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Ellsworth Cemetary


Ellsworth Cemetery was created on December 21, 1876 when six Black Union Army Veterans filed Maryland Articles of Incorporation to provide a burial place “for the Colored residents of Westminster, Maryland”. Ruben Walker, David Ireland, William Massey, William Adams, Lewis Dorsey and Samuel Bowens, the incorporators, participated in the bloody Civil War Campaigns of 1863, 1864, and 1865, yet chose to immortalize a white man, Col. Elmer Ellsworth, a personal friend of Abraham Lincoln who was the first Union Officer to die in the Civil War. The ground on which the Ellsworth Cemetery stands was sold to the group by the Estate of Elias Yingling for the sum of one dollar on June 18th 1894.

Through the years, Ellsworth Cemetery has received the remains of Black Carroll Counting, residents of the Carroll County Alms House, Strangers who died in the County with no known family and residents of today’s Westminster Rescue Mission of all races.

In the recent past, many groups, The Boy Scouts of America, Maryland State Troopers of the Westminster Barracks, Union Memorial Baptist Church, Pritts Funeral Home and Branch 7014 of the NAACP recruited and organized by Mr. George Murphy have reclaimed and restored many of the two hundred graves. Over the years vandals have damaged or destroyed many of the sometimes simple, sometimes elaborate but always historic head stones. Thanks to a beautifully, hand drawn map in the archives of the Union Memorial Baptist Church many graves have been identified and their markers restored. The Carroll County Historical Societies have been a great help in this process.

At present, the graves at Ellsworth Cemetery are identified, marked and restored. There is a new sign over the entrance and the entire site has been fenced but the need for financial support continues. Having done this work, it now must be maintained and protected. It is also our intent, as funds allow, to restore and maintain other Historic Black Cemeteries in the County. We shall also work collaboratively with active cemeteries and Churches doing this work. To quote a report made to the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development about this project, “A community that respects its history and those who lived it, has the right to call itself civilized”.


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CURRENT SUPPORT

212
FUNDS

... and counting!

81
SCHOLARSHIPS

... and counting!

 

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