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Reverend Bela Cogswell
Minister for the Freewill Baptist Church
Silvara, Tuscarora Township, PA
Photo Taken by Carol Brotzman from an original in the Freewill Baptist Church Record Book

Cogswell Cemetery


Transcribed and posted by Carol Hoose Brotzman
September 2002

With Original Cemetery Deed Appended
Transcribed by Nicole Parker


"I would like to dedicate this page to my best friend Phyllis Bell Hamilton/Lockwood
who passed July 29, 2002. Everyone should have been as lucky as I to have a friend like Phyllis!"


Location: Route 367 Silvara, Tuscarora Township, Pennsylvania

From Route 6 in Skinners Eddy, PA, take route 367 about 5 miles to the village of Silvara. Don’t cross the first bridge into town.  Park right there on the right side of the road and walk up that narrow path to the Cogswell Cemetery.  The cemetery on the opposite side of the road across the Tuscarora Creek is the Silvara Family Cemetery.


This cemetery is often called “Hillside. It is a very difficult cemetery to read, the stones deteriorating, sinking and literally washing out of the ground and down over the incredibly steep incline on which this cemetery was built.  In the June flood of 1972, which was brought on by Hurricane Agnes, people used to stand on the bridge entering the town of Silvara and watch the pieces of the old wooden caskets float by. They were washing out of the Cogswell Cemetery. There is a large spring that is near the top of the cemetery on the right. A huge gully indicates it produces great quantities of water in the rainy season. The weather is very dry this fall (2002) and it is still very moist. The only headstone left on the right side of that spring is that of Clara Bennett Ruger.  With the spring being prolific, then add to that the run off from heavy rain rushing down the hillside toward the creek, plus the raging Tuscarora Creek below eating away at the already soft banks, it is a wonder anything is left in the cemetery. That could explain the absence of grave markers between Clara Ruger and what is now the main part of the cemetery. Most of the stones in the main part of the cemetery are on manmade stone ledges and very sturdy foundations. Perhaps the section below the spring and 15 feet to each side was never used for burials. Or just possibly maybe some of these folks washed out along with the graves nearest the lower edge. A flagstone marker or two can still be found on the steep banks of the Tuscarora Creek.

Cogswell Cemetery
Tuscarora Township, PA
September 2002
The headstones are tumbling over the embankment and in many cases are illegible.
Photo Contributed by Carol Brotzman

Just paths are mowed through the cemetery now. The brush is growing up around most of the headstones making it difficult to find them, let alone to read and record the data. Many are flat on the ground and sinking in, or just being covered over with moss. The effects of acid rain are taking its toll. Many are eroded beyond the point of legibility. The Cemetery was originally associated with the Freewill Baptist Church and its beloved Pastor, Bela Cogswell, who is in the first row alongside his family. Joseph Atkins and his wife, the former Emma Cogswell, a daughter of Reverend Bela Cogswell, rest in the first graves you encounter when entering the cemetery after the long climb to the top. Joseph was the only secretary for the Freewill Baptist Church.  Carol Brotzman, our contributor, will do look-ups from the ledger if anyone desires information.

The Cogswell Family Stones
Tall Stone Belongs to the Reverend Bela Cogswell
Cogswell Cemetery
September 2002
Photo Contributed by Carol Brotzman



The Cemetery Postings

Atkins, Emma R (Cogswell) March 31, 1844 to June 8, 1930

She was 1st the wife of J H Atkins (Joseph) and 2nd wife of Andrew B Kennedy

Andrew Kennedy’s dates are 1838 to 1919. He was buried with his first wife, Julia Treadwell Peet who died in 1910, in the West Auburn Cemetery, Auburn Township, Susquehanna County, PA.


Atkins, Joseph Herman, March 18, 1836 to May 17, 1878

Joseph was the son of Joseph and Harriet Gray Atkins. He was the secretary for the Freewill Baptist Church in Silvara.

Joseph and Emma Atkins are the first headstones depicting burial in the first row of the cemetery followed by Reverend Bela Cogswell's family.  The stones of Emma and Joseph are individual stones, which are rounded on the top. Sumac is growing up around them.

