Updated: 1 March 2004

City of Tonawanda Cemeteries
including the Town of Tonawanda, Kenmore,and
North Tonawanda in Niagara County

Erie County, New York

(MF) Microfilm (B) Book

City of Tonawanda

Burial Plot
Few people are aware that there was at one time a burial plot on the old Hamilton Cherry farm, River Road.
What is now the property of the Buffalo Slag Company was a part of the original farm.
Between the railroad track which runs to the Wickwire plant and a large pile of slag on the east side of the road,
a burial plot containing several graves was a well known landmark as late as the year 1880.
In May of each year, two soldier's graves were decorated with a potted geranium plant and a tiny flag;
the Scott Post No. 129 G.A. R. performed this service. Carlisle R. Cherry says.
" I was told when a boy forty five years ago, that two Negroes were buries there, also two white people".
How the burial plot came to be located, just how many graves there were,
and whether or not the bodies are under a pile of slag or were removed is not definitely known.
" History of the Town of Tonawanda 1805-1930", published by Local Historian, Frederick S. Parkhurst, Ph. D.
On what was known as the " Bacon" farm in 1830 and on the east side of River Road south of Two Mile Creek,
situated on high knoll, there is an abandoned graveyard. There is nothing whatever that would indicate to a stranger that bodies still lie buried there.
The plot is overgrown with weeds and bushes. Close inspection reveals vines and plants commonly found in cemeteries and depressions
made where bodies have been exhumed.
William Russell living at the mouth of Two Mile Creek says, (1931) that his brother was buried there and his body was never removed.
Probably there are other graves there unmarked. It is within the memory of men and women now sixty years of age that, when they were children,
people were buried there and had been for some time previously. Evidently the place is nearly if not quite one hundred years old.
A steam shovel operating on a road to the south of the burial place dug into the knoll containing the cemetery there being no fence to outline its extent.
It may be that human remains exposed made them encroach no further. As an example of abandonment and desecration it would be hard to surpass.
The cemetery should be enclosed, cleared of weeds and brush and properly marked.
" History of the Town of Tonawanda 1805-1930", published by Local Historian, Frederick S. Parkhurst, Ph. D.
City Cemetery - Military, Kohler and Virginia Roads (Location Map)
French Settlement Cemetery see St. Christopher's Cemetery
"The French Cemetery occupied the present site of the Out-door Mass Grounds of St. Christopher's Church
on the west side of the present Niagara Falls Boulevard, just north of Ellicott Creek.
It was abandoned until Monsignor William P. Solleder of that pastorate erected a shrine in 1947 to commemorate the early french settlers".

Source: The Chapel, A Comprehensive History of the Chapel and Pilgrimage of Our Lady Help of Christians, Cheektowaga, New York
and of the Alsatian Immigrant Community at Williamsville, New York.. authors - Glenn R. Atwell and Ronald Elmer Batt, 1979
St. Christopher's Roman Catholic Cemetery see French Settlement Cemetery
2660 Niagara Falls Boulevard, Tonawanda, 14150
** St.Francis of Assisi Cemetery
Main and Kohlers Sts., Tonawanda 14150 (Across from Tonawanda City Cemetery)
** St. Peter German Evangelical Cemetery also, St. Peter German Evangelical Cemetery
Knoche Road between Elmwood & Delaware Ave.
** Salem United Church of Christ Cemetery (MF)
Main Street between Park and Fuller Sts. Tonawanda 14150 (adjoining Tonawanda Cemetery).
Years ago, Salem was a United Methodist congregation, not Free Methodist, then changed to United Church of Christ.
** Tonawanda City Cemetery
Main Street between Park and Fuller Sts., Tonawanda 14150
Vigneron Farm Cemetery - see French Settlement Cemetery

