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 O'Hara Township, Allegheny County, PA

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Collected Notations Concerning Defunct
Bingham Street Methodist Episcopal Cemetery
a/k/a Old Methodist Burying Ground
Southern Avenue (Brownsville Road) & Carbon Street
Mt. Oliver, PA

Extract from Historic Pittsburgh website, "G M Hopkins Maps 1872-1940")
(Right: Google Earth birdseye view of location today, February 2011)

Posted: June 29, 2011   /  Last Update:  July 6, 2014

Please Note:  This webpage has been created to salvage any relative historical data currently (2011) available regarding this defunct cemetery, soas to freely pass this information along to future researchers who may be seeking the same.  It is only through the co-operation and efforts of a few concerned individuals that this webpage is now available. 
They are Allegheny County researchers:
    (NCL) = Nancy C. Long;
    (JW) =
Jeanne Will;
    (HO) =Helen Owens;
    (LT) = Larry Thompson
    (RB) = Rich Boyer
    (BL) = Ben Lighthall
    (RC) = Rich Cummings,
    (NM) = Norm Meinert, Webmaster.

This plot of ground was donated as a burying ground by the Bausman and Beltzhoover heirs in 1867. (Source: Hill Top Record, December 2, 1908)

Road names changed over time.  Brownsville Road is a road in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has had several names over its history, and was also known as the Red Stone Road, the Brownsville Plank Road, and Southern Avenue.

Notes by Nancy C. Long:
A cemetery existed in Mount Oliver around Ormsby and Brownsville Road. It could not be ascertained but bodies were moved to various other cemeteries and last ones to South Side Cemetery. In South Side at the western end, there is a stone inscribed “In memory of members of Bingham St. M. E. Church, 1839-1927” It is not certain whether the Mount Oliver Cemetery was Methodist Episcopal or not.  This information supplied by elderly man at Farnsworth Funeral Home, Brownsville Road. (date unknown)

Note from A. Iacone, 23 June 1993:
Bingham Street Methodist Church Cemetery
It appears as if the bodies from this cemetery which was located on Brownsville Road and Ormsby in Mt. Oliver were moved to the South Side Cemetery to the section called OLD SINGLES (see map)

The Bingham Street Methodist Church was located on the South Side (Birmingham)

The South Side Cemetery is located in Carrick along Brownsville Road.

The South Side Cemetery has no listing for the burials in the OLD SINGLES section.
Notes made by Nancy Long from phone conversation with Henry Hively (WPGS) in February 1993:
Henry had information from a Brentwood Historical Society booklet. It states there are 9 cemeteries in the vicinity of Brentwood: St. Michael (plotted in 1885), St. Joseph, St. George, St. Adalbert, Zion, Concord Presbyterian, Concordia Lutheran.  Also a Methodist graveyard was on old Center Street. Henry said 15th Street was formerly Center Street (on the South Side). This church (or cemetery) was chartered in 1838 and was called the Birmingham Street Methodist Cemetery. A fire at the Duncan Glass works in the 1880’s destroyed the records.
From History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, F157A46H67, 1977, v. 1
(at Historical Society of Western PA, copied by Nancy Long in July 1993)
In 1831 a Sunday school was organized in Birmingham in Saulsbury Hall where the market house stands. The first church was built on a lot purchased from Hannah Duncan, situated on Bingham Street adjoining on the south the present Bingham Street Church. This was exchanged for an unfinished Presbyterian Church on Center Street and then they bought a lot and built the church at the corner of Bingham & 13th Streets in 1857.
From The History of Allegheny County, PA by A. Warner, Volume 1, Part 1, page 360
(e-mail from Jeanne Will dated 12 January 2000)
German congregations –
In 1840 a congregation was started on the South Side. Its first church was built upon the hill. Ten years afterward the little brick church was secured from the English church, on Bingham Street above Thirteenth. In 1882 the third church was built on Sixteenth Street near Carson.
From article titled Redstone Road in Olden Times, Ancient Taverns and Log Houses Mutely Tell of Its Departed Usefulness – Once an Artery of Commerce, Article is dated September 23, 1900, The Pittsburg Press and was written for the Sunday Press by Charles R. M’Murtrie:
    ………………The oldest and most interesting from a reminiscent standpoint is the old Methodist graveyard which fronts on the road a short distance beyond the second toll gate. This cemetery, now known as the Bingham Street Methodist cemetery, was owned by the trustees of the old Center Street Methodist church now south Fifteenth street. The charter was procured in 1838. At one time a special act had to be enacted by the state legislature to put an end to hostilities between the trustees and lot owners in the cemetery.

