The Old Thompson Burying Ground
DECORATING THE CEMETERY
Clips and Stories from the Union City Times that Trace the Story of the Old Thompson Burying Ground
Thursday, May 22, 1879
Post No. 102, GAR will assemble at their quarters and at 10:00 o'clock a.m. sharp will start for the Catholic Cemetery accompanied by the children of St. Teresa's School and citizens, and will decorate the graves. A short oration will be delivered by Reverend Father Dunn. A detail will also proceed to the Thompson Cemetery and decorate the graves of the soldiers of the Revolution and War of 1812.
Thursday, May 18, 1882
The members of Col. John W. McLane Post No. 102 G.A.R. have arranged for Decoration day, Tuesday, May 30, 1882 the following program: President of the Day, Post Commander; Chief Marshal, C.S.Steadman; Assistants, L.D. Rockwell, Gary G. Smith and A.G. Sweet; Orator of the day, Reverend N.H. Holmes. Comrades of Post 102 will assemble at the G.A.R. Hall at 10 o'clock sharp and march to the Catholic Cemetery accompanied by the band, St. Teresa's School, the Hunter Hook and Ladder Company and citizens, and decorate the graves there. At the same time a detachment will proceed in charge of the officers of the guard and decorate the graves of the soldiers of the Revolution and War of 1812 in the Thompson Cemetery.
Thursday May 24, 1883 Memorial Day.
A detachment sent to the Old Thompson Cemetery decorated the graves there.
Thursday, May 15, 1884
Detachments of G.A.R. Post 102 will decorate the graves at the Thompson and Barnes cemeteries.
Thursday, May 21, 1885
The G.A.R. will decorate graves for Decoration Day in Union City. Accompanied by Goss' Band and fire department will march to the Catholic cemetery and decorate the graves at that place. At the same time detachments will be sent to the Thompson Cemetery, Elgin, Beaverdam, Barnes Church and Mattisons to decorate the graves in those places.
Thursday, June 3, 1887
Early in the morning people began to arrive for Decoration Day ceremonies in Union City. At ten o'clock the G.A.R. Post accompanied by Coleman Hose and Hunter Hook & Ladder Co.,marched to the Catholic Cemetery where they strewed the graves of the dead with flowers. At the same time a detachment went to the Thompson Cemetery where they deposited flowers on the graves of those buried there.
Thursday, May 23, 1889
McLane Post G.A.R. NO. 102 will conduct Memorial Day Services. They will decorate graves at the Catholic Cemetery and the Barnes and Thompson Cemeteries at the same hour.
Thursday, June 6, 1889
"In the forenoon the graves in the Catholic Cemetery were visited by the G.A.R. Post, accompanied by Coleman's Band, the Coleman Hose and Hunter Hook and Ladder Companies, and a large number of citizens. The graves of the soldiers buried there were decorated with choice flowers and wreaths of evergreen. At the same time a detachment of the Post went out to the cemetery on the Ridge and with the people of the vicinity held an interesting memorial service, strewing flowers on the graves of soldiers buried there. F.M. McClintock Esq. delivered an excellent address which was listened to with marked interest by those present."
Thursday, May 29, 1890
Post 102, G.A.R. will assemble at the hall at 9:30 sharp and accompanied by the band, fire department and all others who will accompany them, will march to the Catholic Cemetery and decorate the graves of that place. At the same time, detachments will be sent to the Thompson and other cemeteries to decorate the graves, after which they will return to their respective halls.
Thursday, May 23, 1895
No mention of Thompson Cemetery in the Decoration Day write up.
Thursday, May 20, 1897
E.B. Williams and Cyrus King of the G.A.R. announced the plans for the Memorial Day observances. They included sending detachments of the G.A.R. to the Thompson cemetery to decorate the graves.
