HEISTER'S MILL CEMETERY
Contained in the cemetery are the remains an unknown number of early Wayne Township, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania settlers. Some of the grave stones are for John Graham, James Glasgow, Reuben Neice, Willis Copeland, and William Latherow. Others are mountain stones set on end marking possible graves. There are 40+ stones set like that.
The Heister's Mill Cemetery is located on Little Greenbriar Road approximately .1 mile off of Ferguson Valley Road 2 miles from Newton Hamilton PA.
I try to update the Facebook page as often as possible with any information I find. There are more pictures and information there. So, visit, follow and join in!
The site is pretty basic. Anything in the teal color is clickable and will take you to a different part of this site or an outside link. The teal colored buttons with white writing takes you directly to that section of the page or an outside link. At the bottom there is a CONTACT US form if you wish to leave a comment. The PHOTO GALLERY contains both pictures taken at the cemetery, documents that I found and some other pictures. There is also a LINKS page that'll be informative as well.
In late 2016, Kyler Sieber, my son and a member of Troop 76 in Mount Union PA, was searching for an Eagle Scout project. His Scoutmaster, Andrew McNitt directed him to Lawrence Beatty who said about an old cemetery that was in desperate need. The 3 met at the cemetery later to discuss what needed to be done. Kyler and his father spent numerous hours researching the history of the cemetery and on October 8th 2017 the cleanup began. Under the leadership of Kyler, troop members, friends and family removed brush, picked up trash, trimmed tree limbs and reset a marker for several hours that day and several hours on October 22nd . That evening Kyler and I placed the sign marking the cemetery, finishing the project.
After the Eagle Scout project was done, I decided to do my best to keep it nice for all to enjoy. I've had help from family and friends and a great deal of help from the people who live in the area. The feedback I get has been positive. It doesn't take long or much to keep it maintained. I've spent time researching the people buried in the cemetery and have found it quite interesting. So far, I've only been able to research what I can for free. It's been fun as well.
I grew up in Wayne Township in Silverford Heights between Mount Union and Kistler PA, so it'll always be home to me. I was also a Boy Scout in Troop 78 in Newton Hamilton. This same cemetery was cleaned up in the late 80's by a fellow scout in my troop. After that a local man kept it accessible for quite some time.
From History Of The Susquehanna & Juniata Valleys by Franklin Ellis 1886 " John Unkles was a millwright and built upon Beaver Run, at the place now known as Heister's Mill, a grist-mill and a saw-mill, which he operated until 1794. On the 18th of January, 1800, Unkles sold the property to Samuel Winchester, who, June 7, 1803, sold thirteen acres of it to Philip Shoop, and the same date sold the remainder to Thomas Cromwell, the proprietor of the Winchester Furnace, in Huntingdon County, with the exception of fifty feet square, "which is now made use of for a burying-ground."
October 8, 2016. The cemetery was badly overgrown. Members of Troop 76 in Mount Union, family and friends started the work of removing brush.
Many of the stones were hard to find under the weeds and brush covering them.
The grave of William Latherow.
At the steps looking toward the northwest corner of the cemetery.
A small group of young men, along with Kyler's grandmother and myself gathered to start removing brush.
My Mom acted as our safety officer.
Kyler's older brother Cody running the weed eater. Being a scout function nobody under 18 could run power equipment.
Clearing the bank.
We still had no idea how many stones were in the cemetery.
At the end of the first day, we had made quite a dent in the brush that was cleaned up. It filled the entire bed of a full sized truck plus an 8 foot trailer.
The 2nd day was started off by tackling the northwest end of the cemetery where there was a giant tangle of honeysuckle. The only way to cut it was a set of hedge trimmers and a rake then roll it into a ball.
A small foot stone was found laying by a tree. It was marked W. L. We placed it by William Latherow's grave.
