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61 North Main Street, Mansfield, Pennsylvania 16933

Community Genealogy & History

Obituaries by Cemetery

Tri-Counties Genealogy & History  
Swing Gate Cemetery, Chatham Township, Tioga County PA

Bradford County PA

Chemung County NY

Tioga County PA

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Photo by Linda Zapf Cracraft


Reading a series of obituaries from a single cemetery, as they are presented here, is like reading the multi-generational history of a community. These people were the local populace at a particular time. The people buried here knew each other, were neighbors, relatives and school mates. They attended church together and engaged in "trade" or business.  All people are listed in alphabetic order by surname at BIRTH. Women identified by a married alias only and  for whom a birth surname can not be identified, are listed on the last page for the cemetery's obituaries.

BENNETT Cromwell
Tioga County PA Abstracted Wills – Docket A
Pg. 545 Bennett Cromwell
probate date Dec. 6, 1867, Chatham;
Names: Wife - Sally Bennett Daughters - 2 - Susannah Calista Clark, Lois Lusin Bennett, Children of my dec'd son (not named) viz - Henry Ralph Bennett, Eva A. Bennett.
Exec. - Leonard Clark
Wit. - Reuben Morse, Benjamin Morse

BENNETT Susannah Calista
Wife of Leonard Clark

Wellsboro Agitator – Feb. 7, 1900
Mysterious Death of Mr. Burley
His Body Found Frozen in the River near Addison
The body of Clark L. Burley, aged about 40, the son of Ebenezer R. Burley, of Chatham Valley, was found last Wednesday afternoon frozen fast in some flood debris against the north bank of the Canisteo river, at a point about a mile and a half east of Addison, N. Y.  The spot where the body was found was close to the Erie tracks and the discovery was made by some train hands.  It was with considerable difficulty that the body was loosened from the flood trash to which it had been frozen.  Every evidence indicated that it had floated down stream to the spot where it had lodged during the freshet of ten days before.  The dead man was dressed in coarse clothing, and a tattered ulster, and wore heavy lumberman’s shoes.  There was a silver ring on his left hand and an Elgin-movement, open-faced gold watch, with a gold chain, in one of his vest pockets.  Coroner Goff had the body taken to Corning Wednesday evening.  After a crowd had viewed it in the Erie dead-house, it was placed in Fletcher’s undertaking establishment.  Here, as it was frozen, it was thawed out by the process customary in such cases.  After the body was stripped it presented a sickening sight, as it was one mass of cuts and bruises due to dashing against floating cakes of ice.  On the body were found papers dated at Westfield, Freeman, Addison and elsewhere.  Telephone inquiries at all these places ascertained that Burley had lived for a time near Freeman, Steuben county, N.Y., that his farm near that place was mortgaged and that his wife in October last had sued him for divorce.  There is known evidence, other than these disheartening circumstances to support a theory of suicide.  Burley had two children.  Another theory is that he fell from a train, rendering him unconscious, and that he then froze to death.  In less than 24 hours after the body was discovered, Mr. Burley’s parents and other relatives in this county, who had heard nothing of his whereabouts in two months, and were anxious about him, were informed of the unclaimed body in Corning.  Mr. S. M. Burley, of Chatham, at once went there, where he identified and claimed the body and it was delivered to him by the Coroner.  Burial was in the cemetery in the Swing Gate school district in Chatham.

Mansfield Advertiser - May 14, 1879
Died Cooper, Mrs. Jason d. Mrs. Jason Cooper of Chatham twp, May 4th.

Wellsboro Agitator – Oct. 10, 1923
The body of Andrew Christian was brought to the Swing Gate cemetery Sunday for burial.  Mr. Christian was a resident of this vicinity.   He was with his brother, near Osceola, when he died.  He leaves two daughters, Lydia Griffin and Hazel Christian, also one son, Orville, of Azelta; three brothers.  Mr. Christian had been in poor health for some time.

