Fairview Cemetery Walking Tour
The Origins of Fairview Cemetery
Edited by Chaplain (COL) (Ret.) Ronald E. Martin-Minnich,
Member of the Directors of the
Mercersburg Historical Society
Old Account in History of Franklin County
This cemetery was incorporated on June 5, 1866, by S. A. Bradley, M. Fallon, Atchison Ritchey, H.N. Eberly and D.M.B. Shannon. The grounds containing nearly twelve acres, were surveyed by Jas. D. McDowell. Its first directors consisted of D. M. B. Shannon, S. A. Bradley, H. N. Eberly, W. D. McKinstry and J. N. Brewer. Of this number Bradley was president, McKinstry, secretary, and Brewer, treasurer. The present corps embraces J. W. Witherspoon, president; J. N. Brewer, treasurer; W. D. McKinstry, secretary, and D. M. B. Shannon, superintendent.
ORIGINAL 1866 STOCKHOLDERS OF FARVIEW CEMETERY ASSOCIATION
Shares Subscriber Shares Subscriber
6 W. D. McKinstry @$25 $150.00 2 Dave M. B. Shannon $50.00
8 Atchison Ritchey 200.00 2 Thos McAfee 50.00
6 Adam Hoke 150.00 2 Michael Fallon 50.00
8 Jas O Carson 200.00 2 Tho Creigh 50.00
6 Wm & Joseph Boyd 150.00 2 Massote Hayes 50.00
5 S. A. Bradley 125.00 2 A.S. Coyle 50.00
5 H. N. Eberly 125.00 1 C. Louderbaugh 25.00
5 Samuel Pallsgrove 125.00 1 Patton Harrison 25.00
2 Johnston Rankin 50.00 1 H.B. Kaufman 25.00
2 J. Newton Brewer 50.00 2 B. N. Winger 50.00
1 David Springer 25.00 1 Chas G. Lowe 25.00
2 Ms Louisa Hoffeditz 50.00 1 John L. Rhea 25.00
2 Calvin Hoffeditz 50.00 1 Jn Humphreys 25.00
1 George Mowery 25.00 1 Jacob B. Myers, Jr. 25.00
1 Joseph Boferman 25.00 1 Jacob Frick 25.00
1 R. H. Boyd 25.00 1 James Witherspoon 25.00
1 J. Andrew Patterson 25.00 1 A. J. Unger 25.00
1 Jonas Keefer 25.00 $2200.00
1 Jacob Pensinger 25.00
88 Shares Stock
1 Shares of H N Eberly transfer to M Hays
4 “ “ Joseph Boyd transfer to Mary A Boyd
6 “ “ Adam Hoke Estate transfer to W. D. McKinstry
S. A. Bradley
W. D. McKinstry
J. N. Brewer.
J. W. Witherspoon
Dave M. B. Shannon
Jas O Carson
The Rev. Dr. Thomas Creigh
Wm & Joseph Boyd
S. A. Bradley
H. N. Eberly
J. Newton Brewer
B. N. Winger
Notable Graves of Mercersburg Citizens
Owner of Original Property
Adam Hoke (died 1869) area G
There are two markers for Adam Hoke. One is an ancient headstone and the other is an impressive rose granite obelisk located among Hoke family gravestones. Adam Hoke was an owner of extensive land holdings near those of Seth Dickey and the owner of the land purchased for Fairview Cemetery.
Founders of the Cemetery
Samuel A. Bradley (1824-1870) area F
Samuel A. Bradley was a teacher in the one-story brick school-house that once stood on the grounds of the Presbyterian Church.
Michael Fallon, Jr. (1820-1890) area G
He was the son of Michael Fallon, Sr. who was a weaver. Michael, Jr. had a hardware store and owned properties in Mercersburg and once lived on the north side of West Seminary Street. The alley behind the Presbyterian Church is named Fallon’s Alley.
Atchison Ritchey (1800-1870) areas H & GAtchison Ritchey (1800-1870) areas H & G
Atchison Ritchey, Esquire, was a very influential lawyer in Mercersburg and is documented as helping the local Union troops with a map of Franklin County. His family gravesites are on two sides of the road in areas H & G.
