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Little Beaver Cemetery - Little Beaver Twnp PA

In 1796 a group of about a dozen or so men came to the area of Little Beaver Township – in what later became Lawrence County, Pennsylvania – and settled large tracts of land along the Little Beaver Creek. The land was owned by a speculation company and in exchange for clearing and maintaining the property the settlers were eventually granted ownership to half of it. Among the early settlers in 1796 were John Sprott, Samuel Sprott, John Beer, James McCowin, William Robison, Philip Aughenbuagh, and James Wilson.

When Jean (or Jane) Hunter Beer, the wife of early settler John Beer, died in November 1797 her husband set aside an acre of his property and buried her there. Other people were soon buried next to her and before long a small cemetery was established. Among the popular surnames of those interred there include Alcorn, Anderson, Bennett, Chestney, Coblentz, Fields, Gibson, Goschke, Imboden, Kale, Lambright, Lindner, Madden, Marshall, Martin, McAnlis, McCowin, McKean, McRoberts, Moore, Riddle, Scott, Shaffer, Sprott, Thomas, VonBerg, Watt, and Zeh. There are also a handful of military veterans from early conflicts to include three from the War of 1812.

In 1877 the burial ground was officially incorporated as the Little Beaver Cemetery when fifty-nine local men pooled their resources to start a cemetery association. An accurate record of those buried at the cemetery was also kept beginning in 1877. It seems the charter was for the new section of the cemetery, as the old may have legally been a separate entity.

There are also a handful of military veterans from early conflicts to include three from the War of 1812. Among the more honored veterans is local Enon Valley soldier Cpl. Earl J. Watt, who was killed in action during World War I. Watt, a twenty-four-year-old “Doughboy,” was wounded during the Battle of Chateau-Thierry in France on July 16, 1918. He received medical treatment but soon returned to the front lines despite his wounds. He was killed in action while fighting German forces on August 22, 1918. He was buried in France but his remains were eventually returned to the United States in 1921. After a service at the Enon Valley Presbyterian Church on Sunday, July 19, 1921, his remains were interred with full military honors in the Little Beaver Cemetery. An American Legion Post (Earl J. Watt Post #638) was established in Enon Valley in August 1921 and named in his honor. The post disbanded in November 1930 and was relocated to Mount Jackson. After World War II the veterans of Mount Jackson and Bessemer combined and moved the Earl J. Watt Post #638 to Bessemer, where a new Legion building was built in 1953.

The cemetery association was reorganized in June 1931 with provisions to maintain its upkeep. An article in the New Castle News of June 22, 1931, mentions, “The amended charter also provides for the taking over of the old cemetery, but which the new cemetery is surrounded. Certificates entitling persons financially interested in the old cemetery to vote, are also to be issued.” Seems like an odd statement because I know the old one-acre portion of the cemetery is now located in the middle of Little Beaver Cemetery, so maybe the article meant to say “but which the new cemetery surrounds.”

The non-denominational cemetery is located in a rural setting along Route 351 to the northwest of Enon Valley. It is still in active use today and is always very well-maintained.


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