Extracted from
History of Danbury, Conn. 1684 - 1896.
James Montgomery Baily
Susan Benedict Hill
Pub. 1896 (New York?)

[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]

[Note:-- As is common with many of the old Town Histories, this one does not give complete listing of the cemeteries, but only a glimpse at the most interesting stones or those of the most prominent families.]

Chaper I.
Old Burial-Grounds

The first place of burial chosen by our ancestors was that on the Wooster Street of to-day, and we find here in good preservation a number of old headstones.

At a town meeting held December 22d, 1784, the "Question was put whether the Town will appoint a commissioner to purchase a highway of Major Starr up deer hill on the north side of the burying-ground," and passed in the affirmative. Until the opening of this highway it is probable that the entrance was on Main (then Town) Street, and that the little burial-ground was surrounded on three sides by green meadows. Here, at the eastern end of the enclosure, we find an upright slab of gray granite, with the insciption nearly obliterated, which marks the grave of Josiah STARR, born September 1st, 1657, in Charlestown, Mass., and died in Danbury, January 4th, 1715-16. He was the founder of the Danbury branch of the Starr family, and came here in 1693. His wife, Rebekah, died July 15th, 1739, aged 74 years, and is buried beside her husband. Here also is the grave of "Lieut. Benjamin Starr. Died Nov. 29, 1754, in his 71 year." This was the second son of Josiah, born in 1683, who married Eunice, youngest child of Thomas and Rebecca (Ketcham) Taylor. "John, the third son, died July 27th, 1739, aged 55, and is buried with his kindred in the ancient burial place in Danbury."

Josiah, the fourth son, was born about 1693, and a gravestone erected to his memory in 1790 in this old ground reads that he died December 1778, in his eighty-fifth year.

The grave of Comfort Starr, the youngest on of Josiah, is near his fathers, and is marked by a large, nearly square slab of blue slate finely finished and ornamental. The clear-cut insciption tell us that

"Here lyes Buried the body of
Comfort Starr Esqr
who departed this life May 11, 1763,
ae 56 years, 6. m 21 days."

His wife Hannah died in 1791, when she was called "Mrs. Hannah Pierce, wid. of Comfort Starr." A son, Nathan, is buried beside his father, and this inscription is upon his tomb stone:

"Here lyes interred ye body of
Nathan Starr
Batchelor of Arts, only child of Mr. Comfort Starr,
marchant, and Mrs. Hannah, his wife, who
departed this life, much lamented, June 9,
1752 ae 19 yrs. 9 mos. 3 dys.
"The Orb is set in Dust,
The Star doth ever shine;
The Orb this tomb shall burst
In beauty all divine;
And in it shall the Star forever move
In one eternal round of flaming love."

Comfort Starr was one of the prominent and influential men of his day, and the school fund which he left to Danbury, and the beautiful baptismal bowl, his gift to the First Church, are proffs of his interest in the town, and keep his memory bright.

Near the southern boundary and midway of the enclosure is buried Judah GREGORY, one of the first settlers of the town. No stone marks his grave, but the fact of his burial in this spot has been handed won from father to son in the family.

At the eastern end we find this model epitaph upon a well-preserved headstone:

"In Memory of
Mrs. Deborah Admams,
wife of Mr. Samuel Adams (late of Farifield) and
mother-in-law to Mr. John McLean (a native of
Scotland) who died Feb. 21, 1794, aged 91
years, 10 mo. and 3 days."

Not far from this headstone stands on of red-brown slate, upon which is inscribed the following:

"Here lies buried
ye Body of
Doct. Samuel Dickinson
who departed this Life, may the 5th, 1769."

A little toward the southwest, and beside the southern boundary of the enclosure, is a well-preserved headstone with the following inscription:

"In memory of
Dr. John Wood,
who died May 26, 1801 aged 62 years.
"This truth how certain
When this life is o'er,
Man dies to live
And lives to die no more."

Daniel Starr Jr., died November 22d, 1772.
Eli Starr, March 15th, 1774.

The next headstone recalls to memory the long ago spring day when "war in its crimson panoply of flame" ran riot through the streets of Danbury, for it reads:

"In Memory of
Maj. Daniel Starr
who died April 26th, 1777, aged
33 years and 6 months."

