Mt. Pisgah Benevolent Cemetery, Romney, WV.

Lat:39° 20.518N; Lon:078° 46.032W.

Mt. Pisgah Benevolent Cemetery is located on the north side of US Rt. 50 just west of the town limits of Romney, West Virginia and the entrance to Indian Mound Cemetery. It sits on the edge of U.S. Rt. 50 below Indian Mound Cemetery in the bend of the old, abandoned Northwest Turnpike curve.

Listed below are the names on existing stones and markers. We would appreciate some assistance in obtaining all names for this important African American cemetery.

The back has some field stones with no markings.

Panoramic view looking south

Panoramic view looking west

Some History of the Colored Benevolent Association Cemetery

    What is now called the Mt. Pisgah Cemetery was not always named that or located where we know it today. Apparently, the original deed to the property was never recorded; however, one can find mention of that land transfer in Deed Book 56, page 166, May, 1872. This deed concerns land transfered from John Heiskell, Special Commissioner, of the First Part, and James Wirgman and Octavius Wirgman, of the Second part. The property was a 326 acre tract of Gibson, then deceased, in the area of lands of Indian Mound Cemetery and the farm presently called "Sycamore Dale." The cemetery is mentioned as such: "...excepted about one acre, lying in the bend of the N. W. Turnpike Road on Town Hill just below the Indian Mound Cemetery which one acre has been sold to the Colored Benevolent Association for a cemetery."

    Some information on the Colored Benevolent Association can be found in notes from a speech given on the Association's 53rd Anniversary, July 30, 1920: "The Benevolent Society of Romney, West Virginia was organzied by Daniel Banks on Jan. 1, 1867 in the Courthouse with a membership of 50 people; only three people and the present president now survive." Alfred Whiting was the first President; sometimes membership was up to 80.

    Further research reveals notes of the meeting concerning the moving(?) of the cemetery to allow for the straightening of Rt 50: July 10, 1934, it was agreed to give the original land to the State Road Commission (SRC). (It seems that the following was what the SRC would pay to the Association for the original land and the move) Lots = $10, single grave $3; $75 for damages done; a fence to be provided by SRC; the old road to be given to the C.B.S.
[from papers of M.S.W. 5/20/11]

    A search of courthouse records has not yet turned up any document verifying the establishment of the Association. It appears that just following the Civil War no one cared to file papers for a colored organization. Furthermore, a query to the Division of Highways has not turned up any documents verifying the agreement connected with the land transfer in 1934. We assume that the Division of Highways was probably faced with the fact that the Colored Benevolent Association no longer existed making it difficult to do any deed transfer. It is uncertain how much land the cemetery had to give up to the highway. It appears that the cemetery lost some land and gained only the old road bed. However, no records exist of the original layout. It is not clear if graves had to be moved.

Stones and Markers in Mt. Pisgah Cemetery

Colored Benevolent Cemetery, Romney, W. Va.

Note: Be advised that this is a draft list and may contain errors; we are soliciting assistance in completing this important project.

