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The Old Albrightsville Cemetery 

Near 

Albrightsville 

In Penn Forest Twp., 

Carbon Co., Pa.

          The Cemetery is located near the border of Penn Forest and Kidder Twps., about 1/8th mile west of Rt. 903, at the intersection of N. Old Stage Road and Henning Road. Originally this small cemetery was on land owned by the Henning Family, but in recent years the plot was deeded over to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Kidder Twp., who now maintains it. This is a very old cemetery, the earliest burials with surviving stones date to the late 1850s. The most recent burial took place in 1976.Though small and old, the cemetery is very well tended, a peaceful and appropriate resting place for those interred here. Many of these families still live in the area.

          Though most of the stones are the typical type of gravestone found in old cemeteries, there is one stone that stands out as very unusual. That is the stone of Aquila Henning. All gravestones tell a story, but this one goes way beyond that. See the Wilkinson Murder Trial, below.


 

NAME

BORN

DIED

AGE

ROW

INSCRIPTION

NOTES

BERGER, LAFAYETTE

1904/06/05

5

CHRISTMAN, CHRISTIANNA

1855/07/06

1894/07/28

39-00-22

3

Wife of Daniel Christman

CHRISTMAN, ELISABETH

1843/11/15

1891/06/21

47-??-??

3

Daughter of George & Susanna Christman

Stone very worn, dates uncertain

CHRISTMAN, ELISABETH

1829/11/27

1901/12/17

72-00-20

3

Wife of George Christman

CHRISTMAN, GEORGE

1810/01/26

1888/04/21

78-02-21

3

CHRISTMAN, HANNAH

1877

1942

4

Mother

CHRISTMAN, JOHN

1835/01/26

1908/07/06

73-05-10

3

CHRISTMAN, SAMUEL G.

1876

1941

4

Father

COSTENBADER, KENNETH D.

1910

1977

3

Veteran

COSTENBADER, MARGARET B.

1912

No d.o.d.

3

DEPPE, ELIZA

1881/03/09

1881/03/10

00-00-01

2

Daughter of J. H. & S. J. Deppe

DEPPE, J. HENRY

1826/04/07

1891/09/18

65-05-11

2

Born in Germany

DEPPE, SARAH ELISABETH

1875/06/11

1875/08/21

00-02-10

2

Daughter of J. H. & S. J. Deppe

DEPPE, SARAH JOHANA

1835/05/12

1884/01/08

48-07-26

2

Wife of J. Henry Deppe

DEPPE, WILLIAM HARISON

1875/04/28

1877/12/07

02-07-09

2

DODENDORF, ALFRED

1856/05/16

1858/05/17

02-00-01

2

Son of Edward & Barine (??) Dodendorf

Stone very worn, names and dates uncertain

DODENDORF, MEHLEN

1859/01/09

1859/05/15

2

Son of Edward & Barine (??) Dodendorf

Stone very worn, names and dates uncertain

EBERLE, JOHANNES

1836/01/07

1868/06/05

31-08-08

3

Stone very worn, surname, dates and age uncertain, writing in German

ECKHART, EMMA JANE

1879/10/03

1909/05/17

29-07-04

1

Wife of Joseph A. Eckhart, dau. of J. S. & Emma Hawk

ECKHART, JOSEPH A.

1880/02/17

1914/03/26

1

FENNE, GOTTLIEB F.

1784/06/18

1871/05/13

86-10-25

3

GETZ, ALBERT W.

1907

1941

3

Son of James & Amanda Getz

GIBSON, MARY A.

1884/04/04

1912/11/29

28-07-25

2

GOWER, ABBIE E.

1888/11/06

1979/11/17

2

Nee Getz

GOWER, BARBARA

1854/03/13

1913/04/11

2

Wife of Franklin

GOWER, FRANKLIN

1847/03/06

1916/01/06

2

GOWER, JAMES F.

1904/12/29

1919/03/09

2

GOWER, JOSEPH

1881/03/19

1957/09/05

2

GOWER, WILLIAM H.

