|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Located in Topton, Berks, Pa.
Was originally called the Lutheran Orphans' Home
In April, 1895, the Reading Conference of the Ministerum resolved to establish a home for orphans and friendless children, and the Synod heartily approved of the step. In October, 1896, a farm of 105 acres was purchased a few squares south from Topton, Pa.
In the Spring of 1897 the superintendant, Rev. Urias P. Heilman moved into the farm house and took a few orphans into his family. He also began to canvas the congregation of the Reading Conference for funds to pay for the farm and to erect the necessary buildings.
On June 29, 1897, the ground for the buildings was formerly broken. Rev. Heilman undertook the groundbreaking himself, digging up several wheelbarrow loads of dirt making the shape of a cross. He knelt in the trench and asked God to bestow His blessings on the Lutheran home. In September 18 of that year the corner stone was laid. The dedication occurred on September 14, 1899.
The buildings were of brick, with a front of 115 feet and an average depth of 65 feet. The height excluding the flagpole was 105 feet. The main building had three stories and a basement. it was built after the colonial style of architecture.
The cost of the ground and building was about $40,000, half of which was paid at completion.
There is a graveyard at the facility. Both Rev. U.P. Heilman and his wife Elevena, and also a daughter Jennie, are buried here. Rev. Heilman died Apr 10, 1900 of pneumonia. His wife Elevena lived another 47 years.
Neil D Scheidt
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