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



Locust Grove Cemetery - North Sewickley Twnp PA

Locust Grove Cemetery, a non-denominational burial site, is located in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, just south of the Lawrence County border and the settlement of Ellwood City. In early 1901 the land for the cemetery was purchased from the Matheny family by the Pittsburg Company, an outfit that owned most of Ellwood City and was led by city founder Henry W. Hartman.

The cemetery was badly needed because at the time Ellwood City did not have a public cemetery of its own. Most burials of Ellwoodians took place in cemeteries in the surrounding environs of Slippery Rock, Wurtemburg, North Sewickley, Hoytdale, and even Beaver Falls and New Castle on occasion. The only cemeteries in Ellwood City proper were two small family burial grounds to include the McGregor Cemetery on Ninth Street just south of Crescent Avenue, and the Nye Cemetery on property that became part of the “Tube Mill” along the Portersville Road. Another small family burial ground, the Matheny Cemetery, was located west of Hazel Dell on the Wampum-Ellwood Road.

I found an old newspaper article that mentions that the first burial in Locust Grove took place in late April 1901. The deceased was George Robinson, a sixty-five-year-old handyman and farm laborer who resided in nearby Perry Township. The article, probably from the Ellwood Eagle & Motor but reprinted in the New Castle News of May, 1, 1901, reads in part, “The remains were taken to Mr. Buchanan, the undertaker, and were buried in the new Ellwood cemetery south of the city on Wednesday. This is the first funeral in the new cemetery.”

Other reports indicate that the cemetery, initially laid out in 280 lots, was still undergoing landscaping and road work and was not completely finished for another few months. I believe the cemetery took its name from a ring of Locust trees that surrounded the immediate area. The Locust Grove Cemetery Association was formed in 1906 and included many executives of the Pittsburg Company. When development soon encroached upon the small cemeteries of Nye and McGregor the remains there were disinterred and reburied at Locust Grove Cemetery. A much improved road was built through the Locust Grove Cemetery in late 1915 and several large additions of adjoining lots were purchased over the years to expand the property.

Catholic parishioners finally got their own cemetery when the St. Agatha Catholic Church opened a burial ground just west of Hazel Dell in early 1914. This was apparently on property near the old Matheny Cemetery along the Wampum-Ellwood Road. Most accounts say Matheny Cemetery, a family burial ground dating back to at least the 1830’s, simply became a Catholic Cemetery. Perhaps it was just expanded? Anyway, an article in the New Castle News of November 24, 1913, says that the Catholic Church was set to open a new cemetery in the spring and “workmen are already clearing a lot of five acres west of Hazel Dell adjoining the John Parker farm for laying out the plots.” Whatever the case was it is known that burials were soon halted at this undesirable location as a new St. Agatha’s Cemetery was opened south of the Locust Grove Cemetery in 1921.

For many years it was customary for the residents of Ellwood City, led by various veterans or fraternal organizations, to stage a large Memorial Day (or Decoration Day) parade and march out to the Locust Grove Cemetery to decorate the graves of military veterans. The International Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) fraternal society often staged their own parades, usually in early June, and welcomed others to line the route as they meandered to the cemetery in their snazzy uniforms to pay their respects to veterans. It seems these regular excursions to Locust Grove, which commenced a few years after the cemetery opened, generally stopped by the late 1920’s possibly due to the onset of the Great Depression.

The cemetery was involved in an odd lawsuit beginning in about August 1938. It seems the First National Bank of Ellwood City, founded by the Pittsburg Company in 1892 (but soon sold) and which went into receivership in January 1933, was attempting to recoup money it was owed by the Pittsburg Company, which also went into receivership at about the same time. The lawsuit involved the bank trying to acquire two liens on buildings owned by the Pittsburg Company. The Locust Grove Cemetery Association countered by claiming the Pittsburg Company had passed the two liens to its control in lieu of $17,000 it had “owed” the cemetery. It was a confusing case in light of the fact that officers of the Pittsburg Company (prior to entering receivership) and Locust Grove Cemetery Association were basically the same individuals. In not sure of the outcome of this case but it sounds like the lawyers probably made some money!

Periodic upgrades and improvements, including a large mausoleum and chapel built in 1941-42, continued over the years. The hillside cemetery, located just across from an old limestone quarry that is now home to Stiefel Park, is still in use to this day and is situated in a quiet location. Among the famous Ellwood City residents buried at the cemetery are Ralph C. Stiefel (1862-1938), founder of the seamless tube industry and the leading citizen for many years, and John W. Offutt (1878-1952), one of the most acclaimed civic leaders and a longtime executive with the National Tube (U.S. Steel) Company.


