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Deer Creek Cemetery - Pulaski Twnp PA

Deer Creek Cemetery is an old Presbyterian burial ground located off Deer Creek Road just north of New Bedford, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania. In about 1808 a contingent of the Mahoning Church (established in 1800 and also known as the Mahoning Tent) – located south of what became New Bedford – relocated to a remote site where they founded the Deer Creek Presbyterian Church.

The small Deer Creek congregation, named after a local stream, initially met outside in a “tent” and in private homes until a log cabin church was constructed in 1810. A small cemetery was also started on the church grounds, which was located in what was then Mercer County. The earliest burial I can find is that of Margaret Irvine, who died at the age of fifty-five in December 1811. The settlement of New Bedford was founded and laid out in 1818 and as the village grew so did the congregation. In 1822 a new wooden frame church was built, which was replaced with a larger building in 1849.

In July 1883 the remote site was abandoned and the congregation relocated just south into a new church building in the village of New Bedford. At that time the name of the church was changed to the New Bedford United Presbyterian Church. Years later, in 1964, the church was merged with that of the Hopewell United Presbyterian Church, located on the site of the present Hopewell Cemetery in New Bedford. The congregation, now members of the expanded New Bedford United Presbyterian Church, moved into a new church building on Marr Road in early 1968 where it remains in active service today.

Among the surnames well represented in the cemetery include Allen, Beggs, Black, Caldwell, Cooper, Cowden, Crawford, Davidson, Gilkason, Lowry, Mars, Mayers/Mayrs, Mitchelltree, Paden, Shields, Smith, Stewart, and Walker. Among the folks interred there include Scottish immigrants William and Anna McGuffy, whose grandson William H. McGuffey (1800-1873) was the creator of the school textbooks known as McGuffey Readers. Between 1836-1960 an estimated 120 copies of the popular McGuffey Readers were sold, making it one of the most successful school textbooks series ever produced. The Reverend James P. Ramsey, who served as pastor of the Deer Creek Church from 1835-1855, is also buried there.

There are also a handful of military veterans from the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. One such veteran is John S. Stewart (1844-1864), who was taken prisoner at the Battle of Chickamauga in September 1863 and died in the infamous Andersonville Prison in Georgia a year later.

The small rural cemetery of Deer Creek is still maintained by the church and is in decent condition. Most burials of local Presbyterian members since 1968 take place in the Hopewell Cemetery, but an occasional interment in the old Deer Creek Cemetery can still be found.


Looking at the cemetery across Deer Creek Road from the intersection with Tanglewood Road. (Apr 2012)


Lots of debris litters the cemetery due to a recent storm. (Apr 2012)


The grave site of Morgan Van Meter (1801-1854), reportedly the first “White” child born in what became the village of New Bedford. (Apr 2012)


Many of the larger stones have fallen over, probably the result of thoughtless vandals. (Apr 2012)


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Comment

  1. Do you have a photograph of my GGG Grandfather William Crawford’s headstone or any of the old records regarding his burial? He served in the War of 1812.
    Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated.
    Sincerely
    Cheryl L. Hosman Dieter
    clddbd007@yahoo.com

    Cheryl Dieter · 12/21/2014 01:20 AM · #

  2. I am trying to determine where William Steen is buried in Lawrence County. Information I have is that he was born in Lawrence County in 1810 and died in 1852. His post office at the time of his death was New Bedford. His wife was Eleanor Gailey Steen who died in 1849 or 1850. I am wondering if either one of them is buried in Deer Creek Cemetery.

    Any help you can provide would be appreciated.

    Thank you,

    Dino Vlahos

    Dino Vlahos · 01/03/2015 09:36 PM · #

  3. Is there a book of burials for this cemetery? The volunteer who is trying to take pics of my families in that cemetery cannot read some of these headstones. You know the area boy scouts or volunteers from town could clean up that cemetery and headstones in short time with very little effort…just a suggestion. Anyway the surnames I need are Davidson, Gealey, Lowry, McBride, Shields and Smith. I hope I can get some help with this! Thank you in advance!!
    Candace

    Candace Millsop · 01/24/2015 01:24 PM · #