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



Westmoreland County

(Biographies and Photographs contibuted by Bill Plack, with additional information provided by Richard C. Kistler)

       Daniel Kistler, Jr., born c.1821, was the son of Daniel Kistler, Sr., (c.1794 - 1870) and his wife, Mary, (1798 - 1888).  The 1850 census for Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County, shows Daniel Kistler Senior’s occupation as Inn Keeper. The same census shows Daniel Kistler Junior’s family as:

     Kistler, Daniel, Jr., age 27, Stone Cutter
                Sarah Ann, 26
                Susanna, 5
                Morris, 2

     Kistler’s shop was located ˝ mile east of Greensburg and, like many tombstone carvers of the time, he also made stone mantles, sills, etc. He began in his trade making his tombstones of local sandstone, which was the most common tombstone material in southwestern Pennsylvania in the early part of the nineteenth century, but as marble began to replace sandstone as the material of choice, he changed to marble for his later stones. An advertisement in the Pennsylvania Argus of June 11, 1852 says he was a “marble cutter and stone engraver in English and German”. Unfortunately, he did not sign many of his stones, and since he did not have an easily recognizable style, I have only found five stones that I can positively attribute to him.

     Kistler served as an Army captain during the Civil War and was wounded at Antietam on September 17, 1862. He died of his wounds 8 days later, on September 25, 1862 at the age of 41. His wife, Sarah, died May 30, 1864, aged 42 and they were both buried in (old) St. Clair Cemetery in Greensburg. Their bodies were later moved to the newer St. Clair Cemetery in Hempfield Township, where the marble obelisk shown above is inscribed to both Daniel and Sarah.

     (The year of birth as calculated from the Kistler monument would indicate that Daniel was born in 1821 and Sarah Ann in 1822.)

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Known Examples of

Daniel Kistler's

stone carvings

Brush Creek Lutheran Cemetery

Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County


St. Vincent Catholic Cemetery

Unity Township, Westmoreland County


Hoffman Lutheran Cemetery

South Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County


Denmark Manor Cemetery

Penn Township, Westmoreland County


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Tombstone Carver Page maintained by Ellis Michaels

this page was last updated 27 Apr 2011

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