Lititz Moravian Cemetery

Burial Plot of General John A. Sutter and Anna DuBelt Sutter

General John A. Sutter (1803-1880) was the most notable national figure who ever lived in Lititz. Early Pioneer of California, he had founded Sacramento in 1839, and over his extensive lands the Gold Rush of 1849 had poured. In 1871 he selected Lititz as his home because of the educational facilities afforded here for his grandchildren. He also believed that the healing wa- ters of the Lititz Springs would be good for his rheumatism. When he died in 1880, still seek- ing redress from Congress for his great losses in California, he was brought to the Moravian cemetery for burial. While not a member of the Congregation they honored him with an exclu- sive spot in the northwest corner.

Some years after his death Congress finally decided it should do something to pay tribute to the memory of the pioneer and voted to place a solid marble fence, seven feet high around his grave. The General’s granddaughter Eliza Hull objected to a structure of this kind, which was in bad taste and not in keeping with other graves. The workmen had their orders but Eliza had ideas of her own. She instructed them to first dig a six foot trench around the grave and when completed she said “Now put your fence around the grave”. The beautiful marble edging around the grave that can be seen today is a far cry from the wishes of a befuddled Congress of that day. (From Lancaster New Era, January 24, 1948.)

The six foot deep trench is a story that has been perpetuated by this article in the newspaper. In the Lititz Record of January 28, 1898, credit is given to Sutter’s son Emil for having the granite coping placed around the lot. Emil had come from San Francisco, California for the funerals of his parents. More research needs to be done on this.


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