Dr. Henry (or Harry) N. Eberly (1827-1902) area C
Dr. Henry N. Eberly was one of the many members of the Mercersburg Lyceum, which was founded January 3, 1854. He was a Dentist by profession and advertised his painless extraction of teeth on March 14, 1872. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church of the Upper West Conococheague.
William D. McKinstry (1811-1901) area B
William D. McKinstry was a member of the Mercersburg Lyceum, son of William McKinstry (1770-1861), buried one row above his son and grandchildren. He was a mercantile. He was a cashier for the Mercersburg Savings Fund. In 1857, he was elected treasurer of Franklin County.
J. Newton Brewer. (1825-1907) area C
J. N. Brewer was a General Store owner, which was located on “Locust Corner”, a member and contributor to the building of Trinity German Reformed Church (now United Church of Christ), member of the Mercersburg Lyceum, and it was his store that was the first to be raided and plundered by the Confederate Cavalry as they came through town on October 10, 1862.
James W. Witherspoon (1844-1907) area G
James W. Witherspoon was a bank cashier with Farmer’s Bank and a member of the Presbyterian Church of the Upper West Conococheague and related to The Rev. John Witherspoon, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. His parents, siblings and others are buried in area F.
Famous Citizens -
Seth Dickey, Esquire (1841-1925) area G
Seth Dickey, Esquire, was a major land owner, mill operator, and an Elder in the Presbyterian Church of the Upper West Conococheague. He was married first to Annie Smith, a descendant of Squire William Smith, the founder of Mercersburg. Annie died in 1879. In 1905, he married Mary Patterson. Unfortunately, neither married resulted in children to continue his line.
The Rev. Dr. Thomas Creigh (1808-1880) area C
The Rev. Dr. Thomas Creigh was the pastor of The Presbyterian Church of the Upper West Conococheague (1831-1880). He was a graduate of Dickinson College, first President of the Board of Trustees of Wilson College, a creator of the first history of the Presbyterian Church of the Upper West Conococheague in Mercersburg, PA and a very well-respected member of the Mercersburg community.
Dr. William M. Irvine (1865-1928) area H
Dr. William M. Irvine was the founding headmaster of the Mercersburg Academy (founded 1893) that was known as Mercersburg College. He expanded the campus to 120 acres by constructing more academy buildings and its gothic-style Chapel, which was completed in 1926. Both President Woodrow Wilson and President Calvin Coolidge visited the campus, with both of President Coolidge’s children becoming students.
John L. Finafrock (1871-1941) area G
John L. Finafrock was a well-respected member of the community, a member of The Board of Regents of Mercersburg Academy, a member of the Trinity German Reformed Church (now United Church of Christ) and close personnel friend and neighbor of Seth Dickey, Esq. He was elected Superintendent of Franklin County Schools in 1922.
Martin A. Lininger (1911-2002) area F
Martin A. Lininger was the owner and Funeral Director of the current Lininger-Fries Funeral home, following in his father’s profession. He inherited all the records and custodial oversight of the Fairview Cemetery. The Lininger-Fries Funeral Home is the repository of all the original Fairview Cemetery records dating back to 1866.
Harry E. Lackhove (1894 – 1918) area B
Harry E. Lackhove was a veteran killed in WWI. Seven months later, sixteen area WWI vets did respond by applying for and receiving a charter for Mercersburg Harry Lackhove Post 517 of the American Legion. Lackhove had been killed in the Meuse-Argonne offensive only a month before the war ended and his was the second WWI veteran’s body to be interred in Fairview Cemetery. For the next few years Post 517 took on more and more of the responsibility and organization for the Memorial Day services as more veterans began to settle back into normal lives and took on more civic responsibilities.
Various Other Graves of Importance
H.B. Hege Family and Jacob M. Myers, Sr. Andrew Shelly and Martha Bitner Shelly,
Family, Owners of Hege & Myers General Parents of Myrtle Alice Shelly Hege,
Store (later Myers & Tritle). Area E Original owners of large farm property
next to Seth Dickey. Area E
David M.B. Shannon Family gravesite in area B. One of the tallest obelisks in Fairview Cemetery and Fairview Cemetery Association stockholder and board member.
Virginia Shannon Fendrick (1863-1943), wife of Christian Fendrick, was an area genealogist and editor of “Old Mercersburg”. Their descendants donated the funds to restore the Col. Parker home for The Fendrick Library. They are buried in area H.