There is a duplicate headstone in the Fred and Tammy Hemmerly lawn in Silvara, PA. This was a tall white stone with a rope and tassle decoration. It records that Joseph H. Atkins was born March 18, 1836 and died May 17, 1878.  The two “alike” stones replaced this stone after Emma passed.


Bacon, Malinda, born May 18, 1827 died in December 7, 1907.

This information is from her death certificate filed by Minnie Cogswell, although there is a headstone.  Malinda was the wife of Ezra Bacon: (January 28, 1819 to September 30, 1880, buried in Franklin Center Cemetery). The children in this family are all accounted for except for Ezra Bacon, Junior who was born about 1861.  He could possibly be buried here; we just do not know.


Baker, Ella A (Price), wife of Eddie A Baker, died June 10, 1877 age 18 years

            Daughter of Wm and Eunice Price, members of the Freewill Baptist Church.


Benscoter, Lee Grant, son of William and Etta (Crawford) Benscoter; died August 5, 1912, age 4 years. 

According to Leo Bolles' diary, he was buried August 7, 1912. Leo and Bertha Crawford Bolles attended the funeral. He is buried in the very top of the cemetery with the Crawford family. His dark stone has the beautifully etched gates of heavens opening wide for him to enter. His parents are buried in the North Flat Cemetery, Laceyville, PA.


Chamberlin, Levi, 1824 to 1903

                     Martha A Betts, his wife, 1831 to 19—

                     May Kimball 1860 to 1885; according to the 1880 Tuscarora census this should be their daughter, May.

1880 Tuscarora Township census

177 180 Chamberlain Levi 55 M hus farmer PA CT NY

177 180  Martha B. 49 F wife housekeeper NY NY NY

177 180  Milo 28 M son laborer PA PA NY

177 180  May  19 F dau milliner PA PA NY


Chamberlin, Lizzie B, daughter of Milo and Libbie (Elizabeth Babcock) Chamberlin; died February 14, 1893 age 5 years 10 months 11 days

 This family is peeking out of the bramble so to speak. The stones are in a mass of overgrowth on the right edge of the cemetery half way up the hill.


Cogswell, Abel B, son of (Rev) Bela and Eunice (Prentice) Cogswell; died January 28, 1857 age 17 years 10 months 10 days


Cogswell, (Reverend) Bela, born January 10, 1817 and died December 2, 1900, age 82 years, 9 months,

They are in the first row of the cemetery. This is a tapered tall stone with Rev. Bela on the front panel and the other family members on the side panels. The stone is showing much wear.  He was the Freewill Baptist church minister.  He started out his career in the ministry as a Methodist, but changed his viewpoint towards religion about 1850 when he became a Freewill Baptist, a group who stood up against Slavery. He was a founder of the Silvara Freewill Baptist church in 1856.

Cogswell, Eunice (Prentice), died January 18, 1870; age 53 years 6 months 15 days

Eunice was born June 10, 1817, 1st wife of Rev. Bela Cogswell. She died a Christian according to the Church records, page 27.


“Craft's History of Bradford County”, circa 1880, offers the following biography on this subject.




Rev. Bela Cogswell was born on the place on which he now lives, January 10, 1817. Elisha Cogswell, the grandfather of Bela, came from Connecticut in company with two brothers, and settled in what was then the "Far West," about 1785 or 1790. He was by trade a miller, and had the charge of the most important mills on the river, among which was the Ingham mill at Sugar Run. He afterwards purchased a farm on the Tuscarora creek, where he lived until his death. Edward, the son of Elisha Cogswell, married a daughter of Bela Ford, who lived on "Ford Street", in Pike township, and settled on a part of his father’s farm, in what has been known as East Spring Hill, where he died June, 1877, at the age of eighty-one years. He was a man of unquestionable integrity and sincere piety, and held an official position in the church for more than sixty years.


