A Hurried Look At The Area
Known As Bupp’s Union
Rudolph Yount (or Yunt) obtained a warrant for 25 acres adjoining his other land and John Pifer in Shrewsbury township on September 23, 1762. He obtained a second warrant for 100 acres in the same township on May 2, 1770. The next month 126 acres were surveyed to him. The survey stated that the land had been improved for 16 years.
William L. Gould, in his history of the Codorus Church of the Brethren (1976), entitled A Light in the Valley, includes a lengthy sketch of Rudolph Yount, submitted by a descendant. A native of Canton Basel, Switzerland, Yount (1728-1808) arrived in Philadelphia in September 1749, with his widowed mother. Later, he was baptized in the Church of the Brethren, married, and according to the 1770 survey was in Shrewsbury (now Springfield) township in 1754.
In his famous history of the Baptists in America, published in 1770, Morgan Edwards stated that the Codorus congregation “begun to be a church about the year 1758 when one Rudy Yunt, Peter Brilharth, John Brilharth and others, united for communion of saints.”
In April 1777 Rudolph Yount sold his two tracts to Bernard Bupp. He moved first to Hopewell township, York county, where he obtained a large tract of land, and then in 1794 with members of his family to Rockingham county, Virginia, where he died in 1808.
Bernard Bupp owned the former Yount property until he sold it to his son John in 1799. According to the deed, it then contained 211 acres. This John Bupp (1779-1862) was married to Elizabeth Hildebrand (1777-1862), who was a granddaughter of John and Barbara (Glattfelder) Hildebrand. This John Bupp was the one who obtained a clear and full title to the former Yount property in the form of a patent deed from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The date was November 8, 1821 and the amount patented was 200 acres 116 perches. John and Elizabeth were buried at Bupp’s Union.
In the early 1840s John and Elizabeth Bupp sold 208 acres of their real estate to their son, also named John (1807-1855). He was married to Barbara Falkenstine (1803-1875). She was the daughter of Jacob Falkenstine, a prominent member of the Codorus Church of the Brethren congregation, who from 1817 until 1859 owned what was once Henry Walter’s farm. When this John Bupp died on December 28, 1855, he left a widow and seven children, several of whom were minors. John and Barbara were buried at Bupp’s Union.
It was during the years this John Bupp owned the former Yount property that Springfield township finally accepted public, or common, schools. Pennsylvania passed a public school act in 1834, but left it up to about 1000 districts in the state to decide whether to accept it. Unfortunately, existing records do not enable us to determine the exact year Springfield came around. The state school report for the 1849-1850 year list Springfield township as a still a non accepting district. The inventory of John Bupp lists among his assets a debt of $4 “against Common School Directors,” which means that he had sold the ground on which the first school building had probably been erected but had not been fully paid for. the state report for 1854-1855 shows that Springfield township then had a total of 8 schools and 364 students.
John F. Bupp (1827-1903), the youngest son of John and Barbara, purchased his father’s real estate and took possession on January 1, 1856. He was married twice, to sisters: Maria Allison (1829-1863) and Priscilla Allison (1835-1912). By Maria he had 11 children; by Priscilla he had 4. At least 8 died young. The obituary of John F. in the Glen Rock Itemcalled him “one of the most widely known and highly esteemed citizens of Springfield township.” He was survived by his widow and seven children. For twenty years or more he was a director of the First National Bank of Glen Rock.
John F. Bupp died without a will. His large real estate holdings were divided in 1905 among Jeremiah Bupp (95 acres 84 perches), James Messersmith (138 acres), and Priscilla Bupp (106 acres 57 perches).
The York county wall map published in 1860 shows clearly a “S.H.” or schoolhouse at Bupp’s Union and a cemetery across the road, but nothing else. The building across the road from the cemetery bears a datestone: 1871. A glance at the York Democratic Pressfor May 12, 1871 explains:
On Thursday, May 18, (Ascension
Day,) the new Union Church at Bopp’s
school house, near Loganville, will be ded-
icated. Clergymen of several religious
denominations who have united on the build-
ing of this church, will participate in the
services. All are invited to attend.
