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St. John's Church Cemetery, Markelsville, Pennsylvania

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Location: Juniata Township, Perry County, Pennsylvaniamap
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Address:

Corner of Rte. 849 West and Robinson Rd,
Markelsville
Juniata Township (Now Newport Township)
Perry County, Pennsylvania USA

Contents

Photos

A map from 1863 showing the home of Isaac FRANTZ. and the St John's Church
Aerial view of the location of the Frantz homestead in Markelsville, PA. The St John's Church cemetery where Isaac is to be buried, is across the street to the left. The location of the original St John's Church is either in the field just above the cemetery, or in the top-right corner of the cemetery as it is today.
  • This is a Google photo of the present-day cemetery. The modern church is on the right, (now a United Church of Christ). The original Lutheran church site was probably across the street from the cemetery in the now empty field on the far left. (according to a map from 1863, see below), or in the far left corner of the cemetery, (according to a map from 1877, see below).
    Also, the old Isaac FRANTZ homestead which he bought when 25 years old would have been located in the trees just beyond the cemetery, on the corner of Creek Rd (PA-849) and Robinson Rd. (This whole area of Markelsville is now a part of Newport Township)
  • FindAGrave submitted photos

Maps

  • GPS Coordinates: 40.4621000, -77.2362000

Information:

History

Markelville Churches
  • From Silas Wright: "History of Perry County":
    p975: "The residents of this territory practically all attended the Middle Ridge Presbyterian Church until about 1840, when Marx Bealor deeded a half-acre of ground to the Lutheran and German Presbyterian congregations. They erected a union church the same year. German Lutherans in the community included the Beistleins, Lenigs, Swartzs, Smiths, Crists, Burrells and others. This church was sometimes known as Bealor's Church. In 1839 Rev. John William Heim began holding services at the hill schoolhouse, near Bosserman's mill. Simultaneously a Sunday school was organized. This was the nucleus of this church. Daniel Swartz and John Bealor were the building'committee. It was a log building 30x35 feet in size, had high galleries on three sides, supported by heavy posts and crossbeams, a high pulpit and high seats. Of it Rev. D. H. Focht said : "It seems to have been adapted to make preaching go hard." The first officers were John Beistlein, elder, and Daniel Swartz, deacon. It was dedicated in 1841, and was named St. John's Church. Rev. Heim preached every four weeks in German until his death in December, 1849. He was succeeded by Rev. Jacob Martin, who preached every third time in English, which enraged the German-speaking members, who even refused to attend the sacramental service. He resigned in March, 1852, and was followed by Rev. William Gerhardt, who served until June, 1853. Rev. A. R. Height followed in March, 1854. He became the first superintendent of schools of Perry County the same year. On June 1, 1855, this church became a part of the New Bloomfield charge, and on the same date Rev. D. H. Focht became the pastor. The ministers from then on have been the same. See chapter on New Bloomfield. The new brick church was built in 1882. It is 40x60 feet in size. The building committee was composed of Joseph Flickinger, Thomas Lenig, Samuel Carl and A. S. Whitekettle. The Reformed Church was built about 1888. It is served by the New Bloomfield pastors. [1]
St Andrew's Church
  • From "Churches Between the Mountains: a history of the Lutheran congregations in Perry County, Pennsylvania" (1962):
