Morganza Cemetery, Washington County, PA

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This webpage is the property of
Norman J. Meinert
 O'Hara Township, Allegheny County, PA

and is presented here freely as a courtesy to family historians and genealogists.
If you were illegally charged a FEE to obtain this information, please notify me immediately
with the details at the E-Mail address listed on my Home Page, which is linked below.
There is NO affiliation or association between this website and the cemetery listed below.

The following listing is from contributed records, and/or Tombstone Recordings.
This is NOT official cemetery information, NOR is it complete.

None of the following copyrighted information, partial or in total, may be used or stored, by any person, persons,
or organization, electronically or otherwise. Referencing to this webpage, is allowable,
as long as this source is indicated in all cases.

(formerly Western Center)
(within) Southpointe II
Cecil Township
Washington County, PA

(Webmaster Note: News of a little-known, sparsely distributed Washington County researcher's booklet, "The Cemetery on the Hill at Morganza," by E. Irene Taylor and Dorothy Parry, has lead to the creation of this webpage. The authors have granted this website full permission to reproduce details referencing their work so other researchers and historians may access it freely, in the hope that families of the children interred here may at long-last find some of those missing from their family trees.)

Morganza's roots are in Pittsburgh's North Side, in an institution called The House of Refuge, which was incorporated by the state Legislature in 1850. It's location was on the site of Western Penitentiary, in what was formerly the Ninth Ward of Allegheny, PA.  The institution moved to Washington County in December 1876. It was also known as the Pennsylvania Reform School, Pennsylvania Training School and Canonsburg Youth Development Center. Morganza closed in 1967, and it became a home, school and hospital for the mentally retarded, first known as Western State School and Hospital and later, Western Center.

The deed conveying the Western Center property in Cecil Township to Washington County Authority for the Southpointe II development requires that the authority maintain a cemetery containing about 35 graves of children who lived and died at the reform school known as Morganza. The cemetery, surrounded by a white picket fence, occupies a knoll outside Holly Cottage at the edge of the 200-plus-acre Southpointe II tract.

The gravestones, which are level with the ground, are made of concrete. Flat aluminum rectangles top the stones. Thirty-three of them bear the names of the deceased and the message "Rest in Peace." There are crosses on the metal plates, but no dates. Some dates from case histories, obtained by the book authors, are recorded here.

The only information Washington County Authority has about the graves comes from "The Cemetery on the Hill at Morganza," written by E. Irene Taylor and Dorothy Parry. After visiting the cemetery, they wrote a thirteen-page paper booklet, with accompanying lists and diagrams after Western Center closed in 2000.

In her booklet, author E. Irene Taylor poses the question, "Why the interest Dorothy and I have in this cemetery?" and follows it with an answer: "We wanted to preserve this record of some of the young people who were living there."


(Sources: Combined extracts from a recent article in a Washington County newspaper (Observer-Reporter) titled "Preserving graves of Morganza children", by Barbara S. Miller, Staff writer; AND E. Irene Taylor, Author.)

(unless otherwise noted as "Source", this information was Contributed & Copyrighted by
E. Irene Taylor and Dorothy Parry

Posted: August 12, 2005
Updated: October 30, 2007
Surname, First Name, Death Date, Other
BAKER, Sophia, (no dates)
BENDER, Margaret, (no dates)
BOLEY, Harry, (no dates)
BOYD, Anna, died June 21, 1890, at age 14
BUNTA (RUNYAN), Elizabeth, (no dates)
CARTER, Thomas, (no dates)
COBB (William), J., died Nov. 14, 1900, at age 13
COOK, Hudson, (no dates)
DeLOSS, George, (no dates)
DOUGLASS, Ella, died Nov. 2, 1897, (no marker), at age 18
GATEN, John, (no dates)
GINTON, Emma B., died Nov. 2, 1897, (no marker), at age 19
GRAY, Sarah, (no dates)
HARDIN, Jesse, died Nov. 8, 1908, at age 19
HEINTZLEMAN, George, (no dates)
HOLFELDER, Mary, died Nov. 4, 1902, (no marker), at age 14
HURN(i), Harry, died April 13, 1900, at age 13
IRWIN, William, (no dates)
JACKSON, Ralph, died Aug. 27, 1905, at age 14
JOHNSON, Anna, died Nov. 12, 1902, age unknown
MAY, Ida, (no dates)
McBETH, Willliam, (no dates)
McCLELLAND, Nora, died Aug. 22, 1897, at age 18
MINER, Mary, died Jan. 29, 1897, (no marker), at age 19
MYNERT, Jeremiah, 1891-1902, Son
NORMAN, Albert, (no dates)
SCHIVER, Josephine, (no dates)
SHELLTO, Elias, (no dates)
SMALLWOOD, Maggie, (no dates)
SMITH, Cathrine, (no dates)
SMITH, Lizzie J., died Aug. 23, 1899, at age 18
STRATTON, Hulda, died Jan.. 17, 1898, (no marker), at age 15.
SWATZLER, Laura, died Oct. 12, 1902, at age 17
SWEANY, William, (no dates)
TOBIAS, Fred, (no dates)
TURNEY (TURNER), Harry, died May 11, 1898, at age 18
WATSON, Charles, died March 11, 1900, at age 14
WOODWARD, Elizabeth, (no dates)
WORKMAN, Emeline, (no dates)
WORTHINGTON, Henery, (no dates)
YOUNG, Minnie M., (no dates)



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