Captain John Starr died February, 1788, aged 77 years.
Samuel Starr died December 29th, 1744, aged 47 years.
Mrs. Abigail, wife of Mr. Eli MYGATT, died November 21st, 1767.
"Maj. Ezra Starr departed this life May, 1805, aged 51 years."
"Maj. Oliver LAWRENCE departed this life, Dec. 16, 1808, aged 49."
His wife, Rebecca (Whiting) Lawrence, died July 15th, 1807.
"Maj. Frederick J. WHITING died Oct. 7, 1801, aged 45 years. Let the dead rest."
"Orrin OSBORNE, who was editor of the Recorder, died Jan. 7, 1829, aged 29 years."
"Edward ELY," one of the editors of the old Farmer's Journal, "died at St. Bartholomew, West Indies, Oct. 11, 1809, aged 42 years."
Here lies buried Major TAYLOR, his wife Elizabeth, and his son Daniel, and grandson Major. Major Taylor died in 1805, his grandson in 1815. Rev. Robert SANDEMAN is buried here. The insciption upon his tombstone will be found in another chapter. [transcriber's note: sorry about that].

"Amos BENEDICT, an amiable youth, who soon after he left college entered into the service of his country, served through the campaign of 1776 with reputation and having an appointment in the Continental Army, received the small-pox by inoculation, of which he died Feb. 18, 1777, in the 22nd year of his age.

"In this warfare there is no difference."

This Amos was the son of Captain Daniel and Sarah (HICKOK) Benedict, and graduated at Yale College in 1774. He had been appointed aide-de-camp to General Washington just before his early death.

Captain Benedict died November 9th, 1777. Sarah, his widow, died May 6th, 1784.

Mabel CARRINGTON, wife of Daniel N. Carrington, died May 13th, 1801, aged 44 years.
Tryphena (second wife) died June 16th, 1815, aged 61.
Daniel N. Carrington died June 5th, 1834, aged 75 years.

Dr. Daniel COMSTOCK is buried in this enclosure, with his wife and his mother beside him. His mother was Rebecca GRUMANN of Norwalk. Major Seth Comstock and members of his family rest here, and David FOOT and his wife Eliza sleep in the graves which were prepared by him during his life. Here is also the grave of John McLEAN, who died April 7th, 1803, aged 67 years.

Here are the graves of Horace BULL, his wife and children, and that of Lucius H. BOUGHTON and members of his family. Rev. Mr. IRWIN and his wife are buried here, and many of the family of WOOD.

There are old headstones so worn by age that all insciptions are gone. One small bit of stone has upon it "March 1775. H. K.," an unknown, but peacful inhabitant of this "God's acre."

The names of BARNUM, BLACKMAN, COOKE, CLARK, CROFUT, CURTISS, DIBBLE, FROST, GREGORY, HICKOK, KNAPP, PICKET, PHILLIPS and NICHOLS are to be found in this ancient burial-ground.

Several years ago Mrs. George W. IVES by personal effort raised a sum of money which, judiciously expended under the gratuitions supervision of Dr. W. J. RIDER and Mr. William ALLEN, put this burial-place in good order. For many long years it had been neglected, and was in a forlorn condition; now the ground is clear, the headstones in order, and when it is properly fenced and guarded, it should be the wish and pleasure of the citizens of to-day and of those who come after to keep this little enclosure cared for, in memory of the first settlers of Danbury and the heroes of the Revolutionary War, who sleep so quiety in the heart of this busy city.


The burial-ground near the head of Main Street is known as the Upper Burying-ground. It lies upon the crest of a little hill, and has been for years, as it is to-day, kept in perfect order by Mrs. Elizabeth White BALMFORTH, who takes sole charge of it at her own expense. To wander over the green turf, under a blue sky full of golden sunlight, to listen to the songs of the many birds who nest in the safety of the trees, which surround this pleasant spot, and to dream of the past, is an infinite pleasure, so full of peace, so quiet and restful in this enclosure. [note at bottom of page: One hundred and fifteen years ago the town by vote granted "Liberty to Mr. Justus Barnum to fence the upper burying place, he keeping two good gates or pair of bars during the Town's pleasure." In 1792 the town voted "that every burying place shall be furnished with a pall." Those were the days when biers and palls were in use, and the dead were carried by kindly hands to their last resting-place.]

Here is buried Captain Noble BENEDICT, who raised the first company of soldiers in the Revolutionary War, and the insciption upon his tombstone reads:

"In memory of
Captain Noble Benedict,
who died May 19, 1809 in the 74th year of his age.
"O grave, where is thy victory?"