Bela, the son of Edward, or "Uncle Ned", as he was familiarly called by the people of his neighborhood, was a self-made man. In his boyhood the facilities for education were very inferior to what they are now. He improved those which he had to the best advantage, studying and reading as far as he could, until the people thought he was qualified to teach, when he taught several terms. Previous to 1837, before he was twenty years old, he was licensed to preach the gospel, and for more than forty years he has been engaged in the work of the ministry, and preached to the same people. He was one of the original members of the Free-Will Baptist church on the Tuscarora, and was mainly instrumental in its organization, and in erecting the pleasant church edifice, which is used by the congregation. This church as a marble pulpit of unique construction, and on the marble tablets surrounding it are the names of the members, pastors, contributors, etc., a constant reminder of the worshipers of those who are affiliated with them in the ties of the spiritual brotherhood. Mr. Cogswell has been their first and last pastor. In addition to his duties as pastor, he has frequently had to perform the official duties of a citizen, having, besides other township offices, been justice of the peace fifteen years. He married, Oct. 19, 1837, Eunice Prentice. She died in 1870. There were born to them seven children: Abel B., who died March 7, 1839, Sophronia M., Emma R., Mary A., Stella A., Osmer E., a young man of great promise and flattering prospects for success and usefulness, who was accidentally killed Nov. 16, 1876, leaving a young widow, and Ward B., the youngest, who is at home with his parents.


Mr. Cogswell was married a second time, May 22, 1870, to Lydia Fuller, widow of the late Stillman Fuller, who died in South Carolina, where he and his wife were employed in teaching the emancipated blacks by the United States Freedman’s Bureau. Mr. Cogswell retains his vigor unimpaired, and bids fair to live many years and to do much useful work in his profession to the community.


Cogswell, Hosmer Emil, July 4, 1854 to November 16, 1876


Cogswell, Hosmer Emry, died April 27, 1907, age 30 years

He was born May 3, 1877, and was a US Marine Corps Spanish American War Veteran.

Hosmer Cogswell's large family headstone is graced by the American flag and records Hosmer Emry Cogswell, Bertha Dimon and their son, Hosmer Emry Cogswell.


Dimon, (Polly Bertha Lewis Cogswell)
Bertha L
, May 21, 1855 to  ---- (December 10, 1941). The death date is not etched on the headstone! Bertha outlived Hosmer Cogswell by 65 years.


Sheldon's Funeral Home records in Laceyville record: Mrs Bertha Dimon died 10 Dec 1941. Buried Cogswell Cemetery Silvara, PA


Hosmer E. Cogswell was suspended from the Freewill Baptist Church for unknown reasons on January3, 1869. Neither Bertha nor Hosmer, Junior were ever recorded as members that Carol can find. Bertha can cause some confusion. "Cogswells in America". by E. O. Jameson. records Bertha Sturdevant married on May 23, 1876 to Hosmer Cogswell. We find in another Cogswell genealogy, possibly the same book, but Carol has only a xeroxed version, that Bertha is the adopted daughter of Jacob Drake and Maria Lathrop Sturdevant. The Cogswell genealogies record no parents for her.


1870 Tuscarora census

61-62     Sturdevant      Jacob   67        M         W        Farmer 5500    400        PA

                                    Maria   60        F          W        Keeping house                          PA

                                    Bertha  15        F          W        Attends School                         PA


1860 Tuscarora census:
Is she the child listed below as POLLY?

828 805 Sturdevant J.D 57 M   Farmer 4000 946 PA      

      Maria 50 F         PA      

      Azariah 24 M         PA      

      Edwin 21 M         PA      

      Polly 5 F         PA      

    Deremer Mary 16 F   Servant     NY


 A Roots web Website for Lewis records her name as Polly Bertha Lewis, the daughter of Edwin and Polly B Lathrop Lewis.  Her father died June 26, 1856.  Her mother died the same day she was born. 


