*** ONLINE AS OF AUGUST 5, 2011 ***
    



Clinton Methodist Church & Cemetery - Hoytdale PA

In 1823 a Methodist congregation, initially known as the Beaver Creek Mission, was organized by the Irish-born Rev. John “Little John” Somerville/Summerville (1782-1850) in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. A few years later, in 1830, James Davidson laid out the village of Clinton, a industrious little community due to the abundant local limestone quarries and coal mines. It was at Clinton that the Methodists built a frame church in 1834 and named their new edifice the Clinton Methodist Church. The land for the church was donated by the Davidson family and a small cemetery was also started behind the church. The property is located on old Route 18 at the intersection of Possum Hollow Road, south of the village of Wampum – in what is now Lawrence County.

The Rev. Somerville gave sermons at the church and after semi-retiring taught Sunday school classes and preached occasionally. He died at the age of sixty-nine while preaching in the church on Sunday, October 6, 1850, and was laid to rest in the small church cemetery. His stone is still in good shape and can be seen today just behind the old church.

In 1882 T. D. Wilson donated a large plot of land adjoining the church property where the newer portion of the Clinton Cemetery, sometimes referred to as the Possum Hollow Cemetery at the time, was soon established. A new house of worship, later known as the Clinton United Methodist Church, was also built on this property and opened in February 1888. The old frame church, located a few hundred yards away, was sold for $200 to the International Order of Oddfellows (IOOF) fraternal organization, with a stipulation that no immoral activity take place in the former church such as dancing, billiards, gambling, or the sale of alcohol. The building was reopened as the IOOF Rock Point Lodge #846 and served in that capacity for many decades. Although now abandoned it is still standing today.

The Clinton Cemetery still serves the community today as a Methodist – but primarily non-denominational – burial ground. It is very well maintained and quite picturesque in the summertime. Interred within the old cemetery are many of the original settlers of the Wampum-Clinton area including those of the Allen, Ault, Book, Braby, Cunningham, Davidson, Davis, Freed, Hairhoger, Hennon, Houk, Galbreath, Grinnen, Guy, Marshall, Matheny, McConahy, McKim, Parshall, Wilson, and Yoho families. My paternal great great grandparents Joseph and Mary Ellen (Upperman) Doutt, my paternal great grandparents George and Margaret (Doutt) Hake, and other Doutt relatives of mine are buried there as well.


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An aerial view of Clinton Methodist Church and cemetery located along “old” Route 18 south of Wampum. (c2014)

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Comment

  1. Hi…found your Lawrence County Memoirs website while looking for the Clinton Cemetery. I was wondering if you know who to contact in order to find some sort of directory that would help me to locate a grave there. I found a listing for the church online, but when I called it, it had been disconnected.

    If I have to, I will walk the cemetery looking for the grave in question, but it would be much easier if there was a directory to help me. Thank you for your help.

    Tom Ballard · 06/22/2015 01:41 PM · #

  2. I am trying to locate Alexander Ludwig Stone and his wife Elizabeth Welsh Stone. Do you know of a section I can look? I will be there Sunday September 11.

    albert Mueller · 09/01/2016 08:52 AM · #

  3. Love this aerial shot – my mom, Doris Day Aley began playing piano for the church at age 12! My family occupied the house to the right of the cemetery entrance in the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s – the grove of trees that are evergreens, show up to the right of the name of church and were planted by my father, Paul Aley in 1933! Mom and Dad are buried right above that grove! The entire Day and Aley family are all buried here. Thank you for this memoir! Philip Aley.

    Philip Aley · 12/15/2016 10:41 AM · #