His wife Eunice is buried beside him.

Another Revolutionary soldier buried here is Forward STEVENS, who died September 1st, 1847, aged 85 years and 4 months.
His wife Rachel died July 12th, 1820, "aged 57 years 1 m. & 8 days."

There are many remnants of old headstones, showing where the early settlers were buried, but time and storms have destroyed all lettering. On broken stone bears the following, which is all that is left decipherable of one who ws probably a Thomas BARNUM:

"Thomas Barn --
died Mch 16, ----
aged 54 (?) y. 4 mts
departed Dolly beloved -----
----- ----- 19. -----."

In this old ground are buried members of the families of WHITE, BURR, BISHOP, BARNUM, BENEDICT, BOUGHTON, HATCH, GREGORY, TWEEDY and KNAPP.

Ebenezer Russell WHITE died May 4th, 1825, aged 81 years, and is here buried. We copy a few of the old epitaphs to be found here:

"In memory of
Timothy Taylor, Esq.
who died May 3, 1802. ae 49.
During the revolutionary War
he served his country
In various grades of military command,
with zeal and fidelity.
Her Independence established he engaged
in mercantile pursuits with activity,
prudence and success.
In 1799
he was appointed Lieut. Col. of the 13th Reg. of the Army of the
United States which he continued to command till the
Army was disbanded in 1800. Returning to his former
occupation he was honored with several civil
Employments, performing the duties of a citizen
and a Magistrate with exemplary regard
to Justice and humanity.
"Child of affliction, whether dost thou go?
Why that deep sigh, and why those tears of woe?
Dost thou lament they friend's untimely doom
Whom cruel death hath hurried to the tomb?
Compose thy mind, dispel thy gloomy fears
Come, cheer thy soul, and wipe away thy tears."

"In memory of
Tryal, wife of David Weed
who died March 24, 1775
aged 19 years, 3 mo. & 5 days."

"In memory of
Joseph P. Cook Esqr.
who was born at Stratford,
Jan 4th 1730 & died at Danbury Feb 3,
A.D. 1816.

"He was educated at Yale College and graduated A.D. 1750. In the progress of his long life he filled many Publick offices with usefullness to the Publick and reputation to himself.
His private character was unblemished & exhibited an unison of those qualities which command reverence and conciliated esteem. Having been for many years a professor of religion he evidenced the sincerity of is profession by the tenor of his life, his Piety was noisless and unpretending. In death he was apparently registered to the Divine Will and Supported by that yope which is an Anchor to the Soul.

"At his years,
Death gives short notice,
Drooping nature then with
Scarce a gust of pain to shake it falls.
The duties of his day
Were all discharg'd and gratefully
Enjoy'd its noblest blessings;
Calm as evening skies
Was his pure mind and lighted up with hopes
That open heaven; when for his last long sleep
Timely prepared, a lassitude of life
Fell on his soul and down he sank to rest."

"In memory of
Elizabeth Varian, wife of Isaac Varian
of the City of New York
who departed this life
August 26th. A.D. 1777.
Aged 81 years and 6 months."

"Sam Barnum
Aged 51 y. 2 m.
A.D. 1785."

"Capt. Paul Hamilton
Died May 31st 1830
Aged 78 years, 6 months."

"In memory of
Capt. Thomas Cook
who died
Dec. 24, 1821. Aged 59 years. 4 months."

"In memory of
Mr. Sam'l Benedict Junr.
who departed this life May 19th 1792.
in the 71st year of his age.
Such the Scene our life Displays
Swiftly Fleet our Raped Days
The Hour that rolls forever on
Tells us our years must soon begone."

"I memory of
Phebe, Relict of Mr. Samuel Benedict
died in 1801 aged 79.
In Death lamented
As in life beloved."

This was the daughter of Captain John Benedict, son of James, one of the first settlers.

"In memory of
Samuel Benedict 3d
who died Aug. 19, 1803,
aged 59 years & 11 days.
He lies here in expectation of the great day
What sort of a man he was that day will discover."

Samuel, 3d, was son of "Mr. Samuel Benedict Jr," and married April 7th, 1768, Betty WESTOCTT. She married again, Gregory, whom she survived, and died at Lebanon, aged 94 years.

"Here lies the Body of
Mrs. Elizabeth Rodgers,
who departed this Life, December 7th, 1780,
in the 80th year of her age.