To read an article about the first burial held at the cemetery back in April 1901 click on: DIED ALONE ARTICLE. To learn more about the work being done to open the new cemetery in the summer of 1901 click on: NEW CEMETERY ARTICLE. To learn more about unusual thieves operating in local cemeteries in 1909 click on: STEALING FLOWERS ARTICLE. To read about the new driveway built into the cemetery in 1915 click on: COMPLETE ROAD INTO CEMETERY ARTICLE. From at least 1909 until about 1929 various groups staged Memorial Day festivities that including decorating the graves of veterans at the cemetery. To read a small sampling of these events held over the years click on: KNIGHTS OF PYTHIAS ARTICLE (1909) and GRAVES ARE DECORATED ARTICLE (1914) and MEMORIAL DAY PARADE ARTICLE (1917) and ODD FELLOWS TO DECORATE GRAVES ARTICLE (1922).

Contact the Locust Grove staff at (724) 758-5539.


This photo depicts Locust Grove Cemetery, which was opened as a public burial ground in April 1901. The back of this unsent postcard has handwritten inscriptions that read “Ellwood City Cemetery” and “This was taken on Memorial day.” (c1905) Full Size


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Comment

  1. If possible could you send me dates of birth & death for members of the Kraynak, Pavick and Pavuk families?

    Nicholas/Helen Kraynak
    Joseph/Doris Kraynak
    Paul/Mary Kraynak
    Michael/Dorothy Kraynak

    Michael/Martha Pavuk
    Steven/Mary Pavick
    John Pavuk

    Thank You.

    KAREN (PAVICK) BUTCHER · 06/06/2012 11:52 AM · #

  2. EDITOR’S NOTE) Karen, Thanks for your interest in my website and posting your comment. Ok, here is what I found in regards to the birth and death dates you are seeking on members of the Kraynak and Pavick/Pavuk family:

    Nicholas Kraynak———-12/13/1879-02/24/1960
    Helen Kraynak—————11/21/1888-11/05/1966
    Joseph Kraynak————-03/15/1910-08/15/1988
    Anna Doris Kraynak——-11/25/1914-06/11/2009
    Paul Kraynak—————-02/27/1913-05/06/1964
    Mary Kraynak—————-08/01/1909-07/07/2001
    Michael Kraynak————10/08/1917-08/24/1975
    Dorothy Kraynak————09/23/1912-05/11/1991
    Michael Pavuk—————c1889-02/14/1965
    Martha Pavuk—————-05/24/1891-09/16/1973
    Stephen Pavuk Sr———-12/26/1912-05/??/1996
    Mary Pavuk——————-06/16/1915-10/22/1992
    John Pavuk——————-06/25/1922-08/02/2011

    At least one of the above, Michael Kraynak, is interred nearby at St. Agatha’s Cemetery. I belive these are the family members you are seeking. I did not find a “Doris Kraynak” but did find “Anna Doris Kraynak” and no “Steven Pavuk” but “Stephen Pavuk.”
    I hope this helps you out! Jeff

    Jeff Bales Jr · 06/12/2012 05:46 AM · #

  3. Fascinating article, Jeff. And odd that the cemetery for Ellwood City is in the next county? Since it seems you have records, could you check for me any mention of the Relph and Kildoo families? Frank Relph (1879-?), Martha Relph (1880-1956)(her obit mentions that she was buried in the mausoleum there), Harold Kildoo (1901-1975), Ida Relph Kildoo (1900-1963) and Harold Kildoo (1929-1930). Or any others? Thanks again, David

    David Gips · 06/13/2012 10:56 PM · #

  4. (EDITOR’S NOTE) David, a check of the New Castle News reveals quite a few mentions of the names you provided. Not sure if there is anything in particular you need or are seeking. Next time I’m at Locust Grove I’ll get some pics of the stones/markers of the Relph and Kildoo and post them on this page. It might seem odd that Locust Grove is located in Beaver County, but Ellwood City itself is actually partially located in Beaver County. I’ll post more soon. Jeff

    Jeff Bales Jr · 06/15/2012 04:18 AM · #

  5. would you be able to tell me the approximate sights of the burials of Paul Straw and wife Rose Straw

    beverly i straw · 08/03/2012 03:43 PM · #

  6. (EDITOR’S NOTE) Beverly, thanks for the post. I do not know the location of the Straw stones, however next time I’m up that way I’ll see if I can locate and photograph them. I’ll keep you posted. Jeff