Unfortunately, the newspaper notice does not identify the “several religious denominations” who united to build this structure. For what may be the first time in print, it is called a “Union Church.” No newspaper account of the dedication exercises has been found.
Some knowledge and understanding of the three parts of the Bupp’s Union complex (does this not seem too highfalutin?) - cemetery, schoolhouse, and meetinghouse - should be possible by a study of its deed history. Unfortunately (to use that word again), the results of such a study are disappointing.
a. No deed for the graveyard proper has ever been found, recorded or unrecorded.
b. No deed which John Bupp (1807-1855) presumably gave to the Springfield township school district in the 1850s has ever been found, recorded or unrecorded.
c. In 1891 John F. and Priscilla Bupp deeded 31.5 perches for $1 to the school district. (Deed 9I430, recorded April 1892). Since this was the same tract the school district sold in 1933, this can be regarded as the deed which conveyed what his father should have, and may have, given about 40 years earlier.
d. In 1894 John F. and Priscilla Bupp, for $1, deeded 18.8 perches to 4 “Trustees of Bopp’s Union Church in said Springfield Township in Trust for use of the congregation of said Church.” This piece was located between the schoolhouse and the meetinghouse. (Deed 31P423, recorded December 1945).
e. In 1901 Harris and Malinda Lentz, for $5, conveyed 11 ½ perches to “all that have legal right to Bury their dead in the Burying ground at Bupp’s Union Church in Said Springfield Township.” (Deed 21Q30, recorded December 1945) This tract is a rectangle extending 126 feet or 7.6 perches along the west side of the graveyard.
f. In 1933, two years after the school was closed, the school district sold to John E. and Evelyn L. Schrum for $265 what was called the “Bupp’s School property.” It contained 31.5 perches and was the same parcel sold to the school district in 1891.
A significant development in the history of the Bupp’s Union complex, now reduced to a meetinghouse and a graveyard, occurred when the York county court on April 20, 1936 approved a charter of incorporation for the Bupp’s Union Cemetery Association. My notes taken after reading this charter follow on the next two pages. (transcriber’s note: the handwritten notes are transcribed and are directly following this note (page 4 of 6))
Bupp’s Union1936York Deed 26J531
Subscribers 11 have associated themselves together and being desirous of becoming incorporated under the provisions of the Act of Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, known as the ‘Non-Profit Corporation Law,’ approved May 5, 1933, hereby declare and certify:
Proposed name: Bupp’s Union Cemetery Association
Location and P. O. address of initial office: R. D. 2, Seven Valleys
Purpose: “to provide and maintain a suitable place for the burial of the dead and to transact the business incident thereto:’ does not contemplate pecuniary gain or profit
B.A. Trout, SV
Palmer McWilliams, SV
George Meckley, Gladfelter
Jesse K. Leader, R. D. 2, York
K.D. Boya, R. D. SV
Harvey Lentz, R. D. SV
Harry Lentz, R. D. SV
Jacob F. Trout, R. D. York
W.E. Bailey, Loganville
Adam Hartman, Loganville
Jacob F. Trout
Assets now real estate $50, trust funds $1,210
“The membership of the corporation shall consist of adult members of the immediate families as well as the descendants of anyone buried upon said burial grounds, such representatives to have but one vote for each person buried upon said burial grounds; also any person who may hereafter become the owner of a lot or lots in the cemetery of the association”
Provision for establishing a fund for perpetual care from income derived from lots sold
application 21 Dec 1935
approval from commonwealth, name available 10 Mar 1936
Charter approved 20 Apr 1936
Recorded 21 Apr 1936
On November 20, 1937 Adam Hartman, Jacob Trout, Walter E. Bailey, and Jesse K. Leader, calling themselves “Trustees Bupp’s Union Church, an unincorporated association, maintaining a meeting house in Springfield Township, York county,” for $1 transferred to Bupp’s Union Cemetery Association two parcels adjoining each other, with no area specified (Deed 520123, recorded March 1962).
About 1945 someone prepared a draft of the complex, a copy of which is enclosed. I first saw this draft, probably in the early 1950s, when it was in the possession of J. Clair Trout. I took extensive notes. I saw it again in October 2003, when it was still in his possession. I then made a copy of the original. The copy follows.
