Compiled by Loraine C. Smith, Town of Ellery Historian, 2002
(and faithfully updated with new information, 2003-06)

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Land was given first by William Bemus for use as a cemetery in Bemus Point, NY. His grandson, Matthew later added to this one acre with a gift of seven and one-half acres. Alonzo Felton also donated land.

The first burial was in 1812, Summit Arnold, daughter of David and Dorcas Arnold, born 1804 and died 1812.

The Cemetery Society was incorporated in 1865. In 1870 an iron fence was erected around the cemetery at a cost of $3,000, making it "one of the most tasteful in the county". This fence, about five feet high, was placed in fulfillment of an agreement with Matthew Bemus who gave the land on the conditions that the fence be placed by residents of the community and it was principally paid for by subscription.

In April of 1920 this fence was condemned by the Board of Trustees when a large portion was damaged by a high wind. Workmen took it down. It was sold to an iron dealer for "a fair price" of $175, and the money placed on interest until such time as there would be sufficient funds to replace it.

The Bemus Point Cemetery Association had to relinquish responsibility to the Town of Ellery as of December 31, 1959. The area now includes the site of a former house on Center Street, the J. W. & N. W. Railroad right of way and the William Shepardson property on the east side. - Compiled by Mary Jane Stahley, Village of Bemus Point Historian.


  • Descriptions on Tombstones in Bemus Point Cemetery by Kate Wilson Heath & Claybourne B. Sampson - 1945.
  • Card file of Doris W. Carlson, former Historian of the Town of Ellery.
  • Card file and records of Loraine C. Smith, Town of Ellery Historian.
  • History books pertaining to Chautauqua County, N. Y.
  • Bemus Point Public Library - Genealogy and History Sections.
  • Newspaper clippings from papers of Jamestown, N. Y. (PJ)
  • Bemus Point Cemetery Association records.
  • Burial records housed at the Town Clerk’s Office of the Town of Ellery.
  • Records from Richard O. Evans Funeral Home, Bemus Point, N. Y.
  • Various scrapbooks, Bibles, and family records.
  • Information from Dee Davidson, Mary Jane Stahley and various family members and relatives.

SOURCE: Compiled by Loraine C. Smith, Town of Ellery Historian, 2002-05