Established in 1841
The cemetery lies on a small, wooded,
raised plateau above the creek bed. Traveling up Rt 87 north from Montoursville, a driver would go through Hillsgrove then on
to where Elk Creek empties into the Loyalsock. You could, if you wished, turn left here to go to the area where Benjamin Huckell and Philena (Little) Bryan lived, as described below. However, you'd have to keep driving on Rt. 87 to the area where our cemetery lies. In fact, you'd have to
wade the Loyalsock to get to the Bryan Cemetery from Rt. 87. Two miles further up the road, you come to Forksville.
Update: In August 2008, we received a wealth of information from Evelyn McCarty Bryan on the history of this site, the burials located there and her husband's family historical association with the location. That information is presented further down this page and we are grateful for her valuable perspective.
Sullivan County, PA
October 26, 2001
Photo Taken by Mike and Debbie Krause
DATE OF BIRTH
DATE OF DEATH
Aged 79 yrs
Aged 29y, 2m, 27d
May 1, 1852
"Nor pain nor grief nor anxious fear, Invade thy bounds nor mortal woes,
Few graves (6-8) marked only with field stones on their edge in ground
Update by Evelyn McCarty Bryan:
Evelyn is married into the Bryan family. Her husband, Ira Bryan, has a family connection to the Hillsgrove area. Their ancestral
home as she understands it was up Elk Creek on the way to Hoagland's Run, where the Baseball Camp's
playing fields were located in 2008. Many of the Bryan family ancestors are buried in the Bryan
Cemetery and an old handwritten map is revealing in this regard. Let's hear directly from Evelyn as she describes her first efforts to locate the Bryan Cemetery:
The Bryan Cemetery Sketch
Forks Township, PA
Created by Myrtle Bryan Blanchard
Photo Contributed by Evelyn McCarty Bryan
The map sketch shown above was produced from memory by Myrtle (Bryan) Blanchard. Born May 31, 1895 in or near Elkland, PA, she was the daughter of Charles ("Charley") and Emma Jane (Leibold) Bryan; she died in September 1977 in Madison County, NY. Myrtle had a brother named Arthur Bryan, three years older than her. On February, 1918, she married Corporal Melvin Dannelley, son of William Dannelley and Nancy ______ (see notice below). He was on military duty and posted to Fort Hancock, NJ at the time of their marriage in Elmira Heights, NY. Melvin was born June 01, 1893, most likely in Troy, PA, and died June 1971 in Florida. She then married (2) James Lyon Blanchard, son of James Blanchard and Kerzel Wamsley. He was born November 25, 1898, and died in October 1969, and appears to have been previously married as well. Myrtle had five known children from her first marriage, and three from her second. Myrtle May Bryan should not be confused with Mertie Jo Bryan (b. May 28, 1876 and d. 1956). She was married to the Rev. Stewart Engler, per Evelyn Bryan, our contributor, and was the daughter of Benjamin Huckell Bryan and Philena Arvilla (Little) Bryan, whom we discuss at length further down this page.
To understand this map and therefore make some sense of the cemetery layout, we first have to realize that the cemetery rests on the original old Bryan homestead near the Loyalsock Creek two miles outside of Forksville, PA. Ira is a descendant of Samuel Bryan (1762-1841) and his first wife, "Miss" McCarty [likely carrying the birth name of Elizabeth and a descendant of Silas McCarty]. The McCarty family came to then Lycoming, and later Sullivan, County from Bucks County, PA to the south. Silas, the presumed father of Miss McCarty never left Bucks County. His grandsons, Benjamin, Isaac, William and Silas [all sons of Benjamin McCarty], actually first came to the Muncy area of Lycoming County in the 1780's. Benjamin's brother Thomas, another son of Silas, came a bit later. Then, Joel McCarty, son of Thomas, first came to what is now Sullivan County in the early 1800s. But they aren't the subject here; the Bryans are. "Miss" McCarty, wife of Samuel Bryan, died between 1808 and 1815.One of the sons of Samuel Bryan, Joseph Bryan, and his wife Joanna Wetheral, lived in Plunketts Creek, northeast of Hillsgrove. In turn their son, Benjamin Huckell Bryan, and his wife Philena Arvilla Little, settled on the property shown in the picture toward the end of this page, near Hillsgrove, PA. All four of these individuals are buried at the Hillsgrove Cemetery in Hillsgrove itself. Ira Bryan, Evelyn's husband came down from the Benjamin Huckell Bryan line. Their property was located south and west of the Bryan homestead on which the Bryan Cemetery rests. Ira's dad was Benjamin Franklin Bryan, possibly pictured below. Both Benjamin Franklin Bryan and his wife, Edith Farrar, worked and lived in Masten the lumber camp in northern Lycoming County near the Bradford County line. Their first child was born while there, and is shown in the photo of the crew at Nolans Camp 1917 on the Lost World of the Loggers page on this site. Edith's father and mother, Herbert and Harriet (Campbell Farrar), and her sister, Lerena are the "cook and cookie" originally identified by Carl Rightmire in the same photo.