    p 146:"In the beginning of the present century a number of Lutheran families settled in Juniata Township, as the Beistleins, Smiths, Lenigs, Swartzs, Crists, Burrels, and others. Most of these attended preaching at Bloomfield, and some few at Loysville, the distance of six to twelve miles. After the erection of St. Andrew's (Shuman's) Church in 1831, most of them worshipped there, and the rest at Bloomfield. All however were deeply impressed with the urgent necessity of having the Gospel preached in their midst. Hence, in 1839, Rev. John William Heim, commenced to preach for them occasionally in the school-house on the hill near Bosserman's mill, now near Markelville. At the same time a Sunday-school was also started and held at this school-house. These visits of Father Heim convinced the members more than ever of the necessity and advantage of having among them the stated ministrations of the Gospel and of a suitable house of worship. The attendance at the school-house was very encouraging. Measures were then taken to erect, as soon as practicable, a house of worship conjointly with a sister denomination. The following is a copy of the heading of the subscription circulated for aid towards the erection of the proposed church-edifice.
    "We, the undersigned, citizens of Juniata Township and parts adjacent, in Perry County, composed of Lutheran and Presbyterian professors, feeling ourselves in a great measure destitute of the preaching of the Gospel among us, to obviate which, we do hereby agree to form a union to enable us to raise money for the erection of a house for public worship in the neighborhood of William Bosserman's mill on Big Buffalo, and on the land of Marx Bealor, who offers a piece of land for that purpose as a free donation; and we cordially invite the friends of religion, both German and English, to join us in this undertaking, and be sharers in the privileges and advantages of the proposed institution, believing as we do, that righteousness exalteth a nation, and sin is the reproach of any people."
    "On the piece of land offered by Mr. Marx Bealor, and now embraced in the graveyard adjoining the church, a number of persons were buried long before the church was built. The tombstone of the first person buried here, bears the following inscription in German: "Hier ruhen die Gebeine von Sarah Bealor, Tochter von M. Bealor, Starb 6th August, 1810. Alter 8 Jahr, 8 Monat, und 26 Tage." [2]
St John's Church
  • From "Churches Between the Mountains: a history of the Lutheran congregations in Perry County, Pennsylvania" (1962): CONSTITUTION OF ST. JOHN'S CHURCH:
    "...Our church, called (St John's Church), erected on the ground given for the purpose by Marcus Bealor, containing eighty-two rods, situate in Juniata Township, Perry County, and State of Pennsylvania, is and shall always remain a Union church for the use of the two religious denominations, namely, the Evangelical Lutheran and Evangelical Reformed, and so it shall continue until by mutual agreement the one denomination purchase the right of the other. And in this church no other doctrine shall be preached and taught than that of the Evangelical Lutheran and Evangelical Reformed Churches according to the Bible and the Augsburg Confession. One denomination shall not interfere in the divine worship of the other, &c."
    "...The corner-stone of the new church was laid in October, 1840, when Rev. Heim and Rev. Fred. Becher officiated. A difference arose among the members respecting the plan on which the church edifice was to be built. Some were in favor of a gallery on three sides, and some were opposed to having any gallery. The question was then put to vote. The majority voted to have no gallery at all; but for the sake of peace the majority yielded to the minority, and in this way peace was easily restored and the edifice was raised, though for a long time some were dissatisfied, and perhaps justly too, with the three galleries. The edifice is thirty-five feet long by thirty feet wide. It is a log-frame structure. Inside it has high galleries on three sides, supported by heavy posts and cross-beams, a high pulpit, high seats, and is in many respects badly arranged. It seems to have been adapted on purpose to make preaching go hard. It is truly surprising that in those days a much cheaper way of building far more convenient church-edifices did not suggest itself to the minds of the people in Perry County.
    "...The church was dedicated in April, 1841, and called St. John's Church. Rev. Heim and Rev. Ernst were present and preached on the occasion. The Sunday-school was now removed to the church.
    "...Rev. Heim preached here once every four weeks, exclusively in the German language. The members scattered throughout Juniata Township were collected and much encouraged by having a church and regular preaching in their midst."[2]