Byron Family. Owners of the Tannery that was on Oregon Street. In area G. The Mercersburg Inn on North Main Street was the Byron Family home.
"When on July 5, 1863, wounded Confederate soldiers were brought to Mercersburg, and some were placed in the basement of the Methodist Episcopal Church, two of the people caring for them there were Margaret Jane Leidy McConnell, who was visiting her parents at that time, and her sister, probably Sarah. When the Confederates were moved on July 9, Margaret Jane suggested that her family take into their home Joseph William Quaintance and care for him. Quaintance died in their home, located at the corner of South Fayette and South Main Streets, on August 28, 1863. Three days earlier he had joined the local Methodist Episcopal Church. The preacher wrote in the membership record “Joseph William Quaintance -August 25, 1863 Rappahannock, Virginia Belonged to the Rebel Army Died at Bro. Leidy’s from wounds received at Gettys.”
Leidy must have been a man of some learning as after the death of the twenty-four year old soldier he wrote a long, well-composed and compassionate letter to the young man’s father, Henry Quaintance, Tanner, of Slate Mills, Virginia, explaining the circumstances of the death of his son and the service held for him after his death." by Joan McCulloh
Such was the compassion the people of Mercersburg exhibited to the Confederate Soldiers. Fairview Cemetery was not incorporated until 1866, so at least two of the wounded Confederate Soldiers were buried in the cemetery that was located behind the Presbyterian Church on West Seminary Street. Later the burials of three Confederate Soldiers, Joseph William Quaintance being one of them, were reinterred in their current location in area D of Fairview Cemetery.
(In area D.)
Members of the Mercersburg Historical Society have updated and corrected the Rutledge account, based on research of local primary accounts of The First United Methodist Church of Mercersburg and information based on the book Mercy at Mercersburg: Forgiveness, Compassion, Redemption by Carl Moran, 2010.
First, although its sounds romantic, there are no other accounts that “Dixie” was played by a G.A.R. band. Still, this account is included in research by Carl Moran.
Second, the name of Quaintance is Joseph William Quaintance, not W. H. Quaintance.
Over the years, this Rostrum has come to represent our community’s honor to all who have served our country in any of the armed forces but particularly to those who gave their lives during wartime. Immediately after the end of World War One, November 11, 1918, communities across the United States struggled to find fitting memorials for those who had served and to those who gave the supreme sacrifice. Mercersburg was no different.
In August, 1919, as the last of the occupation troops were returning from Europe, the Reverend L.E. Wilson of the First Methodist Church in a front page article in the Mercersburg Journal argued that a suitable memorial should be a community center for the citizens, both town and country, to use as a focus for providing service and civic instruction. However, by January, 1920, the Journal also cited a local writer who called upon the community to show more support for the few remaining Mercersburg area Civil War veterans of the local Post of the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.). and likewise urged the many young veterans of the most recent war to form an American Legion Post so they, too, might develop and pass on the civic virtues as the G,A,R, had. “Your community calls even as your country called. We know you will respond just as nobly.”
Seven months later, sixteen area WWI vets did respond by applying for and receiving a charter for Mercersburg Harry Lackhove Post 517 of the American Legion. Lackhove had been killed in the Meuse- Argonne offensive only a month before the war ended and his was the second WWI veteran’s body to be interred in Fairview Cemetery. For the next few years Post 517 took on more and more of the responsibility and organization for the Memorial Day services as more veterans began to settle back into normal lives and took on more civic responsibilities. In 1924 over twenty ladies applied for a charter as the auxiliary of Post 517 in order to assist the Post in furthering the ideal of peacetime service to America. Over the years four of the unit’s members would, themselves, become Gold Star mothers who lost sons in war.
Toward the end of the 1920s, the commemoration of Memorial Day (Declaration Day) began to become a more formal and organized occasion with a marching band, uniformed Legionnaires and other veterans, all town school children, invited speakers and local dignitaries and a truck load of flowers, all parading the length of town and into the cemetery. After placing of flowers on the graves of veterans, a formal program of speeches and patriotic music was conducted in the open area near to the present Rostrum. The services concluded with the playing of taps.
In early 1930 still wishing to bring a more formal solemnity to the occasion, some local Legion members and community leaders began to plan and to raise funds for a special War Memorial Rostrum from which to conduct services and give speeches.
