Category Archives: Voegtly Cemetery

A Swiss-German cemetery associated with the now-vanished Voegtly Evangelical Church in Dutchtown. It includes many interesting monuments in a German Romantic style, and a mass grave of more than seven hundred people who were moved here when the old Dutchtown churchyard was accidentally discovered during a highway project.

John Nicholas Neeb Monument, Voegtly Cemetery

A broken column, representing a life cut off before its time: Mr. Neeb died at not quite 42. “He died yet lives,” says the inscription around the monogram on the column.


Voegtly Obelisk, Voegtly Cemetery

Father Pitt assumes that this is a descendant or other relative of the Voegtly who donated the land for the original Voegtly Church in Dutchtown, whose name this cemetery perpetuates. The name of Mathias Voegtly is still quite visible, but the rest of the inscription is badly eroded. We can just make out the name of Elizabeth Voegtly, but the rest is difficult.

However, the graves of the Voegtlys are also marked with expensive granite memorials, and though they are overgrown with wild grapes (you can see the mound of grape vines to the right of the obelisk), Father Pitt pushed back the grapes enough to collect these data:

Mathias Voegtly: Born November 26, 1811; died January 17, 1884

Elizabeth Voegtly: Born July 28, 1805; died October 2, 1890.

Godleib R. Fritz Shield, Voegtly Cemetery

A bit of a mystery. This metal shield has fallen from some monument somewhere, and is now sitting on the base of the Kredel monument. Father Pitt has never seen a grave marker with a shield like this, so he does not know what kind of thing it would have been attached to—perhaps an iron post that has disintegrated? The rust has obliterated some of the letters, but Father Pitt is fairly sure of his reconstruction:

NOV. 28 – 1858
JULY 11 – 1892

Maria Dorothea Gros Grave, Voegtly Cemetery

A popular genre of German grave: the single unit with headstone, footstone, and sides, the whole thing looking very much like a nineteenth-century bedstead. Maria Dorothea Gros was born in the little town of Lorbach in Hessen-Darmstadt, now the German state of Hesse. A translation of the inscription:

BORN AUGUST 24, 1828

Laura Adams Monument, Voegtly Cemetery

A romantic (and diminutive, though the picture does not convey the small scale of it) tombstone for a little girl who died at not quite ten years old. The single rose and foliage are still well preserved. It is in or next to the Voegtly family plot, and the inscription is in German; but the name Adams is not very German at all. Perhaps this was a granddaughter of Mathias Voegtly; he might have had a daughter who married outside the Swiss-German community.

Father Pitt has not sorted out the whole history of the Voegtly Cemetery. The style of the tombstone is right for 1864, and it may have been moved from the original churchyard in Dutchtown when the cemetery on Troy Hill was established. Not every grave was moved; in fact, more than seven hundred were left to be discovered under a city parking lot. If this was moved, it suggests that the little girl came from a family with money (like the Voegtly family).

Rev. George J. Kredel Monument, Voegtly Cemetery

A monument to a pastor of the Voegtly Church and his son, both killed in a railroad accident near Altoona in 1864. The polished-granite monument seems to be later than that date, and probably dates from after the time when the Voegtly Church moved its cemetery from the churchyard in Dutchtown to the top of Troy Hill.