Some History of Gates/Butcher Cemetery

and the Benton Family

Here is a bit more documentation copied from the Ontario County Archives in Canandaigua.

Liber 14, page 409: 29 June 1798, Oliver Whitmore to Bethel Benton, 150 acres in lot 38, Seneca (two

"Lot No. thirty-eight, formerly paid to Moses contain one hundred and fifty said
Bethel Benton...29th day of June seventeen hundred and ninety-eight in the twenty-second year of American
Signed by Oliver and Abigail Whitmore"

Liber 43, page 301: 7 January 1823, Bethel Benton to Chester H. Benton, 70 acres in Lot 38 (two
pages).  This deed mentions the "burial ground."

"Which was formerly conveyed by Oliver Whitmore to Bethel Benton, the said Bethel Benton reserves for
himself, his heirs, executors, administrators and assigns the Burial Ground and fences around the Burial
Ground which lies within the aforementioned tract of land and preserving for himself, his heirs,
executors, administrators and assigns a road leading from the South Road to said Burial Ground?"

Liber B page 128 1828 Will  -  10 Sep 1838 for Bethel Benton

"After the decease of myself and wife, upon paying the foregoing legacies as hereafter mentioned.  I give to
the public for the use of a Church Yard, the land now occupied as such upon my premises, forever,
upon their maintaining a fence where the present one now stands.
Witnessed by John McCleary, Juah Sherwood, Elijah WilderJr.,"

After reviewing the cemetery records, one can see that Bethel Benton died 27 Jan 1838, Solomon Gates died
21 Jan 1847, and Dea. Elijah Wilder Sr., 09 Jul 1836 and are all there in the cemetery.

The land records indicate that Bethel purchased the property from Oliver Whitmore 29 June 1798 and
was sole owner of the property until he sold the surrounding property to his youngest son Chester H. Benton in
1823 while preserving the Church Yard for public use and again included the property in his will upon his decease in 1838.

There are two records Liber 15, page 179 4 Mar 1811 and Liber 16 page 198 20 Nov 1811 that document
Elijah Wilder, Bethel Benton, and Solomon Gates purchased properties together (Lot 59 from John Ayres).
 I do not have any record as to when the Wilder's and Gates came to the area but records do verify that Bethel
legally purchased the property in June 1798.

It is obvious that the property had been used as a Church Burial Ground for many years and contains patriots
and their families from the Revolutionary War as there are Wilder's there in 1797; Warner's there in 1803;
Gates' in 1805; Childs' in 1806; and Belding's in 1807.  The Benton's did not bury any family until Sarah R. (wife
of Chester) died in Jan 1824.  In addition, above records in the land records Moses Hayden, John Ayres, and
Oliver Whitmore families were also in the Seneca area, although not in this cemetery.

Bethel came to the community in 1797 with a motherless family of young children by Esther Sadler of MA:
Abner b 1788, Lucy b , Oliver b 1797, Elijah b 1792, and Esther b 1793 all born in MA.

He then married a second time to Bulah Rice of Conway, MA in a Congregationalist Church in Oct 1797 - of
this marriage there was no issue.

He married a third time to Mercy French Hawks of Deerfield, MA in Feb 1800.  Chester H. Benton was a child
of this third marriage and was born in Seneca in Nov 1800 and it is he who remained in the Seneca area to
raise his family.

Gratitude is extended to Bonnie Benton Harrison for contributing this information and the photo.

Return to the Ontario Co. GenWeb page

               Copyright © 2001-08, Ontario County NYGenWeb and each contributor and author of materials herein. All rights reserved.