Carol also found this information regarding Bertha  (Lewis?) Cogswell Dimon on the Bradford County Genealogy Board:

Bertha Cogswell married Sanford Dimon (b. 03/30/1836 in Pike Twp.,Bradford CO.) after his first wife, Zeruah Brainard Dimon died. There were no children of his first or second marriage. His death notice briefly mentions Bertha as such:
"After the death of Zeruah, Sanford was left alone in this world, there being no children to this union. He was next united in marriage to Mrs. Bertha (Lewis) Cogswell, who has been a true and devoted wife during his remaining years."
A year before his death they lived at South Main St. in LeRaysville. He was a Civil War Veteran, a private with the 141st PA. Volunteers. It seems her maiden name might have been Lewis.

Note also that Sanford Dimon was the son of Gilbert and Hannah Wilson Dimon.


Cogswell, Lydia, died December 17, 1891 age 72 years,

                 Lydia was the 2nd wife of Rev Bela Cogswell.

Cogswell, Minnie B (Bacon), 1858 to April 1, 1952.  She was buried April 4th 

Rev. Havens conducted the service.


Cogswell, W B (Ward), 1838 to 1910


Crawford, Alpheus B (Benjamin)

                 Company C, 203rd Division, PA Volunteers, Civil War

                 January 8, 1837 to December 9, 1916

                 Harriet F Fuller, his wife; August 6, 1839 to April 25, 1907


The Rev. Walsh married Alpheus Crawford and Harriet Fuller, daughter of Jonas and Clarissa Main Fuller, on November 11, 1860 in Susquehanna County.  His pension file records state December 13, 1860. However, we use the first marriage date listed, since his granddaughters agreed upon November 11, 1860.


Crawford, Maria Benscoter, 2nd wife of Alpheus Crawford, no headstone; July 15, 1842 to May 22, 1914, from family records

Ruth Benscoter Wood tells Carol that her grandfather is up there at the top of the cemetery with his arms around both of his wives! Maria was a spinster when she married Alpheus on February 24,1909.   She was the daughter of John and Jane Coates Benscoter.

Alpheus Crawford Grave Marker
Cogswell Cemetery
September 2002
Photo Contributed by Carol Brotzman


Crawford, Ruth, daughter of Ben and Sadie (Atkins) Crawford; March 16, 1899 to April 29, 1900

A little lamb atop a heart graces this small leaning stone, which is slowly eroding away.


Depew, Colonel, son of Elisha and Eliza Depew;, died September 15, 1898 age 18 years,

               Carol could find no stone marker. Elisha Depew, the father, is also there with no stone that can be located. The information on this family came from a newspaper clipping with no date belonging to Mae Fassett.


Dickinson, Helen, daughter of Israel and Lulu, died about 1920; age 11 years.

                  Source is family records. There are two flagstone markers next to Israel Dickinson's marker; she could be one of these. We just do not know.


Dickinson, Israel.  1873 to 1937.

He was buried March 30, 1937. His stone is almost to the very top of the hill. The only ones higher are the Wood and Crawford families. He was married to Lulu Brown who was born about 1878. She is probably here without a stone too. She could be the other flagstone marker in the lot. We have no death date for her.


Farr, Margaret Patricia

Daughter of Mr and Mrs Minor Farr. Age 3 months; this information is from an obituary in the scrapbook clippings of Mae Fassett, no date or name of newspaper listed. Carol can find no marker for her either.


Patricia Margaret Farr, aged 3 months passed away in the home of her parents Mr. and Mrs. Miner Farr in Silvara on February 22, __She leaves 2 brothers and 3 sisters.  Interment was in the Hillside Cemetery, Silvara, PA.


Regarding the Farr Family: Miner Farr (August 15, 1907-August 30, 1970) was first married to Sarah Redmond, and 2nd to May Dickinson June 16, 2931 in Mehoopany, PA.  She was born April 10, 1912 to Israel and Lulu Dickinson.



Ford, Ransom W, died March 24, 1908 age 80 years 1 month 24 days

Company A, 151st PA Volunteers in the Civil War. He is half way up the hill on the far side of the cemetery. His wife, Hannah Bump, is probably there with no marker. She was born about 1826 and died after 1880 and before the 1900 census. A single flagstone marker graced by the American flag.


