Locust Grove Cemetery, a non-denominational burial site, is located in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, just south of the Lawrence County border and the settlement of Ellwood City. In early 1901 the land for the cemetery was purchased from the Matheny family by the Pittsburg Company, an outfit that owned most of Ellwood City and was led by city founder Henry W. Hartman.
The cemetery was badly needed because at the time Ellwood City did not have a public cemetery of its own. Most burials of Ellwoodians took place in cemeteries in the surrounding environs of Slippery Rock, Wurtemburg, North Sewickley, Hoytdale, and even Beaver Falls and New Castle on occasion. The only cemeteries in Ellwood City proper were two small family burial grounds to include the McGregor Cemetery on Ninth Street just south of Crescent Avenue, and the Nye Cemetery on property that became part of the “Tube Mill” along the Portersville Road. Another small family burial ground, the Matheny Cemetery, was located west of Hazel Dell on the Wampum-Ellwood Road.
I found an old newspaper article that mentions that the first burial in Locust Grove took place in late April 1901. The deceased was George Robinson, a sixty-five-year-old handyman and farm laborer who resided in nearby Perry Township. The article, probably from the Ellwood Eagle & Motor but reprinted in the New Castle News of May, 1, 1901, reads in part, “The remains were taken to Mr. Buchanan, the undertaker, and were buried in the new Ellwood cemetery south of the city on Wednesday. This is the first funeral in the new cemetery.”
Other reports indicate that the cemetery, initially laid out in 280 lots, was still undergoing landscaping and road work and was not completely finished for another few months. I believe the cemetery took its name from a ring of Locust trees that surrounded the immediate area. The Locust Grove Cemetery Association was formed in 1906 and included many executives of the Pittsburg Company. When development soon encroached upon the small cemeteries of Nye and McGregor the remains there were disinterred and reburied at Locust Grove Cemetery. A much improved road was built through the Locust Grove Cemetery in late 1915 and several large additions of adjoining lots were purchased over the years to expand the property.
Catholic parishioners finally got their own cemetery when the St. Agatha Catholic Church opened a burial ground just west of Hazel Dell in early 1914. This was apparently on property near the old Matheny Cemetery along the Wampum-Ellwood Road. Most accounts say Matheny Cemetery, a family burial ground dating back to at least the 1830’s, simply became a Catholic Cemetery. Perhaps it was just expanded? Anyway, an article in the New Castle News of November 24, 1913, says that the Catholic Church was set to open a new cemetery in the spring and “workmen are already clearing a lot of five acres west of Hazel Dell adjoining the John Parker farm for laying out the plots.” Whatever the case was it is known that burials were soon halted at this undesirable location as a new St. Agatha’s Cemetery was opened south of the Locust Grove Cemetery in 1921.
For many years it was customary for the residents of Ellwood City, led by various veterans or fraternal organizations, to stage a large Memorial Day (or Decoration Day) parade and march out to the Locust Grove Cemetery to decorate the graves of military veterans. The International Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) fraternal society often staged their own parades, usually in early June, and welcomed others to line the route as they meandered to the cemetery in their snazzy uniforms to pay their respects to veterans. It seems these regular excursions to Locust Grove, which commenced a few years after the cemetery opened, generally stopped by the late 1920’s possibly due to the onset of the Great Depression.
The cemetery was involved in an odd lawsuit beginning in about August 1938. It seems the First National Bank of Ellwood City, founded by the Pittsburg Company in 1892 (but soon sold) and which went into receivership in January 1933, was attempting to recoup money it was owed by the Pittsburg Company, which also went into receivership at about the same time. The lawsuit involved the bank trying to acquire two liens on buildings owned by the Pittsburg Company. The Locust Grove Cemetery Association countered by claiming the Pittsburg Company had passed the two liens to its control in lieu of $17,000 it had “owed” the cemetery. It was a confusing case in light of the fact that officers of the Pittsburg Company (prior to entering receivership) and Locust Grove Cemetery Association were basically the same individuals. In not sure of the outcome of this case but it sounds like the lawyers probably made some money!
Periodic upgrades and improvements, including a large mausoleum and chapel built in 1941-42, continued over the years. The hillside cemetery, located just across from an old limestone quarry what is now home to Stiefel Park, is still in use to this day and is situated in a quiet location. The cemetery association is no longer active and the property is now owned and operated by nearby Steckman’s Memorials. Among the famous Ellwood City residents buried at the cemetery are Ralph C. Stiefel (1862-1938), founder of the seamless tube industry and the leading citizen for many years, and John W. Offutt (1878-1952), one of the most acclaimed civic leaders and a longtime executive with the National Tube (U.S. Steel) Company.
