Cemetery officials looking for donations, information
The 77 men buried in the Grand Army of the Republic section of Monongahela Cemetery didn't turn their backs on their country when it came calling in time of need.
Now, those who manage the cemetery are hoping the community won't turn its back on them.
Monongahela Cemetery was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places and Landmarks for its design and architecture earlier this summer. Cemetery officials hope to restore to its original splendor.
First on the agenda is the restoration of the GAR section.
Work to be completed includes evaluating the tombstones, paving the access road, replacing the flagpole, redesigning the cannon bases and restoring the plaques.
Jack Cattaneo, president of the cemetery board of directors, said most of the tombstones seem to be in good condition with only cleaning needed, but others may need new foundations.
The project is expected to cost $50,000, but only $2,000 has been raised so far.
In an effort to spark donations, the cemetery board is publicizing the names of the 77 men buried in the GAR section, hoping family members will honor their memory with a financial contribution.
David Craven, J.N. Gibbs, William P. Eckels, Robert Boyd, John M. Flint, James Flannegan, Edward Smith, James Hope, John Brown, William Pollock Sr., Harvey Rose, Matthew Hannesmann, George W. Haley, James Kennedy, Thomas Sullivan, William C. Lavderback, Elijah Ogle, James Alexander and John Clark.
Also, Mesh Haywood, Robert Farr/Tarr, Lewis Worrman, George McFeely, John Frye/Fry, William Ray, Frank Sarvino, Robert Pancoast, Peter Riter, Joe Griffey, Joseph Miller, Weden (Wade) Ford, George Kerr, Adam Anderson, Charles E. Rose, Thomas Houseman, Joseph P. Brubaker, Samuel Grist and David McMichaels.
Also, Samuel Sahle, James Rose, David Adams, John Donnelly, Robert Rudge, Elijah Crall, Lindsay Cady, Moses Ross, William Keeling, Walter Clutter, Joseph Lauderback, Jacob Ostrander, Lewis McDonald, Samuel L. Nolder, John Marshall, Jrs. W. Hamilton, Henry Gibson, David S. Behanna and William S. Hendrickson.
Also, John Markell Gibbs, Samuel Grace, Fred Feevey, S. Countryman, William Barringer, George Balve, Edward Giegons, Joseph Marker, William E. Chester, David Brandon, Joseph R. Joy, Vincent Amos, Van Hillman, Flemming Cunningham, Artiste Aitken, William Booth, James Craven, Henry Brandon, William P. Edwards, Francis E. Rodgers and August Feevey.
"All of these men are sons, many of them are fathers, brothers and husbands, but in death they chose to be comrades for eternity," Cattaneo said.
"These men fought and many died for our country. They should be remembered and honored. This cemetery is part of our heritage and our history."
Cattaneo, though, said he hopes publicizing the names of the deceased veterans does more than move people to contribute to the project financially.
"It would be nice to know the stories of these men and I would like to work jointly with the Monongahela Area Historical Society to document our these veterans' histories," he said.
The goal is to have the renovations completed by Memorial Day 2003.
Anyone interested in donating to the renovation can call the cemetery at 724-258-8750 or send their donations to Monongahela Cemetery, Cemetery Street, Monongahela, PA 15063.