The area around the grave of James Glasgow was cleared. Small pieces of the top of that stone or of another grave marker were found beside the head stone. They were marked with a J and a G
Mr. Beatty carefully maneuvered his tractor into place to bore the hole for the sign.
We also had his help to move the brush that had been cut.
November 5, 2017 a small dedication ceremony was at the cemetery. In attendance were friends, family, local officials, citizens of the area and local media.
Members of the local American Legion were on hand to be color guard. Members
of troop 76 were present.
Taps was played by Kyler's band director, Mr. Kane .
As best as I could find... William Latherow was born in 1803. He was the son of Nicholas Latheraux (Latherow) who was born before 1765, possibly in Belgium and died possibly between January 1819 and January 1820 . His mother was a Catherine Elizabeth, she died between 1828 and 1830. William was the youngest of 3 brothers and a sister: Sally, Jacob (b. abt.1790 d.1861) , Daniel (b. abt 1795 d. 1843), and John (b abt. 1797) .
William married a Lydia MacKenych (b. 1811 in Shade Gap PA), I have also found various spellings of her last name. They has several children: Mary (b. 1825), Eleanor (b. 1827), William Jr. (b. 1830 d. Oct. 4, 1888), Catherine (b. 1835) Elizabeth (b. July 1837 d. Jan, 25, 1912), John Watson (b. Jan 9, 1842 d. Feb 16, 1914), Mary Ann (b. 1845), and Andrew Jackson (b. April 10, 1851 d. Dec. 11, 1922)
William passed away October 31, 1854 from pneumonia (death certificate says Nov. 1, 1854 headstone says Oct. 31, 1854)
Information I have found from various sources was that James Glasgow (b. abt 1813) was the son of Matthew Glasgow (1787- May 1849) and Sarah (Drake) Glasgow (1793-1828). Matthew and Sarah were married in 1813. They had several children: John, James was second born, Eveline, Rebecca, Margret, Sarah, Samuel (died in infancy) and Jane (died in infancy).
Mrs. Sarah Glasgow died in 1828. Matthew remarried around 1829 at age 42 to Ruth Corbin (b 1810 or 1811 d after 1850 census) . They had children who were named: Richard, Mary "Molly", Martin Van Buren, and Matilda Jane "Jennie". In 1833 Matthew purchased Copeland Mills ( I have found Copeland, Copelin, Koplin sort of somewhat used interchangeably ) He left the area to go to Illinois and on his return trip he passed away in Pittsburgh in May or 1849.
James Glasgow was married to a Catherine Koplin (possibly also Copeland, Copelin) He died March 16, 1843 at the age of 29.
From the information I have found, thanks to a friend who has ancestory.com access and other sources Willis Copelin was born around 1825.
On March 25, 1847 he enlisted with the Juniata Guards at Lewistown PA for the Mexican War. They left Mifflin county via PA Canal under the leadership of Captain William H. Irwin and First Lieutenant Thomas F. McCoy.
The Juniata Guards fought in many battles in Mexico such as: Vera Cruz, Jalapa, LaHoya, Perote, Mexico City, Contreras, Cherebusco, and many more.
The remaining Juniata Guards returned to Mifflin County on August 25, 1848.
Willis Copeland had a younger brother, David who served in the Wayne Guards with Reuben Neice. According to David Copeland’s obituary, Willis re-enlisted, went to California and later to Illinois. I have found information he had a wife named Ellen and passed away in 1878 in Illinois.
I don't have much on Reuben Neice. What is known is though his Mexican War records. He enlisted in the Wayne Guards, a regiment made up of 94 men from Mifflin and Huntingdon counties was mustered in at Pittsburgh on May 19, 1847. At the time he was 20 years of age, so that puts him born in 1826 or 1827. Under the command of Captain James Caldwell. According to muster rolls, Neice was an attendant to the U.S. Hospital in Mexico City in November and December of 1847. His muster roll for January 1847 states he was absent attendant in the hospital in the City of Mexico since December 19, 1847. Many muster roll cards say not stated. The Wayne Guards returned to Pittsburgh on July 29, 1848. Neice is listed under the roaster in Ellis' "History of Mifflin County" when The Wayne Guard returned to Newton Hamilton PA on August 2, 1848.