The original settler ancestor, Samuel, and his first wife, Miss (Elizabeth ?) McCarty, are buried at the Bryan Cemetery, which is the subject of this page. Several of their inlaws, children and descendants are also buried here, since they stayed in proximity to where Samuel first settled.
So, let's turn first to the details of the handwritten sketch pictured above. Imagine the sketch has been rotated 90 degrees to the left so that Myrtle's notes are upright; that is the orientation from which the following comments are made. Myrtle wrote all over the sketch and we have to work hard to make out what she wrote and, in some cases, what she may have intended. On the right hand side of the rotted sketch, she noted:
Let's look at the individuals listed as actually being buried at this cemetery and what we can make of these confusing entries at the top of the rotated sketch:
That is what Myrtle wrote in 1968. This evidence and whatever we can find in the census or other historical records is all we have to go on in reconstructing this family and its homestead cemetery plot identifications--i.e., the Bryan Cemetery. Myrtle made a few other comments as well. One comment in the left hand margin of the rotated sketch states that her grandfather was born in 1826, but that, other than him, there were "more" children from the second marriage of Samuel Bryan to Catherine Hinkle Osler, who had "6 or 8" of her own [this sum is debatable as we will discuss below]. The children of Samuel and Catherine were therefore, as she points out correctly, half siblings of the children of Samuel and his first wife, Elizabeth ["4 of them", she reports]. Myrtle also attached a note at the bottom of the rotated sketch, partially legible, where she notes that her grandparents, Albert and Elizabeth (Campbell) Bryan, are not buried in this plot. They left the farm to her father, Charley Bryan, after most of his four children were born there. Instead, they are buried at the Fergerson Cemetery at Ferguson Tree Farm, Upper Fairfield Township, Lycoming County, PA, per a separate history entitled "Descendants of Albert Bryan" provided to us by Evelyn McCarty Bryan. That listing reads as follows:
Just looking at this listing, one has to wonder if the three children listed there as dying in 1882 may not be the same three children who died at the Bryan homestead. These could just be markers in honor of those children. After all, Catherine Ann (Bryan) Norton, just as was the case with Margaret (Bryan) Black, was a full sister of Albert Bryan. As for the other two listings here, we just don't know who "Lizzie" and the "Infant" are related to at this time.
Returning once more to the Norton-Bryan connection, we also know that Samuel and Catherine (Bryan) Norton are buried at the Bear Mountain Cemetery near Estella Township, Sullivan County, PA. They share a stone there. Samuel died February 7, 1899, aged 86 years, 11 months and 16 days. Catherine died February 6, 1887, aged 73 years and 6 days.
Let's take a moment also to address the Osler connection to Samuel Bryant's second wife, Catherine (Hinkle, by birth). According to the History of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, by John F. Meginness (1892):
Here is a second quotation from Meginness with respect to the Bryan family:
Evelyn also mentioned Samuel L. Bryan (b. 1839, d. 1902), son of Joseph and Joanna (Wetheral) Bryan, and his wife,
Rebecca C. Bryan *, (b. 1845) being buried in Forksville, presumably at Fairmount Cemetery. She says that she has seen their graves there. If they are buried there, they don't show up on the transcription currently listed for that cemetery. Perhaps they are buried at Bryan Cementery, and this is the "second" Samuel and wife who seems to be shown on the top row of the rotated sketch. We just do not know. Samuel L. Bryan, a veteran of the Civil War [Co. C, 12th Regmt, PA Vols] would have been the youngest child of Samuel and Catherine (Hinkle) Osler Bryan.