Nancy J. Alexander, wife of Albert, b. July 4, 1855; d. April 27, 1904
J. N. Austin, b. June 19, 1862; d. Nov. 26, 1906
Mrs. M. A. Austin, b. July 18, 1827; d. Nov. 26, 1879
Abram Banks [Review Obituary of March 11, 1903 states he died Thursday last (5th); member and sexton of Presbyterian Church]
Patsy Banks, d. Feb. 14, 1873, Aged 66 Years
Mary A. Barnett, b. Feb. 8, 1891; d. Jan. 4, 19?? wife of E. Barnett
Dewey C. Beckwith, b. Jan. 23, 1913; d. April 1, 1991 (Margie M.)
Margie M. Beckwith, b. April 28, 1918; d. March 31, 1998 (Dewey C.)
Maggie Berry - see Maggie Jackson
Marie Ellen Brooks, b. 1924; d. 1986
Van Seymour Brooks, Sr., PFC, U.S. Army, WWII, b. Aug. 11, 1911; d. Dec. 20, 2000
Wesley Brown(?), b. Jan. 8, 1836; d. Feb. 12, 1908
Clarcy Bush, d. Aug 6, 1885, aged 80 years
Leona Clifford, b. 1897; d. 1943
John D. Coleman, d. Sep. 5, 1931, Aged 68 Yrs (Viola)
Viola Coleman, Mar. 1, 1859; d. July 24, 1929 Wife of John D. Coleman
Anna Mae Demark, b. 1932; d. 2003 [Denmark?]
Frances L. Denmark, B. 1962; d. 1996
Helen E. Denmark, b. 1907; d. 1996
James Allen Denmark, b. Sept. 20, 1953; d. Sept. 22, 2003
Ulysess B. Buck Denmark, b. 1900; d. 1970
Johnny L. Fields, b. 1947; d. 2011
Annied Fisher, b. July 1, 1889; d. Dec. 8, 1918
Matilda J. Fisher, Wife of Robert Fisher, d. Oct. 18, 1904(?); age 65 years, 6 mos. & 20 days
Nancy F(isher?), d. July 25, 1888, aged ??, wife of Harry F(isher?)
Robert Fisher, b. Dec. 2(?), 1829(?), d. July 29, 1905
Susan A. Fisher, b. Jan. 1, 1845; d. sept. 18, 1910; wife of W. S. Fisher
William S. Fisher, b. Apr. 2, 18??; d. Dec. 14(?), 1915
Consuelo Galloway, d. Oct. 24, 1915, aged 40 years, Wife of Daniel Galloway
Elmira Gardner, b. 1865; d. 1948 (Thomas H.)
Haven S. Gardner, b. 1910; d. Apr. 16, 1958 [temp marker Shaffer Funeral Home]
Nancy M. Gardner, b. 1933; d. 2001
Thomas H. Gardner, b. 1872; d. 1966 (Elmira)
Monroe D. Goodwin, b. 1934; d. 1995
Lester Green, Pvt. 505 Engr. Service BN., February 17, 1936
Dr. John Knotes, d. Sept. 24, 1890, Aged 100 years
Carmen A. Lee, b. Oct. 6, 1946; d. July 3, 1961
Robert E. Lee, b. Sep. 29, 1936; d. Sep. 6, 1960
Annie V. Jackson, b. 1899; d. 1957 (Warner)
Eliza Jackson b. March 5 (or 8), 1795(?); Died (?), 1882(?)
Eliza J. Jackson, b. 1849; d. 1925 (Jacob)
Jacob Jackson, b. 1851; d. 1930 (Eliza J., 1849-1925)
Jerome Jackson, b. 1898, d. 1958, son of Jacob & Eliza
Lucy Jackson, b. 1893; d. 1968, daughter of Jacob & Eliza
Maggie Jackson, b. 1884; d. 1961 [name listed as Maggie Berry; it is unclear if her middle name was Berry or if she married a Berry]
Minnie B. Jackson, b. 1882; d. 1961
William J. Jackson, b. 1885; d. 1965
Robert H. Jackson, b. 1889; d. 1955 (Vernie R.)
Vernie R. Jackson, b. 1897; d. 1976
Warner Jackson, b. 1888; d. 1977 (Annie V.) son of Jacob & Eliza
Edward Lewis, Cook, 802 Poineer Infantry, WWI, b. Oct. 1, 1889; d. Sept. 24, 1958
Thomas S(?) Lewis, d. Aug. 9, 1941 age 28 yrs., 7 mos. 3 days [Combs Funeral Home,
Romney, W. Va.]
Charles Mathews, b. Sept. 13, 1841; d. Jan. 2, 1894
Harry Mathews, b. Jun(?) 9, 1863; d. Oct 8, 1893
Dennis C. McKenzie, d. Oct. 16, 1994 [temp marker Shaffer Funeral Home]
Frank L. Method, b. Oct. 24, 1920; d. July 5, 1961 Tec5, 77 Engineer Co., WWII
Hilda J. Method, b. 1925; d. 1987 Mother
Stanley Heaver Method, b. August 14, 1934; d. May 19, 1963, Sp4, 633 Engineer Co.,
Sterling L. Method, b. Mar. 30, 1922; d. Apr. 1, 1998, Tec5, US Army WWII
David P. Rolls, b. Mar. 17, 1871 [or 1874?]; d. Aug. 29, 1941
Henry W. Rolls, b. 1840; d. 1917
Anna B. Singleton, b. Sept. 26, 1880; d. Jan. 5, 1959 (Robert R.)
Robert R. Singleton, b. Nov. 14, 1884; d. not inscribed, Barber of Romney (Anna B.)
E. R. Smith, Jr., b. 1957(?); d. 1965
Goldie E. Smith, b. 1926; d. 2001
Charles E. Smith, B. 1961; d. 1995
Juanita J. Stewart, b. 1945; d. 1991 [in Method plot]
Charlotte V. Stone, b. 1931; d. 2000
Edith May Streets, b. 1891; d. 1966 (James)
James Streets, b. 1867; d. 1961 (Edith May)
James W. Streets, Jr., Pvt. U.S. Army, WWII, b. Jul. 28, 1905; d. Jan. 18, 1981
John W. Streets, b. 1867; d. 1921
Jack G. Taylor, b. 1953; d. 1996
B[ernard]. Joseph "Joe" Walker, b. May 18, 1934; d. May 6, 2000
Mary Ester Walker, b. June 17, 1930, d. Feb. 4, 2012
John R. Washington, b. Oct 11, 1860(?); d. June 29, 190?, aged 45 years
Anna Eliza Whiting, b. Oct. 7, 1836; d. April 26, 1900(?)
Blair G. Willis, Cpl., U.S. Army, WWII, b. May 2, 1906; d. Jul. 7, 1971 (Mary L.)
Betty Mae Willis, b. March 15, 1937; d. Dec. 2002
Mary L. Willis, b. Dec. 7, 1900; d. Feb. 8, 1971 (Blair G.)
Michael Lee Willis, b. 1966; d. 1967