When the Duncan Glass Works on the South Side were destroyed by fire in the 80’s, all records of this cemetery were burned as Mr. Duncan was acting secretary of the trustees. Considerable confusion resulted and to this day the matter of several records has not been settled satisfactorily to many lot owners of the cemetery. Little space is now left for graves. Many of the old stones bear quaint epitaphs. …………………..
( http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~susanb/brownsville_road.htm )
( https://sites.rootsweb.com/~paallegh/ )
Compiled by Nancy C. Long , 17 January 2011

Bingham Street Methodist Episcopal Church
    Cor. Bingham and Thirteenth Sts., - October 1903

    Sunday school started 1831 at Squire John McKee’s house located at the east side of Fourteenth St between Carson and Bingham Sts.

    Small brick church erected on piece of ground (40 x 95 ft) purchased from Mrs. Hannah Duncan for $1300, building started in 1834, occupied 1835.This building was at one time occupied by the German M. E. Congregation and in 1903 the building adjoined the newer church at the corner of Bingham and Thirteenth Sts.

An unfinished church building on Center (now Fifteenth Street) and in 1903 the site of the Birmingham School building, was purchased from the Presbyterians and the little brick church given in part pay, The Center Street building was finished and occupied in 1843. It was used for sixteen years when it became necessary to build a larger church. The church was also known as the Center Street Methodist Church.

The church existed as a society without a charter, bound by agreement annexed to the deed of Mrs. Duncan for the first property purchased. In 1847 a charter was obtained.   In 1857 the property at the corner of Bingham and Thirteenth Sts. was obtained and the building was occupied in 1859.

From this church, two churches were developed. One is Carson Street M. E. Church and the other is Walton M. E. Church.  The Carson St. church was sold and in 1903 was occupied by a Greek Catholic congregation.

There is a copy of the Directory of the Bingham Street Methodist Episcopal Church, Corner Bingham and Thirteenth Sts., Pittsburg, Pa., October 1903 in the collections at the John Heinz History Center.  A copy of this is in the files of Nancy Long.
Compiled by Nancy C. Long, 17 January 2011

Jeanne Will and I met with Leslie Morrow in the office at South Side Cemetery.  We were hoping to find the list of names of reinterrments of burials from the Bingham Street Methodist Episcopal Cemetery which had been located in Mt. Oliver.

First entry in the ledger showing “from ME graveyard:
Dated 1 Aug 1873 - #63 – Isabelle Smith, b. PA, d. 27 March 1873, age 39, disease-consumption

(There were 15 removals listed on this page and 3 on the next page.)

Next entry is  dated 27 March 1887  #3521 – 25 March – Sophia Warner, b. Pgh, d. Pgh, 11 mo. 3 da., croup

#3522  - Jno P. Davis, 28 Dec – 26 Dec, b. Wales d. Pgh, age 34, Lot 27-D17, from ME Church Mar 24, 1887

#3998 – Jun 9 – Jun 8 – 1888 – P. H. Lauderbach, removed from ME graveyard

#4774 – Kinsby, 5 wks, spasms – 20 D11
#4843 – Thos. Jones – 18 – B21
#427 – Apr 13, 1870 – Peter Dingledein, b. Germany, age 61, old age – Lot 19-B21
#428 – Apr 13, 1873 – Mrs. Dingledein, b. Germany, age 56, old age, Lot 19-B21
#5037 – 1891 – May – child of W. P. Perry, 5 ½ of ae Ό, 27A (plus 2 more children of W.P. Perry)
#5470 – May 13, 1871 – May 12, 1871 – Otto Max Mervis (or Mewes), b. Mt. Oliver, d. city, 3 mo. 3 da., spasms – 12-B12
#5669 – Wm. Davis, Lot 8-B9 – to #5673 – Wm. Davis
#6235 – Mar 1, 1894 – Jacob Hoffman, b. Ger, d. Belzhoover, 9 yr, 9 mo., diphtheria, SE Ό  28-A
#6278 – 1894
#6624 – d. Aug 1862
#6668 – 1895
#6694 – Russell
#6789 – 1890
#6896 – Reiff
#6959 – June 1872
#7052 – Col. Patterson – 1896
#7220 to #7225 – Barr/Albright
#7631 – 1869 – William P. Roberts, killed by fall of building
#7632 – 1868 – May E. Roberts
#8572 – October 1878 – Dyer
#8851 – Mar 1898 – Ida May Thomas

There were some in 1902 – church lot means from ME Church (my note/ncl)
During March and April 1927 there were 596 unidentified bodies brought from the Bingham ME Cemetery and placed in large boxes in Lots 305, 323, and 324, Section L.

