, has been laid out and improved and is in tolerably fair condition. The number of interments there is not large.
MOUNT ZION CEMETERY
Is nicely located about one little up Caldwell's run. It is the property of Zion's Lutheran congregation. The grounds consist of about six acres, which were bought from Mr. Caldwell in the summer of 1863, and converted into a cemetery. The first corpse, a child, Annie Hofmeister, was buried on the 22d of November, the same year. Part of the grounds was laid off in lots 16 feet square to the number of 445, all of which, with the exception of about 100, have since been sold. There is still enough ground left to lay out about 200 more lots. There have been interred up to the present date 1,012 corpses. There are as yet no vaults on the grounds. Quite a large number of fine monuments may be seen, among which may he mentioned those belonging to Mrs. J. Heinlein, Mrs. Seabright, Mrs. Koehlein, Fred Bromer, Mrs. Hofmeister, Eckhard, Otte and others. The cemetery is governed by a board elected by the members of Zion's congregation, the officers at the time of this writing being President, Rev O. Meerwem; secretaries, Soldan and Conrad Shepp; trustees, Louis Feltner and A. Rolf. This cemetery is kept in good repair, not only by members of Zion's congregation, but by our citizens generally.
THE HEBREW CEMETERY.
Just west of Mount Wood cemetery, upon the face of the hill inclining to the city, is the Hebrew cemetery. This cemetery is not a large one and from its situation can not be laid out to any advantage, yet it is tastefully arranged and there are some beautiful monuments and headstones in it. It was laid out in, June, 1865.
Is by all odds the largest, best arranged and most beautiful cemetery in Ohio county. It is situated four miles out the National Road, and is bounded by the creek on the south, the farm of Hugh Clark on the east, by the National Road on the north and by the lands of John Reed, Sr., on the west. The ground slopes gently to the south and on many accounts is admirably adapted to the purpose for which it is in present use. It is very large just now and the indications are that it will be much larger. On the third day of March, 1866, a certificate of incorporation was issued by Granville D. Hall, secretary of state, to the following named gentlemen: Dr. Eugene A. Hildreth, Edmund Booking, R. G. Jordan, W. M. List, S. P. Hildreth, C. H. Berry, Jamey Reid. A. W. Campbell, George Adams, J. S. Rhodes, J. G. Muth and P. C. Hildreth.
The election of officers took place soon after, at which A. J. Sweeney was elected president and R. C. Bonliam, secretary. The books were then opened to the public and subscriptions rapidly taken. The following named gentlemen were elected directors: A. J. Sweeney, George Adams, J. G. Muth, John A. Armstrong, Joseph Bell, R. G. Jordan and George Mendel. The grounds, consisting of 37½ acres, were purchased from the Hildreth brothers, Dr. E. A., P. C. and S. P., for the sum of $11,120.91.
As soon as the grounds were purchased they were taken in charge by James Gilchrist, civil engineer, who proceeded to lay out the cemetery in its present beautiful proportions, and so well and artistically did he fulfill his contract that he rendered every part of the grounds available and nearly all the lots desirable and eligible. ,Lots were at once sold to those wishing them, the grounds were tastefully enclosed by paling fences, two neat cottages for the convenience of the keepers were erected at the main entrance and every means at hand were resorted to make the new purchase attractive and beautiful. The new lots were speedily improved with shrubbery, flowers and whatever serves to beautify and adorn.
The first interment in Greenwood cemetery took place July 22, 1866, when the remains of Mrs. Caroline Morgan, mother of H. C. and the late John Morgan, of this city, were committed to the dust. There were several bodies removed to the cemetery previous to this, but Mrs. Morgan's was the first bona fide interment.
At the present time the entrance to the cemetery is the large drive which continues for quite a distance or until the main part of the grounds is reached, and then two roads wind around the grounds, and again converge at the lower end; from these drives numerous smaller ones branch off and wind in and around the cemetery until there is a perfect labyrinth of sinuous carriage drives and graveled walks. These walks and drives are all fringed with trees and bordered by shrubbery of all descriptions. The lots are all well tended and in splendid condition, while upon many of them are as fine monuments and gravestones as can be found anywhere.
One of the finest and largest monuments in this cemetery is the one erected to the memory of the late Hon. A. J. Pannell by his sisters. Another is the Schmulbach shaft, while those of Capt. C. H. Booth, James Demain, John Reid, Jr., Henry Brues, the Wickhams, George Mendel, Dr. John Eoff, Captain Jelly, Captain Mulrine and others stand close together on the west side of the cemetery. On the eastern slope the large monument of Capt. John List attracts much attention, while the beautiful tomb of G. W. Franzheim, is universally admired. The shafts of Edmund Backing, George R. Tingle, George R. Taylor, Holsten Harden, James Patton, Thomas Sweeney, Robert Crangle, Crispin Oglebay, W. L. Hearne, Joseph Caldwell, John Doulon and others are situated near the central and southern portions of the cemetery.
A heavy Scotch granite base supporting a beautiful and unique glass urn, erected over the remains of the late Michael Sweeney, attracts visitors to the spot. Mr. Sweeney was many years a glass manufacturer in this locality, and the beautiful urn is a tribute to his efforts in that direction. The Jacob Thomas monument is probably the most expensive of all those erected in the cemetery and attracts universal attention.
Near the center of the cemetery is the vault erected by the family of the late Dr. Richard Cummins for the reception of his remains.
Greenwood is in charge of John Raab, an intelligent landscape gardener and a competent and efficient superintendent, and the beautiful condition of the cemetery is attributable to his efforts and attention.
