Albury Cemetery History

from "A Century of Faith & Fellowship", Albury Church 1898-1998, by Albury Church Centennial Committee.

Albury has a beautiful, large, well-kept cemetery. It all began in 1825 when James and Elizabeth Peck donated some of their property for a burying ground. Their gift plot is located directly behind Albury Church. A stroll through it reveals the names of some of the pioneers buried there - Peck, Weese , Dempsey, Bonter, Pierson, Mikel, Sager, Russell, Brickman, Cunningham, Anderson.

Those who were buried in the gift land had no problem of plots to buy for they were free, but by 1877 the end was in sight for the donated land. James Peck Jr. agreed to give up adjoining land for additional burial space with the proviso that he would receive the money from the sale of the plots. So in 1877 a block was added directly south of the gift plot, also a strip to the west, approximately one half acre in size, extending from the road back to the southern boundary of the aforesaid block. This arrangement with the Peck family continued down through the years with the acquisition of each successive tract of land; instead of selling the land it was given with the condition that the Pecks received the payment as the plots were sold. The next addition to the cemetery took place in 1885 ( actual date is 1855 but that is obviously a misprint) with a strip added all the way across the south side. Again, in 1889, a similar sized strip was added south of it.

On February 3, 1886 the Ameliasburg Cemetery Association was formed to look after Albury Cemetery, to build a suitable fence around it, to keep it in proper repair. A board of directors was elected with Peter Dempsey as President, James H. Peck Vice-President, William Peck Secretary, Aaron Pierson Treasurer and John Greer Peck Superintendent. They set the second Wednesday of June as their annual meeting and Decoration Day. All interments were to be under the direction of the Superintendent (care-taker) and fees paid to him for digging and filling graves, etc. The care-taking, such as cutting grass, was to be paid for by donations from the plot owners.

The care-taking of the cemetery remained in the Peck name for a very long time. John Greer Peck was superintendent during his lifetime and, on his death in 1918, his son Harry took over continuing until his death in 1959.

In 1898 more land was required and a strip was added to the east side. That sufficed until 1917 when the east strip was added to the north. Finally in1924 another extension was made completely across the south side.

For a time a great interest was taken in the cemetery. Many monuments were erected. There was great activity in the cemetery on Decoration Day as flowers were planted and graves beautified. But by 1913 some of enthusiasm and interest had waned. The Rednersville Women's Institute decided to clean up and beautify Albury Cemetery. They held a bee, enlisting the help of husbands and friends. They also attended the annual meeting with the result that a new Cemetery Board was chosen with five of nine directors being women. Collectors were appointed to contact all the plot owners asking them to contribute $1.00 a plot towards the upkeep of the cemetery. A fence was built west of the church in 1914. A cistern was built in 1924. In 1926 a fence was built down the west side of the cemetery. Many other improvements were made over the years.

Upon the death of Harry Peck, Lawson Way became care-taker of the cemetery. He was followed in 1976 by Roy Wetherall who has continued in this capacity until the present day. Plot owners are now required to take out Perpetual Care to pay for care-taking and repairs. On May 13, 1980 the cemetery was severed from the church and church-yard.

No more land was added until 1982. To meet the demand for plots a long, narrow strip along the west side of the cemetery was purchased from the adjoining property of Harold Bonter.