Town of Tonawanda and Kenmore

Burial Plot
On the old Vandervoort farm and on the east side of the River Road, just south of the city line of Tonawanda,
there was at one time (probably a hundred years ago) a private burial plot set apart by one of the pioneers.
Near it in 1840 stood an old house said to be 'haunted". Tradition says that a man was buried underneath the floor of the house,
every trace of the house and plot are now removed; but as late as 1870 the place was clearly outlined.
Probably all the bodies were removed; but this is not certain.
" History of the Town of Tonawanda 1805-1930", published by Local Historian, Frederick S. Parkhurst, Ph. D.
** Elmlawn Cemetery
3939 Delaware Ave. & Brighton Rd., Kenmore 14217 (716) 876-8586 716-876-8131
Area-Non Sectarian Jewish Sections:
B'nai B'rith - Annex of Montefiore - Members of B'nai B'rith
Montefiore Section - Jewish Sec. operated by Elm Lawn Cemetery
Ohel Jacob Section - Former Ferry Street Cong.
Shaarey Zedek East - Former Temple Ner Israel & Cong. Anshe Zedek
Shaarey Zedek West - Former Temple Emanual
( Buffalo Burial Park Association, Inc., 1901 )
This parcel of land - 166 2/3 acres - was the original " Shell Farm".
It is located on the east side of old Delaware Road at the junction of Delaware Avenue.
The south line of the farm was Shell Road - now Belmont Avenue. On this property, situated just east of the present barns and sheds,
within the present cemetery was the old " Shell burying ground". When the farm passed into the hands of Judge George A. Lewis
the plot remained undisturbed. With graves still on the property, the Buffalo Burial Park Association., could not get a clear title.
The bodies were removed to the Faling Cemetery on Delaware Road temporarily and when Elmlawn was ready to receive bodies
they were moved back again.
The markers bear the record - " John Shell - 1897 - 1863: Catherine - 1834 - 1885: Warner- 1845 - 1865: Sophia Van Allen - 1830 - 1865:
John P. Shell - 1834-1909: Alice M, - 1844 - 1877: Benson - 1870 - 1876: Lewis - 1874 - 1928.
The first internment in Elmlawn was made on May 23rd , 1902, and now ( 1932) there are 12,500 buried there.
James Coleman has been the superintendent since January 15th, 1919. The old frame building,
once the summer home of Judge Lewis an afterward the office and home of Mr. Coleman, was removed to the west side of Delaware Avenue,
near the corner of Knoche Road, (1932) where, after being inhabited for more than a hundred years as an ancient landmark,
it is still doing duty. A beautiful new office residence of Indiana limestone was erected in 1931-1932 at the cost of $18,000.
It was completed and occupied March 1st,1932. A fine mortuary chapel occupies a commanding site in he grounds
and $ 40,000 has been expended in draining and beautifying the cemetery and ample space for interments is provided for many years to come.
" History of the Town of Tonawanda 1805-1930", published by Local Historian, Frederick S. Parkhurst, Ph. D.
** Elmlawn Cemetery & Crematory Inc.
3939 Delaware Avenue and Brighton Rd
Kenmore, NY 14217
Office: (716) 876-8131
FAX: (716) 876-5692
Staff will search cemetery records for genealogical purposes at the cost of $5.00 per name.
Research requests must be submitted IN WRITING along with a check in the correct amount for the number of names to be searched.
When requesting searches, a FULL NAME must be given along with birth and death years, if known.
They will only do individual name searches. (Ex: Byron Kring) They will NOT do general surname searches (Ex: all Kring burials) or provide lists thereof.
Source: Erie County Mailing List Elmlawn Cemetery - Brighton Road between Delaware Road & Colvin Boulevard, Town of Tonawanda.  Temple Shaarey Zedek (formerly Temple Emanuel) cemetery takes the western 4/5 of the grounds on north side of road.  Eastern 1/5 is Congregation Ohel Jacob cemetery.
** Failing/Zimmerman Cemetery 1812/16 - Old Delaware at Willowbreeze Road, Town of Tonawanda
French Settlement Cemetery - 2660 Niagara Falls Boulevard, Tonawanda, 14150, Names on tombstones in cemetery on Vigneron Farm -
French Settlement along Niagara Falls Blvd in Town of Tonawanda, NY
Frick Cemetery see Werkley cemetery
** German Evangelical Cemetery See St. Peter German Evangelical Cemetery
Knoche Rd. between Elmwood & Delaware Aves., Kenmore (the old church is the home of the local historical society) One of the oldest cemeteries,
one bears the marks of quiet surroundings, a place where " Grey's Elegy in a Country Churchyard" might have been written,
is located on the south side of Knoche Road between Delaware Avenue and Elmwood Avenue.
The old brick church built in 1849 is surrounded with graves and the entire property enclosed with an iron fence.
Burials are still made here and probably will be for many years to come, as the grandchildren of the first settlers in the town reside on adjoining land.
An earlier building stood on the site of the present structure in 1830 and burials were made about it at that time.
The property contains about an acre of ground and is under the care of the trustees of the church.