Hendricks, Rebecca, died October 1888; age 64 years 9 months 27 days


Holdren, Lillian A, November 5, 1862 to February 3, 1881.

Daughter of Henry and Sarah Holdren listed on the 1870 Tuscarora Township census.

HOLDREN is the name on the headstone! Holden is on the census!

Holdren, Sarah A, November 22, 1833 to September 15, 1888

Holdren, William H, no dates listed but by census he was born about 1834.

Will Holdren was dismissed from the church for a misdemeanor on March 4 1871

The Holdren family stone is rather large and tips backwards!

Note there is a spelling change in the name from Holdren on the headstone to Holden in the census. Part of the family used Holden and the other Holdren.  Holdren was used in the Freewill Baptist Church records to record Sarah’s death.

One Holdren Historian tells Carol that Lettie Holdren Pickett literally changed the name from Holden, as it appears on the census, to Holdren, but we do not know the reason why! That claim is disputed by Linda Smith Ciprich, of Fort Myers, Florida, who wrote as follows on February 28, 2007to Joyce Tice:

I am the daughter-in-law of Beryle Holdren Ciprich and have been working on the Holdren family for many years. The name Holdren for this family was never Holden, and was never changed by Aunt Letty. It was just misprinted and misinterpreted. The transcript for the 1860 census lists William Henry Holdren as Henry Holdrew in Paupack Twp., Wayne Co., PA. That is where his father, Henry Holdren (1794-1848), and mother, Mary Paul (1807-1865), are Lakeville Cemetery, Paupack Twp., Wayne Co., PA. The first Henry Holdren (1753-1854), William Henry's grandfather, is buried in Honesdale, Wayne Co., PA, and served in the American Revolution.

William Henry Holdren was married to Sarah Ann Wood, granddaughter of Revolutionary War soldier Consider Wood. Daughter Anna, nicknamed Amy, married Judson Squiers; daughter Lillian died young without marrying; son Charles married an "Estella" whose maiden name I have not determined; son David is sometimes listed as Beebe, which I think must have been his middle name; daughter Lettie married Wesley Pickett and had no children; and the youngest child was Franklin, married to Alice Wandall, and whose only child, Burr Holdren, is my husband's grandfather. We named our son Burr after Burr Holdren, and Burr and Daisy had another grandchild, Frank Holdren, through their son Robert Holdren. Frank and his family live in Black Walnut, Wyoming Co., today. I have an old picture of the five (5) surviving Holdren children in their adult years....

Your description of the deterioration of the cemetery is very good. I was back a few years ago to take some digital pictures. I was amazed at how much worse it was then 25 years ago. It's a terrible shame.

I really appreciate, as I'm sure many others do, all the work and effort you have put into your web pages. It is so wonderful to be able to sit at home and access information in minutes that I use to have to go to the library and run through microfilm machines for hours!

You can learn more these families at the Ciprich Family genealogical page.


The following was found on 1880 Tuscarora Township Census

265 272 Holden Wm. H. 46 M hus blacksmith NJ

265 272  Sarah Ann 46 F wife housekeeper PA NY PA

265 272  Chas. O. 14 M son laborer PA NJ PA

265 272  Beebe D. 12 M son  PA NJ PA ( in 1870 census he is David B)

265 272  Lettie V. 10 F dau attend. school PA PA PA

265 272  Frankie E. 7 M son attend. school PA PA PA

265 272 Wood Debbie 79 F Aunt  NY NY NY


Jacoby, Charles, died February 20, 1871 in his 28th year

Private, Company D, 171st PA Drafted Militia. The Freewill Baptist church records sate that he died with the “Gospel Harness” on, page 26

His wife was Cecilia Mericle, daughter of Levi and Eunice Cogswell Mericle. She was born September 25, 1845. Both were members of the church.  Nothing more on Cecilia is recorded there. Could she possibly be here in Cogswell too?


Lattimer baby, child of I and B Lattimer died 1909, simple flagstone type marker,


"Linnie, Our Darling".

