COLONIAL CEMETERY

 

The Old Burying Ground. - One of the most interesting, and yet most solemn, places of historical interest in and about Johnstown is the ancient burial ground at the corner of Green and Market streets. In this enclosure stood the first church ever erected within the present bounds of Fulton county, and in the church yard which surrounded it were buried the dead for more than a century. Before the village had extended toward the westward to its present limits this burying ground commanded a magnificent view stretching for a mile or more in the direction of Johnson Hall, and the old church that stood near its western end must have been conspicuous from a great distance. When this church was demolished it is probable that the stone was used to construct a fence around the cemetery. No burials have been made there in many years, and the towering elms which skirt the sacred enclosure bear silent witness to the antiquity of the spot. Inscribed upon the time and weather worn monuments can be seen the names of many who have figured in the past history of Johnstown and its vicinity, and whose posterity still hold dear to memory.



The Johnstown Cemetery Association. - The rapidity with which the old burying ground was being filled made it necessary in 1849 for the people of the village to take steps toward providing a new and larger cemetery. For this purpose a meeting was held October 4, 1849, at which were present among others John Frothingham, William H. Johnson, Daniel Stewart, George Henry, Elijah W. Prindle, Peter McKie, John H. Gross, William Dorn, William Rood, John McLaren, jr., Edward Wells, and John Wells. As a result of this meeting the Johnstown Cemetery Association was organized, with the following trustees and officers: President, Elijah W. Prindle; vice president, Peter McKie; secretary, John McLaren, jr.; treasurer, John Wells; trustees, the men above mentioned with the addition of John H. Gross, Marcellus Gilbert, and John Frothingham. On November 26, 1849, the association purchased fifteen acres of land from Duncan McLaren and Elias Prindle, for which $1,220 was paid, and in 1852 more land was added, being purchased from Eleazer Wells for $200. On June 30, 1860, between six and ten acres were purchased from E. W. Prindle at the rate of $150 per acre, and on July 1, 1875, another addition was purchased from him, the price paid being $3,500. A more picturesque location for a cemetery can scarcely be imagined. Gracefully winding around its western and northern boundaries is the Cayadutta creek, crossed at the main entrance on Perry street by a handsome bridge. The ground from the creek rises gradually toward the east, and its natural features have been tastefully improved by the landscape gardener's art.

The first burial in the cemetery was that of Peter McKie, its first vice president, and was made November 28, 1849. The several presidents of the association and the dates of their election to that office have been as follows: Elijah W. Prindle, October 4, 1849; Marcellus Gilbert, December 1, 1855; Daniel Edwards, October 7, 1857; E. W. Prindle, October 1, 186; Burnett H. Dewey, September 16, 1875; James Younglove, February 2, 1886. The present officers are: President, James Younglove; vice president, Martin Kennedy; treasurer, William S. McKie; secretary, Charles O. Gross; trustees, James Younglove, Martin Kennedy, William S. McKie, Charles O. Gross, William S. Northrup, John W. Cline, and James P. Argersinger.

 

 

Elizabeth Cady Stanton WOMEN'S CONSORTIUM
P.O. Box 251        Johnstown, New York  12095        www.ecswc.org       LizDeclares@gmail.com
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