Category Archives: St. Paul’s Cemetery (Mount Oliver)

A German Lutheran cemetery with a few interesting monuments, including a towering pile to the memory of one Louis Knoepp.

Elizabeth Zedel Monument, St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery (Mount Oliver)

Readers who have explored this site know already that Father Pitt collects zinc monuments. They were mass-produced and considerably cheaper than stone monuments of equivalent size, so that they were often condemned as tasteless and excluded from cemeteries for the better classes of dead people. But they live up to the zinc monument vendors’ extravagant claims: they are as permanent as bronze, or more so, and could be bought in a huge variety of shapes with interchangeable reliefs on the panels.

Here is one of the more modest zinc monuments Father Pitt has found, but it is very well preserved, though many of the stones around it are eroded and illegible.

Rudel Obelisk, St. Paul’s Cemetery (Mount Oliver)

This monument was probably put up in about 1880, when Henry and Sophia lost two sons within three days of each other. It continued to accumulate inscriptions until 1956, and all four surfaces of the base are filled. Henry married twice: Sophia died in 1891, and his second wife, Mary, is also remembered here.

Seiferth Monument, St. Paul’s Cemetery (Mount Oliver)

Christ spreads his arms to bless thousands of residents of the southern city neighborhoods (and Mount Oliver, which is actually an independent enclave surrounded by the city of Pittsburgh). The monument is not as huge and imposing as the Louis Knoepp monument nearby, but the sculpture is much more artistic.

Louis Knoepp Monument, St. Paul’s Cemetery (Mount Oliver)

Either Louis Knoepp made quite a bit of money in a short time (he died at forty), or he had a rich family who remembered him fondly. This monument towers over everything else in this little Lutheran cemetery; in scale it resembles some of the grander monuments in the Allegheny or Union Dale cemeteries. The statue on top, however, is not of the first quality; in fact, its proportions are a bit odd. The head is large and broad, and the neck is unnaturally thick.

The style of the base is a bit hard to describe; it is classical with elements of Gothic.

As if it were not enough to be more magnificent than anything else in the cemetery, the monument is also surrounded by an elegant stone wall to separate Mr. Knoepp from the riffraff around him.