    Jeff Bales Jr · 08/05/2012 10:53 AM · #

  7. Thank you for your site! I am very interested in finding birth and death dates for Charles & Laura (Johnston) Weimer. I believe they are buried in Locust Grove Cemetery. I found in the New Castle News a death notice for Laura ‘Wimer’, and even though the name is spelled differently, I think she is our Laura. The article is dated December 17, 1918, and states Laura died the day before. The article also says Charles died some years earlier. I have found it impossible to track this family, and if this is indeed Laura buried at Locust Grove, then I feel Charles is there as well. Any help you can give me is really appreciated. Thank you so much! Janice

    Janice Main · 11/26/2012 12:45 PM · #

  8. Hello,

    Like many others I have stumbled upon your very outstanding website concerning the Locust Grove Cemetery.
    I am wondering if you can advise if (Dr.)James Larimer GARDNER, Sr. (1915-1999) & his wife Margaret (EWING) GARDNER (1914-1982) are buried there and if so, where in the cemetery are they buried and how would I go about obtaining their obit’s from, I believe, the New Castle News?

    Don French, So. Calif.

    Don French · 12/16/2012 09:21 PM · #

  9. How do I contact Locust Grove about obtaining grave sites?

    Thank you so much.

    Joan (Powell) Mould · 12/30/2012 07:58 AM · #

  10. I am trying to locate the date of death for Shirley Ann Stroup daughter of Howard Stroup and Annabelle (Thomas) Stroup. Howard Stroup is reported to have died Sept. 7, 1953 and buried at your cemetery on Sept. 9, 1953. Their daughter Shirley Ann Stroup had married Lewis Miller. I do not know if that is the name she died under. Howard and Annabelle Stroup had five children. Janice, Virginia, Zoe, Shirley amd Betty. Any information on the family especially Shirley would be helpful. Carole Van Duzer

    Carole Van Duzer · 03/13/2013 03:07 PM · #

  11. (EDITOR’S NOTE) Carole, Here is an obituary that appeared in the New Castle News of Sept 8, 1953:

    Howard Stroup, aged 65 years, of 607 Franklin Avenue, died in the Ellwood City Hospital, Monday evening at 6:40 o’clock, following a five day illness. He had been ill for two years. Mr. Stroup was born in McBride, Pa., July 6, 1888, son of the late Robert and Angeline Reep Stroup. He was a member of the Ellwood City U P. church and the Odd Fellows. In 1942 he joined the police force as desk sergeant. Prior to that had worked for 32 years at the National Tube company as general foreman of the ‘hot finish’ department. He resided in Ellwood City for the past four years and came from Butler county. In addition to his wife, Mrs. Anna Belle Stroup, he leaves four daughters: Mrs. Janis Grabman, Ellwood City; Mrs. Zoe Bellomo, Mrs. Shirley Miller, both of Harrisburg, Pa.; Mrs. Betty Jane Yohn, of Ellwood City; four grandchildren; a brother, Arthur of Ellwood City; and a sister, Mrs. Edna McFadden, of Emporium, Pa. Funeral services will be conducted from the Patton Memorial funeral home, Sixth street, Ellwood City, Thursday at 2 p.m. Rev. Robert Rose to be in charge. Burial will be in Locust Grove cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home this evening from 7 to 9 o’clock, and Wednesday, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m.

    Hope this helps. Jeff

    Jeff Bales Jr · 03/14/2013 04:58 AM · #

  12. (EDITOR’S NOTE) Joan, I believe the number to the Locust Grove Cemetery Association is (724) 758-5539. They should be able to give you the exact plot/location within the cemetery. Hope that helps you out! Jeff

    Jeff Bales Jr · 03/14/2013 05:01 AM · #

  13. (EDITOR’S NOTE) Carole, Shirley Stroup, who was born in Sept 1929, was apparently engaged prior to marrying Lewis C. Miller. This article in the New Castle News of March 2, 1948, reveals:

    STROUP-OLZAK ENGAGEMENT NEWS Mr. and Mrs. Howard Stroup, of 607 Franklin avenue, Ellwood City, announce the engagement of their daughter, Shirley Stroup, to Frank Olzak, son of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Olzak, of Washington, Pa. No date has been set for the wedding.

