Known Tombstone Carvers

of Pennsylvania

A Project of  the PAGenWeb Archives

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These pages seek to identify and document the known tombstone carvers in the state of Pennsylvania, from all time periods.  If any one has any information about additional tombstone carvers to be included, or have additional information to add to an existing carver,  please feel free to contact Ellis Michaels or Bill Plack


Andrew Fesler

Conrad Hilligas

(Biographies and Photographs contibuted by Bill Plack)

(additional information by Ellis Michaels)

     Andrew Fesler and Conrad Hilligas were tombstone carvers who lived in West Middletown, Washington County.  Their work appears in the local area from ca. 1825 to 1847. They were two of the best known carvers in Washington County at that time. They were brothers-in-law, that is to say, Conrad Hilligas was married to Andrew Feslerís sister.

     Andrew Fesler was a very popular carver and I have found his stones, dated 1825 to 1834, in eleven cemeteries in Washington County. I have only found one stone signed by Conrad Hilligas during this same period.

     Sometime around 1834-1835, Andrew Fesler moved to Belmont County, Ohio, where he continued in the stone carving trade.  He is believed to have died before the 1850 Census.

     After Andrew Fesler moved to Ohio, the stone carving career of Conrad Hilligas took over where Fesler had left off. Conrad Hilligas was also quite popular and I have found his stones (dated 1828 to 1847), in eight different cemeteries in Washington County. Although some of his stones show the obvious influence of Fesler, others show somewhat more imagination, flamboyancy, and skill. He was one of the few carvers in Western Pennsylvania who was capable of carving sandstone obelisks, like the one shown below for Jane Marquis.

Additional Information

     1820 Census Cross Creek Twn, Washington County: Andrew Fesler, (1) male aged 16-26yrs; (1) female aged <10yrs; (1) female aged 16-26yrs.

     1830 Census Hopewell Twn, Washington County: Andrew Fisler, (1) male aged <5yrs; (2) males aged 5-10yrs; (1) male aged 30-40yrs; (2) females aged <5yrs; (1) female aged 10-15yrs; (1) female aged 30-40yrs.

printable text version of biographies


Known Examples of

Andrew Fesler's

stone carvings


 

Cross Creek Presbyterian Cemetery

Cross Creek Township, Washington County

 


 

Grove United Presbyterian Cemetery

West Middletown, Hopewell Township, Washington County

 


 

Unidentified Cemetery

Donegal Township, Washington County

 


Known Examples of

Conrad Hilligas'

stone carvings


 

Bethel M. P. Church Cemetery

Jefferson Township, Washington County

 


Chartiers Hill Cemetery

North Strabane Township, Washington County

 


Cross Creek Presbyterian Cemetery

Cross Creek Township, Washington County

 


Grove United Presbyterian Cemetery

West Middletown, Hopewell Township, Washington County

 


 

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Tombstone Carver Page maintained by Ellis Michaels

this page was last updated 27 Apr 2011

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