To read an article about the first burial held at the cemetery back in April 1901 click on: DIED ALONE ARTICLE. To learn more about the work being done to open the new cemetery in the summer of 1901 click on: NEW CEMETERY ARTICLE. To learn more about unusual thieves operating in local cemeteries in 1909 click on: STEALING FLOWERS ARTICLE. To read about the new driveway built into the cemetery in 1915 click on: COMPLETE ROAD INTO CEMETERY ARTICLE. From at least 1909 until about 1929 various groups staged Memorial Day festivities that including decorating the graves of veterans at the cemetery. To read a small sampling of these events held over the years click on: KNIGHTS OF PYTHIAS ARTICLE (1909) and GRAVES ARE DECORATED ARTICLE (1914) and MEMORIAL DAY PARADE ARTICLE (1917) and ODD FELLOWS TO DECORATE GRAVES ARTICLE (1922).
For cemetery info contact Steckman’s Memorials at (724) 758-4278.
This photo depicts Locust Grove Cemetery, which was opened as a public burial ground in April 1901. The back of this unsent postcard has handwritten inscriptions that read “Ellwood City Cemetery” and “This was taken on Memorial day.” (c1905) Full Size
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KAREN (PAVICK) BUTCHER #
If possible could you send me dates of birth & death for members of the Kraynak, Pavick and Pavuk families?
Jeff Bales Jr #
EDITOR’S NOTE) Karen, Thanks for your interest in my website and posting your comment. Ok, here is what I found in regards to the birth and death dates you are seeking on members of the Kraynak and Pavick/Pavuk family:
Anna Doris Kraynak——-11/25/1914-06/11/2009
Stephen Pavuk Sr———-12/26/1912-05/??/1996
At least one of the above, Michael Kraynak, is interred nearby at St. Agatha’s Cemetery. I belive these are the family members you are seeking. I did not find a “Doris Kraynak” but did find “Anna Doris Kraynak” and no “Steven Pavuk” but “Stephen Pavuk.”
I hope this helps you out! Jeff
David Gips #
Fascinating article, Jeff. And odd that the cemetery for Ellwood City is in the next county? Since it seems you have records, could you check for me any mention of the Relph and Kildoo families? Frank Relph (1879-?), Martha Relph (1880-1956)(her obit mentions that she was buried in the mausoleum there), Harold Kildoo (1901-1975), Ida Relph Kildoo (1900-1963) and Harold Kildoo (1929-1930). Or any others? Thanks again, David
Jeff Bales Jr #
(EDITOR’S NOTE) David, a check of the New Castle News reveals quite a few mentions of the names you provided. Not sure if there is anything in particular you need or are seeking. Next time I’m at Locust Grove I’ll get some pics of the stones/markers of the Relph and Kildoo and post them on this page. It might seem odd that Locust Grove is located in Beaver County, but Ellwood City itself is actually partially located in Beaver County. I’ll post more soon. Jeff
beverly i straw #
would you be able to tell me the approximate sights of the burials of Paul Straw and wife Rose Straw
Jeff Bales Jr #
(EDITOR’S NOTE) Beverly, thanks for the post. I do not know the location of the Straw stones, however next time I’m up that way I’ll see if I can locate and photograph them. I’ll keep you posted. Jeff
Janice Main #
Thank you for your site! I am very interested in finding birth and death dates for Charles & Laura (Johnston) Weimer. I believe they are buried in Locust Grove Cemetery. I found in the New Castle News a death notice for Laura ‘Wimer’, and even though the name is spelled differently, I think she is our Laura. The article is dated December 17, 1918, and states Laura died the day before. The article also says Charles died some years earlier. I have found it impossible to track this family, and if this is indeed Laura buried at Locust Grove, then I feel Charles is there as well. Any help you can give me is really appreciated. Thank you so much! Janice
Don French #
Like many others I have stumbled upon your very outstanding website concerning the Locust Grove Cemetery.
I am wondering if you can advise if (Dr.)James Larimer GARDNER, Sr. (1915-1999) & his wife Margaret (EWING) GARDNER (1914-1982) are buried there and if so, where in the cemetery are they buried and how would I go about obtaining their obit’s from, I believe, the New Castle News?
Don French, So. Calif.
Joan (Powell) Mould #
How do I contact Locust Grove about obtaining grave sites?
Thank you so much.