Harriett Ann ??, May(?) 15, 1886(?) aged ? [Harriett Mathews?, Female, 1886, May 15; age: 38; C: Daniel Mathews*]
name unreadable [Edward Fisher?*], b. 1879; d. 1962 [temp marker]

Names from obituaries in the Hampshire Review

Alfred Whiting, age 98 years, Jan. 1, 1824 - March 6, 1922. Source: Obituary in the Hampshire Review of March 8, 1922 Mr. Whitings death certificate lists that he is buried "in Romney."

Names from Hampshire County Death Records

The following names are taken from Hampshire County Death Records (1866-1922)*, compiled by Vicki Bidinger Horton; printed by The Hampshire Review, Romney, West Virginia, 1993 and are listed therein as "bur. in Romney." We can not be sure which cemetery they were buried in because we know of at least one other African-American cemetery in Romney, Armstrong Cemetery which was probably used from around the Civil War to sometime before 1927. We assume some of the names below are buried in Mt.Pisgah Cemetery.

Bank, Daniel N. 1899, Feb 24; age 67, married
Banks, Alexander, 1875, Mar. 11, age 1m, 17d
Banks, Earl, 1897, age 1y 6m
Banks, Frances F. (F) 1894, Nov 22; age 38, single
Goshorn, Ella, M., 1896, Dec. 16 age 5y 9m 9d
Holt, Sarah 1902, Sep 1; age 23, single
Huskins, Charles G. F. 1899, Jul 19; b. Philadelphia
Jackson, Jane 1896, Nov 12; age 78
Jackson, Nannie (F) 1898, Feb 19; 16y 2m 13d
Kent, Paty (F) 1898, Feb 4; age 90
Keys, Foreman (M) 1897, Sep 12; age 22
Martin, Bertie (F) 1899, Oct 6; age 38, married
Mathews, Hoppie (F) 1898, Nov 14; age 20
Peters, Ann Bille, 1897, May 1 age 57
Robinson, P. (F) 1897, Jun 20; age 72
Rolls, Guss (M) 1898, Dec 12; age 14
Rolls, Harry R. 1898, Dec 27; 12y m 10d
Rolls, Mary 1899, Jan 4;
Settleton, Arch, 1894, Feb. 9, age 2m 24d
Smith, Charles F., 1896, Sep. 13, age 10y 9m
Smith, Edie (F) 1898, Feb 28;
Smith, Edith 1898, Mar 25; 27y 6m 4d
Thompson, Willie, 1892, Feb. 10 age 10m

Names from Undertaker Journals

The following names are taken from Undertaker/Funeral Home records.

Emily E. Bartlett, June 1949
Charles W. Brown, June 1946
Infant - Monroe Goodwin, April 1946 (Shaffer, p.21)
Peare Pauky (Pauley, Panky?), March 1949
Wm. A. B. Smith, Feb. 1949
Baby Girl Walker, Oct. 1961 (Shaffer, p.44)
Infant of Mary Ester Willis, July 1946

Names from Other Sources

The following names were supplied by Jane Ailes from death certificates.
Albert Alexander whose wife Nancy is listed above. [d. 6 Nov., 1926] [Alexander was a delegate in 1888 to the Colored Independents convention in Charleston which nominated a slate for the upcoming state election.]
Mary L. Alexander, second wife of Albert Alexander [d. 19 Sep., 1946]

Mt. Pisgah Benevolent Cemetery Trustees appointed 1935

This is an ongoing project. Please contact us if you have information on this cemetery - people buried here or the deeding of the cemetery and the establishment of the Colored Benevolent Association. Contact us through the contact page on this site or call Charles Hall (304)496-7218. We need your help.


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Misc. notes p. 333 Mt Pisgah May 25, 1975; 1977 p. 367