Thursday, September 16, 1897
The old Thompson Cemetery south of town, is to be restored and here after kept in good shape by the friends of those buried there. On Sunday last a number of persons assembled on the grounds and perfected a cemetery association with the following officers:
Treasurer....Mrs. Wesley Davison
Trustees: D.G. Smiley; G.W. Brakeman; C.G. Ames; C.M. Shreve and Wesley Davison. It is the purpose of these officers to look up the title to the cemetery grounds which was given for burial purposes by Miles and Thompson jointly, away back in the year 1813. The first burial there was in 1813. It is believed as near as now can be ascertained that something near 100 bodies are buried there, nearly all being Thompsons and relatives of the family. Already the grass, weeds, and trees, etc. have been cleared off. A new fence will be built around the lot, the graves and tombstones will be fixed up and as near as possible the grounds will be restored as they originally were. This is a grand idea and one worthy of this large and influential family, a portion of whom have been residents of this immediate vicinity since 1802.
Friday, May 27, 1904
At 8:30 a.m. Col. John W. McLane Post No. 102, G.A.R. and I.M. Anderson Corp No. 30, Sons of Veterans, will assemble in the G.A.R. Hall and at nine o'clock march to the City Hall where a program by the children of the public schools will be rendered. At 10:15 o'clock the Post will form in front of the City Hall and headed by Coleman's Band, and the Fire Department and Sons and Veterans, they will march to the Catholic Cemetery where graves of the soldiers buried there will be decorated and the usual services held. The procession will then form and return to their respective halls and disband. No visit to Thompson Cemetery is mentioned.
OLD THOMPSON CEMETERY
1948 Readings from Markers
February 1948 Thompson, Betsy Ames, wife of Samuel, d May 9, 1842 aged 37 years. Dau. of Tamar Ames. Samuel was son of Joel Thompson.
Margaret, dau. of Mary Mulvin and Joel Thompson, d Mar. 27, 1813, aged 22 yrs. (Joel Thompson married three times. lst, Margaret Smiley; 2nd Mary Mulvin; 3rd Elizabeth Wilson. Abel, d July 3, 1840, aged 84 yrs.
Jemima, wife of Able, d Nov. 15, 1816, aged 89 years. (Abel Thompson married twice. 1st, Jemima; 2nd Tamar Ames.)
Clarrissa, d Aprl. 8, 1879, aged 75 yrs.
Smiley, Jane Eliza, wife of Moses, d Dec. 1, 1837, aged 23 yrs. (She was a Thompson)
John R., son of Moses and Jane, d. Aug. 10, 1840, aged 2 yrs.
Mulvin, Robert, d. Mar. 12, 1869, aged 72 yrs.
William, d Feb. 16, 1828, aged 82 yrs. (Sons of William and Margaret Mulvin; also dau. Mary Mulvin Thompson; and Elizabeth Mulvin, wife of Thomas Carroll, son of Ferdinand and Isabella.)
Elizabeth, wife of Robert, d 1830, aged 30 yrs.
William, d. Apr. 22, 1848, aged 92 yrs.
Margaret, his wife, d. June 17, 1850, aged 89 yrs.
Ames, Isabella Thompson, wife of Alva Ames, d May 27, 1832, aged 15 yrs. (Daughter of Job Thompson, son of Tamar A. Thompson).
Alva, died March 12, 1878, aged 63 years.
Rockwood, Simon, d. March 29, 1859, aged 63 years.
Capron, Charles, d. July 18, 1824, aged 57 years.
Carroll, Ferdinand, d. Feb. 1, 1831, aged 80 yrs.
Isabella Johnson, his wife, d Sept. 28, 1830, aged 75 yrs.
Samuel, their son, d. Jan. 27, 1836, aged 61 yrs.
Ferdinand James, son of William and Hannah died October 21, 1824, aged 2 yrs. (grandson of Ferdinand and Isabella Carroll.)