That’s all it records, on the right edge of the cemetery, part way up behind the Atkins lot in another row.

Madison, Eliza Ruger, September 26, 1864 to June 21, 1938.

There is no headstone, just obituary information. She could possibly be in the Quinby Cemetery, Silvara, PA with her husband but the obit clearly states the upper Hillside Cemetery.  There is no headstone in either cemetery. Cogswell Cemetery is also known as Hillside. She was the daughter of John and Saphronia Cogswell Ruger. Saphronia was the daughter of Rev. Bela Cogswell, also buried here in Cogswell Cemetery.  Saphronia and John Ruger were buried in the Tioga Point Cemetery, Athens, PA. The Quinby Cemetery could also be described as the Upper cemetery in reference to the location of the church. So we cannot be sure which cemetery she is in. But it is in Silvara, PA


Eliza Ruger Madison was born September 26, 1864 at Spring Hill and died June 21, 1938 at her home there. She is survived by one daughter, Mrs. Ernest Wells of Spring Hill; a brother, Sanford Ruger of Wyalusing; several nieces and nephews and a host of friends.  Mrs. Madison was a friend to everyone in her community and many homes can show the lovely work done by her crippled hands.  The funeral services were held Friday afternoon at 1 o’clock at the home and at 2 o'clock at the Silvara church conducted by the Rev. George Gardner.  R.L. Blocher sang two solos.  Burial was in the upper Hillside Cemetery of Silvara.  The pallbearers were Judson Carter, John Brotzman, John Stevens,  Charles Hawley,  Frank Thompson and  Leland Thompson


Miller, Ophelia A, wife of Abel H Miller; died August 1, 1871 age 19 years 6 months 17 days.

A note regarding Abel Miller: There is an Abel Miller who married Aurissa Carter in 1872. This most likely is the same fellow.

Newman, Calvin H, March 17, 1833 to July 25, 1898

                 Ollie Ann Taylor, his wife; December 28, 1837 to January 17, 1899. The church record spells her name as "Olie".


Newman, Charles H, February 24, 1858 to August 10, 1891

Tuscarora Township Census 1860

822 799 Newman Calvin 28 M   Day Laborer 300 150 PA      

      Olly Ann 22 F         PA      

      Walter 3 M         PA      

      Chas 2 M         PA      

      Perditta 9/12 F         PA


A note regarding Charles Newman:

Charles Newman in this Cemetery might be the same Charles Newman that married Josephine Gertrude LaFrance, daughter of Ziba and Caroline McClaud LaFrance.  Josephine and Calvin have one child named F Eva who married a Mr Brown.  Josephine married John Grose for her second husband.

Wyalusing Rocket
Wyalusing, PA
August 1891

Reprinted in May 18, 2006 issue

A sad accident, which resulted in the loss of a life, occurred at Bennett’s quarry on the Leander Sturdevant farm, about one mile above Silvara, on Monday about 11 a.m. o’clock. A bank caved on Charles Newman, covering him with nearly two feet of earth. He was soon uncovered by the other workmen, but he was so badly injured that he died in about two hours after the accident. Mr. Newman was about 35 years of age and leaves several small children. One leg was broken in three places, one shoulder crushed and his head badly bruised.

E Parkhurst, stillborn baby girl. 

The hand-etched headstone records September 22, 1935. Located near the top on the left side of the cemetery, I pulled it out of the brush!  This family lived in the Silvara area and was respectfully known as the Piecrust family!


Ruger, Charlie died April 1, 1881, age 3 years


Ruger, Clara Bennett, 1859 to 1881,

Clara is at the very top all by herself on the right side of the cemetery. Undoubtedly, there were more buried up there with her; however, no headstones are currently visible.  She was the daughter of Levi and Cornelia Baker Bennett. She married to Horace Ruger.  However family records record she was born 1854 in Wyalusing, PA.  The stone was probably placed there some years after her death, as the style of headstone is a much later style.  We don’t know if the death date is correct either, as the Bennett Genealogy records she died about 1890 and had a daughter.