1906/10/04

1976/08/28

2

HAWK, ASHER

1861/12/09

1867/03/09

02-02-00

3

In Memory of ... Son of Elias & Catherine Hawk

HAWK, EMELINA

1852/02/15

1890/01/12

37-10-27

1

Wife of J. S. Hawk, Dau. of Mr. & Mrs. Enos Koch

HAWK, HARRIET

1849/02/16

1875/11/09

26-08-23

1

In Memory of... wife of J. S. Hawk

HAWK, HARRIET H. C.

1872/01/22

1889/04/09

17-02-17

1

Daughter of J. S. & Harriet Hawk

HAWK, HENRY MILTON

1874/08/12

1875/02/17

00-06-05

1

In Memory of...son of J. S. & Harriet Hawk

HAWK, IRWIN L.

1885/09/10

1912/11/30

27-02-20

2

Son of J. S. & Emma Hawk

HAWK, JACOB S.

1841/01/25

1917/08/27

76-07-02

1

Father

HENNING, AQUILA A.

1892/06/07

1932/11/24

3

An Innocent Soul Sent to Eternity

HENNING, CAROLINE

1900/02/26

52

3

Wife of Charles Henning 

HENNING, CHARLES

1915/11/15

73

3

GAR Veteran

HENNING, CHARLES A.

1887/07/06

1891/02/17

3

HENNING, CHRISTIANNA

1852/10/06

1895/09/26

3

Wife of Henry Henning

HENNING, EMMA JANE

1881

1931

5

HENNING, HENRY

1834/11/11

1904/08/12

3

HENNING, JENNIE M.

1885/08/22

1891/02/06

3

HENNING, JOHN H.

1874/03/19

1928/06/24

3

Veteran

HENNING, LUCINDA

1850/12/15

1917/01/11

4

HENNING, PHAREZ H.

1889/04/10

1891/03/06

3

HENNING, PHILIP G.

1840/07/10

1916/11/09

4

Pvt. Co. H, 11th Reg. Pa Cavalry

Veteran of CW

HENNING, ULYSSES

1870

1930

5

HUSEMAN, AUGUST

1835

1919

3

Father

HUSEMAN, FREDERICKA

1833

1901

3

Mother

HUSEMAN, HENRY G.

1882/06/27

1914/12/22

32-05-25

5

HUSEMAN, SIMON A.

1878

1927

5

HUSEMAN, WILHELMINA

1848/01/17

1888/08/31

5

His wife (William's)

HUSEMAN, WILLIAM A.

1838/01/01

1910/08/25

5

KEIPER, STANLEY

1916

4

McCORMICK, JOSEPH

1883/05/03

1904/08/05

 

3

 

S/o George W. & Mary McCormick

MECKES, ALVIN

1873/09/13

1878/04/11

 

5

Son of Amos & Lydia Meckes

Stone very worn and cracked

MECKES, JOSEPH

1840/03/28

1910/07/22

70-03-24

5

We Have Anchored Our Soul in the Heaven of Rest

 

MECKES, MARGARET

1848/04/05

1928/06/02

80-01-27

5

We Have Anchored Our Soul in the Heaven of Rest

 

RAUCH, ALICE JANE

1875/08/02

1878/06/25

02-10-23

5

In Memory of... daughter of Wm. & Catherine Rauch

 

SCHOCK, LYDIA

1822/05/03

1898/09/21

 

3

 

 

SCHOCK, MANUEL

1850/12/09

1902/05/27

 

3

 

 

SCHOCK, PHILIP

1822/11/22

1892/01/21

 

3

 

 

SCHWITIGEBEL, ELISABETH

1815/02/15

1864/03/10

 

4

Daughter of LUDWIG & CATHARINA

 

SEARFOSS, HANNAH

1847

1905

 

5

 

 

SEARFOSS, HANNAH

1814

1878

 

5

 

 

SEARFOSS, JOSEPH

1813

1881

 

5

 

 

SEARFOSS, TIMOTHY

1847

1916

 

5

Pvt. Co. H, 88th Reg.