Westfield Free Press - Thursday, July 23, 1914
Coroner Secor held inquest into the death of Iva Christian.  "She came to her death as a result of wounds (shot her) inflected with felonious intent by one, Arthur Simons."  He also shot Hiram Hackett who will recover.  Burial on Friday.

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Wellsboro Gazette - July 30, 1914 (article includes pictures of principals but are very hard difficult to view online)
Arthur Simmons, who is held on a charge of murder in the first degree for killing his 15-year-old cousin, Iva Christian, because she refused to marry him, is a sullen prisoner in the county jail.  If he has regret for his terrible deed he lacks the ability to express it.  He has seemed unable to realize what he has done or to show fear for the consequences of his act.  Simmons, naturally unprepossessing in appearance, has become even less so since his arrest.  He gives his hair no attention and it hangs in a tangled mane over his eyes.  He has a very prominent nose and a poorly formed chin.  His countenance shows indications of degeneracy.  The murderer is not as literate as some of the papers stated.  He can read and write, and possesses average intelligence.  So far as can be learned there never has been insanity in the family.  Some of his relatives advance the theory that overwork in the hay fields of Genesee county , where he was employed as a farmhand, may have affected his mind and brought him to mental state, where he could plan and execute the crime.

  The image of the young girl he loved had preyed upon his undeveloped mind until he became insane in his desire to make her his wife.  Anticipating opposition from the girl and her father, who is a highly respected farmer, when Simons left Alexander for the home of the Christians he procured a revolver to take with him, incapable of comprehending the enormity of the crime which was in his heart.  Arthur Simons is a son of Mrs. Emily Simons, a sister of Andrew Christian.  Walter Christian, a brother of the dead girl, married a sister of Arthur Simons and resides at Alexander, NY.  Arthur Simons, when not working as a farm laborer, resided at the same house in Alexander with his mother and his brother-in-law and family.  It was his excuse, in pleading with Iva Christian and her father to allow the girl to marry him, that her brother married his sister.  They were cousins, the same relationship that existed between Arthur and Iva.  The funeral of the young woman took place at the little home on the Jemison on Friday afternoon.  The Methodist minister of Knoxville officiated.  Burial was in the Swing Gate cemetery, about three miles from Knoxville.  The condition of Hiram Hackett… who was shot twice during his efforts continues to improve.  He is at the Blossburg hospital, where he will recover.   The home in which the Christians lived was a little wood colored house about a half mile from the King’s corner cheese factory.  A few years ago Mrs. Christian died and since that time Iva and her older sister have kept house for their father.  Hazel, the elder sister, has been in Corning for some time.  Simons has been at their home at various times and was always welcomed until he became so determined to marry Iva and then Mr. Christian father frowned on him.   He was bound to Murder.  “My God, why did he do it?  Why did  he not listen to our plea she told him she would marry him if he would spare her life and I told him that she would marry him if he would only let her live.”  Thus did Andrew Christian weep over the murder of his 15-year-old daughter and evoke …upon Arthur Simmons during the interview with a reporter last Tuesday.  With tears filling their own eyes, the two sons and two daughters of Mr. Christian tried to comfort him, but while he appreciated their efforts he could not be consoled, for the slaying of his daughter was so uncalled for and came from such an unexpected source that his heart is broken and the future is dark.  Andrew Christian tells a somewhat different story than that related by Simmons last week.  In a interview with a reporter the father said:  “When Arthur first pointed the revolver at me Ida was upstairs preparing a bed for Arthur to sleep in that night…He declared that she could never marry anyone, for he was going to kill her.”   “Hiram Hackett, a farmer living just above here, came into the front yard and Arthur was going to shoot him through the window, but when I pleaded with him, he lowered his gun from the window.  Mr. Hackett came into the room and Art took the revolver in his left hand and held it behind him and reached with his right hand to shake hands with Hiram.  It was then that Iva made a dash to get past him and out of the only door leading to the kitchen, and out of the house, and she was successful in getting past him.  I made a reach to grab him, but before I could reach his side, he pointed the gun at her back as she was just going out of the kitchen door upon the front porch and fired.  She fell.  I was then close behind him.   He turned and fired at me… (Unreadable) front yard and got a drink, then she crawled pretty near out to the road.  We got doctors just as soon as possible to care for Iva and Mr. Hackett.”   Besides the father, Iva Christian is survived by two sisters, Miss Hazel Christian, of Corning, and Mrs. Nathan Griffin, who resides about four miles from Sabinsville; brothers, Orville Christian, who resides at the Christian home when not employed by some farmer, and Walter Christian, of Alexander.  The mother of Iva Christian… (Unreadable) May.  Christian was fifteen years old, July 4, this year.