"She was a Woman of a graceful Person, of a good Understanding, of eminent Piety and of great Prudence. She shone with distinguished Lustre in the several Characters of a Wife, Parent, Mistress & a Friend & long adorned her Profession of Jesus Christ."

On South Street is the burial-ground of the old St. James' Church, which was probably first used when the church was erected in 1763. Many bodies have been removed to Wooster Cemetery, but here still sleep peacefully some of Danbury's oldest inhabitants. From a headstone in good preservation we copy the following: "Here lies ye body of Mr. Joseph TAYLOR who died Nov. 6, 1793, in the 92d year of his age." Born here when the town was but sixteen years settled, if only he could speak to us of those long-ago days, how much we might learn!

There are several small, rough headstones with only initials; one bears the letters M.B.; another A. P. C. This last is probably one of the CLARK family, as others of that name are buried in this vicinity.

Below are a few insciptions copied from headstones in this old buying-place:

Here lies Buried the
Body of Mr. John Starr
Junr, who departed this
Life January 27th 1776
Aged 43 years.

Here Lyes Buried
the Body of Mrs.
Annes Starr wife ot
Mr. John Starr Jun
who departed this life
October the 5 1770
Aged 37 Years.

In Memory of
Caleb Starr
who died
Sept 20. 1800
in the 62 year
of his age
"Death is a debt to nature due
Which I have paid and so must you."

In memory of
Friend Starr
who died
Sept 10, 1838
in the 72 year
of his age.

In Memory of
widow of
Friend Starr
who departed this life
Oct. 14, 1853
in the 77 year of
her age.

In Memory of
Col. Ebenezer D. Starr
who died
Oct. 20, 1816
in the 41 year
of his age.

In Memory of
Mrs Lucy Starr
wife of Capt. Eli Starr
who died Sept 16, 1814
in the 29 year
of her age.

In Memory of
Walter Starr
who died
May 26, 1813
aged 39 years
& 5 days.

In Memory of
Stephen Starr
who died Oct 1810
aged 31 years 8 months.

In Memory
Caleb Starr Junior
who died
Dec'r 17, 1807
aged 33 years 3 month
& 13 days

Memory of
Wid Huldah Starr
Relict of
Caleb Starr Dec.
who died
April 11, 1853
ae 78 years.


In Memory of Mr.
Thomas Wildman
who Died Nov ye
11th 1777 in ye 72d
year of his age.
The Lord is Holy
just & good & Righteous
in his ways
Those wo are
Ransom'd by his Blood
Find Peacfull Slumber
in the Grave.

In Memory of
Mr. Comfort Wildman who
Died with the
Small Pox April ye
2nd 1782 in the
42nd Year of his Age.
My Flesh shall
Slumber in the
Ground till ye
last Trumpets
Joyful Sound.

Memory of
Dec'n Benjamin Shove
Who died May 17, 1812
aged 76 yr 11 mo & 20 days
Apparently in the faith of the Gospel, and
with the hope of a blessed Immortality.
He died to live and lives to die no more.

In Memory of
Lem'l Benedict, who died
March 27, 1804, in the 70 year
of his age
Also Esther (his Wife)
died March 29, 1801
in the 66 year
of her age.



In memory of
Nehimiah Sherwood
died dec. 11. 1828
in the 25 year of his age.
Behold reader as you pass by,
As you are now, so once was I
As I am now so you must be
prepare for death and follow me.

In memory of
Thomas Sherwood
who died
Nov. 24, 1838.
in the 88 year
of his age.
Remember Oh man that thou must
die & turn to dust
And after all must come to
judgement just.

memory of
Nathan Bates
who died
June 25, 1855
aged 83 years
5 mo & 11 d's.
Sun's rise and set, and earth puts in her bloom
But he, submitting to the common lot,
Descended to the tomb.


memory of
Eliud Comes
who died
Jan 12, 1855.
AE 75 Y'rs 5 Mo's
& 14 D's.
Earth has his dust
Friends his memory
And the redeemer his spirit
My life is done my glass is run
My resting place is here
This stone was got to keep the spot
Least men should dig to near.


memory of
Hiram son of
Caleb C. &
Desire Gregory
who came to his
untimely death by
the upset of a cart
Oct 10. 1821,
AE 11 years. 2 mo
& 8 days.

In memory of
Ezra A.
son of Richard W. &
Elizabeth Rockwell
who died
June 18. 1836.
AE 4 years &
29 days.
While drawing to that darling dust
In fond distress we lie;
We'l rise with joy & reverence view
A heavenly parent nigh.