Veteran of CW

VAN HORN, CHARLES

1862

1933

 

5

 

 

VAN HORN, ELIZA DIETER

1874

1935

 

5

 

 

YERGER, SARAH

1825/7/05

1906/07/20

 

2

 

 

YERGER, WILLIAM

1828/10/18

1877/05/06

 

2

 

Veteran

[Illegible]

?

1863/05/05

 

4

Son (or daughter) of William & Maria

Very worn stone in German, much illegible, may be Rauch stone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return to THE CEMETERIES OF CARBON COUNTY index page

 

The Death of Aquila Henning and the Wilkinson Murder Trial

The gravestone of Aquila Henning tells the story of the event that got him killed; at least, one version of that story. The stone’s back is to the road, and passerby won’t notice it unless they walk across the cemetery to see. The stone is one of the largest in the cemetery; it stands about 4 feet high and is about 5 feet wide. The color is a powdery gray. Instead of saying “Died” with the date of death, the stone says “Shot”.  Aquila’s death was ruled justifiable homicide by the Carbon Court, but others disagree. The stone shows a man, Aquila, walking through the woods with his hunting rifle.  In the background there are trees and bushes, and standing in those bushes is a man holding a pistol.  The man has only one arm.  Also seen in the bushes behind Aquila are six or seven faces peering out at him.  The scene depicts an ambush, which is what some maintain happened that day.

          The one armed man with the pistol depicts Harry Wilkinson, a teacher who taught in the old school near Meckesville, and prior to that in Franklin Twp. There had been a feud between the Hennings and Wilkinson since Harry caused the arrest of Aquila’s son for illegal hunting.  By fate, or by plan, Henning and Wilkinson were hunting on Thanksgiving Day of 1932.His brother Robert and 7 friends accompanied Harry Wilkinson, while his son Aquila Jr. accompanied Henning. According to court testimony, Henning’s son shot and wounded one of the dogs of the Wilkinson party.  When Harry Wilkinson knelt to examine the wounded dog, Aquila Henning Sr. stepped from the woods and mounted a stump, taking deliberate aim at Harry.  Unknown to Henning, Harry’s brother Robert was nearby and saw Aquila shoot at his brother Harry, missing him.  Before Henning could fire again, Robert shot him.  Harry, with the help of Morris Getz, got Henning to a truck and got him to Palmerton Hospital, where he died a few hours later, the bullet having entered his back, passing through his kidneys.

 

henningstone

A portion of the gravestone of Aquila Henning

 

            That was the story given by the Wilkinsons.  However, in the hospital Aquila gave a statement shortly before his death denying shooting the Wilkinson dog and denying shooting at Harry Wilkinson.

          Robert Wilkinson turned himself in to the local police, and shortly he was charged with murder.  The case immediately became the big news in the county, and papers from all over the region sent reporters.  The trail began January 11, 1933, and the courtroom spectators’ section was packed.  Local high schools took turns sending classes to view the trial.  Though expected to last only two or three days, the trial lasted all week.  Much of the time was spent wrangling over jury selection, with dozens being called for interview before the jury was selected.  The regions best-known trial lawyers worked the case, and many eloquent speeches were made. 

          After five days and a steady stream of witnesses, the jury deliberated only a short time, returning with the verdict of “Not Guilty”.  There was no disputing that Robert Wilkinson shot Aquila Henning, causing his death, but the shooting was deemed justifiable, for Robert had witnessed Aquila shoot at his brother, and he felt he had no choice to stop him from shooting again.

          Though Robert Wilkinson was acquitted, it can be said that Aquila’s widow had the final word, and her version of the story was etched in stone.  She must have felt that it was Harry, not Robert Wilkinson who shot Aquila, due to his being the most prominent person depicted on the stone, and the others in the Wilkinson hunting party were part of an ambush.  There were bad feelings between the Hennings and Harry Wilkinson, but Robert Wilkinson had never met any of the Hennings, claiming that when he shot Aquila, he had never seen the man before.  Besides Henning, the two Wilkinsons were the only others present at the shooting, and Harry, having ducked into the brush after Hennings missed shot, did not even see his brother shoot Henning.

 

 

Return to THE CEMETERIES OF CARBON COUNTY index page

 

 

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Web page, transcription & research by

Jack Sterling

2001