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Fair Oaks Cemetery - New Wilmington PA

Fair Oaks Cemetery is a Presbyterian burial ground located just east of New Wilmington in Wilmington Township, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania. It is located in the heart of what became a large community of Old Order Amish beginning in 1847.

In 1824 the village of New Wilmington (then in Mercer County) was laid out by James Waugh and his sons. Waugh was one of the original settlers of the area in about 1798 and others that followed included a small a group of religious men affiliated with the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. In about 1812 those Presbyterians purchased a five-acre lot of land about a mile east of what became New Wilmington over a decade later.

At that site the Presbyterians, delayed by the situation arising from the War of 1812 (1812-1815), soon built a crude log cabin to conduct their services. In the early 1830’s the Presbyterians relocated their church into the village of New Wilmington, took part in the founding of Westminster Collegiate Institute (later Westminster College) in 1852, and built their own brick church (later becoming the First United Presbyterian Church) in 1856.

The former rural church or log cabin property east of town was retained as a burial site and became popularly known as Fair Oaks Cemetery. I’m not sure when the first burial took place but some of the popular surnames you will see on the stones include Allen, Boyd, Campbell, Layton, McLaughry, Minteer, Palmer, Sipe, Stewart, Stumpf, Veach, and Wilson. The old cemetery is still is use to this day and is extremely well maintained.


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The stone of Dr. Elizabeth McLaughry, one of Lawrence County’s first certified female doctors and the founder and longtime director of the
Overlook Sanitarium. (Jul 2011)


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Comment

  1. I recently learned that my grandmother is buried in Fair Oaks Cemetery. Her name was Opal Irene (Michaels) Drish. Her obituary states her name was Dresch. It appears her husband changed the spelling to Dresch for a few years. Opal was born 4-24-1892 and died 12-29-1926. She died in childbirth and reportedly the baby boy (Paul) was buried with her. She also had a son who may be buried nearby named Clare Eugene Drish, 1915-1926. He died 4 mo. prior on 8-23-1926. I am trying to locate any funeral records or plot number sites for these two people. Thank you for your help.

    D.D. Norman · 11/09/2012 02:51 PM · #