Scrapbook in Knoxville Library
Cold Blooded shooting Iva Christian and Hiram Hackett both Receive Bullet Wounds--Girl Dies in Hospital
Arthur Simonds in Custody for Crime One of the most cook, premeditated attempted murders ever occurring in this part of the country took place at the home of Andrews Christian, on the Jemison, in Westfield Township, Monday evening of this week, July 20, 1914, about 7 o'clock, when Iva Christian, a girl about 16 years of age was shot in the back and Hiram Hackett, a neighbor of the Christians, received two bullet wounds, one in front and one in the back, and Mr. Christian escaped the shot intended for him, which lodged in the wall very close behind him.  The shooting was done with a revolver in the hands of Arthur Simonds, of Alexandria, N.Y., a nephew of Mr. Christian and a cousin of the girl, who died at the Blossburg Hospital at noon yesterday, Tuesday.   The story of the crime gathered from reliable sources is as follows:  Simonds, who is a son of Mr. Simond's sister, came from his home at Alexandria on a bicycle, according to his own story, and was seen in the vicinity of the Christian home, or within a mile of that place as early as probably 10 o'clock in the forenoon on Monday, having placed his bicycle in hiding in the woods near the road on the way from Phillips Station to the Christian home.  He was seen by several persons during the day, and having been at the home of his uncle some time during last winter was known by the people in that neighborhood, although during the day he did not mingle with anyone or apparently seem to know or wish to recognize any of the people whom he met, rather avoiding them and did not go to the Christian home until along in the afternoon or toward supper time and then from a different direction than that from which he started in, it being the general opinion that he carried his bicycle through the woods and across fields to another road approaching the home of his intended victim.   After arriving, the girl, who was alone, prepared a cold lunch for herself and Simonds, he insisting it was not necessary to build fire and cook supper.  Mr. Christian, who was working in haying for a neighbor, had supper before his return home.  Soon after arriving he and his daughter happened to be close together in a corner of the living room when Simonds whipped out his revolver and covering them made the assertion that Ida would marry him or he would fix her so she never would make a home for any one else.  The argument lasted for nearly half an hour, Simonds continually playing the gun back and forth in front of Mr. Christian...and as Hackett knocked on the screen door at the kitchen Christian said "Come in, Hite."  As Hackett entered Simonds dropped his revolver to his side in a concealed position and turning shook hands with him, whereupon Hackett seated himself.  During the interval while Simonds had his revolver lowered Iva Christian attempted to get out of the house, running past Simonds she started for the kitchen door but before reaching it Simonds leveled the revolver and fired, the shot entering her back and coming out in front, piercing the body clear through; in almost the same instant Simonds turned and fired at Christian, the bullet missing him, and then fired on Hackett, the bullet striking slantingly in his stomach.  Hackett immediately grappled with Simonds and they fought their way out of doors but before Hackett could succeed getting hold of the gun Simonds had fired another shot, striking Hackett in the back; although badly wounded he clung to the man until he overpowered him, took the gun away from him and held him until Christian secured a rope and he was securely bound, after which Hackett walked to his home several hundred yards distant.    In a few moments the neighborhood was alarmed and a large number gathered on the scene, Coroner Secor and Dr. Patterson, of Westfield, were notified and were soon in attendance.  Affidavits were taken of the two persons wounded and an examination revealed that Miss Christian's injury was the most serious and arrangements were commenced to provide means for removing both she and Mr. Hackett to the Blossburg Hospital, where their wounds were dressed although but very little hopes were entertained at the time for the girl's recovery.  Mr. Hackett's injuries are not expected to prove fatal.    Sheriff Rees was notified and together with District Attorney Green came from Wellsboro and took Simonds back with them.    A strong sentiment was shown against Simonds during the entire time he was kept prisoner after the shooting until the sheriff arrived but he appeared to heed very little of it and not once seemed to find a pang for what he had done, saying he was ready to die now.  It is stated that he had started last April to do the job and came as far as Addison then changed his mind, going back home;   also that he saw the girl leave home with a horse and wagon in the afternoon Monday, going in the direction of Phillips Station, that..."  (Remainder was not included in scrapbook)

