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Westfield Presbyterian Church & Cemetery - North Beaver Twnp PA

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In the spring of 1803 a small group of Presbyterian settlers organized just southwest of what soon became Mount Jackson. Before too long the pioneering Clark family donated property on which the congregation began holding meetings in a maple grove. The name Westfield was adopted due to the grave of Francis Nesbit, who died in October 1802 and was said to be buried on the “high ground of the west field.” Nesbit was the first person buried in the small cemetery, which the church began maintaining. In 1846 an anti-slavery faction broke away to form the Free Presbyterian Church in Mount Jackson, but rejoined the main church in 1866. The congregation worshiped in several small buildings over the years until a sturdy brick church was opened in 1863. This building was lost to a devastating fire in January 1872, and was replaced with a large wooden frame church (shown above) that was dedicated on January 8, 1973. (c1910) Full Size


The new church, led by the Reverend William Taylor, was dedicated in January 1872. When Taylor retired in late 1902 he had served the church with distinction for almost forty-two years. The church underwent numerous expansions and upgrades over the years. A basement was completed in 1948, a brick manse was built nearby in 1958, an educational wing was opened in 1968, and the sanctuary was completely remodeled in 1976. The congregation, turning 210 years old in 2013, is one of oldest in Lawrence County and is still in active service today. (Oct 2012) Full Size


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The cemetery was established in October 1802, about six months or so before the church was organized on the same property. Among the numerous military veterans buried here include three members of Battery B, a local volunteer artillery unit that served with distinction during the Civil War. The three men were all killed in action during the Seven Days’ Battles of June 1862, and include Capt. Henry T. Danforth. Danforth organized the unit in early 1861 and took a demotion in order to stay with his “boys.” Full Size


The three members of Battery B are buried side-by-side. (Oct 2012)


Danforth, a former veteran of the Mexican War who organized Battery B in early 1861. (Oct 2012)


2nd Lt Thomas Cadwalader, one of the officers of Battery B. (Oct 2012)


Sgt. James S. Miller, among the three Battery B artillery men killed in action on June 30, 1862. (Oct 2012)


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Comment

  1. I am doing some family history as was wondering if this was originally the North Beaver Presbyterian Church back in the 1800’s. I am looking for information on the Shafer and Pile (Pyle) family of the area.

    Do you know of any information on these families. I noticed a cemetery on the property, thought maybe there may some of my relatives buried there.

    Thank you for your assistance.

    Sandra (Pyle) Ford

    Sandra Ford · 08/08/2015 02:57 PM · #

  2. I have information stating:
    John Sterrett b. 10/26/1773, d. ?. He married Mary “Eliza” Patterson, b. 1/5/1773. d. abt. 1821. They were married on December 25, 1792. Both John and Mary are buried at Westfield Cemetery, Mt. Jackson, PA.
    Can you verify this? I plan visiting their graves and if they are buried here could you give me an idea of location?
    Thank you,
    Susan Forish

    Susan Forish · 01/24/2017 03:39 PM · #

  3. (EDITOR’S NOTE) Susan F., according to Dwight Copper’s guide to the cemetery there is a record of a John Sterritt and Eliza Sterritt buried at the cemetery. However, it mentions that there is no stone for them. He referenced a “Venango County History” as his source for listing them as interred in the cemetery. You would have to call the church staff to see if they can help ascertain the location of the graves. Hope this helps! Jeff

    Jeff (EDITOR) · 01/25/2017 08:04 AM · #

  4. (EDITOR’S NOTE) Sandra F., According to Dwight Copper’s excellent guide to the cemetery there are no records for the surname PILE/PYLE, but I found six records for the surname SHAFFER. They are for Columbus Shaffer (1842-1842), Elmer Shaffer (1908-1972), Infant Shaffer (1831-1831), Marian Shaffer (1909-1970), Sarah Shaffer (1844-1844), and William Shaffer (1935-1937). Jeff

    Jeff (EDITOR) · 01/25/2017 08:10 AM · #

  5. Hi, according to my research my GGGG grandparents are buried in this cemetery. Thomas LEONARD died 28 Jan 1836 and his wife Esther (COOKSON) LEONARD who died 8 Mar 1842. Do they have headstones there? Thanks,

    Sharlene · 01/27/2017 11:00 PM · #

  6. Hello I am doing some genealogy research and find my great grandmother Estella (Stella) McClymonds Laughlin(she died in 1914) listed at Westfield and maybe even in the obit. Her stone is located at UP cemetery though. Just wondering if there are records of a location of her at Westfield. I was thinking later generations may have not known her proper burial site. Thank you so much.

    Martha Krofcheck · 09/25/2017 06:39 PM · #