Scotch Plains, Union Co., NJ,
Baptist Church Cemetery
God's Acre: A Study Of Selected Gravestones

Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School Chapter of
the Distributive Education Clubs of America
Typescript, no copyright statement

[Transcribed by Dave Swerdfeger]


In the northern corner of Scotch Plains lies a plot of land, a cemetery for over 200 years, known as God's Acre. At one time, this land belonged to William Darby, who cleared it for his neighbor's use and the glory of his God. Before God's Acre had been set off, the graves of those who died in our area in the late 1600's and early 1700's were buried on their own farms. However, when William Darby, once again, allowed "graves to be made in the west corner of his (my) farm", this was the beginning of the oak tree-lined graveyard which we know so well today. The Scotch Plains Baptist church, which also lies on this plot of land, was organized in August 1747. This entire region at that time was known as the Province of East New Jersey and was under the dominion of the King of Great Britain.

  • 1. Moses Tucker 1774.

  • 2. John Darby 1829.

  • 3. Isaac Leo 1799.

  • 4. Henry Tucker 1774.

  • 5. Hannah Brooks 1799.

  • 6. Mary Cory 1827.

  • 7. Mary Stites 1772.

  • 8. Elizabeth Frazee 1819.

  • 9. Hannah Dolbeer 1788.

  • 10. Benjamin Lambert 1761.

  • 11. Deacon Samuel Brooks 1788.

  • 12. Patience Darby 1764.

  • 13. Sarah Frazee 1835.

  • 14. Nathaniel & Sarah Bunnel 1776.

  • 15. Recompence Stanbery 1777.

  • 16. Martha Osborn 1799.

  • 17. Anthony Littell 1783.

  • 18. Elijah Stites 1765.

  • 19. Martha Butler 1790.

  • 20. Benjamin Miller 1825.

  • 21. Abraham Hampton 1786.

  • 22. Deacon William Darby 1775.

  • 23. James Clark 1794.

  • 24. Sarah Bunnel 1791.

  • 25. Rebekah Squier 1776.

  • MOSES TUCKER, HERE lies The Body of Moses Tucken who Departed this life, Dec. ye 24 Anno D 1774, Aged 12 yeas & 2 m. Farewet we... Till we shall Meet Within the Walls.

  • John Danby, ERECTED to the memory of JOHN DARBY, who died Nov. 7th 1829, aged 67 yeas 5 mos. and 3 days. John Darby was the son of Deacon William Darby. He was elected tax assessor during the first general election in Scotch Plains. He was one of several prominent citizens who owned slaves as late as 1818. He was married twice; he had seven children by his first wife, one of whom, Rachel, lived to be ninety-two. His second wife was the widow of Recompence Stanbery. Together they had two children.

  • Issac Leo, Isaac Son of Richard & Abigail Leo, died Match 26th 1799, aged 1 month & 11 days. Issac Leo died at the age of one month and eleven days. He had one brother whose name was William; he also died at the young age of four.

  • HENRY TUCKER, HERE Lies The Body of Henry Tucker Who depated This Life July Ye 9 1774. The age at which Henry Tucker died remains a mystery. It is known that he moved to Maine, Ohio, but returned for some unknown reason.

  • Hannah Brooks, HB, In memory of Hannah the 2d wife of Deacon Samuel Brooks, who died Oct. 10, 1799, aged 75 years and 29 days. Cut by J.H. 0sborn. Hannah was the wife of Samuel Brooks, they had one daughter whose name was Elizabeth Day Brooks who married Noah Miller and lived to be eighty-eight.

  • Mary Cory, In memory of MARY, dau. of Noah & Nancy Cory who died Apr. 8th 1821, in the 20th yeak of her age. The father of Mary Cory, Noah Cory, (died 1844), was a charter member of the Scotch Plains Reading Society. This Society was the forerunner of today's modern library.

  • Mary Stites, In memory of Mary, wife of Elijah Stites, who died Jan. ye 5th 1772, In ye 43d yeah of her Age.

  • Elizabeth Frazee, Sacred to the memory of Elizabeth wife of Jotham Frazee, who died Feb. 6th 1819 in the 50th year of hen age. Here I resign my frame Submissively to God, hi hopes to meet a heavenly train In my Redeemers blood. Elizabeth Lee Frazee was baptized into the Church on December 13, 1739. She was the wife of Jotham Frazee who refused the British General his bread during the Revolutionary War thus becoming the Scotch Plains version of Barbara Fritchie. She had three sons and two daughters all died at very young ages except for Dr. Jotham A. Frazee who only lived to be twenty-four.

  • Hannah Dolbeer. Hannah Dau. of Jeffe & Mary Dotbeer died Apr. ye 12th 1788 aged 10 Weeks. Lack of Information is due to the fact that possibly Dolbeer is spelled in a variety of ways: Dolbier; Dolbeer; Dolbear; Dolber. She probably belonged to the family of Jesse Dolbeer who was a home-steader of Cooper Lane, (now the Eastern end of Cooper Road).

  • Benjamin Lambent; HERE lies ye Body of Benjm. Lambert, who died Apr. the 23d AD 1761, In ye 24 year of his Age. Benjamin's tombstone is probably one of the most symbolic in the cemetery. It is, in fact, a masterpiece of symbolism. According to Marion Nocholl Rawson, author of "Under the Blue Hills", that of Benjamin Lambert who died 1761 at the age of twenty-three is "probably the masterpiece of ingenious symbolism". Cut down in his youth, it was appropriate that Ben's stone should show the green bay tree being chopped off with a hatchet from its sapling days, and that the chopper's hand should issue from a mass of fluffy clouds.

