Cemetery History

sign at gate

Woodlawn was chartered by the State of New York in 1858.  Designed by noted architect Howard Daniels, it is part of the "rural cemetery" concept which created park-like cemeteries.  Daniels created designs for cemeteries throughout New York and Ohio and was a finalist in the competition for the creation of New York City's Central Park.  

The cemetery is a repository of Chemung Valley history and contains the stories of all those who have in ways large and small, known and unknown, contributed to the building of this wonderful place we call home.

Some of its famous residents include:

  • Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)
  • Hal Roach, Pioneer Hollywood film-maker
  • John W. Jones, escaped slave and chronicler of Confederate dead from the Elmira Prison Camp
  • Ernie Davis, first black recipient of the Heisman Trophy

 Military and political leaders interred include:

  • Brevet Brig. General Alexander Diven, Civil War
  • Brevet Brig. General William M. Gregg, Civil War
  • Brevet Brig. General Henry C. Hoffman, Civil War
  • Major General Matthew Carpenter, Revolutionary War, War of 1812
  • Governor Lucius Robinson, State of New York
  • Governor Alexander W. Randall, State of Wisconsin
  • Matthias Arnot, Aviation pioneer, patron of the Arts