One of the oldest graves is that of Martin Zimmerman who was born April 20th, 1785 and died in 1847.
Two soldiers lie buried here: " August Schimarmann, Co. K 6th Cavalry". and " Wm. Kopf, 44 N.Y. " each decorated with a flag.
A boulder bronze marker stands at each the entrance of the church which is fully described in " History of the Town of Tonawanda 1805-1930",
published by Local Historian, Frederick S. Parkhurst, Ph. D. It is sincerely to be hoped that the name " Knoche Road" will never be changed,
for it honors the name of Philip B. and his wife Katherine, early settlers who lie buried here and were born in 1814.
" History of the Town of Tonawanda 1805-1930", published by Local Historian, Frederick S. Parkhurst, Ph. D.
** North Bush Chapel Roman Catholic Cemetery aka St. John's Cemetery
Englewood, Belmont /Highland Aves. It is located on the property of St.John-the-Baptist RC Church.
Behind the present church facing Englewood is a small gray stone chapel, the cemetery is next to it.
This is the original North Bush Chapel found by Brother John Neuman who is now St. John Neuman.
No records exits to show whether this burial ground was established before St. Christopher's:
but the probabilities are that the latter takes precedence. Probably burials were made there in that early day,
but the headstones--some in the German script--have succumbed to the gnawing tooth of time.
The graves are located on the east and north side of the present church erected about 1850.
When Highland Avenue was improved, skeletons were exhumed and buried in a common grave by the side of the church.
One of the old gravestones in good condition is that of Frank Mang who was born in 1826.
Highland Aves
No burials are make here at this date.
" History of the Town of Tonawanda 1805-1930", published by Local Historian, Frederick S. Parkhurst, Ph. D.
** Mount Olivet Cemetery
4000 Elmwood Ave., Kenmore 14217 (716) 873-6500
Mount Olivet Cemetery is situated on the west side of Delaware Avenue,
just north of the junction of Delaware Road and Delaware Avenue and opposite Elmlawn.
It was established in 1912 and originally contained twenty-eight acres.
An additional tract extending west to Elmwood Avenue and Military Road was purchased later which more than doubled the acreage.
The grounds contain a beautiful elm grove, part of the original woods of the Knoche farm. A beautiful chapel was erected in 1931
at a cost of $32,000. Over 5000 burials have been made since 1912.While there are many Roman Catholic Cemeteries in Buffalo and vicinity,
Mount Olivet being accessible by way of Delaware Avenue and located in a section of the town which will be thickly settled in years
to come will attract lot owners by its well drained grounds and rural beauty.
" History of the Town of Tonawanda 1805-1930", published by Local Historian, Frederick S. Parkhurst, Ph. D.
** Mount Olivet Roman Catholic Cemetery (before 1923)
Delaware Ave. & Brighton Rd. (74 acres, associated with Ascension Parish 168 Robinson Ave., North Tonawanda 14150 (716 693-1211)
(Part of Mount Olivet, 4000 Elmwood Ave.)
St. John's Cemetery
** Werkley Cemetery (B) 1839 - ?
Guideboard Road (now Eggert Road, 1 block north of Sheridan Drive on Eggert Road north of Sheridan Drive, located northwest corner of Temple Beth El School (as of 2004) Survey dated 1946 Copied by Gertrude H. Jones, Ernest M. Jones and Gerard Judd 1st burials 1839, organized 1850, restored 1934
In Niagara County, at one time Tonawanda and North Tonawanda were one city
** Acacia Park Cemetery Association see Acacia Park & Resthaven Cemetery
Acacia Park and Resthaven Memorial Gardens.
** Acacia Park & Resthaven Cemetery (1928) 4215 North Tonawanda Creek Rd., North Tonawanda, NY 14120 (716) 692-0511
Masonic area is known as Resthaven
Salem Cemetery
Salem cemetery on Military Road is now within the city limits of Tonawanda and therefore outside the boundaries of our historical jurisdiction.
It is said that it contains the remains of many early settlers, especially those of German extraction. Still active in 1934
" History of the Town of Tonawanda 1805-1930", published by Local Historian, Frederick S. Parkhurst, Ph.
** Sweeney Cemetery - Payne Ave. across from City Hall (Named for John & James Sweeney)
White Chapel Cemetery - 3210 Niagara Falls Blvd Office (716) 692-5353
Zimmerman Cemetery See Failing Cemetery
The following North Tonawanda churches have their own cemeteries.
Check Maureen Higgins Seifert, Niagara County site for more information on
North Tonawanda Cemeteries.
** St. John's Lutheran Evangelical Church Cemetery - 1939 Ward Rd. and Niagara Falls Blvd., North Tonawanda 14120 (716) 693-9677
** St. Mark's Lutheran Church - 1135 Oliver St., North Tonawanda 14120 (716) 693-3715
** St. Matthew Lutheran Church - 875 Eggert Dr.. North Tonawanda 14120 (716) 692-6862
Do you have information on the following cemeteries?
Mount Olivet Roman Catholic Cemetery (before 1923) Delaware Ave & Brighton Rd
(74 acres, associated with Ascension Parish, 168 Robinson Ave., North Tonawanda 14150 (716 693-1211)
St. Paul's Cemetery


