Old Cemeteries of Antwerp New York
The first graves in Antwerp were made in the old burial ground in the northeastern part of the village, upon the slope of the hill, near its top, and adjoining the schoolhouse and Baptist church lots. No one can now tell with certainty whose was the first interment here, but among the earliest were those of Richard McAllister and his wife, Susan, whose deaths occurred within less than three weeks of each other, his on the 11th of February, and hers on the 23rd of January, 1813, the land — one acre — was donated for burial purposes by David Parrish. From the time of its commencement until 1860 (when the new cemetery was opened) this was the only burial ground of the vicinity, and here are garnered the grim reaper’s harvests for half a century. It is now sadly neglected and overgrown, but there are those among the best citizens of Antwerp who have resolved that it shall not long continue in this dilapidated condition.
The Foster Burial Ground
This enclosure, situated near the house of Andrew Kinney, is very nearly as old as that at Antwerp village. It was known to the oldest settlers as grave-yard number two. It was donated by Edward Foster, Sr., not later than 1810, and within it lie four-generation of the Foster family, of which he was the head. It has become very populous, but is constantly receiving additions to the number of it occupants.
The Beaman Burial Ground
The Beaman Burying-ground is located a short two miles from Antwerp village, on the Sterlingville road, near the residence of J. M. Beaman, Esq., was donated many years ago by Ira Beaman, whose remains are buried there, as are also many members of the Beaman and Aldrich families.
Grave-Yard At Sprague’s Corners
This spot, one acre in extent, was given to the public by David Parrish, and Colonel H. B. Keene, recollects when about fifty-five years ago, in his boyhood, he worked with older persons at a “bee,” which was held to clear way the stumps and undergrowth in preparation for interments. He also recollects the occasion of the first burial, but cannot recall the name of the person. Soon after, Mr. Israel Sprague was interred there, and also Leonard Pike and Mr. William Vebber, one of the first comers to Sprague’s Corners. It is upon the hill just south of the settlement.
There is also a grave-yard on the Fuller road, between Sprague’s Corners and Antwerp village.
The Bemis Burial Ground
The Bemis Burial Ground in the northwest part of he town, three miles from Ox Bow village, was a part of the farm of Ebenezer Bemis, and by him given for purposes of interment more than half a century ago, but proving to be a wet and unsuitable place, was but little used.
Vrooman Hill Burial Ground
The Vrooman Hill Burial-Ground is located in the west part of the town, and was taken from the farm of Peter Vrooman, and was first used as a cemetery after the Bemis ground had been found to be unfit for the purpose. The interments have now become numerous.
The Old Cemetery At Ox Bow
The old cemetery at Ox Bow containing sixty-eight one-hundredths of an acre, and located in the village, adjoining the Presbyterian church, was donated to the public by Abraham Cooper, in 1822, at which time his father, John Cooper, was buried there; his being the first interment in the ground. The enclosure has become closely crowded, and since laying out of the new cemetery very few burials have been made in the old one.
The New Cemetery At Ox Bow
The new cemetery at Ox Bow, known as the Presbyterian cemetery, although its use is not confined to that denomination was laid out in 1874, upon thirteen acres of ground purchased of Ira Hinsdale, for $1300. There have been as yet but few interments. The site is a good one; that part lying nearest to the village—a bold, hemlock-crowned knoll, rising abruptly above the little stream—being particularly noticeable or its romantic beauty.
The Hillside Cemetery
This is the name given by the Antwerp rural Cemetery Association to the beautiful grounds laid out and decorated under is auspices at Antwerp village. The association was incorporated and organized in 1850, with John H. Conklin, president; Elijah Fulton, vice-president; J. S. Conkey, secretary; G. S. Sawens, treasurer. In the same year they purchased seven and half acres of ground from Clowley Copeland, at seventy-five dollars per acre, and proceeded to the laying out of lots. These lots have been sold at an average price of ten cents per square foot, and although not more than half the area have yet been graded and laid out, and though not all the lots which have been platted are sold, yet enough had been already realized to clear the association from debt, and to create a reserve fund of over twelve hundred dollars; a condition of affairs evidently resulting from good financial management. The cemetery grounds lie upon the southeastern slope of the hill adjoining the old burying-ground, and the main entrance to them is on Van Buren street, at the eastern side of the village. They contain a large number of handsome monuments and of burial plots, which are beautifully located and tastefully laid out. There are very few villages of the size of Antwerp which possess a cemetery so attractive a this. The present (1877) officers of the association as Josis Miller, president; Almon Buel, treasurer; Albert Hoyt, secretary.
Source: Durant, Samuel W. and Henry B. Peirce. History of Jefferson County, New York, With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of its Prominent Men and Pioneers. Philadelphia: L.H. Everts & Co., 1878. p 287-288.