U.C. BOY SCOUTS DO CIVIC GOOD
(Budgetwise, a local publication)
Some of the Boy Scouts of Troop #3, sponsored by the Methodist Church of U.C. L to R: Scoutmaster Duanne Jones; Danny Rugar; Mike Fellows; Joe Shamp; Ronnie Sherred & Ronald Ottaway. (Absent from the photo, asst. scoutmaster Carl Moore). As a Civic Project these Boy Scouts are working inU nion City's First Cemetery, trying to make it presentable. Called the Thompson Cemetery, it is over 150 years old. Here is buried veterans of three wars: The Revolutionary War; 1812; and the Civil War. Twelve persons buried here were teen‑agers the year the Declaration of Independence was signed. Ancestral family names seen here are: Thompsons, Mulvins, Smileys, Caprons, Carrolls and Ames. Lost in the minds of man for years, this burial ground is located on the south side of town, a little west of the Mill Village Road. Patriotic individual citizens in the recent past, have attempted to save this historical cemetery (one of the most historic in the state). It should be preserved and properly maintained as a Historic Shrine. Will you help our Boy Scouts? Contact them & offer your influence & help.
Department of Veterans Affairs
July 11, 1963 RE: THOMPSON, Andrew Thompson, Abel Capron, Charles Capron, Charles Jr.
Carl T. Blakeslee, Ass't.
Department Service Officer
Veterans of Foreign Wars
107 Sixth Street
Pittsburgh 22, Pennsylvania
Your letter regarding the old Thompson Cemetery was surprising at first since the name had slipped from my memory several years ago. In checking our card file of cemeteries in Erie County, I discovered that we did have a Thompson cemetery listed as being on Route 79 out of Union City and on the left hand side of the road. This does not exactly coincide with the location as given in the newspaper clipping.
However, we have no other record of this cemetery and a check of our burial records fails to reveal the names mentioned in your letter. Our records fail to reveal that any veteran is buried there. Until we can secure proof that any veterans are buried there, I am afraid that the County can not assist in this project. Only where the abandoned cemeteries contain the bodies of legitimate veterans can the County give assistance for their care.
If further information can be given concerning the wartime service of the names mentioned in your letter, I would be most happy to go through our histories of previous wars for a check on these records.
Thanking you for your interest I remain
Very Truly Yours
Edw. Schmelzer, Director
Dept. Veterans' Affairs
Erie County Court House
THE OLD THOMPSON BURYING GROUND
by Kathy Babcock (Warnes)
Abel Thompson, his wife Jemima and his five sons and two daughters came to Union Township in the year 1801 to carve a home from the wilderness. Abel bought forty acres of land from William Miles and set up a black smith shop within a half mile from the site of Miles' new mill. And gradually as news of him and his sons mechanical and black smithing prowess spread, Abel began to get customers from miles around as well as Union Township. He and his sons fashioned all of the farming and household utensils which were made of iron or steel. These included hoes, hay and manure forks, harrow pins and plow irons which had to be sharpened frequently and have additional steel added to them. Abel also made shovels and tongs which were used for every fireplace.
The Thompsons had a set of molds used for running spoons and if a citizen could afford to have pewter, he would take it to Abel Thompson and have a new set of spoons run off. If any of the spoons got dented, twisted or broken, all the owner had to do was take them back to Abel and he would melt and run them all over again.
Of Abel's five sons, Joel was a blacksmith as well as his father. The father and sons were also stone cutters and they took the boulders they found in the woods and manufactured grinders for Miles' new mill. And, all of the tombstones in the county were Joel's handiwork.
Job, another son, liked to work in wood and after trying to clear a farm at several sites, he finally built a shop at the mouth of Carroll's run and put in a turning lathe into the water. He made wooden bowls and other such useful articles as wheels for spinning flax and wool.
Abel's son, Abel Jr., moved away from Union Township. Abel's son Caleb, became a farmer but was also a carpenter and joiner. Many of the older houses in the township received finishing touches from Caleb.
Charles K., Abel's fifth son, was a shoe maker and good at his trade, but he took more delight in hunting deer and telling "bear" stories than working.
Abel Thompson, his wife Jemima, his second wife Tamar, and his sons Job, Joel and Caleb all died in Union Township as did their wives and were buried on Abel's land which he bought from Miles.
This is a little of the history of The Thompson family who are buried in the old Thompson Burying Ground on a knoll to the left of Wiggers Equipment Company on Route 6. Caleb, Job, Joel and Abel Thompson and their wives rest there as do the Mulvin and Ames family and the wife of Moses Smiley and many others. Evidently, what started out to be just a family burial place was expanded to include residents of the township as Evergreen Cemetery wasn't incorporated until 1865 and a burial place was needed long before then.
