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CEMETERIES.

 

 

As has been noted in the proceedings of the Centennial Anniversary, the old Common on Fane hill was one of the first pieces of land cleared in town, and Dea. Jonathan Park one of the first men that had occasion to make use of it as a burial ground ; and, as by common consent, it soon became the general burying ground, so that in 1789 the north part was set off by the town for that purpose. And it was here that the remains of the unfortunate Sawtell family were buried. As early as 1794 it became evident that it would soon be necessary to have new grounds, and a committee was chosen to make the necessary arrangements for a new lot, and we suppose that the present yard on the hill is the result of their plans. Our Fayetteville Cemetery was first occupied by Dea. Park in the burial of a son, Moses, Feb. 29th, 1796, and soon after he gave the ground for a public lot, on the condition that the people should build and maintain a good wall around it. About 1830, Anthony Jones added a donation of some four rods of land across the south end, on condition that the people remove and rebuild the wall. For many of the first years the graves were made without any regard to form or order, and it was not laid out into lots until 1832, when a plan was made and the lots mapped out 10x30 feet. In 1854, P. T. Kimball, F. Sawyer, S. W. Bowker, and Mrs. C. C. Merrifield, purchased of A. Birchard the land lying between the original lot and the Stedman farm, Mr. B. reserving unto himself and his heirs a one-fifth interest ; the first-mentioned parties to build and maintain a good wall, in a direct line from the south wall of the old yard to the Stedman land. About this time the ladies' sewing circle took the matter in hand, and caused the double bank walls to be built facing the road, and the stone stairway to be laid. For years they have kept a small deposit in the savings bank for the benefit of the yard, and in the fall of 1875 they expended a portion of this fund in building the carriage track around the old lot.

 

 

 

 

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In the yard are tablets sacred to the memory of the following named soldiers: Lieut. Jonathan Park, who served at Bennington in 1777, and the boys of the late war of 1861, '5, as follows: Sardis Birchard, Wayland E. Fairbanks, Alvin G. Higgins, Frederick Miller, Morris Miller, James Newton, Samuel Ray, John S. Ward. May 16, 1868, the Hon. John Roberts, a venerable barrister of four score and seven was buried here, and some three years and a half after, his remains were removed to Jacksonville, Vt., by a nephew, Mr. Henry Roberts. Upon opening the grave the coffin was found to be a severe lift for four men, on examination the body was found slightly darkened in color, but hard and nearly as perfect as when buried.

The Williamsville Cemetery was used as a private bury­ing-ground as early as 1793, or thereabouts, by the owners of the farm of which it was a part. It was not, however, till 1830 that measures were taken to set it apart for public use. In July of that year it was deeded by the owner, Samuel Ingram, to Aaron C. Robinson, Benj. Prescott, and others, to be used as a public burying-ground forever, with the provision that they would cause it to be inclosed by a good stone wall. It was inclosed accordingly, laid out into lots, and soon came into general use by the inhabitants of that section of the town. In 1857, with a view to its more efficient management, an act of incorporation was obtained under the name of the Williamsville Cemetery Association. A new survey was immediately had and such changes made as to secure the desired uniformity in lots and walks. In 1862, chiefly through aid rendered by the ladies' sewing society, the stone wall on the south side was removed and a picket fence erected one rod nearer the road, thus enlarging the ground sufficiently for an extra tier of lots. In 1865 a receiving tomb was built. The ground is kept in order by the avails of a tax of twenty-five cents assessed annually upon each lot. The affairs of the Association are managed by a board of trustees, constituted, at present, as follows: D. D. Dickinson, D. A. Dickinson, E. R. Lin­coln, S. W. Bowker, and G. B. Williams.

Here may be found the graves of seven soldiers of the late war, viz: Myron Pratt, Frank Cook, Linus P. Miles,

 

 

 

 

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Samuel B. Lincoln, Henry C. Blashfield, Everett F. Gould and Lewis G. Brown ; also the grave of Ephraim Hall, a soldier of the Revolution.

The land for the older portion of the Pondville Cemetery was contributed by Amherst Morse, second, while a resident of the farm of which it was originally a part, and was walled in by the inhabitants of the vicinity, in fulfillment of a condi­tion of the gift. The time of its first use for burial purposes is not definitely known. The oldest gravestone bears the date of 1813, but there are several unmarked graves which may have been made at an earlier period. Situated near the dividing line of the two towns, this yard early came into general use by the inhabitants of the northern part of Marl­boro as well as the southwestern part of Newfane, and in 1864 it was found necessary to have it enlarged. Accord­ingly, in August of that year, three-fourths of an acre of land adjoining the old yard, on the east, was purchased of Ephraim Morse, then owner of the surrounding farm, by Orison Bruce, was transferred by him to Dana Morse, and has now come into the possession of Samuel Morse who disposes of lots, to individuals, as they are needed. It does not now appear that there was ever an organization having for its object the supervision of this yard ; and, in conse­quence, in the older portion the lots were taken up with too little regard for that uniformity deemed so desirable in ceme­teries at the present day. In the newer portion the lots are regularly laid out. Here may be found the graves of two soldiers of the Revolution, Robert Timson and Justus Augur.

The cemetery in the parish is now but little used. Like the one on Newfane Hill it contains the graves of many of the early settlers of the town. Like it, as the more immediate descendants of its inmates are passing away, it is becoming more and more neglected. It would seem a highly appro­priate act at this time, and one in which our town would do her early settlers no greater honor than she would herself, should she assume the care of their last resting places.