Photo by Joyce M. Tice
Ridgebury Township Cemeteries
The following are excerpts from a history of Ridgebury Township compiled by Gladys Burnham in 1962 and 1965 with the help of the Ridgebury Volunteer Firemen’s Auxiliary. These notes are meant to compliment the cemetery lists.(Note from JMT - We do not have the Burnham listings online at this time but have other listings)
Submitted to Tri-Counties by Lynn Tinsley
The following are excerpts from a history of Ridgebury Township compiled by Gladys Burnham in 1962 and 1965 with the help of the Ridgebury Volunteer Firemen’s Auxiliary. These notes are meant to compliment the cemetery lists aleady on the site.
The early settlers apparently buried their dead on their farms. There are several family burial plots in this area, some of them are as follows:
Baldwintown and Old Owens: The first officers of the Bentley Creek Cemetery Association in 1897 were President D. H. Larrison, Secretary Joseph Culp and Treasurer Leman Palmer. The directors were W. C. Wright, Wm. T. Halstead. L. C. Palmer, D. H. Larrison, G. R. Meade, D. J. May, C. C. Thompson, Joseph Culp and George Peterson. We note in the first copy of the By-Laws that the Directors were to levy a sum of one dollar from every lot owner for the purpose of fencing the Cemetery, and that lot holders only could be members of the Association.
Charles Cumming's Place: Elsie Thompson said Kinney Burnham and his wife were in two of the graves and John and Almina Burnham Cummings are in two more. We see by the Cummings record that there were four children who were presumably buried there. There are field stones set up in two rows.
The Cooper Cemetery: In the field along the hedgerow between Arthur McClelland’s and Merwin Fay’s, in the corner of the field, there is one of these little family plots. Epitaph on the stone with the top missing:
Her time was short while here on earth,
But God was pleased to take her breath.
Her day of sorrow now is o’er,
Her peace abounds forever more.
The family Bible says "Baby girl born 1830, died at birth." There was no marker found for this child.
Old Cooper Cemetery: On the east side of the Berwick Turnpike beyond the Covell farm is a small burial plot enclosed with an ancient iron fence. Inside this enclosure is a large monument to "Our Father and Mother". Epitaph on the stone for Mary Cooper "Think of me as a wanderer whose home is found." Epitaph on the stone for James M. Phillips:
None but a parents’ heart can tell
How great the grief must be;
To bid an only son farewell,
His face no more to see.
Old Covell Cemetery: In the edge of the woods on the south side of the road above Howard Fay’s. The epitaph for William Covell reads:
A faithful friend, a father dear,
A loving husband lies buried here,
In love he lived, in peace he died,
His life was asked, but God denied.
The epitaph for his wife, Perlina:
Other’s hands are folded,
Farewell, our Mother dear,
May thy spirit guide thy children
While we tarry here.
And when our hands are folded,
And to Heaven’s gate we come,
Then greet us with a welcome,
A welcome, welcome home.
Craig Cemetery: Tiny grave with letters B. C. carved on small native stone. Cemetery has had low picket fence around it and lillies-of-the-valley are growing all over it.
Fuller Cemetery: There is no trace of the cemetery on the William Walsh farm. William says there used to be a few tombstones out back of the barn when he first bought the farm. The old graves were a menace so he filled them up and plowed over them. Some of the stones were around for awhile but he has lost track of them through the years. They were all Fullers.
Green Mountain Cemetery: Peter and Sally Evans have been removed and placed in Baldwintown Cemetery. Arthur Leary took up some of the stones (presumably the stones of Catholics). One person says they are the stones that are in the large pile by the old Lyceum adjacent to the Ridgebury Catholic Cemetery. Some priest had the idea of getting all the tombstones of all the Catholics in the area and making a shrine and putting them around it so their friends would know about them. Before he got the
project completed, something evidently happened and the idea never went any further than the pile of stones by the cemetery.
Hanlon Hill: There is another old stone on the rock pile with the date 1838, but don’t know whose it is.
John Thompson Farm: At the foot of Anna Hick’s garden there were a number of graves. No one that we have been able to contact knows for sure whose. The farm was the John Thompson farm, and we have not found any tombstones elsewhere for any of the early Thompsons.
Mosher Hill: A small cemetery below Arthur Upson’s. We only found one grave, but Guy Covellsays he knows there were more burials as he dug two graves.
Ridgebury Catholic Cemetery: Anyone born before 1840-1841 was born in Ireland.
Ridgebury/Centerville Cemetery: On a rise of ground across Bentley Creek from the present town of Centerville, and about 200 rods down from the creek. The Bentley Creek went on a rampage and washed out the east bank towards the cemetery and the members of the Raynor family removed Gabriela and Sally Ann Raynor and interred them in Baldwintown. Epitaph on the stone for Helen Hammond:
Sleep on, sweet babe,
And take thy rest,
God called thee home
When He thought best.
About 1840, there must have been a real artist at stone cutting somewhere in the area. Cornelius Rightmire has a beautiful field stone marker with the lettering done in a very beautiful style and a design of leaves near the top. Clarissa Hill (1840) has another beautifully cut stone. These are both in Hanlon Hill Cemetery. In the Covell Cemetery on the Turnpike, there is another marker with this same handcraft. Evidently it is the work of the same stone cutter. This is on the grave of Morton Pitts. We would like to know the name of the artist.
There are more of these beautifully carved field stones in the Batterson Cemetery on the Wilawana-Wellsburg Road, also in the Asahel Burnham plot near the same road, and in the cemetery near the schoolhouse in the same area.
I have visited your site many times and have found it very helpful. Thank you for your work.
The reason I am writing is the discovery of a headstone on Cummings Road in Ridgebury Township, Bradford County. A friend of mine found a headstone during hunting season. I told him about your site and I revisited it to see if there was a cemetery in that area. I notice there was no location for the Cummungs Cemetery and thought maybe he had found it. I went up today to investigate. One mile up Cummings Road from Thompson Hill Road is an old foundation. Between the foundation and the road is a single stone. It lays face up on the ground with the base nearby. I found no other stones so I don't think it's the Cummings Cemetery. The stone has the following inscription: Jay F. McAfee, Died Sept. 3, 1882, Aged 37 yrs, 11m, 18d. There was something else below that but I couldn't make it out. I don't know what you do with this type of information but I thought I would forward it on to you.
Thanks again for your fine work.
Don Warner - email@example.com
Found something interesting. I was on your site again today and was checking Jay F. McAfee. There is a Jay F. McAfee buried in the Bentley Creek Cemetery died the same year and when I subtract the yrs, months and days on the other headstone it matches the birth year also. So maybe the body was moved to Bentley Creek Cemetery.