    Jeff

    Jeff Bales Jr · 03/14/2013 05:23 AM · #

  14. We just got my husband’s grandfather’s death certificate which states he is buried at Locust Grove Cemetery. It also said he committed suicide. Can you tell me if it is a marked grave that we could get a picture of somehow? Also, do you know if there would have been an article in a newspaper about it? His name was Richard N Humphrys and he died August 26, 1930.
    Thank you!

    Lisa

    Lisa · 04/16/2013 07:10 PM · #

  15. Could you please send me the plot numbers for Rose Straw and Paul Straw, and a general idea where they are. Thank you in advance

    ANTHONY STRAW · 04/18/2013 08:19 AM · #

  16. Thank you for such a wonderful website! I have family buried in the mausoleum here on the hill at Locust Grove. The last time we visited, we could not get in. Could you tell us exactly who is inside? We are missing some members and very much hoping they are here.
    Thank you again!

    Laurie · 07/12/2013 08:34 PM · #

  17. According to her obituary, Clara E. Zeigler, is buried in this cemetery. She died June 6, 1966. Her husband, Frank Eli Zeigler, died sometime in 1922. I am wondering if Frank is also buried in this cemetery.

    Jane Little · 10/26/2013 03:28 PM · #

  18. My great grandmother purchased a plot in Locust Grove and I have inherited this plot. To whom would I talk to about this?

    Jeanne · 12/01/2013 11:29 PM · #

  19. My mother Helen Mozgo is buried in the moselium. I’d like to confirm her birth and death dates. Can you help me with that information? Her death could be listed as Jan. 1965.

    Thank you,
    Faye

    Faye Mozgo · 01/01/2014 02:35 AM · #

  20. I would like a photo of the grave of Margaret Tyahur-Isaac who died April 13, 1995 and lived in Ellwood City.

    Thank you

    Becky Thomas · 01/25/2014 04:32 AM · #

  21. Hi there – my great grandparents are buried there (Angelo Petti and Christine Barile) but I don’t know where. Is there any kind of map that shows who is buried where?

    Thank you!

    Pamela Petti

    Pamela Petti · 07/17/2014 03:21 PM · #

  22. (EDITOR’S NOTE) Faye, I found this obituary for your mother. It appeared in the New Castle News on January 18, 1965.

    MRS. HELEN MOZGO DIES IN MEADVILLE. Mrs. Helen E. Mozgo, 63, of 613 Meadowland Ave., died in Spencer Hospital in Meadville at 1:30 p.m. yesterday. She was born in Ellwood City Dec. 18, 1901, to Clarence E. and Mary McGraw Webster. She married Stephen G. Mozgo 37 years ago. He died Sept. 4, 1964. Mrs. Mozgo was a member of Calvin UP Church of Ellwood City. She is survived by her stepmother, Mrs. Clara Webster Board of Richmond, Calif.; two sons, James A. Miller of Meadville and John L. Miller at home; nine grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and three sisters, Mrs. James (Edith) Brown of Prospect, Mrs. Raymond (Bessie) Mills of Richmond, Calif., and Mrs. Arthur (Ethel) Lambert of Solina, Ohio. She was preceded in death by two sisters, Mrs. Gladys Gatty in 1961 and Mrs. Grace Mattox in 1959. A service will be conducted at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the Kenneth C. Turner Funeral Home, 500 Sixth St., by Rev. Lloyd Dalboy. Entombment will be in Locust Grove Cemetery mausoleum. Friends will be received in the funeral home from 7 to 9 p.m. today and from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. tomorrow.

    I hope this helps. Jeff

    Jeff Bales Jr · 07/21/2014 09:22 AM · #

  23. Thanks for the interesting article. Wondered if you have any information on an infant Tritt that was buried at Locust Grove in December 1934. Daughter of Earl and Margaret Tritt. Any information/pictures would be appreciated.

    Ray Tritt · 10/12/2014 11:32 PM · #

  24. Searching for Dietrich’s buried in Locust Grove cemetery.
    Namely Adolph or Frank and Susie.
    Susie death1928 Adolph or Frank death 1930.
    Would appreciate anything (picture of grave stone) on the Dietrich’s in area 1871 to 1950 Can not locate much information on ancesty.com
    Great grandfather commited suiside I assuming by drinking of hydrochloric acid, soon after death of wife.
    No family members to ask.
    It you can’t help I understand.
    Thank you
    Tah

    TAH Hill · 10/16/2014 09:14 PM · #

  25. I just found my grandfather, Basil Thomas Hill 1872-1949 buried here in Locust Grove Cemetery. Is it possible to get a picture of his headstone?

    Hilda Ehardt · 10/28/2014 05:38 PM · #