William Ruger informs me that Horace was the son of William D and Louisa Ruger. He married second to Jane Woodruff and had three more daughters, Mabel, Anita and Zena.


Ruger, Eliza, wife of Jeremiah Ruger; died April 5, 1890, age 82 years 2 months 16 days. Her stone lies flat on the ground and is quickly being swallowed up by the earth!


Ruger, Jeremiah, April 4, 1881, age 72 years, 3 months, 7 days


Shaw, Frances (Bacon), 1856 to 1949.

This stone is with the Ward Cogswell family. Frances would be Minnie Bacon, the wife of Ward Cogswell’s sister.  They were children of Ezra Butler and Malinda Prentice Bacon. She was the wife of Henry T Shaw. Her stone is simply etched but lies flat on the ground.

1880 Tuscarora Township census

171 173 Shaw Henry T. 44 M hus farmer PA PA PA

171 173  Frankie 23 F wife housekeeper PA PA PA

171 173  Geo. H. 17 M son wks. on farm PA PA PA

171 173  Brenton J. 15 M son wks. on farm PA PA PA


Smith, Philander Wellington, October 22, 1832 to July 22, 1892

           His wife was Mary Newman.


Smith, Raymond E, son of Philander and (should be) Mary but it is illegible.

            Died September 11, 1874 age? Years 8 months 12 days


Stevens, Fred J, son of James M and Mary E Stevens; Sepember 10, 1877 to May 12, 1907

His granite stone etched with an S records "AT REST"

Taylor, A J, 1836 to 1913; age 62 years.

  Company E, 75th, Illinois Regiment

Taylor, Altheda 1841 to 1903, wife of A J Taylor


Taylor, Lindley E, died September 3, 1873 age 6 years 9 months, son of A J and L A


Taylor, Minnie, born 1972, daughter of A J and Altheda Taylor

Taylor, Walter, died August 31, 1873 age 56 years 3 months

The Freewill Baptist church records Walter died with the “Gospel Harness” on, page 26; and page 27 says “Died a Deacon in full triumph of the gospel.”


Tillinghast, (Rev.) John, died April 21, 1872;age 63 years, 10 months, 21 days

He served as assistant preacher with the Silvara Freewill Baptist Church, according to the record book, page 29

The Wakeman Family Stones
Cogswell Cemetery
September 2002
Photo contributed by Carol Brotzman

Wakeman, Almon, 1822 to 1905.

His stone lays flat on the ground. Slowly disappearing!

Wakeman, Betsey V, died September 25, 1872 aged 52 years


Wakeman, Sally, wife of Almon Wakeman died January 30, 1881 age 64 years

"Betsey" died in full harness of the Lord according to the secretary’s book on page 29.  Her last words were GLORY!

Wood, Mary C Finch, the 2nd wife of W J Wood; died September 24, 1894

Age 42 years 5 months and 22 days,

Wood, William J, died January 17, 1898. 

Clipping from an unknown newspaper in the clippings of Mae Fassett.

His wife Sharon (Sarah) Owens died June 25, 1874 and is buried in the Spring Hill, Tuscarora Township Bradford County, PA cemetery.

Cogswell Cemetery
View From Top of path
Atkins Family stones to the right
Cogswell Family stones to the left
September 2002
Photo Contributed by Carol Brotzman

Deed to
The Freewill Baptist
Church of Tuscarora


Transcribed by Nicole Parker
Note: Original document is located in the deed book records at the Bradford County Courthose in Towanda, PA. Spelling is as recorded, as are the punctuation and graphic marks.