Amzi E
only son of
Nathan &
Mariam Knapp
who died
July 27, 1828
AE 8 years 1 mo
& 16 days.
Short from the cradle to the grave.

In Memory of
Dea. Thomas
W. Sherwood
who died
Nov. 17, 1841
AE 57 years 2 mo
& 7 days.
And must this body die
This mortal frame decay
And must these active limbs of mine
Lie mould'ring in the clay.

In memory of
Nathan Bulkley
who died
June 9. 1837
aged 80 ye. & 3 mo.
A dying preacher I have been
to dying hearers such as you
Tho' dead a preacher still I am
To those that come my grave to view.

In memory of
widow of
Nathan Bulkley
who died Dec. 2. 1856
aged 94 y'rs 6 mo
& 6 d's.
My children all my last words now hear
God and his laws always revere
And o'er my grave ne'er drop a tear.


In Memory of
Israel Crofut
who died
16 Dec 'r 1809
AE 47
Friends nor physicians cannot save
Our mortal bodies from the grave.

Sacra Memorium
Ebenezer Nichols
March 6th 1843
84 Y's 10 Mo & 2 d's.
Pause, reader, pause! within this hallowed spot
Rests one whose fame will never be forgot
His weeping friends while ore the sacred dust
Revere the mem'ry of the good, the just
His worth, his virtues, will forever bloom
While his poor spirit lives beyond the tomb.

The grave of
Jeremiah B Hawley
who passed away
Aug 13. 1858
AE 88 y'rs 10 Mo.
& 27 D's.
The Grave the end of every thought
Of every rise and fall
The place of all the world unsought
Is found at last of all.

In memory of
Miles Hoyt
who died
Dec 11, 1833
aged 55 years
4 m's & 6 d's.
Praises on tombs are trifles vainly spent
A Man's Good name is his best armament.


In Memory of
Miss Lydia Stevens
who died Jan 23, 1799
in the 41st year
of her age.
You that pass by this place
may think of me
For as you are, so once
you did me see,
What I am now will quickly
be your doom
My house is strait but by my side
thair is Room.

In Memory of
Moses Oysterbanks
who died
Dec. 13. 1838
aged 75 years.

Memory of
Henry Benedict
who died
May 6, 1839
AE 26. years 1 mo
& 13 days.
Here rest his body cold in death
Beloved by Friends when on this earth
Disease and death prepared the road
For him to trod to his God.

Memory of
Ira Barberry
who died
Feb 18, 1859
aged 71 yrs 2 mo's
& 9 Days.
My loving friends as ye pass by
Please view the place where I now lie
Under this early heap.
Weep not for me nor belch a sigh,
But do remember you must die
And in the grave must sleep.


Horace Weston
son of Nathaniel
and Milly Gray
In Sacramento City
Sept. 16, 1852,
Aged 29 y'rs 1 mo
& 17 d's.
The weary traveller has returned
Here he layes mouldering back to dust
His sparkling eyes and blooming cheek
Did wither like the rose
The coffin, earth, and winding sheet
His active limbs enclose.

Mary E.
wife of
John H. Merritt
Dec 2, 1867
AE 75 Y'rs 2 M's
& 5 D's.
Do think as you pass by
How sudden was my death
And may you all prepare to die
Before you end your breath.


The first grave in this yard.

Memory of
Hannah Ann
daughter of
Lewis S. &
Eliza Hoyt
who died
May 27, 1823
aged 2 y's & 6 mo
A lovely flower seized in the morn of life.

Memory of
Thomas E. Stevens
who died
Oct 2. 1827
AE 24 years
8 mo
With prospects flattering to my view
In joy I raised my head
My days are numbered and but few
I mingle with the dead.

In Memory of
Clowy Porter
who died
March 25m 1847
AE 77 y'rs.
No pain, no grief, no anxious fear,
Disturbs the peaceful sleeper here.

Memory of
Sarah P Stevens
Daughter of
Ezra B &
Arata Stevens
Who Died
June 26, 1842
Aged 18 Years 10 Mo
& 16 Days.
She has passed away in her youth and bloom
She has gone to the dark and lonely tomb.
She lingered not, till the summers close;
But went when the breath of the oe'ning rose
Lent its soft perfume to the balmy air
We trust to a world more bright and fair.

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