On August 3, 1966 for specific reasons unknown, but which can be guessed, three neighbors of the meetinghouse entered into an agreement with the “Bupp’s Union Church,” not the cemetery association, accepting the survey just made by Registered Surveyor Gordon L. Brown as “assurance and confirmation of its [the church’s] title in and the boundaries of the premises.” The survey, a rectangle, does not include the graveyard on the other side of the road. A copy of the survey is enclosed. The deed contains the notation that upon its being recorded the original was to be mailed to Raymond E. Meckley, R. D. 6, York, Pa.
Beginning in 1987, a small congregation known as Soul’s Haven Temple Baptist church began using the meetinghouse along with the Sunday school which had been meeting there for years. The Sunday school disbanded in 1991. About 2001 Soul’s Haven left the meetinghouse to merge with a congregation on Lake road.
A story in the York Daily Recordon November 23, 2002 stated that the meetinghouse was about to become the home of “an independent Catholic congregation, Resurrection Church.” The storey identified Ted Meckley as the “president and secretary of the Bupp’s Union Cemetery Association,” which “agreed to give the building and the cemetery to Resurrection Church” in return for the promise “to keep the building and cemetery in good condition.”
Despite everything written or said over the years, there is simply no evidence that, at least before 1987, there ever was an organized congregation at Bupp’s Union. There is ample evidence of a Sunday school meeting there regularly for many years (just how many has not been determined), of preaching from time to time, and of homecoming which would attract many people. What is lacking is the inclusion of Bupp’s Union as a member of a synod, classis, or conference. We are still looking for the minutes of such a body in which a minister reports Bupp’s as one of his congregations.
There is something to be learned from a careful study of the 171 inscriptions in the graveyard that were legible in 1932.
As has been claimed, Rudolph Young may well have made the first burials, of several of his children and possibly his mother. The graveyard is clearly on his land. But he left the area in 1777.
The first eight inscriptions, before 1800, are all, or almost all, for members of the Glattfelder, Walter, and Hildebrand families. The same is true for half or more of those from 1800 to 1850. For baptismal records of many of these families we look to Shusters, Zieglers, or even to York. Felix contributed to the building of the Reformed congregation at Shusters in 1783, not to Bupp’s Union.
Many of the early inscriptions are for close neighbors: Bupps, Trouts, Lentzes, and Falkenstines. Jacob Falkenstine (1775-1859) was a prominent member of the Codorus Church of the Brethren. His home was clearly one of more than 15 in which worship services were held before the first central meeting house of that congregation was built in the Dunkard Valley in or about 1872. Many Falkenstines were buried at Bupp’s Union, one of the latest if not the latest being Rev. George Falkenstine (1859-1949), a Brethren minister for more than 50 years, author of two church histories, and first president of Elizabethtown College.
Rev. Constantine J. Deininger noted 19 burials he made there between 1855 and 1879, always at Bupp’s school house. Lutheran pastor at Salem, Jacobus, he never reported Bupp’s as one of his numerous congregations.
When John Bupp died in 1855, Rev. Daniel Gring, Reformed pastor at Shusters, officiated at the funeral. In his personal record over the next several years, he noted several Bupp confirmations, marriages, and burials. He identified them with Shusters. When John F. Bupp died in 1903, the newspaper reported that his funeral was to be held in the Bupp’s Union meetinghouse, but the pastor was the Reformed minister in Glen Rock.
Clair Trout’s family came into the area before 1850. They lived within sight of the meetinghouse. The first Trouts are buried there. Clair was knowledgeable about what went on in and just before his day, but he did not remember much about the early days. The name Yount was one he scarcely knew, at least in 2003. What he remembered was that in his early days there were four congregations which took some responsibility for the meetinghouse: Codorus Church of the Brethren, the Lutherans in Jacobus, the Reformed in Jacobus, and the Methodist (as well as their predecessors) in Jacobus. As attendance at the Sunday school diminished, so did the support, and eventually it stopped.
C. H. G.
The information above is a transcription of Bupp's Union - A Hurried Look which was scanned from the typed document by Dr. Charles H. Glatfelter in 2006