In 1833 two Protestant religious elders came from Ohio and organized a church in the small community of Normal Glen near Pumpkintown (later known as East New Castle) in the northwest corner of Shenango Township. Their church was associated with the Christian Church (or Disciples of Christ). They initially held the sermons in the homes of church members, but were able to raise funds to build a dedicated church building in 1844.
The church had previously started a small cemetery for its members on a plot of land along Savannah Road. The earliest burials there occurred in about 1834 and included some of the pioneering families of the region including the surnames Baldwin, Gwin, Clinefelter, Dunlap, Kerr, and McMillan. I found mention in the 1930’s that there are as many as nine military veterans interred in this cemetery. The church was soon abandoned – possibly in the 1850’s – but the cemetery remained in use for some time. I found a newspaper article of one burial taking place as late as 1895. The sign at the cemetery (misspelled as “Normal Glenn”) reads 1833-1854, which may actually signify the timeframe that the church was active in the area.
The cemetery was abandoned and generally neglected by the turn of the century and was the quite an eyesore as weeds, shrubs, and debris littered the grounds. On more than one occasion the township attempted to wrest control of the cemetery from its owners. Today the small cemetery, which sits on a triangular-shaped lot in a residential area along Savannah Road and just west of Dean Drive, appears to be in much better condition.
Matthew Irwin #
Is there a complete, authoritative list of the burials? In his will, my great, great grandfather, Edward Irwin, stated he wanted to be buried in this cemetery. Having visited the site, I did find a Robert and Martha Irwin (I don’t know how they might fit in to the family) but no Edward. There are more than a few graves in which time and/or vandals have destroyed marker information.