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One of the earliest burial grounds in Beaver County is located at the east end of the Borough of Monaca, about 150 yards frorn the railroad tracks that lead into file Pittsburgh Tube Company at Twenty-First St.
It is all interesting spot with. an unusual beginning. Known as the "Old Baker Cemetery," it contains 23 marked graves and a small number of unmarked ones.
Records in the Beaver County Court House show that all land surrounding and including the cemetery was purchased by the Baldwin family in 1901-02, for the purpose of building a railroad spur into the nearby factories.
Heirs to the old cemetery went into court to obtain an injunction to keep the cemetery intact. After much deliberation by the court, the injunction was granted. With this action, it was decreed that the cemetery must be excluded in the proposed expansion plan. Thus. today, the old cemetery remains much the same as it was then.
Mrs. Annie (Barto) McCartney, 83, Elkhorn Run Road, who's great-great grandfather. Anthony Baker, is buried there, states that the first interment was that of Hannah Baker, daughter of Anthony Baker, in 1810. the latest known burial was Martha Baker in 1868.
Anthony Baker and his brother Jacob, Strasburg, Germany, migrated to Virginia and later to Beaver Valley and settled in Monaca. They operated it store, known as "Baker Trading Post", near the old water tanks for many years. They were Presbyterians by faith and they married sisters. Elizabeth died and was buried in Baker's cemetery in 1843, and Catherine in 1853.
Mrs. McCartney has in her possesion an old record book with many entries in French, possibly made by the Baker brothers.
Anthony Baker was a Civil War Veteran, Co. 11. 139th Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry Division. His stone does not beat- the date of his death.
While the stones are weather-beaten and dark. the cemetery is in fairly good condition, having been cleaned up by a Boy Scout Troop, some few years ago.
Most of the stones are decipherable but dates of interment on some of them have not been recorded or they have been erased due to the passing of time.
Three small graves believed to be the infant children of Phillip and Martha Baker, and John and Nancy Baker, have no markers.
Records show that all of the people buried ill the old "Baker Cemetery" were closely related, and the last name of most of them was Baker. However. through marriage the family of John and Elizabeth Srodes, and their children, are buried there. They were direct descendants of Anthony and Jacob Baker.
Records show that the Baker family is over
two hundred years old and is represented by nine
generations in America.
A visit to the cemetery, convinced us of the discipline exercised in the lives of these hardy souls who braved hostile Indians, famines, and pestilence yet were a very great part of Beaver Valley i.e. Monaca, as they literally hacked their way through the wilderness, to put down roots and contribute to the heritage of our culture.