Scrapbook in Knoxville Library – not dated
"Murderer Dies"
Arthur Simmons who Slew Iva Christian Died at Fairview Hospital"
The last chapter in the history of the senseless and cruel murder of Iva Christian of the Jemison who was killed by her cousin, Arthur Simmons was written on Thursday night at the Fairview State Hospital for the insane when Simmons Died.  He was convicted of the murder of Iva Christian of Westfield Township in the courts of this county during the September term 1914.  He was defended by Attorney Charles M. Elliott, Attorney Ernest Green being district attorney at that time.  The jury returned a verdict of murder in the first degree.  Attorney Charles M. Elliott appealed the case to the state Board of Pardons, the death sentence was commuted and he was sent to the hospital for the criminal insane at Fairview.  An alienist was appointed and he was declared insane.  The remains were sent to Attica for burial."

COOPER Burdick
Wellsboro Agitator - Nov. 11, 1918
Burdick Cooper, of Clymer, aged 77 years, died Wednesday morning at the county home.  He is survived by two sons, G. E. Cooper, of Clymer, and N. C. Cooper of Tiadaghton.

Abstracted Wills of Tioga County PA – Docket A
p. 157 337
Probate date Jan. 21, 1856 Chatham Township
Administrator Urania J. Cooper, W. D. Kelly
Bail – Harrison Mack, Daniel Angell

COOPER MACK Bible records
Salmon M. Cooper died Jan. 11, 1856

COOPER Winchester E.
Knoxville Courier – Feb. 5, 1913
Death of W. E. Cooper
Winchester E. Cooper died Monday morning, Feb. 3, 1913, at the home of his son, County Commissioner H. H. Cooper, in Knoxville, PA, after a gradual decline from old-age.  He was born at Dryden, Tompkins county, N.Y., Nov. 23, 1837, and came to Pennsylvania with his parents, the late Jason and Mariah Cooper, when a small boy, and they located in Chatham, this county, chopping the road through the woods much of the way from Knoxville to where they located, and the subject of this sketch always resided on lands taken up by the Coopers except the last five years, which time he has made his home with his son at whose home he died.  He is survived by five children who are Joseph Cooper, of Little Marsh; H. H. and L. A. Cooper, of Knoxville; Mrs. Charles Churchill, of Clymer; Mrs. Ellen A. Crum of Bingham, Potter county. He is also survived by one sister, Mrs. Betsey Matteson, of Knoxville, and one brother, Burdick Cooper, of Clymer, also several grandchildren and great-grandchildren and a host of relatives and friends.  Mr. Cooper’s long residence in this vicinity gave him a large acquaintance, and he was known by his many friends as "Uncle Chet," all of whom unite in sympathy with his bereaved family.  Funeral services will be held from the home of his son, where he died at 1 o’clock this afternoon, conducted by the two pastors of this town, Revs. M. R. Chapman and J. H. Mathias. The interment will be in the Swing Gate cemetery in Chatham, near the old Cooper homestead, by Funeral Director H. B. Jones.