This "Samuel" also may have had a first wife named "Elizabeth", since that is how his wife is named in the Federal census for 1870 and 1880 for Elkland, PA. But, the 1900 Federal census for Forks Township, PA lists "Rebecka", born in 1845. We don't know if this is the same person under different names or not, at this time.
As we indicated earlier, Ira Bryan was a descendant of Benjamin Huckell Bryan of Elk Creek. Benjamin was Ira's
grandfather. What do we know about these 'Bryans'? We are indebted to Larry Pardoe for much
of the following background information. First, we know that they are descendants of Samuel and
Elizabeth [?] (McCarty) Bryan. Their fourth known child, Joseph Bryan (1805-1877), married
Joanna Wetheral (1815-1896) on October 16, 1834, per the
Docket of E. J. Eldred
*, Esq. It was this couple that first resided on
the property shown below where Benjamin Huckell Bryan and his family eventually lived.
Joseph had several children, including Benjamin and his younger brother Lawson, who both
served in the Civil War.
* Note: The Docket lists her name as "Anna Walderaldo" of Elkland, but spelling was not a great strength of records kept in the Docket.
Lawson Bryan died in Andersonville Prison, GA, as a prisoner during the Civil War. His mother later applied for his pension. In that pension, it is reported that Lawson helped support his family or origin while he was serving in the Army. She was able to obtain support for herself and her four children at home as a result, since the father, according to Evelyn McCarty Bryan, was not very responsible. There is another mysery related to this family and that is how Benjamin came to have the middle name Huckell, which is the surname of a prominent Hillsgrove area family in the 19th century. We are not sure why at this time. There were certainly Huckell neighbors not far away, and Lawson actually provided labor for a Huckell employer before the War borke out. The 1872 topographical map shown below has several place indicators on it for homes and enterprises. For example, "B. Huckle"'s home is located on a road just south of Hillsgrove and slightly south of where the Loyalsock Creek takes a bend after going through Hillsgrove. The map also shows a "B. Huckell S.M." (presumably, a saw mill), further south of Hillsgrove along the Loyalsock Creek near the bend before it heads west and into Lycoming County. At the same time, as to Benjamin Huckell Bryan's home, if you look north of Hillsgrove and follow the Loyalsock where if comes in from the northeast from Forksville near the Bear Mountain area, you will notice Elk Creek that apparently empties into the Loyalsock at this split. On the west side of Elk Creek is marked "B. Bryant". This would have been Benjamin Huckell Bryan's home.
Benjamin Huckell lived in the Plunketts Creek area where Joseph Bryan also lived, before both came to Hillsgrove. We know that the Bryans and Huckells were related to each, as indicated below, from that earlier existence. The extended Huckell, Bryan, Lewis, Rogers and Snell families, among many others, were interrelated by marriage and descent in the Hillsgrove area. You can learn more about these relationships at Settlers Page XIV, which contains a section on the Huckell family.
Let's recast what we know about the Huckell and Bryan families and their prior relatonship. Thomas Huckell, who married Sarah Ann Lambert, came to America and settled first in Northumberland County at the end of the eighteenth century. This couple had a son named BENJAMIN who died in England. Yet another son, John Huckell, who was born in England and came to America with his parents, married Ellen Little. As you may recall, Benjamin Huckell Bryan married Philena Little. In turn, John and Ellen (Little) Huckell also had a son named BENJAMIN who died young. John and Ellen were also the parents of Reverend Daniel Thomas Huckell (1833-1896), a prominent figure in Sullivan County history. Rev. Huckell married Catherine M. Fleming (nee Osler), the widow of Daniel Fleming, who died in the Civil War. Catherine's parents were John H. and Jane (Myers) Osler. John H. Osler's biological father, Jeremiah Osler, was killed in the War of 1812, after which his mother, Catherine (Hinkle) Osler, remarried to SAMUEL BRYAN. There is a biographical sketch of the Osler family reproduced below. The import of this summary is that plenty of family history lay behind the decision by Joseph and Joanna (Wetheral) Bryan to name their son Benjamin HUCKELL Bryan.
You undoubtedly noticed the Little family connections to both the Huckells and Bryans as well. Larry Pardoe
commented in October 2010 as follows:
You can learn more about the Littles at The Little Family: An American Odyssey.