July 24, 1839 – burial ground deeded (my note/ncl)

Aug 14, 1873 – Sgt. James M. Hamlin or William N. – M.J.D. Battery N., LA Vol., age 85, Lot 322L

#21915 – Jane Hamlin, 323L – South Box

Also found in the South Side Cemetery records: Reinterments from Carr’s Burying Ground:
#1349    Feb 22, 1827    Samuel Chambers
              July 7, 1831    Agnes Chambers
              Apr 3, 1835     James Chambers
              July 29, 1839    Saml Chambers
              Nov 14, 1840    Jane Chambers
              Nov 4, 1842    Alice Chambers
              Mar 14, 1847    John Chambers
Compiled by Nancy C. Long

Another possible burial here:
Sophia Wedekind, buried in Methodist Cemetery Mt. Oliver, b. 1807, d. 10 June 1882, (Larry Thompson/PAALLEGH mailing list) 2-6-2011

Another ancestor I had buried there; Ellen (Biles) Honeywell, b. abt 1809, d. 26 Feb. 1879. (Larry/6-30-2011)

Death certificate found by Rich Cummings, July, 2014:

HIXENBAUGH, Thompson Church, Nov. 24, 1824 / Nov. 7, 1906, (cert.), (RC)

The cemetery began early in 1800's  It ceased interring people around 1900. In 1920 Mt Oliver Boro published announcements that it would be closed and ask anyone who wished to reinter their loved ones else where.  On April 27, 1927 the remain bodies (abt 150) that had not been moved were lifted and reinterred in a common grave in Southside Cemetery.  . . . it was a place over the years for the gathering of Civil War Soldiers to remember their fallen brothers.
(Helen Owens, 1-13-2011)

(Update: July 6, 2014) -- According to the saleslady on duty at the cemetery office the number of bodies moved was not 150 as I was told originally, but approx. 500.  The names dates etc. information is recorded in the an old cemetery register on April 27, 1927 the date of the internment.  I saw approx. 4 pages of that information.  So an inquiry can be made and that date should be mentioned . -- (HO)

Hilltop Journal date March 1905: I found the following information that might help some one.
In the cemetery:
There was a McCord lot but no names/dates mentioned.
Fred K Weiss who was a member of Company E Knapp's Battery Pa who served through the War. no dates listed   Think Civil War
George Hoegson buried 12/25/1856
Evan A Jones buried 1859
Charles G Walters buried 1848
(Some issues of The Hill Top Record Newspaper are reportedly available at Carnegie Library's Pennsylvania Room.)
Helen in PGH, 2-19-2011

Property Note:
In November, 1856, a continuous line of railway was opened to Chicago; three lines were united and took the name Pittsburg, Ft. Wayne and Chicago Railroad. So enormous was the freight business over the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1856 the company was obliged to enlarge its facilities, and accordingly bought a tract, 259x386 feet, near the old Methodist burying-ground, to be used as a temporary storage or warehouse.
(Commercial Journal, 1858.) ( http://pghbridges.com/articles/railroads/RRhistory_pgh_wilson4.htm )

Note from Benjamin Lighthall, Dec. 23, 2012, (BL):
The South Side Cemetery at one time (Apr 1999) had detailed records about the transfers. In their books I found that my grandaunt Mariah Sharlotte Allison (17 Jul 1849 – 31 Dec 1903) was buried in the Bingham Street Methodist Episcopal Cemetery and was re-interred in the South Side Cemetery with the move of 1927.
The entry, as we were able to read =
Maria C. Allison - burial # 10XXX - Maria C. Allison - Pittsburgh, PA - Pneumonia - 31 Dec 1903 - 53 years 5 months 14 days - 105- L - Church Lot.

I might further mention that the South Side Cemetery entertained an unpleasant caretaker in 1940 and all of the deceased members of my Allison family were moved to the Allegheny Cemetery. All but Mariah, who could not be found...

On April 27, 1927 the remaining bodies (about 150) that had not been moved, were lifted and reinterred in a common grave in Southside Cemetery.
Links to Memorial Markers in South Side Cemetery:

Some older newspaper articles referencing this cemetery:
April 16, 1905 -- Pittsburgh Press -- Headline: MAY REMOVE A GRAVEYARD
April 16, 1905 -- Pittsburgh Press -- Article
March, 1906 -- Hill Top Record -- Old Graveyard Going To Ruin
March, 1906 -- Hill Top Record -- (continuation) Old Graveyard Going To Ruin
April 29, 1908 -- Pittsburgh Press -- Find Petrified Body
September 4, 1908 -- Hill Top Record -- A View in the Old Methodist Cemetery
September 4, 1908 -- Hill Top Record -- (article) Cemetery Is Still A Nuisance
December 2, 1908 -- Hill Top Record -- Old Methodist Cemetery To Be Condemned
September 17, 1926 -- Pittsburgh Press -- Cemetery Ordered Vacated

Some additional articles

From the History of Allegheny County, Bingham
Historic Pittsburgh: William Sankey Family, Part I
Historic Pittsburgh: William Sankey Family, Part II

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