Know all men be there present. That I, Bela Cogswell of Tuscarora in the County of Bradford and State of Pennsylvania Minister of the Gospel in consideration of Seventy-Five dollars paid to me by John Tillinghast of Clinton in the County of Wyoming and State of Pennsylvania a Farmer the receipt where of in hereby acknowledged the Corporation known as The First Free* Baptist Church of Tuscarora and their successors and assigns former a certain track or parcel of land and all the privileges and appurtenances to the some belonging scituate in Tuscarora in said County and State as foresaid for the purpose of a Cemetery for burying the sacred dead, to be known by the name of Cogswell Cemetery bounded and designed as follows :

Beginning on line of land belonging to Jackson Cogswell on the woody margin of Tuscarora Creek and recognizing on said line East 16 rods - Then at right angles South 16 rods ~ Thence at right angles 16 rods ~ Thence West 16 rods to the woody margin of the Creek ~ Thence along the woody margin to place of beginning. Containing one and one half acres the some that is enclosed by a Fence of peakets & evergreen be the some more or less! Also the right of way from the Road to the Cemetery along the woody margin the same that is enclosed by a Fence be the same more or less. To have and to hold the above granted premises to the said society and their successors for a cemetery forever. And I the said, Bela Cogswell for myself and my heirs executors and administrators do covenant with the said John Tillinghast and the above named Society his heirs & their successors that I am **fully seized in fee simple of the afore granted premises. That they are free from all in cumbrances. That I have good right to all and convey the sane to said Society, their successors and assigns forever as afore said and shall warrant and defend the same to the said society & the successors and assigns forever against the lawful claims and demands of all persons.

And it is further agreed and coordinated by the said, Bela Cogswell & the Free Baptist Church Society with the said John Tillinghast & his heirs & assigns that the said Tillinghast shall have all control of said Cemetery to lay out lots, number and prize them, lay out paths ornament and so all other things. The same as if the Cemetery was his to all intents and purposes sell and receive the pay for Lots. He or his heirs and assigns until 1878 Dec. 31. Where he shall give up the possession of the Cemetery to the Society, beholding all the unsold Lots as his non-private property, except lots to the amount of one hundred dollars of his opon selection, as an endowment to said Society. It is further agreed by the above parties that at all times strangers & the poor shall be allowed a place of burial in said Cemetery while unsold Lots remain. It is further agreed that all Lots sold in said Cemetery, A primated certificate shall be given to the purchaser, signed by the insident and Secretary or Treasurer of said Society and such Certificate shall constitute a clear title under this Deed. No lot in the Cemetery shall be taxed for repair of Fence or and propose. Said Tillinghast to maintain in a good fence until 1878 Dec. 31 and the said Baptist Society forever after. This Contrast constitutes a part of this deed in such remain in binding force as the Deed itself. In witness where of I, Bela Cogswell and I, Lydia Cogswell wife of said Bela Cogswell in token of my release of all right of and title of dower in the granted premises have here unto set out hands and seals this seventh day of April in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred & seventy one.

Signed, Sealed and Delivered in presence

Ella A. Rugg                                                               Bela Cogswell ( Seal )

D.H. Rugg                                                                  Lydia Cogswell ( Seal)

Bradford County SS

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Before me the inscriber one of the Justice of the Peace in & for said County personally come the within named Bela Cogswell & Lydia, his wife who in due form of law acknowledged the within indenture to be their act & deed & desired the same might be recorded as such. The said Lydia being of full age & by me examined separate and apart from her said husband & the contents of the foregoing Indenture being first made fully known to her declared that the did voluntarily & of her own free will & accord seal & as her act deed deliver the same mittant any coercion or compulsion of her said husband. In testimony where of I have here unto set hand & seal this seventh day of April AW 1871.

Stamp, 50 cts. D.H. Rugg, J.P. (seal)

Recorded May 1st, 1871

* Over the course of time, the original church name of "First Free Baptist Church" became "Freewill Baptist Church", although it is unclear when this formally occurred, if at all.


The Tuscarora Freewill Baptist Church Book
Dated April 20, 1885
Bears the Seal of Joseph Atkins, Church Clerk*
Photo Taken by Carol Brotzman 2002
*Note: Of course Joseph Atkins died in 1878, so how can his seal be on the church record book in 1885? According to Carol:
I haven't figured that out yet. I don't know who kept the record book after he died, but his daughter Sadie Atkins Crawford had it and gave it to Alice Sivers for safe keeping. Alice, 83 years old in 2001, gave it to me last year. Maybe Sadie wrote it in ther posthumously.

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