  • From Hain, Harry Harrison: "History of Perry County. History of the Church in Markelsville"
    p 975: "The residents of this territory practically all attended the Middle Ridge Presbyterian Church until about 1840, when Marx Bealor deeded a half-acre of ground to the Lutheran and German Presbyterian congregations. They erected a union church the same year. German Lutherans in the community included the Beistleins, Lenigs, Swartzs, Smiths, Crists, Burrells and others. This church was sometimes known as Bealor's Church. In 1839 Rev. John William Heim began holding services at the hill schoolhouse, near Bosserman's mill. Simultaneously a Sunday school was organized. This was the nucleus of this church. Daniel Swartz and John Bealor were the building committee. It was a log building 30x35 feet in size, had high galleries on three sides, supported by heavy posts and crossbeams, a high pulpit and high seats. Of it Rev. D. H. Focht said: "It seems to have been adapted to make preaching go hard. The first officers were John Beistlein, elder, and Daniel Swartz, deacon. It was dedicated in 1841, and was named St. John's Church. Rev. Heim preached every four weeks in German until his death in December, 1849. He was succeeded by Rev. Jacob Martin, who preached every third time in English, which enraged the German-speaking members, whd even refused to attend the sacramental service. He resigned in March, 1852, and was followed by Rev. William Gerhardt, who served until June,1853. Rev. A. R. Height followed in March, 1854. He became the first superintendent of schools of Perry County the same year.
    On June 1, 1855, this church became a part of the New Bloomfield charge, and on the same date Rev. D. H. Focht became the pastor. ...The new brick church was built in 1882. It is 40x60 feet in size. ...The Reformed Church was built about 1888. It is served by the New Bloomfield pastors."[3]
Town of Markelsville/Markelville
  • From Silas Wright: "History of Perry County" (1873):
    p 974: "Markelville. In February, 1763, the lands on which Markelville is located were warranted to Edward Elliott, and named in the warrant as "Pretty Meadow." In April, 1769, the adjoining tract was warranted to Tohn Peden, who came from Lancaster County, and was named "Down Patrick." The "Pretty Meadow" tract contained 120 acres, and the "DownPatrick" 142 acres. The "Pretty Meadow" tract was sold to William Wallace, an innkeeper of Carlisle, in 1782, and he came into possession of the other tract through the will of his sister, Martha Peden. ...Not until 1776 or 1777 did Elliot and Peden clear and cultivate land there. Tradition says these lands were settled earlier but there records do not bear it out."
    "Wallace transferred the lands to James McNamara in 1793, and he erected the first house in the place, and later a mill, and it came to be known as "McNamara's Mill." McNamara sold the tract to Valentine Smith, from whom his son, John Smith, acquired twenty-two acres, including the grist and sawmill, and the lands upon which Markelville is located. From Smith it passed to John Weary, and from him to William Bosserman, in 1834. It then came to be known as Bosserman's Mill, and a post office was established bearing that name. Then the property was sold in two parcels, the lands principally going to John Leiby, who, in 1853 sold to George Markle, whose building operations and public spirit gave his name to the town."
    "Jonas Lesh kept the first store there. Other early storekeepers were Thomas Black, Peter Ouran, William Bosserman, George Leiby, George Markel, Jr., Daniel Sutman, and later A. S. Whitekettle and Miller E. Flickinger. The present Markelville includes the site of "Little Vienna," which was patented by Alexander Myers in 1809, and contained 365 acres. In 1815 he planned and laid out the "future city" on lands just south of the Lutheran Church. In March of that year he had public auction of lots and succeeded in selling eighteen, each of which contained thirty-one perches. But three houses were built upon them, as follows: One by a tailor named John Smith, another by George Folk, and the third by Isaac Frantz. A right-of-way was reserved to Buffalo Creek for the residents and a public road provided, but with the death of Myers also died the dream of the great city to be located there."