On a side note, I did find in a journal by John Elliot Arthur the Reuben Neice was loaned $1 by him on January 28, 1848.
Born December 23, 1748 in Easton Township, Chester County Pennsylvania
Served 3 plus years in the military. Volunteered in the fall of 1776 under Captain Pew. Enlisted in June or July 1777 for 3 years under Captain Zeigler. Went to Philadelphia and was placed in the 8th regiment PA line under Colonel Chambers. Joined the 1th Regiment Pennsylvania Line afterwards. The timeline for his service was:
Battle of Brandywine September 11, 1777 in Pennsylvania
Battle of Germantown October 4, 1777 in Pennsylvania
Wintered at Valley Forge 1777-78
Battle of Monmouth June 28, 1778 in New Jersey
Several Skirmishes around Elizabethtown
Battle at Millstone in New Jersey and winter quartered there 1778-79 and transfer under command of Captain Robison.
Battle of Stony Point July 16, 1779 in New York with General “Mad” Anthony Wayne.
Fought in several more skirmishes and wintered at Mount Kemble in New Jersey 1779-80
In 1790 he moved from Nantmeal Township, Chester County to Wayne Township, Mifflin County.
On November 28th, 1832 , Graham made an inquiry concerning his application for a Revolutionary War Pension. He was 83 years old at the time. Because he had signed his name sometimes as John Grimes and other times as John Graham there was a discrepancy. Click here to learn more about Grimes/Graham. To get his pension, he had to have an affidavit (page 1 and page 2) drawn up, with men that had known him, to prove that he was eligible for a pension, this was done November 28th, 1832. Next it went to the prothonotary of Mifflin county at that time. He was awarded his pension after that and it was filed February 15, 1833. This is what a pension card looked like then. Last recorded pension was at 86 years of age. Possibly died around 1836 as that was the last recorded pension.
Information was found in " History of That part of the Susquehanna and Juniata Valleys, Embraced in the Counties of Mifflin, Juniata, Perry, Union and Snyder" By Franklin Ellis under History of Mifflin County. and from a cemetery study done in 1975 by Mifflin County that John Graham was buried in or near the cemetery. A quote from the book mentioned above "John Graham was in the Revolution, and was one of the seventeen who came out with General Anthony Wayne from the attack on Stony Point. He came to this county and settled on the farm now owned by John Clements. He died there and lies buried in the forest on the farm. He had several sons, who settled near here."
In November 2017 the proper paperwork and proof that Mr. Graham is buried was sent to the Veterans Administration to procure a headstone. In January 2018 the stone was delivered and later that spring set in the cemetery. After over 180 years, a proper memorial was in place for a true American Revolutionary hero.
Comments? Questions? Ideas?
Heisters Mill Facebook page More info on the cemetery!
History of the Susquehanna and Juniata Valleys flipbook A book from 1888 that has so much good info about the area!
Mifflin County Historical Society Based out of Lewistown, lots of info on Mifflin County.
Mifflin County Genealogy Project A site that has census records, cemetery records, reunions, surnames, Amish info, maps and so on. Give it a look! You can also go to the PA Gen Web and search other counties.
Newton-Wayne Historical Scociety Info about Newton Hamilton and Wayne township.
Veterans Administration National Cemetery Administration If you know any veteran's grave that doesn't have a marker or medallion this is where you may find help getting a stone. They were very helpful and once the paperwork was through, the stone was delivered free of charge to my home.
Notes of the Mexican War, 1846-47-48 by J. Jacob Oswandel A book written by a Mifflin County native and his account of the Mexican War.
Centre Wildlife Care A great organization that helps orphaned wild animals