York Town Square

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York’s Prospect Hill Cemetery Community Mausoleum: ‘Once it’s rebuilt … we’re good for another 100 years’

The community mausoleum sits largely forgotten at York, Pa.’s, Prospect Hill Cemetery. Also of interest: Statesman buried in Prospect Hill Cemetery: ‘He said his farewells to his family … ‘ and Navy SEAL Neil C. Roberts: ‘In this simple grave … lies a national hero’ and What’s the story of that fenced-in graveyard atop a hill near I-83?.

In the reaches of Prospect Hill Cemetery rests an almost forgotten community mausoleum whose 420 crypts bear the remains of the Pfaltzgraff and Shipley families as well as those of lesser local luminaries.
York Daily Record/Sunday News reporter Jeff Frantz (10/4/09) wrote about the current renovation of the large building, which measures 45 paces in width with a 20-foot high ceiling.
The building will observe its 100th birthday in 1914, and Civil War veterans Lewis E. Smyser was the first burial in the mausoleum… .

This is one of three stained glass windows that face restoration in the community mausoleum. Note the Sphinxes on either side of the door.
Now, with the renovation cemetery general manager Jack Sommer predicts a long future.
“Once it’s rebuilt,” he told Frantz, “the people who have looked at it said we’re good for another 100 years.”
Here are some of the prominent York countians buried in the community mausoleum:

— Lewis Smyser, Oct. 29, 1845-July 3, 1915: A Civil War veteran who served in the 3rd Pennsylvania Cavalry, Smyser died at 11 p.m. of a “compliment of diseases” after a 10-week illness.
He owned the family lumber yard at Philadelphia and Newberry Streets and lived at 29 E. Philadelphia St. During his life, he also worked for the IRS and briefly owned a coal yard.
Father to eight children, his military funeral was the first burial in the community mausoleum.
— Prof. Arteus Wanner, Sept. 26, 1852-June 2, 1938: The superintendent of York Public Schools from 1890 to 1922, he introduced vocational and musical education to the curriculum.
A graduate of Franklin & Marshall College, he discovered dinosaur footprints and other fossils in a sandstone quarry near Goldsboro. Because of his contributions to science, a newly discovered genus of brachiopod was named after him, Yorkia wanneri.
He lived in Mt. Gretna at the time of his death.
— George B. Rudy, June 24, 1892-June 24, 1980: The last president of York Telegraph & Telephone.
He’s buried in crypt 159, near his father, also George B. Rudy — who founded Telegraph & Telephone with Charles Eisenhart — and his mother, Mary E. Rudy.