The committee called upon L. C. Bareham, a WWI veteran on the Mercersburg Academy faculty who taught mechanical drawing and who had visited many other war memorials, to design the Memorial Rostrum. It was to be constructed of native limestone from the quarry located behind the local public school and donated by Post 517. The steps, capstones and benches were to be Indiana limestone with the central pillar holding the dedication plague to be capped with Indiana limestone surmounted by a bronze American eagle.
The cost was estimated to be about $2,300 (with inflation figured in, equal to $28,073 present day). Completion was planned for Memorial Day, May 30th, 1930. However, with only a week to the May 23rd Journal in a front-page story, pointed out that the Memorial committee still needed an additional $300 so the total cost would not fall upon its members who had already given much in time and talent. To further its appeal the Journal also printed another front-page article describing how all the Mercersburg school children of every class had made some contribution, noting in particular that the senior class had donated from its special treasury they had been saving since their ninth-grade year for their class trip to Washington. Additional funds were forth coming. Such was the patriotic spirit of the times.
The Memorial Rostrum stood pristine for dedication on May 30th with great anticipation by people and veterans from communities around the area. Bleachers for the elementary school children who would sing America the Beautiful were set. The noted Morris Frock Drum and Bugle Corps from Hagerstown would march and perform at the services. The Mercersburg Band would play various selections. A double quartette from the high school would sing God of our Fathers. Dr. Boyd Edwards Headmaster of the Academy would deliver the main address. as other dignitaries would give speeches of dedication and acceptance by the borough of the Rostrum. Others would speak of the meaning of the day and “The Service of Mercersburg’s Sons in Time of War.” Dr. Archibald Rutledge, noted author and poet, wrote a special poem for the service, To the Heroes in Fairview. Then America was sung by all, a Benediction given, then silence broken by echoing Taps.
So the Rostrum came into being. For 87 years and as many services it has stood as the place for all to gather and pay respects and honor to the Mercersburg area veterans.
In 1930 no one on that day could foresee that the crash of the stock market seven months before was sending our nation slowly into a Great Depression that for the next ten years would test the character of our country nor foresee that another great World War would call our sons and daughters once again to service and sacrifice. Nonetheless, through those trying years every Memorial Day was celebrated here.
After WWII, the plagues on the end pillars listing the men who died in those two great wars were added by the American Legion.
Today through volunteer work, special funding by American Legion Post 517, and community donations, the Memorial Rostrum, after pressure cleaning and removal of the badly deteriorated mortar joints, has been completely repointed by professional stone masons. This was undertaken as a project of the American Legion to commemorate the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into WWI in 1917 and as a means of providing needed maintenance to original memorials of the era.
May the Mercersburg War Memorial Rostrum now stand another 87 years, the symbol of our continuing honor to our veterans whose service and sacrifice have kept us free from tyranny and oppression.
Of the 1,833 Franklin county veterans who served in WWI, 88 died during the war including 6 nurses. Nearly 50% were non-combat deaths mainly from the “Spanish” flu.
From Mercersburg and surrounding townships, 207 men and one nurse served.
Eight men from Mercersburg perished in the war, all between Sept. 11 1918, and Nov. 4 1918, the last within a week of the Armistice Nov. 11.
CHARLES RUSSELL JONES Sept 11, 1918, Navy, Port Arthur Texas.
(died saving others from a burning building.)
ALVIN G. SHEETS Sept. 17, 1918, 53rd replacement draft infantry.
(accident onboard ship, broken arm, got bronchial pneumonia)
LEWIS HIMES, KIA Sept. 29, 1918, 368th infantry, 93rd “colored” Div.
(Mercersburg African-American Legion Post 830 named for him)
FRANK POFFENBERGER, KIA Oct. 3,1918, Lieut., 111th infantry 28th Div. (Mercersburg Academy 1909, 6 years in National Guard)
HARRY L. LACKHOVE, KIA Oct. 13, 1918, 314th infantry 79th Div.
(American Legion Post 517 named for him)
WALTER SEVILLE, KIA Oct. 15, 1918, 126th infantry 32nd Div.
JAMES C. ROCKWELL, KIA Oct. 24, 1918, 16th infantry 1st Div.
LESIE S. ZEGER, KIA Nov. 4, 1918. 316th infantry 79th Div.