  • Deacon Samuel Brooks, HERE lies Interr'd the Body of Deacon Samuel Brooks, he departed this life Mar. the 24th 1788 in the 71st year of his Age. The defrend auful conflicts o'er The pious Brooks is here no more. His soul ascended far above With Seraphs, sings redeeming Love. His body waits encomb'd in dust, The resurrection of the just. cut by H. Osborn. Samuel Brooks was elected vestryman on March 29th, 1775. The Deacons, such as Samuel, were set at by the Church as investigators in order to determine the truth of accusations made against the faithful.

  • Patience Darby. HERE lies ye Body of Patience, Wife of William Darby Jr., who died May ye 29th AD. 1764. In ye 33d year of her Age. Patience Darby was married to the son of Deacon William Darby William Darby, and had one child who was named Mary. Her maiden name was Frazee.

  • SARAH Frazee, In memory of Sarah, relict of Henry Frazee, who died June 28th 1835, in the 81st year o6 her age.

  • Nathaniel and Sarah Bunnel, Nathaniel & Sarah, Son & dau. of Abraham and Jane Bunnel died Nov. ye 3d 1776 N. Ag'd 10 years & 4 year. Nathaniel and Sarah Bunnel< (surname was spelled Bunnell) were buried together and they share a double gravestone. It is believed that the two died in a fire. Their stone is unique because it is the only double stone in the old part of the graveyard.

  • Recompence Stanbery, HERE Lies ye Body o6 RECOMPENCE STANBERY, who died May the 20th AD 1777 in ye 67th Yeat of his Age. Here lies our Friend In mouldring Dust Whom Christ will Raise to Life we trust. But Mourning Say his loss now great, To Family to Chutch and State. Recompence Stanbery was a noted patriot and served on important committees during the Revolutionary War. In addition, he was an organizing member of the church. He had two wives and was granted three sons by his first wife, two of them, Joseph and Issac, were Tories, (loyalists to England). With his second wife, he had nine children. One of these children, Jonas moved to Ohio, where his son Henry became the first Attorney General of Ohio, and later became the Attorney General of the U.S. during the administration of Andrew Johnson. Recompence Jr, by the way, was married four times.

  • Maratha 0sborn, In menory of Martha, dau. of Jonathan & Abigail Osborn who deceased Jan. 7th 1799 in the 43d year of her age. Miss Martha Clark, one of Scotch Plains' oldest residents, is a direct descendant of Martha Osborn. She was the daughter of Jonathan Hand Osborn and was baptized on the twenty-seventh day of September 1797. Her father was a stonecutter for many of the gravestones in this cemetery.

  • Anthony Littell. HERE lies the Body of Anthony Littett who died ye Apr. 8th 1783. In ye 63d year of his Age. Anthony Littel is one of five brothers who served in the Revolutionary War. His home, now known as the Sleepy Hollow Inn, still stands today.

  • ELIJAH STITES. Here lies Interr'd Body of Elijah Stites he Departed this life Nov. 14 Anoq. Dom. 1765, aged 44 years 44 years 4mo. & 12 Days. Elijah Stite's house still stands today on Mountain Avenue, what was then called Springfield Road. Elijah's wife, Mary Stites is also buried in this graveyard.

  • Matha Butler. Sacred to the Memory of Martha Butler who departed this Life Nov. the 28th 1790, aged 75 years.

  • Benjamin Miller B M. In memory of BENJAMIN MILLER, who died Jan. 25th 1825, in the 86th yeah of his age. Henry Osborn. Benjamin Miller was the first reverend of the church and served churches as far away as Red Bank. He and his wife Martha lost two daughters each named Sarah and each died under the age of three. He was the son of the church's first preacher. His third daughter Phoebe died in her eighth year of life.

  • Abraham Hampton. In Memory of Abraham Hampton who died May the 19th 1786 aged 73 Years. Abraham Hampton was accused of over-indulgence in drinking and negligence towards the church by other church members, Deacons' were sent out in attempt to persuade Abraham to renew his church loyalty. The success of this mission is unknown.

  • Deacon William Darby, HERE lies ye Body of Deacon William Darby, deceased Feb. ye 6th 1775. In Ye 82d yeah of his Age. Deacon Darby was elected as the first ruling elder of the Church in 1747 and remained in this position until his death. His heirs were very active in town affairs'and offered continuous service to the community.

  • JAMES CLARK, J C. In memory of James Clark, who died Sept. 23d 1794, aged 49 years. When James Clark died he left behind his wife Esther (Easter) who died Jan. 15, 1818, in the 72nd year of her life. Together they had two daughters, Rachel and Sarah, the former who died at the age of three weeks and three days.

  • Sarah Bunnel. In Memory of Sarah, Widow of James Bunnel, who died March ye 14th 1791 in the 76d year of her Age. Sarah Bunnel was nicknamed "Widow Sarah". She died in the 76th year of her life. Sarah was set apart from the church for committing a misdemeanor; she was received again on the 30th day of May 1764. In 1765 she was set apart once again with her husband James. Later was received again. Her husband, however, was excommunicated from the Church. Sarah, notorious for drinking and fighting, was forgiven by the church many times. In her later years, the church took care of the "widow Sarah".

  • Rebekah Squier. HERE lies ye Body o6 Rebekah, wife of David Squier who died Aug. ye 28th AD 1776 In ye 51 year of he Age.

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