The Thompson cemetery is a peaceful one. The old stones, some of them so worn they can no longer be read, rest under the shelter of large maple trees that must have been there longer than some of the people buried there. It's a strange experience visiting the cemetery, and looking at the stones, some broken and crumbled and most bearing the slime of age. It makes a person wonder if fifty years from now, they will be the one living there and have someone visit his grave in an old forgotten cemetery.
But the cemetery has a problem. It isn't going to be there much longer if someone some where doesn't make arrangement for its care and perpetuation. Presently, it is so over grown with blackberry brambles and brush that you feel like Livingston hacking his way through the jungle while you are trying to reach it. And the stones need care too. Many ofthem have been moved, many are broken from the erosion of the weather, and they all show the effects of wear and tear and time.
The Jaycees have expressed interest in the cemetery, and put it on their project calendar for possible action. But in the meantime, what will happen to the Old Thompson Burying Ground?
TOMBSTONES - 1973
Old Thompson Cemetery. Located on an overgrown hill standing in the cresent of land between Route Six and Odell Street, on the southern edge of Union City, Pa.
19 headstones, 2 fragmentary. A List of existing tombstones in the Old Thompson Cemetery done directly from them in 1973. Inscriptions at the cemetery were copied by Mrs. Kristen Koehler and Mrs. Linda Ditrich in May 1973. It is located on an overgrown hill standing in a crescent ofland between Route Six and Odell Street on the southern edge of Union City, Pa. 19 headstones (1973 2 fragmentary
Alva Ames. Died March 21, 1876. 63 years--mos.
Asleep in Jesus. Blessed Sleep.
Memorial of Isabella Wife of Alva Ames who died May 27, 1832, Aged 16 years 2 months & 27 days. May 27, 1832
Memorial of William Mulvin who died Died April 22, 1848. Aged 92 years.
Memorial of Margaret . Wife of William Mulvin. Died June 17, 1850. Aged 89 years.
Memorial of William Mulvin, Jun'r. who died February 16, A.D. 1828. Aged 22 years.
There is a calm for those who weep,
A rest for weary pilgrims found
And while the mouldering ashes sleep
Low in the ground;
The soul, of origin divine,
God's glorious image freed from clay
In heaven's eternal shore shall shine
A star of day.
Robert Mulvin. Died March 12, 1869. Aged 72 years.
Memorial of Elisabeth Mulvin.
Consort of Robert Mulvin. Who died March 2---A.D. 1830. Aged 30 years.
Depart my friends
Dry up your tears,
We'll meet again
When Christ appears
Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not.
The Son of man cometh.
Eliza Jane Smiley. Wife of Moses Smiley. Died Dec.---‑1836. Age 23 years.
God my redeemer/ and ever from the skies
Look down and watch All my dust
Till he shall bid it rise.
Horace E. / Son of Sam'l and Betsey Thompson Died June 9, 1855 Age 20 yr. 7 days.
Memorial of Margaret Thompson. Daughter of Joel and Mary Thompson Who died April 29, 1843. Aged 24 years & 18 days.
Memorial of Mary wife of Joel Thompson Who died December 28, 1858. Aged 65 years.
To the memory of Margaret Thompson/Who died March 27, 1813 Age 23 years.
Her flesh shall slumber in the ground
Till the last trumpets-----sound,
Then burst her bonds------And in her savior-----
Of Joel Thompson She was the c-------
Tis hop'd shes gone Of joys forever new./
She left him and one infant dear Her loss for to deplore
But they do hope to meet her where There's pleasures evermore.
Betsey, wife of Samuel S. Thompson. Died May 9, 1842. Aged 37 years.
Clarisa Thompson. Died April 8, 1879 Aged 75 years.
Isabell, wife of Job Thompson. Died May 2, 1855. 79 years, 10 mos 18 ds
Here lies the body of Jemima Thompson Consort of Abel Thompson
Who departed this life Nov. the 15, 1816 in the 59th y.
Memorial of Abel Thompson Who died July 3, 1840. Aged 84 years.