Hope Cemetery


This is the story of a young girl and boy, Irrabelle K. Steckel and Byron E. Weaver. They were born in Kutztown, many years ago, however they never grew up in Kutztown, fact is, they never grew up. To the grief and horror of their Parents, Peter K. & Mary G. Steckel, and George & Mary Weaver the unthinkable happened. A parents worst nightmare, both families suffered the loss of their cherished children. It was the latter part of the eighteen hundreds and times were tough, in many circumstances when disease struck, the best a doctor could do was wait and see. The advanced medicine they had at their disposal was at a great disadvantage to the ramped spread of diseases, either the child was strong enough to defeat the disease, or in to many cases not. Irrabelle was born June, 21,1879 and passed from this life, March, 20,1888 at the age of 8 years, 9 month and 28 days. Next to her lies her sister, born June 20,1905 and died five days later, never even had the chance to be christened, and next is sister, Marguerite, Born January 6, 1911, died March 6, 1911, aged two months. What a price to pay, almost unheard of in the 21st century. The Weavers, George and Mary, also bore the brunt of life as it was in those days, for on a cold winter day, December 27, 1865, just two days after Christmas, the Angel of death took their son Byron, 3 years and four months of age.

There was nothing left for their parents to do but mourn. They buried their precious children and marked the their grave in remembrance. For well over a hundred years, the only evidence that Irrabelle Steckel and Byron Weaver ever existed was a marble tablet, proclaiming, ”Here lies their earthly remains.”

In September of 2008, vandals destroyed the last tangible evidence that Irrabelle K. Steckel and Byron E. Weaver had ever existed.

So why did I write this story? Not to castigate the mindless action of vandals, but to thank the volunteers of the board of directors of Hope cemetery for going beyond the norm. In the 21st century, one needs not look hard, to find greed, self-indulgence, self-promotion and the lack of morels.

The Men and Women, of the board of directors consider it an honor and privilege to serve as the guardians of your most precious, and dedicate this website to their memory. Here you can see the markers of Irrabelle and Byron, now desecrated, that their parents so mournfully placed upon their graves, and can visit the earthly place where a mother and father came to pay tribute and weep, for there was no where else to go, nothing else to be done.


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