Carole Van Duzer #
I am trying to locate the date of death for Shirley Ann Stroup daughter of Howard Stroup and Annabelle (Thomas) Stroup. Howard Stroup is reported to have died Sept. 7, 1953 and buried at your cemetery on Sept. 9, 1953. Their daughter Shirley Ann Stroup had married Lewis Miller. I do not know if that is the name she died under. Howard and Annabelle Stroup had five children. Janice, Virginia, Zoe, Shirley amd Betty. Any information on the family especially Shirley would be helpful. Carole Van Duzer
Jeff Bales Jr #
(EDITOR’S NOTE) Carole, Here is an obituary that appeared in the New Castle News of Sept 8, 1953:
Howard Stroup, aged 65 years, of 607 Franklin Avenue, died in the Ellwood City Hospital, Monday evening at 6:40 o’clock, following a five day illness. He had been ill for two years. Mr. Stroup was born in McBride, Pa., July 6, 1888, son of the late Robert and Angeline Reep Stroup. He was a member of the Ellwood City U P. church and the Odd Fellows. In 1942 he joined the police force as desk sergeant. Prior to that had worked for 32 years at the National Tube company as general foreman of the ‘hot finish’ department. He resided in Ellwood City for the past four years and came from Butler county. In addition to his wife, Mrs. Anna Belle Stroup, he leaves four daughters: Mrs. Janis Grabman, Ellwood City; Mrs. Zoe Bellomo, Mrs. Shirley Miller, both of Harrisburg, Pa.; Mrs. Betty Jane Yohn, of Ellwood City; four grandchildren; a brother, Arthur of Ellwood City; and a sister, Mrs. Edna McFadden, of Emporium, Pa. Funeral services will be conducted from the Patton Memorial funeral home, Sixth street, Ellwood City, Thursday at 2 p.m. Rev. Robert Rose to be in charge. Burial will be in Locust Grove cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home this evening from 7 to 9 o’clock, and Wednesday, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m.
Hope this helps. Jeff
Jeff Bales Jr #
(EDITOR’S NOTE) Joan, I believe the number to the Locust Grove Cemetery Association is (724) 758-5539. They should be able to give you the exact plot/location within the cemetery. Hope that helps you out! Jeff
Jeff Bales Jr #
(EDITOR’S NOTE) Carole, Shirley Stroup, who was born in Sept 1929, was apparently engaged prior to marrying Lewis C. Miller. This article in the New Castle News of March 2, 1948, reveals:
STROUP-OLZAK ENGAGEMENT NEWS Mr. and Mrs. Howard Stroup, of 607 Franklin avenue, Ellwood City, announce the engagement of their daughter, Shirley Stroup, to Frank Olzak, son of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Olzak, of Washington, Pa. No date has been set for the wedding.
We just got my husband’s grandfather’s death certificate which states he is buried at Locust Grove Cemetery. It also said he committed suicide. Can you tell me if it is a marked grave that we could get a picture of somehow? Also, do you know if there would have been an article in a newspaper about it? His name was Richard N Humphrys and he died August 26, 1930.
ANTHONY STRAW #
Could you please send me the plot numbers for Rose Straw and Paul Straw, and a general idea where they are. Thank you in advance
Thank you for such a wonderful website! I have family buried in the mausoleum here on the hill at Locust Grove. The last time we visited, we could not get in. Could you tell us exactly who is inside? We are missing some members and very much hoping they are here.
Thank you again!
Jane Little #
According to her obituary, Clara E. Zeigler, is buried in this cemetery. She died June 6, 1966. Her husband, Frank Eli Zeigler, died sometime in 1922. I am wondering if Frank is also buried in this cemetery.
My great grandmother purchased a plot in Locust Grove and I have inherited this plot. To whom would I talk to about this?
Faye Mozgo #
My mother Helen Mozgo is buried in the moselium. I’d like to confirm her birth and death dates. Can you help me with that information? Her death could be listed as Jan. 1965.
Becky Thomas #
I would like a photo of the grave of Margaret Tyahur-Isaac who died April 13, 1995 and lived in Ellwood City.
Pamela Petti #
Hi there – my great grandparents are buried there (Angelo Petti and Christine Barile) but I don’t know where. Is there any kind of map that shows who is buried where?
Jeff Bales Jr #
(EDITOR’S NOTE) Faye, I found this obituary for your mother. It appeared in the New Castle News on January 18, 1965.