The Benjamin Huckell Bryan Homestead
Near Hillsgrove, PA
The adults in this photo are Benjamin Huckell Bryan, about age 52, and Philena Arvilla (Little) Bryan, about age 39.
The identities of the children depend on which child is actually Benjamin Franklin Bryan, born April 25, 1890. That appears to be the child behind the dog. Even though this child seems to be dressed in female clothing, it was not uncommon for male infants and toddlers in those days to be dressed in "female" clothing. Any way, the photo has to be prior to April 14, 1894 when the father died. If we are right about Benjamin Franklin, the children, l to r, would be:
Ira L. Bryan, b. abt 1877 about age 15; Joseph F. Bryan, b. 1873 about age 19; Benjamin Franklin Bryan, b. 1890, about age 2; Hattie Bryan, b. about 1888, about age 4; and Elsie Minerva Bryan, b. 1884, about age 10. Missing from the photo would be three daughters: Myra b. 1872, Mertie, b. 1876 and Eliza E., b about 1879. If the child behind the dog is not Benjamin Franklin, then the photo must have been taken about 1890 just before or after Benjamin Franklin was born. Then the child behind the dog would be Hattie, the next child would be Elsie and the final child would be Eliza E. Bryan, b. about 1879, age about 11.
Map Location of Benjamin Huckell Bryan Homestead
Northeast of Hillsgrove, PA and
South and west of the Bryan Cemetery location
From Topographical Map of Sullivan County, F. W. Beers, 1872
Photo Contributed by Evelyn McCarty Bryan
Benjamin Huckell Bryan
Civil War Veteran
28th PA Infantry
Photo Courtesy of George Burgess
Here is part of a school report presented by Zachary Bryan, who appears to be Evelyn's grandson:
Benjamin enlisted at the beginning of the War of the Rebellion in 1861, along with three brothers, David, Samuel and Lawson. Lawson was the one who did not return, as he was captured along with others who had enlisted with him at Hughesville PA, during the battle in front of Petersburg, VA and died in August of 1864 in the Confederate prison in Andersonville, in southern Georgia.
Benjamin was a Private in Company G, 28th Regiment, 12th Corps, Pennsylvania Volunteers. He was wounded at the battle of Antetiam and during the battle of Gettysburg. He returned home and raised a family in Sullivan County. He is buried with his wife, Philena Little Bryan in the church cemetery in Hillsgrove, PA.
REPORT OF CAPT. JOHN FLYNN, TWENTY-EIGHTH PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY. GETTYSBURG, PA., JULY 4, 1863
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Twenty-eight Pennsylvania Volunteers in the action of July 2 and 3, near Gettysburg, Pa.:
Agreeable to orders received at brigade headquarters, on the morning of the 2d, the regiment was thrown to the front along the stream near the right of the line of battle, and remained in that position during the day, supporting the line of skirmishers of General Greene’s brigade. Some skirmishing with the enemy, in which 3 men were lost to the command.
Retired at dark with the brigade, and formed line about one mile in the rear.
Remained in that position until 12:30 a.m. July 3, when the regiment moved forward to retake the position left the morning before. Took position in the breastworks, relieving the Twenty-ninth Ohio Volunteers. We were under heavy fire while there, and lost during the engagement 3 killed and 22 wounded and missing.
Were relieved and rested in rear of the brigade until nearly 4 p.m., when we again ordered into the breastworks and remained there until 10 p.m.
Again relieved, and again ordered at 2 a.m. to relieve the Sixtieth and Seventy-eighth New York Volunteers, still remaining there. I take pleasure in stating that officers and men.........etc.
FIRST BRIGADE, SECOND DIVISION, TWELFTH CORP REPORT 300, O.R., Series I, Vol. XXVII, Part I-Reports
APPENDIX: BIOGRAHICAL SKETCH OF JEREMIAH OSLER
Source: Book of Biographies of the Seventeenth Congressional District, Published by Biographical Publishing Company of Chicago, Ill. and Buffalo, NY (1899)
JEREMIAH M. OSLER owns a valuable piece of land along Elk Creek, Elkland township, Sullivan County, where he is engaged in farming and lumbering, his life-long vocations. He is prominently known throughout the county as a man of untiring energy in any business venture he undertakes and his home and surroundings are of a character showing him to be a careful, conscientious worker. He was born in Hillsgrove township, Sullivan County, Pa., June 25, 1833, and is a son of John H. and Jane (Myers) Osler.