    p 48 "Ickesburg and Eschol are the post-villages of Saville township. The former is the older, and is the starting-point of Mr. Samuel Rice's stage, which makes a round trip on alternate days from Millerstown and Newport carrying the mail to and from Donnally's, Eschol, Milford and Markelville."
    "Eschol was formerly known as "Shuman's." It was early settled by Mr. Andrew Shuman, who gave the land on which St. Andrew's Lutheran Church is situated".
    Milford and Markelville are post villages of Juniata township. Each contains a store in which the post-office is kept. ...Markelville was formerly known as Bosserman's Mills until Mr. George Markel so changed the place by his enterprise and thrift that it was named after him".

    p137: Markelville Academy:"In Juniata township there is an old school-house at Markelville, which doubtless served the early settlers of that neighborhood. Markelville maintained quite a creditable school, without missing a session for nearly twelve years after Rev. A. R. Height's opened its first summer session. The school was continued during Superintendent Height's term of oflfice, in a building improvised for the purpose. Markelville Academy building was erected by Mr. George Markel. The school continued in this building after Mr. Markel's decease, but it . soon became apparent that with his death the educational project lost its mainspring".
    p337-338: "On the hill at Markelville, then known as Bosserman's Mills, there stood a building locally termed "Washington Seminary." In the spring of 1855 a school known as Buffalo Creek High School was opened in this building. The law providing for the election of county superintendents of schools had just gone into effect during the previous year, and Rev. A. P. Height, a Lutheran clergyman, was made the county superintendent. He was also chosen principal of this school and filled the positions simultaneously. A year later, in 1856, the school was called the Buffalo Creek High School and Perry County Normal Institute, and in 1857 the first part of the title had been dropped and it was known as the Normal Institute at Markelville and so advertised, the name of the town in the meantime having been changed to Markelville. ...In 1866 Prof. C. W. Super—now Dr. Super—tried to resuscitate the academy, which the fortunes of war had disturbed. ...As an evidence of its large attendance, in i860 it was attended by 112 boarding students. In 1867 George Markel erected a two-story frame academy building in which the school was continued and the students boarded. This building had fifteen rooms for students and the basement was above street level and was intended for classroom use. It was Mr. Markel's intention to make the school a permanent institution, but his death caused its discontinuance". [1]
  • From "History of that Part of the Susquehanna and Juniata Valleys" (1886), p1100-01. By J. S. Markel, Esq.:
    "Markelsville is situated on the bank of Big Buffalo Creek, and is about six miles from New Bloomfield and seven miles from Newport. The warrant for the land on which the village stands was issued on the 12th day of February, 1763, to Edward Elliot, and named "Pretty Meadow." On the 3rd day of April, 1769, a warrant was issued to John Peden, of Lancaster County, for the adjoining tract of land, and it was called " Down Patrick."
    "The " Pretty Meadow " tract contained one hundred and twenty acres, and included all the meadow land in and around the village, and is now (1886) owned by A. S. Whitekettle, Samuel Bealor, and the land belonging to the Bixler Mill property.
    "The " Down Patrick," or Peden tract, contained two hundred and forty acres, and is now owned by A. S. Whitekettle and Samuel Bealor. Both tracts were then included in Tyrone township, Cumberland County.
    "On the 14th of August, 1782, Edward Elliot conveyed the " Pretty Meadow" tract to William Wallace, an inn-keeper of the borough of Carlisle. The same William Wallace became the owner of the " Down Patrick " tract also, under the following circumstances : John Peden, the patentee, devised this land to his wife, Martha, by his will dated August 1, 1775, in which will we find the following words : " And 1 allow, in case my child dies, that my wife Martha shall have that Plantation lying in Sherman's Valley, known as ' Down Patrick,' she to pay twenty pounds to the other executor, to be put to use for the Support of a minister in Donegal."
