Category Archives: Bethel Cemetery

The churchyard of Bethel Presbyterian Church, which was founded in 1776 and was one of the main incubators of the Whiskey Rebellion. Many Revolutionary War soldiers are buried here.

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.

Robert and Sarah Johnston and Their Daughters

Robert and Sarah Johnston had two daughters who died within weeks of each other in 1848, doubtless of the same disease. Each was given a splendid tombstone in the engraved-title-page style that was popular for expensive tombstones in the 1840s.

Robert and Sarah themselves got this rich pink obelisk. Their son Robert and his wife are buried next to them.

Robert Long Tombstone, Bethel Cemetery

IN MEMORY OF
ROBERT LONG
Who departed this life
August 1st 1832 aged 60
years.
Go home dear friends
And cease from tears.
Here I must lie
Till Christ appears.

W. Savage, Sculptor, Williamsport.

We have seen another pair of tombstones in a similar style in the Bethany Cemetery near Bridgeville: the tombstones of Billingsley Morgan and his (illegible) wife, which were signed by H. Savage. Was H. Savage a brother or other relative of W. Savage? And if “Williamsport” means the only Williamsport Father Pitt knows of in Pennsylvania, then this stone was hauled across the mountains, which must have been quite expensive. Perhaps there was no one in the immediate area who could carve a stone of this quality in 1832—for it certainly is a splendid piece of folk art, well worth the trouble of hauling in from Williamsport.