CLARION TWP. - "Seceder Cemetery" is a secluded garden of heroes. Lying among the trees are the graves of eight veterans of the Revolutionary War, several graves of Clarion County men who served in the War of 1812 and at least one veteran of the Civil War.
According to an article about the cemetery written by John P. Baker for the Oil City Derrick in November 1963, The "Seceder Church," built by the associate Presbyterians, was organized in 1808. This new church was built near the original Rehoboth Presbyterian Church, at the bottom of the grade from the original Presbyterians Church and close to the roadway.
Baker reported the building was constructed of two-inch planks, was 40- by 70-feet in size and accommodated around 150 people in its seating capacity. It remained in use until 1877.
The burial grounds on the hill above the church is "Seceder Cemetery."
Baker wrote that it was said it was the only place of burial for miles around in that era.
Baker reported a fence was erected around the burial plot but no trace of the fence remains. Baker noted that "many of the beautiful grave stones that marked the resting places of the early pioneers, who were buried there, have been broken, and many have fallen on the top of the graves."
A 1959 survey of the markers of the cemetery was made, it was discovered that there were still more than 70 legible markers in the burial plot. Many of the graves were marked with a common fieldstone, erected in an upright position.
A roadside sign was erected along State Route 66 and an effort was launched to clean up the cemetery. An improved road was also opened to the graveyard.
Baker said in 1963 that the road project "has been completed. It has been surfaced with limestone chips, making it accessible to travel at any time of the year. The roadway makes a complete circle of the burial spot."
At present the road is dirt with several deep cuts.
According to Baker the first death resulting in a burial at the cemetery was James McFadin, an infant son of Philip and Sarah Roll Clover. The child was buried near where his parents would be buried.
The oldest stone with a legible name in 1963 was that of Mary, wife of James Potter, who died Oct. 4, 1812, at the age of 45 years.
Baker noted Nancy Wilson, infant daughter of Samuel and Jean (Love) Wilson, left Ardstraw County, Ireland in 1798 to accompany her parents to the USA, died and was buried at sea at the age of four years. A memorial stone was erected for her in the Seceder cemetery in the Wilson plot.
John Wilson, an ancestor of the late Judge Theo L. Wilson, who bequeathed money in his will to care for the Seceder cemetery, served his country in the War of 1812.
Another interesting inscription lists "John Roll Jr. 7-Co. 8 Bn. Cumberland C. Penna., Rev War. Born Jan 12, 1725, died Jan. 15, 1816." This monument was placed at the Roll burial spot in his honor on April 12, 1950.
The cemetery is listed as one of Clarion's historic cemeteries.