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King's Chapel Cemetery - Neshannock Twnp PA

In 1802 a man named William Richards (1756-1839), a Revolutionary War veteran, settled with his family and a few friends in what later became Neshannock Township, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania. He was among the first of a host of settlers the came from Bellafonte in Centre County, Pennsylvania. Before too long a traveling “circuit preacher” began holding services in Richards’ long cabin home, a few miles northwest of the new settlement of New Castle.

Within a few years another early settler named Marinus King (1778-1857) built a small crude church for the congregation. The first wooden frame church, known as the Chenango (or Shenango) Methodist Episcopal Church, was erected in 1835 and two years later King and his wife Elizabeth donated the property to the congregation. Soon after this the church was renamed in King’s honor – as the King’s Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church. A small cemetery had also been started as well, with a host of burials taking place in the 1830’s and 1840’s. The earliest burial I can find a record at the site of is that of fifty-five-year-old Nathaniel Stanley in 1818.

A larger church built in 1856 and was notable for being home to two young choir members who went on to fame. Those young parishioners were Ira D. Sankey (1840-1908), the singing evangelist who became internationally known as the “Sweet Singer of Methodism,” and George Greer (1844-1926), a choir director and businessman who founded the tin plate industry in New Castle.

Another new building was erected in 1898 and was in service until it was decided in 1958 to erect a new church on property located nearby on Old Pulaski Road. The old church was vacated when the new building was opened in 1962. An effort was made to preserve the old church but it was eventually torn down.

The old cemetery at the original site remains in use today and is in excellent care. Among the notable burials at the location are early pioneers William Richards and Marinus King, several Methodist pastors to include Thomas Greer, William Young, and Samuel Maitland, general store owner Atwood T. Eckles of Harbor Bridge, and William and Amanda Greer – the parents of George Greer. A handful of military veterans from the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and the Civil War are also interred there.


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Comment

  1. LOOKING FOR JENNIE S TAYLORS GRAVE

    DuWayne Taylor · 10/07/2014 10:19 AM · #

  2. I very much enjoyed this article on King’s Chapel Cemetery. I had been aware that I had distant relatives buried there, but didn’t realize that they had such a close connection to the founders of the original church there. I have visited at least a couple of times.

    Nathaniel Standley (1757-1825) (believed to be a brother of one of my ancestors) moved to Mahoning Twp from NJ in 1809. His son, Nathaniel Jr (1792-1848), married Elizabeth Richards (1790-1866) before 1820, and she was a daughter of the William Richards mentioned at the beginning of the article. Nathaniel Standley Jr and his mother, Susanna, have headstones, and are buried next to William and Anne Richards in this cemetery.

    Probate records show that Nathaniel Standley Sr died about 1825, so he might also be buried there, but without a headstone. Nathaniel Jr’s wife (the Richards) moved away with her son, however, and so she is not buried there. The “Standley” and “Stanley” spellings are pretty much interchangeable, by the way.

    While I enjoy the distinction of having one of “my guys” as the earliest burial on record, I regret to inform you that this is based on an incorrect transcription. Nathaniel Standley Jr died 18MAY1848, at age 55, NOT 18MAY1818. Apparently the “4” has eroded away some, and looks like a “1” now. The oldest burial I see on a transcription besides Nathaniel is almost as old, though – James Greer, d 18APR1819 “aged 45? yrs.” (assuming THAT ONE doesn’t also doesn’t have an error!) Nonetheless, I think Kings Chapel has the oldest known headstone with my family’s surname on it. Nathaniel Standley Jr had a son named Nathaniel S Standley, whose headstone says he died 16JAN1844.

    Frank Stanley · 12/29/2015 03:18 AM · #

  3. Charles Blews was my uncle. He was a heck of a character I can assure you!

    Bill Cwynar · 08/03/2016 03:52 PM · #