    "The said Martha Peden, by her last will and testament, dated the 6th day of January, 1776, bequeathed the said land to her brother, William Wallace. We have no proof of any improvement of either of these tracts up to this period of time by the owners, but in the year 1775 part of this land was put under cultivation by some squatters, who were driven off by hostile Indians, and it was about the year 1776 or 1777 that Edward Elliot and John Peden began to clear and cultivate this land. We learn, from a letter written by John Peden to Edward Elliot, that squatters had taken possession of these lands, and he advised him to help him to take action to eject these intruders and again possess the lands themselves.
    "While this is the only intimation of a settle-ment on these tracts, yet tradition says that the neighborhood contained settlers at a much earlier day than this.
    "As we have now shown, William Wallace is the owner of both tracts and continues in possession until the 7th of August, 1793, when he conveyed both tracts to James McNamara, of the township of Juniata, for and in consideration five hundred and forty pounds. McNamara was a man of great energy and proceeded at once to improve his land. He erected the first house in the village of Markelsville, then known as " McNamara's Mill." This house was located about twenty yards north of A. S. Whitekettle's mansion-house. It was burned down some years afterwards.
    "He also erected a grist-mill close to the banks of the creek, just opposite the house mentioned above. The mill was built about 1800 and contiinied to be used until 1837, when William Bosserman, the owner then, erected the present mill farther down the stream. Andrew Shu- man moved to the McNaniara mill about 1805, and, being a millwright himself, improved and completed the mill, and was to receive all the proceeds of the mill for his labor. John Shuman, who is the son of Andrew, is still living, and from recolleciion can relate many events which occurred in those early days. James McNamara finally sold this entire tract of land to Valentine Smith, who sold twenty-two acres of it to his son John. This twenty-two-acre tract included all the land of the original tract lying on the south side of Big Buffalo Creek, and included the grist and saw-mill, also the land upon which the village proper now stands. The remaining portion of the land he left by will to his other son, Daniel Smith, who sold it to John Bealor, the son of Alarx Bealor, by deed bearing date April 15, 1831. At the death of John Bealor the land was divided, and is to-day owned by Samuel Bealor and A. S. Whitekettle.
    "John Smith sold the twenty-two-acre tract to John Weary, and Weary sold to William Bosserman in the year 1834, and the settlement was then known as " Bosserman's Mill." Bosserman sold to John Leiby, and Leiby, on the 22d of July, 1853, sold to George Markel, Jr., who lived there up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1864. On account of the thrift and enterprise of this man in building and otherwise improving the place, it came to be called after his name, Markelsville.
    "The first store in the community was opened by Jonas Lesh in the house now occupied by Philip Boyer, but he afterwards moved it to the house now occupied by A. S. Whitekettle as a residence. This was about the year 1810. Afterward Jonas Lesh, Thomas Black and Peter Ouran kept store in the mill-house, which stood on the banks of the race. After these came William Bosserman and George Leiby, who kept store in the old building which stood where the present store-house is built. George Markel, Jr., bought from Leiby, and after rebuilding and refitting the mansion-house, he kept store there until he died. Daniel Sutman then rented the stand for two years and was succeeded by A. S. Whitekettle, who afterwards bought the property from the heirs of George Markel, wlio has since erected the commodious store-room he now occupies.
    "The village of Markelsville also includes the site of the town of Little Vienna. In 1809 Alexander Myers, the founder of Vienna, settled on the farm now owned by Samuel Carl, and took out a patent for three hundred and sixty-five acres, called " Cowell's Hill." In 1815 he planned and laid out the future city of Vienna on the land directly south of the Lutheran Church, now owned by David Crist, Esq., George Fleisher and Miss Polly Clark. On the 24th day of March of the same year he made a public auction of the lots and succeeded in disposing of eighteen of them; each lot contained thirty-one perches. Notwithstanding every inducement was held out by the liberal founder to make it a place of importance, yet we find but three houses were erected on the lots, —one by Tailor John Smith, now owned by Esquire Crist; another by George Folk, now the property of Polly Clark; and the third was built by Isaac Frantz, and is now owned by George Fleisher. A right-of-way to the creek was reserved for the use of the people of Vienna, and a public pass was also provided, but the dream of the founder passed away with him". [4]