MRS. HELEN MOZGO DIES IN MEADVILLE. Mrs. Helen E. Mozgo, 63, of 613 Meadowland Ave., died in Spencer Hospital in Meadville at 1:30 p.m. yesterday. She was born in Ellwood City Dec. 18, 1901, to Clarence E. and Mary McGraw Webster. She married Stephen G. Mozgo 37 years ago. He died Sept. 4, 1964. Mrs. Mozgo was a member of Calvin UP Church of Ellwood City. She is survived by her stepmother, Mrs. Clara Webster Board of Richmond, Calif.; two sons, James A. Miller of Meadville and John L. Miller at home; nine grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and three sisters, Mrs. James (Edith) Brown of Prospect, Mrs. Raymond (Bessie) Mills of Richmond, Calif., and Mrs. Arthur (Ethel) Lambert of Solina, Ohio. She was preceded in death by two sisters, Mrs. Gladys Gatty in 1961 and Mrs. Grace Mattox in 1959. A service will be conducted at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the Kenneth C. Turner Funeral Home, 500 Sixth St., by Rev. Lloyd Dalboy. Entombment will be in Locust Grove Cemetery mausoleum. Friends will be received in the funeral home from 7 to 9 p.m. today and from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. tomorrow.
I hope this helps. Jeff
Ray Tritt #
Thanks for the interesting article. Wondered if you have any information on an infant Tritt that was buried at Locust Grove in December 1934. Daughter of Earl and Margaret Tritt. Any information/pictures would be appreciated.
TAH Hill #
Searching for Dietrich’s buried in Locust Grove cemetery.
Namely Adolph or Frank and Susie.
Susie death1928 Adolph or Frank death 1930.
Would appreciate anything (picture of grave stone) on the Dietrich’s in area 1871 to 1950 Can not locate much information on ancesty.com
Great grandfather commited suiside I assuming by drinking of hydrochloric acid, soon after death of wife.
No family members to ask.
It you can’t help I understand.
Hilda Ehardt #
I just found my grandfather, Basil Thomas Hill 1872-1949 buried here in Locust Grove Cemetery. Is it possible to get a picture of his headstone?
Thank you for posting the obit on my great aunt Helen Mozgo. I have two photos of Helen, one with her niece and the other with her cousin.
phyllis spencer #
I am looking for the gravesite of loretta lee leopardi, in locust grove, i cannot find it, thank you
Cindy Douglas #
I am trying to find gravestones for my relatives…..
Ellen Irvine date of death 4/6/1908.
Alexander Irvine date of death 10/20/1928
John Irvine Birth date 8/6/1913 Date of death 10/19/1925
Thank you for any help you can give!
Wayne Majors #
Trying to locate grave of william majors
Chris Holmes #
I am trying to find any information on the McGregor Family from that area, particularly Donald McGregor. I know that Donald and some family members were originally buried in the McGregor Cemetery but believe their remains were reburied in Locus Grove when the McGregor Cemetery was moved in the early 1900s. I have no birth date for Donald, but believe his death to be in 1848. Thank you for any help you can give.
William Boy #
I have been doing some research regarding the “Boy” family and have some pictures and information to share. The family members settled in Ellwood after migrating here from Hungary. Most all of them have lived their lives out in the area and have been active members in the community. The majority of the family is interred in Locust Grove cemetery. My Uncle Bill and Aunt Amy Boy were featured in the Ellwood City Ledger this past December as a person of interest.
I can forward this information to you to share if you can let me know of the best way to get it to you.
Thank you, William (Bill) Boy
Sherry green carey #
I’m on the hunt to find where my great great grandfather(Albert Kloos/Klose) is buried, I know he lived in ellwood in 1920,but he was not in the 1930 census. His wife is buried there with the melzer family by herself her name is Elizabeth drotleff she was married to Albert Kloos. If you have any information as to if he is buried there or not that would be great! Thanks so much! Sherry Green Carey
Lauri Targus #
I am trying to locate the grave of great grandmother Lula Shultz. Lula was born 11 November 1879, died 20? November 1966. Any information you might have on Lula Wike Belfield Shultz would be appreciated.
Thank you for you help
Middleport, New York
Donna Bailey #
I live at 419 9th st. The “Magregor” cemetary is in my property in my back yard. Im interested to know “Who” is buried here. I’ve been told that there are 2 graves……and us there a way to pin point the spots in the yard. I have the general area. Thanks so much ahead of time.
Kristie Helfer #
I am trying to locate any family members of my great-grandfather Gordon Gaub Born 1889 Died 1942.
Any information you have is valuable.