The grandfather of our subject, Jeremiah Osler, was a native of New Jersey. When a young man he settled in Philadelphia where he was known to be one of the best carpenters in that city. He left a wife and two children, John H., and Lydia, deceased. Our subject's grandmother was Catherine Hinkle Osler and she was again wedded to Samuel Bryan who in 1810 moved to Muncy township where he worked at his trade as a carder and cloth-dresser; later he removed to Elkland township and bought the farm now owned by Charles Bryan.
John H. Osler, father of our subject, started in life as an apprentice in the woolen factories at Muncy and being an economical man he saved enough of his hard-earned money with which to purchase a factory; after running a woolen factory from 1835 to 1841 he gave up that business and purchased the property now owned by Clay Osler. He died in Forksville in 1888 at the age of eighty-eight years. His wife was Jane Myers and they became the parents of the following children: Jeremiah M.; Sarah Jane, deceased; Catherine, now Mrs. Huckell; John S., who resides in Elkland township and married Gertrude Ketchum; Julia Ann; Clay M., who wedded Alice Corson and resides in Forks township; Lydia S.; David W., who resides in Lycoming County; H. Wilson, who died young; and Edwin R., who lives in Maryland where he practices medicine. Mr. Osler was an old line Whig, later a Republican, and held many township offices; religiously he was a member of the Methodist Church.
Jeremiah M. Osler attended the schools in his native township where he attained a good business education. The first two years spent on his own account were passed in farming and lumbering on his father's farm. He then came to his present farm, which consists of one hundred and eighty-five acres, and is situated in one of the best farming districts in Sullivan County. Our subject built a saw-mill and rafted his lumber down the river to the markets below doing a large business. He also owns a large tract of timber land and takes contracts for bark-peeling, giving employment to hundreds of men. Mr. Osler is liberal with the poor and among his fellow-citizens he is esteemed and respected by all; like his father and mother he is a good neighbor and an excellent citizen. In 1892 he erected a handsome frame dwelling and a large barn and has one of the best farms in Elkland township.
Mr. Osler formed a matrimonial alliance with Julia A. Brown, who has been of great assistance to him, and who has ably borne her share of the burden in accumulating their present fine property and rearing and educating their family. She is a daughter of George W. and Mary (Snyder) Brown. Her father was a son of John and Mary (Watson) Brown, who reared a family of six children, namely: William, George W., John, Thomas, Ann and Elizabeth. John Brown settled where Henry Brown now resides and died there aged eighty-four years. George W. Brown purchased land in Forks township upon which he built a saw-mill and carried on farming and lumbering all his active days. He died in 1889 aged eighty-six years, while his wife departed from this earth in 1892 aged eighty-eight years. They reared the following children: Charles; Elizabeth; William W.; Mary; Julia Ann, our subject's wife; John S.; George W.; Effie; and Margaret J.
Mr. and Mrs. Osler are the proud parents of the following children: Hiram W., of Elkland township, who wedded Sadie King by whom he reared five children, Ina, Sidney, Marion, John, and Annie,—he was sheriff of Sullivan County in 1898; Horace Newton a prominent dentist of Dushore, Pa., formerly a veterinary surgeon, a graduate of the Toronto (Ont.) Veterinary College, who was joined in marriage with Catherine Rogers,— two children have been born to them, Lena and Donald; Charles W., died aged two years; John G., died aged twenty-six years; Joseph W., wedded Effie Jones and they reside in Tioga County, Pa.; Mary Jane, deceased, who was the wife of D. F. McCarty; Irvin, died aged four years; Lillie, wife of Grant Little and the mother of three children, Fanny M., Julia, and Otto G.; Fanny W., died aged sixteen years; Nellie J., joined in the bonds of wedlock with Moses Randall and two children, Jeremiah M. and Ransom W., have been born to them; and Boyd L., who is a student.
In politics our subject is independent and has served in minor township offices; religiously he and his wife are members of the Christian Church.
Broken and Fallen Stones
Sullivan County, PA
October 26, 2001
Photo Taken by Mike and Debbie Krause
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