Community History

Community History

The area’s most celebrated leaders, business pioneers and architects of our civic institutions now rest eternally in Beaver Cemetery.

These are a select few in terms of their historical nature. Matthew Stanley Quay arrived in Beaver in 1840. The son of a Presbyterian minister, Quay graduated from Jefferson College -- now Washington & Jefferson College -- in 1850. A lawyer by trade, he was admitted to the bar in 1854 and served several terms as county prothonotary by his 28th birthday.

In 1861, Quay enlisted in the Union Army, earning the rank of colonel. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism at the Battle of Fredericksburg, then becoming the personal assistant to Pennsylvania Gov. Andrew Curtin. Upon returning to Beaver, he became the editor of two local newspapers while situating himself in politics. His list of political accolades includes terms as state treasurer, secretary of the commonwealth and, finally, two terms as a U.S.senator.

Quay was a friend and confidant of famous writer Rudyard Kipling and of President Benjamin Harrison, who credited Quay’s political acumen with leading him to electoral victory in 1888.

Quay lived most of his life in Beaver and died on May 28, 1904. His funeral made headlines in every major city and drew thousands of people from around the nation to Beaver.

Col. James P. Leaf and his wife, Nellie N. Leaf are considered by many to be one of the founding fathers of Rochester. Leaf was a civil engineer who presided over numerous public projects in the county. He served three terms on Rochester Council and was also elected twice as a Beaver County commissioner.

Upon America’s entry into World War I in 1917, Leaf served as a major in the 52nd Regiment Engineers. Despite being 52 years old at the time, he demanded to serve his country. Leaf died in 1950.

Chief Justice Daniel Agnew devoted much of his life to the advancement of Beaver County.

Agnew came to Beaver in 1829, setting up a law practice. He presided over many of the early legal battles in the area and earned the title of president judge for four counties in 1851. In 1863, Agnew was elected to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. After a decade of honorable service, he was elevated to chief justice of that court and spent six years in that capacity.

Agnew helped craft much of the early telling of Beaver County’s history, writing and speaking on the subject throughout his life. He died in 1902 at the age of 94, one of the most respected and beloved officials in Pennsylvania.

The Saints at Rest Book: A Do-It-Yourself Walking tour of Historically Significant Gravesite in theBeaver Cemetery is available in the Cemetery Office for a donation of $5.00

So They Have A Place To Go

A place of reflection and relaxation… joggers taking advantage of the cemetery’s wide walking paths or families enjoying a stroll among the beautiful shade trees.

Find a Grave

Here you find details about Beaver Cemetery and individual memorials for many people buried here. Memorials generally include birth, death and burial information and may include pictures, biographies, family information and more. Currently, there are over 24,000 memorials listed.

Learn more