Town of Tonawanda

Map of Niagara County


First German Baptist Church Membership

Town of Tonawanda - Kenmore History

City of Tonawanda Official site
Town of Tonawanda Official site
Village of Kenmore Official site


Town Clerk
Kenmore Village Historian
C. George Carncross
2919 Delaware Ave.
Kenmore, NY 14217
Email: info@community-history.org

Dates of First Vital Statistics Records - Niagara County

City of Tonawanda Clerk
Tonawanda City Hall
200 Niagara Street
Tonawanda, NY 14150
(716) 695-8318
Town of Tonawanda Clerk
2919 Delaware Ave.
Municipal Building
Kenmore, NY 14217
(716) 877-8800
Village of Kenmore Clerk
Municipal Building
2919 Delaware Ave.
Kenmore, NY 14217
(716) 873-5700

Historical Museum & Society

Town Newspaper

Historical Societies of the Towns and Villages in Niagara County



Town Links

Thank you's
Community History
Maintained by the Tonawanda Historical Society
Len Kagelmacher is creating a exciting new site,
including a online searchable database
The Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum - From Carousels.com
Town Supervisors 1839 - 1973
Many, Many thanks to Diane Maurer< Dmaurer102-AT-aol.com> for taking the time and trouble to give us the correct list of the following Tonawanda Cemeteries This ** list has been verified by the Historical Society of Tonawanda
Also, Thanks to
Mary Brenzel and Steve Morgan for their corrections.
 Source: Frederick S. Parkhurst, Ph. D., " History of the Town of Tonawanda 1805-1930"

My ancestors must be in a witness protection program.

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