History of Percy Cemetery
places of the dead from the vile hands of the sacrilegious. A few survivors of fathers and mothers lying there know the names of parties who have lately stolen flowers from venerated graves, and, unless stopped, they promise to unbosom in court. The Mayor [Joseph Jandorf] very properly called attention to the matter at the last meeting of the Council. One point is worthwhile to note here, a question that has only recently been satisfactorily answered: Who "owned" the Cemetery? Whose responsibility was it to insure its upkeep? The quote above suggests that no one claimed ownership although someone must have "owned" it at one time because Cemetery plots had been sold and bought. However, in our search through the old newspapers and other sources, no clear-cut answer to the historical question of ownership was forthcoming. An item in the City Council Minutes of May 14, 1888, however, sheds some light on this issue:
Mayor [Joseph] Jandorf said he had been requested to visit the old graveyard, he had done so, and found [the] fence in pretty good condition but [the] lock was gone off the gate. The Percy addition was in a bad state[,] fence nearly all down[;] he thought if Mr. Sloan the administrator knew the condition of things he would have it repaired.
There are two useful pieces of information derived from this statement. First, the reference to the "Percy addition" suggests that a portion of the "old graveyard" was considered to be a subdivision distinct from the rest of the Cemetery. Second, a Mr. Sloan who had some responsibility for its maintenance administered the Percy addition. The Percy and Sloan families were connected by intermarriage but we have not been able to determine which Sloan was charged with the administration of the Percy addition. It seems clear, though, that the Percy addition was under private control while the responsibility for the care of the rest of the Cemetery is still uncertain.
The City, as previously noted, set a precedent by assuming responsibility for the repair of the fencing around the Cemetery. Additionally, the City implicitly assumed some degree of responsibility through the passage of the following City Ordinances [Code and General Ordinances of the Mayor and Councilmen of Frostburg with the Town Charter; quoted from the 1908 edition] in 1890 or earlier:
30. It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to make any interment or bury any dead body in the burying ground known as the 'Old Graveyard', located on the northern side of Main street, in the north-western section of the town of Frostburg; any person or persons so offending shall, upon conviction, be fined not less than twenty dollars nor more than fifty dollars for each offence [sic].
31. Any person who shall dig a grave in the 'Old Graveyard', and any undertaker or undertakers who shall convey a dead body to said graveyard, or assist in depositing a dead body therein, shall be fined not less than twenty dollars nor more than fifty dollars for each offence [sic]; the provisions of this Ordinance apply to enclosed and unenclosed lots in said graveyard, unless the owners of private enclosed lots shall have obtained permission in writing from the Mayor and Bailiff to make interments in said lots previous to each and every interment. And the said Mayor and Bailiff, before granting any permit hereunder, shall examine said lots, or lots, to see that they are not already filled.
32. It shall be unlawful for any person or person to deface or mutilate any tombstone or other property in the 'Old Graveyard', or to break down or open any fencing or enclosures of said graveyard, or to turn any stock of any kind into the same; nor shall it be lawful for the
Anthony E. Crosby and Michael R. Olson
28 x 22 cms
Cemeteries, Maryland, Frostburg; Obituaries, Maryland, Frostburg. .
Frostburg (Md.), 1800-1972