— Dora King Christian, the second child of Wilson and Julia King of Deerfield died recently at her home in Westfield township.  She was born June 18, 1870 and was married to Andrew Christian Oct. 30, 1887.   To them were born six children, five of whom survive her: Walter, Orval, Liddie, Hazel and Iva, besides her husband and father, two sisters and one brother.  (Husband and daughter, Iva’s grave are in Swing Gate)


Wellsboro Agitator - January 29, 1902
The funeral of Mrs. Urania Cooper, aged over 80, wife of Winthrop E. Cooper, was held from her home Sunday.  Burial near the Swing-gate school house, Rev. F. Johnson officiating.  The deceased, who was a most estimable lady, leaves a large family and a host of friends to mourn her death.   Note:  Husband’s correct name should be Winchester E. Cooper.


Wellsboro Gazette – January 31, 1902
Little Marsh, Jan. 31 – Mrs. W. E. Cooper, who had been in poor health for some time, died last Friday, aged 75 years.  The funeral was held at the house on Saturday.

Wellsboro Agitator – June 24, 1908
Death of Mrs. B. Cooper
Mrs. Julia Cooper, aged 64, wife of Mr. Burdick Cooper, died at her home in Chatham township on June 14th, after many years of poor health.  She was a daughter of the late Gardner Matteson and was one of a family of 11 children, only three of whom survive her – one brother, George Matteson, of Knoxville, and two sisters, Mrs. Benjamin Boom, of Chatham, and Mrs. Ward Brady, of Woodhull, N.Y.  She was twice married.  Her first husband was Leonard Bennett, who was a soldier in the civil war and died in Washington in 1865.  By him, she had two children, one son, Ralph, who died when he was 16 years of age, and one daughter, Eva, wife of Clark Burley, who died a number of years ago.  The funeral was held on Tuesday last a 1 p.m.

Wife of Matthew Boom

SPRINGSTEEL Eleanor “Nellie”
Wellsboro Agitator - Mar. 30, 1875
Mrs. Nellie King, the widow of S. P. King, deceased, is very ill and not expected to live from one day to the next.

WATKINS - In Deerfield, Pa., January 20, 1888, William Watkins, aged 87 years.

? Mrs. Louise Clark
Tioga County PA Record of Deaths
Louise Clark died 12 Feb 1895, white, female, aged 62 years, 2 months, 3 days, born Benson, VT, died Chatham, died of a hernia of 2 days duration; buried Swing Gate on 14 Feb. 1895.
Wife of Zebediah Clark

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Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
Short Cemetery, Chatham Township, Tioga County PA

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Bradford County PA

Chemung County NY

Tioga County PA

The Agitator - April 17, 1895
Miss Sarah A. Brague died on Wednesday and was buried Friday.  She was a middle-aged maiden lady, a sister of H. G. Brague, of Chatham.

Wellsboro Agitator Nov. 8, 1899
Died - Cole- In Chatham, PA October 30, 1899, Mr. Isaiah Cole

GRAVES Charles
Wellsboro Gazette, Tioga, PA--Thursday, June 18, 1914
Little Marsh, June 17--Charles Graves, aged 80 years, quietly diedlast week Tuesday at his home in Waterloo, NY. Mr. Graves had been in poor health for some time. The remains were brought to Shortsville for burial.  Mr. Graves is survived by his wife, 2 daughters and one son, Mrs. Velma Pope of Wellsboro; Rosa Graves of Binghamton, NY; Charles Graves of Philadelphia; also by one brother, Joseph, of Little Marsh. The deceased was a former resident of this place.

Westfield Free Press - November 12, 1885
John Short of Chatham Valley, one of the oldest pioneer settlers of Chatham Twp., well known throughout the county, died at his home on the 1st inst., aged 95 years.

Wellsboro Agitator – July 5, 1928
Mrs. Polly Appleby diedvery suddenly, at her home June 29.

Wellsboro Agitator – October 16, 1895
--The remains of Elias Whitney were brought to Little Marsh last week from West Union, N.Y., where he died.  The funeral was held in the Methodist church Saturday afternoon, Rev. F. H. Rowley, of Troupsburg, conducting the service.  The burial was at Shortsville.  

Bradford County PA

Chemung County NY

Tioga County PA

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Published On Tri-Counties Site On 19 March 2006
By Joyce M. Tice

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