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 Silas Wright: "History of Perry County, in Pennsylvania from the earliest settlement to the present time". (1873), Lancaster, PA. https://cdn.website-editor.net/s/020d9c979f77483189db333592c7de7f/files/uploaded/History%2520of%2520Perry%2520County%252C%2520in%2520Pennsylvania%2520from%2520the%2520earliest%2520settlement%2520to%2520the%2520present%2520time%2520%25281873%2529.pdf?Expires=1643106954&Signature=f9NeX97pEk4Wd1gcKQ9OBbCI6-sPefEgBbWhpkCqfeCQE21R3azFDmGBdYuRTQ99VBH3Vm4CCUczfllU6GTSbraUUIOpT31ahIcJXPFyTDxartRf-6D9PWlVkGzOhngUd1yWr7ITdzIiE6d9DUhaQfT9-j8eksjZ~trRpk8god6VeneeH7ui5kOlj9zwZdYgeLiYnhLAtHjPYe8VBCK-QPIyPTfVtVn-aDrC42Bzy9B07ZUcc0PdK9tXJaP67f0Hfkaz1QzwwPGmtLFxlTnbcGikt~5MngyqFKrfXYD-YM-T1oUo-oQzrLZGbDZfSV8rBX2oHbFzipyin5X5N7VQFw__&Key-Pair-Id=K2NXBXLF010TJW
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Churches Between the Mountains: a history of the Lutheran congregations in Perry County, Pennsylvania" (1962). Publisher: Baltimore : T.N. Kurtz. Chapter 2, Sec. 3: "ST. JOHN'S (BEALOR'S) CHURCH near MARKELVILLE, JUNIATA TOWNSHIP" Page 146. http://www.pagenweb.org/~perry/perry_churchbtwn_contents_stjohn.htm
    (Classified online search index). (Actual copy}
  3. Hain, Harry Harrison: "History of Perry County Pennsylvania, including descriptions of Indians and pioneer life from the time of earliest settlement" (1873), Publication date 1922, Publisher Harrisburg, Pa., Hain-Moore company. Page 974-975 https://archive.org/details/historyofperryco01hain/page/974
    ALSO: https://cdn.website-editor.net/s/020d9c979f77483189db333592c7de7f/files/uploaded/History%2520of%2520Perry%2520County.pdf?Expires=1643106954&Signature=qeUCb9BBXSLdaGUwQZTmdEgxmb9wM7OlxJWpTmtNdnYHk6L1gA-W~ITy0qm4hE58ONaUCtdsXCzmQvv3LecduErTR79cPBxbtROYX0ZGdO71W0dT1LqZR59P04QURcQqx7783s71DYbc9d4kd-i8ybdFKULlaENlNzmdjP69M5GVyVTXJ1iDUaRmjnVs5tLqM6~8wWVjqhQsymg93MruQyP222lZJ1Wwun6wNL3Ph7mO-ciHxeJTmRYLfiUgN6qGBozdPNuJIqLgl72xJj3v-uM2Q2s~bt-fNA3M6FwgUe527RwG5V382LYPFp-YuWf~t~4rbOyPa8tkqwEjdr3d1Q__&Key-Pair-Id=K2NXBXLF010TJW
  4. History of that Part of the Susquehanna and Juniata Valleys, embraced in the counties of Mifflin, Juniata, Perry, Union and Snyder, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in two volumes, Volume I, 1886 p1098 https://cdn.website-editor.net/s/020d9c979f77483189db333592c7de7f/files/uploaded/History%2520of%2520that%2520part%2520of%2520the%2520Susquehanna%2520and%2520Juniata%2520valleys%252C%2520Vol%2520II.pdf?Expires=1643106954&Signature=H9qa~D270pd~VFpg0xsyQ3H0GcDcuRer08HP~LgtFT1pW-gdQIcY8S5QMbHK0ggjudGAyn1aZ-rFlrTNnYJQT6bYAk61qKt4ShHHXnajb01DyZAKtDgjH1HXr77h3iP2Qwga~5QJCb7fxiL2EoPBb26HxFB4OB-kg4XL~orEZh3gW2an0vjbzpbsBh~I7A26tHQyMVQNhfHTqNdttc7ODw-919w~4-jwft~jU-0T-VmiZ~-LFXEI7aHWZYtGuj2qeaa1dXmYoARLGyXr~bG0yvOQ9i-2yEbPbyg6i12TANMLfEFIYQsYzsWruUIwW1UZhusbAR4IrU~rnTVOGAPeyQ__&Key-Pair-Id=K2NXBXLF010TJW




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