Elma Cemetery

Cemetery Road
Town of Elma,
Erie County, New York 140

Location :
About 9/10 mile south of Clinton Street east of Bowen Road, on to Cemetery Road.
Located on the north bank of Big Buffalo Creek .

Year Established : 1853

Burials : Over 625

Condition of cemetery : The cemetery is well maintained, and has a bench to rest.

Source of Information : Tombstone Readings

Caretakers :
Elma Cemetery Association ~ Established 11 July, 1887
Address :
Elma, New York 140900
(716) 652 - 0000

Contact Person : Don Beidler ( 716 ) 683 - 2497

Location of cemetery records :

Known by other names :
Elma Village Cemetery
Methodist Cemetery

History :


Oliver H. Clark died February 14th, 1853 and at a meeting of the neighbor held
at the store on that evening, the conversation was as to the best place for a cemetery.
The first place suggested was on William Standart's land on top of the hill eat of Pond Brook
and on the north side of the Bullis Road. The objections, that below the surface was stratum of quicksand
and the land on the east being wet and swampy would fill the graves with water,
were considered good and sufficient.
The next place presented was on top of the hill east of Pond Brook on the south side of the Chair Factory Road.
The same objections, of quicksand and wet land, served to reject the place.
Then the table-land on the north bank of Big Buffalo Creek on land owned by J.B. Briggs,
was named and after much talk, Mr. Briggs agreed to sell one and one-half acres for a cemetery.
Mr. Oliver H. Clark was the first to be buried there on February 16 th, 1853.
The sermon was preached by Rev. Wm. Waith, a Presbyterian minister,
living in Lancaster but then preaching every other Sunday afternoon in the Elma schoolhouse.
James R. Jackman moved here April 1st of this year. At the meeting held at the store
on the evening of April 4th, Mr. James R. Jackman, who was present at the previous meeting,
entered into an agreement with Mr. Briggs that he, Jackman, would clear the said
cemetery ground of stumps and rubbish, grade the ground and survey the same into ranges and lots,
set out trees on the lots and the west and north lines of the cemetery, and build a good fence;
that he would keep account of the expense, and from the sales of the lots,
at forty cents per foot of length of the lot, retain enough to pay he expenses;
that Mr. Briggs should execute deeds to the purchasers of lots an after Jackman had received his pay,
Briggs was to receive the pay until he had seventy-five dollars,
when he was to deed the balance of the cemetery to the cemetery trustees,
after which they would keep up the fences. Each purchaser of a lot was to pay the forty cents per foot front for the lot, and then take care of his own lot.
Jackman immediately set to work and had the ground cleared of stumps, graded,
surveyed and set to trees, and retained charge until the fall of 1862 he having moved to Marilla
in October 1859,when the grounds were left in charge of Mr. James Clark.
Mrs. Cyrus Hurd died June 30th, 1853. This was the second burial in the Elma cemetery.
Mr. James R. Jackman who came April 1st, bough of J.B. Briggs the building lot
on the west side of the Bowen Road and between what is now the Cemetery Road and the Mill Race,
and on which the " American " was then standing. He also bought of Hurd & Briggs, t
he right and privilege to erect and to continue a building over the mill race on the west side of the Bowen Road.

Source of Information :
Personal visits to Elma Cemetery .
Town of Elma History ~ Jackman 1902

 Complied : 3 August 1998
by : Leo J. Kopp and Katherine M. Kopp