Share this article

print logo

HISTORY LIVES AT DEDICATION OF CEMETERY CHEEKTOWAGA FOUNDERS HONORED AT CEREMONY

From Walden Avenue, the dedication of Bennet Cemetery Sunday almost looked like a gathering of the original town fathers.

Four Cheektowaga Town Board members and others wore 19th-century clothes for the dedication, which honored Elnathan Bennet, the first town clerk. The cemetery sits atop a hill at the intersection of Walden Avenue and Harlem Road.

Bennet and his three wives, Roxana Hitchcock, Jerusha Munro and Psyche Bullet, are buried in the cemetery. Roxana Hitchcock was the sister of Alexander Hitchcock, the first town supervisor.

Among the more than 100 people attending the ceremony were 11 descendants of Bennet, including his great-great-grandson, Jeffrey Bennet, and Jeffrey's son, Elnathan Bennet, 8. They were given photographs of the cemetery, which was restored by volunteers and town employees.

The cemetery was deeded to the town Sunday by Joseph Basil Jr., whose business, Basil Oldsmobile Inc., occupies the site of the Bennet home and tavern, site of the first town meeting 150 years ago.

Once completely overgrown, the cemetery, which has at least 65 graves, has been weeded and restored.

"The cemetery is gorgeous," said Town Councilman Thomas M. Johnson Jr.

He said each gravestone was left as it was found. The town hopes to preserve the stones and conduct research into those buried at the cemetery.

A historical marker and an information sign were unveiled Sunday. The Rev. Earl B. Robinson, pastor of First Baptist Church of Lancaster and a Cheektowaga resident, offered a benediction.

There are no comments - be the first to comment