Mary Jo Hamilton #
My little brother was stillborn January 16,1993. I am trying to locate where he is buried. His obituary says he was buried at Locust Grove Cemetery. His name is Aaron Michael Hamilton. Any information is greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance ❤️
Debbie Haswell #
My great-great grandmother Ellen Pearl Pizor Haswell is buried at Locust Grove. According to the death certificate, her granddaughter Jacqueline Shepel is also buried there but I was unable to find it. I remember seeing it when I went with my mother as a young girl. Can you tell me where those 2 graves are located. Thanks.
Norma Williams #
my granddad is buried there can you tell me where he at Lee Roy Richardson 1-7-1885-1-7-1923
Stephanie Murdoch #
I believe my great-grandmother is buried here: Mary Grace Innocent Piscitelli. I’m told there’s a pic of her on the tombstone in porcelain? Would love a pic if anyone is still maintaining this website. Thank you!
Linda Stanley #
I am Power of Attorney for Robert Caccia, who is a Veteran. He claims his parents, William and Clara Belle Caccia, are buried at the Locust Grove Cemetery. I have been trying to call the telephone numbers that are listed on the website and they are disconnected. Is there any way I can talk with someone about this? I am looking to make burial arrangements for Mr. Caccia so this won’t be weighing on his mind. And I think it would be good to have him interred with his parents. Thank you for any help you can give me.
Jeff Bales (EDITOR) #
(EDITOR’S NOTE) Linda Stanley, It appears the cemetery is owned and operated by Steckman’s Memorials. Call them at 724-758-4278. I hope this helps! Jeff
Hello Jeff, My Great Grandmother was buried in Locus Grove Cemetery in 1948. I believe my Grandmother Gertrude N Ashton-Hale who died in 1922 is buried there as well. However, there is not a marker on her grave. Would the cemetery have a record if she is buried there? Thank You for any assistance you can provide to me. Regards, Rae
Find Your Roots Now #
Interested in locating William Harvey GOOD Sr, died in Ellwood City (30 Mar 1935) and according to death certificate is buried at Locust Grove Cemetery (burial dt 4 Apr 1935). Thank you.
Joann Goe #
I visited my brother’s gravesite buried there in 1920 Gregorio PAGLIA and my sister, Mary Paglia buried in 1926. The area where there are buried is diplorable. Twigs and tree limbs all over the place. Looks like that cemetery has not been taken care of for years. This area is by the tree line. A disgrace. The entire cemetery is a disgrace. Then we plant our plants and water was shut off. Shame on you. Thank God our other family members are buried at Holy Redeemer cemetery. A well taken care of.
stephen main #
the cemetery needs to cut the grass and do some weed wacking i was at my dad and moms grave and it was a mess i went ahead and weed wacked around and around my aunt and uncles graves the only time it seems you cut the grass is someone is going to be buried
Jim F. #
I was employed at the cemetery during the spring and summer season of 2019, and I can understand the frustration felt by the families of the interred, that being said my coworker and I were the only two people doing the trimming around the graves and headstones and before I was employed there it was only one person with a weed whacker attempting to trim every headstone! so needless to say when I started it was very hard to just get caught up with everything and it took us a couple weeks just to get caught up (I know it doesn’t seem like a lot of work but it really was it takes about a week to trim everything completely and by that time the grass and weeds were already 4” high,it was a never-ending circle but,my point is that we (my coworker and I) honestly care about keeping the grounds nice,also both my coworker and I have family and friends interred at the cemetery as well.
I, after reading a couple of the comments, wanted to let people know that the employees honestly do care
Jeff Bales (Editor) #
(EDITOR’S NOTE) Jim, I wanted to say thank you for the job you and others do at this and other cemeteries. Your efforts are appreciated. I don’t think people realize why many old cemeteries become neglected. The ownership or association isn’t really meeting or engaged, funding for maintenance is non-existent, the amount of work (and frequency during the summer) to cut around each and every stone, etc… I see why some cemeteries are going with flat in-the-ground markers only. Anyway, I appreciate your post. Jeff
Ethan Hill #
I took am looking for Charles and Laura Wimer I was at the cemetery today and looking for there graves Ik Laura died in 1918 and Charles in 1914 but I didn’t see anything in the older graves. Then also we tried finding my moms brother who passed away in 64 he was almost 2 when he died he never had a head stone just had one of those metals stakes his name was Raymond Lavern Evans and we are looking for Raymond Ross Evans 1898-1970 my moms grandfather he to had one of those stakes markers and was in the same area but they were not where my mom remembered where they where.