Prior to the year 1850-51 the Roman Catholics of this city had no regular or rather no peculiar place for burying their dead, but disposed of them in the various graveyards of the city. When, however, the ordinance of council in regard to the removal of the Hempfield cemetery was passed, they began to cast around for a site or place of interment that should be exclusively Catholic, and by and by, with the advice and consent of Bishop Whelan, purchased a portion of the ground at the base of the hill, northwest of Manchester. This piece of ground came off the Reilly estate. The Catholic dead were at once removed to the new cemetery from the Hempfield and other graveyards, and in a few years became quite full.
In 1866 or 1867 an effort was made to start another place of burial near the city, and what is now Leatherwood was chosen as the site. A very beautiful piece of ground was purchased near the toll-house and set apart by the Bishop for this purpose, and the movement went so far that a few removals had been made when the residents of the rural village rebelled against the project and carried the thing into the courts of Ohio county on sanitary principles, alleging that the presence of a graveyard so close to their residences had a tendency to contaminate the water. Experts were present from New York, Philadelphia. Cincinnati and this city to prove the contrary, and the cemetery representatives had the best of the case. Nothing daunted, however, the Leatherwood folks went into the Legislature, had their village incorporated and then passed municipal laws against the locating of cemeteries within the corporate limits, which "effectually squelched" the movement, and again set the church to looking for another site. J. D. DuBois, Esq., now owns and occupies these grounds. Bishop Whelan was appealed to by many of his flock to do something looking toward the establishment of another one, but he not acting quickly enough to suit some of them, they set to work for themselves and purchased a tract of land from William Porter, Esq., up Edgington's Lane, and were proceeding to adopt it to their purposes when they were arrested by an announcement from the Bishop that he had completed arrangements for a cemetery. This announcement naturally embarrassed the purchasers of the Porter farm, as they found themselves with a large tract of valuable land on their hands, but the Bishop relieved them of their purchase, and directed their attention to his own, which was superior in every respect to theirs, and which is the present beautiful and attractive Mount Calvary, four miles east of this city. These grounds were purchased from the late Edward Larkin and S. H. B. Carter, and were originally a portion of the extensive estate of the latter. There are about 32 acres in the purchase.
Bishop Whelan at once went to work improving his new purchase, and superintended the laying out of the cemetery himself. The purchase was made in May, 1872, and the first interment followed in September. In the meantime, however, a neat and beautiful paling fence had been erected around the entire grounds; elegant drives intersect each other at pleasing intervals. Lots were laid out in a novel and attractive manner, and shrubbery and flowers were already springing up in many a lot. During life, Bishop Whelan gave this enterprise his untiring attention, and the beautiful and attractive cemetery of to-day is the result. Walter Burke was appointed superintendent by the Bishop, and has proven himself the right man in the right place. The grounds are in splendid condition, the walks are graveled and bordered, and the grass of the lots trimmed, and the shrubbery is in the best possible condition. Paved gutters flank every drive, and under the entire ground there is a complete system. of sewers. On the hill above the cemetery is a reservoir, and pipes are laid from it to the grounds below, and flags are placed at various points through the cemetery for the purpose of irrigating, the grounds and freshening the grass and shrubbery when necessary.
The remains of Bishop Whelan were deposited in this cemetery in a lot in the center, and soon after his decease steps were taken looking to the erection of a chapel that would at once be a memorial to the deceased prelate, and a matter of convenience for those who might wish to hold services on the grounds or to those Catholics who lived in the neighbor-hood, as it would serve them as a place of Divine worship at stated periods. The cornerstone of this chapel was laid by Bishop Lain August 27, 1876,with appropriate ceremonies. The building was finished in 1879, and the altar blessed by Bishop Kain November 18, 1879, at which time a very large crowd was present, together with a large number of priests, students, assistants and others.
The chapel is a small one of the Elizabethan style of architecture, is built of stone and is a beautiful building. Within it are all the paraphernalia necessary for the conducting of services. In it is a vault and in one compartment, of which there are several, lie the remains of Bishop Whelan, and the vacant vaults are left for the reception of the remains of future bishops.
Immediately in the rear of the chapel is a beautiful plot of ground, nearly hemispherical in shape, which is set apart for the interment of deceased priests, and in it already lie the remains of Rev. Fathers John Walters, Steck and Donehoo. North of this lot and west of the main drive is the pretty little lot set apart for the reception of the bodies of nuns who die in this community, and here also are several mounds, all well kept and tastefully arranged.
Among some of the most beautifully arranged and elegibly situated lots that attracted our attention were those of Messrs. J. G, Hoffmann, L. Wilhelm, Christian Hess, M. Reilly, Victor Sauvageot, E. Larkin. Martin Thornton James Russell, Michael Loftus, John Robrecht, Joseph Hydinger, Nick Riester, the Messrs. Coffee and Healy, of Benwood, George S. Feeny, Col. O. Brien, J. Quigg, Anthony Dusch, J. P. Truschel, P. Kennedy, Nick Crawley. N. Steger, the Lutzs, C. Welty, J. Welty, C. Steinmetz, C. Gaus, Jacob Bentz, the B enters, Balker, P. Welty. George Batts and many others not marked by stones.
Mount Calvary is rapidly filling up, there being already something in excess of 3,000 interments in it, but only the lower portion of it is at all full as vet, and it will be many years before the idea of extension will occur to anyone. A beautiful and commodious greenhouse is erected in the rear of the superintendent’s house, and a new and convenient residence has within the last few years been erected for the use of the superintendent.
To the care and attention of Mr. Burke the present fine condition of the cemetery is attributable.