Tombstone of the Month

Rev. David William & Nancy (Summerville) Steele

Steele_DavidDavid William Steele was born on October 17, 1823, in Buffalo Valley, Union County, PA, a son of James and Hannah (Strayhorn) Steele.  According to the Steele Family History, published in 1947, he came to Jefferson County, PA, about 1835, with his parents, "when there was only one house in Brookville".  He attended common school in a one-room school on the Steele homestead and became a farmer like his father.   He married Nancy Summerville, daughter of William and Rebecca (White) Summerville, on May 5th, 1847.  She was born November 27th, 1827 in the Kishoquillocas Valley, of Huntingdon County, PA.  They were the parents of ten children, Richard B., Clarissa, Louisa, Loretta, Hannah, Henry, William, Hiram, and two that died in infancy. 

David continued his studies and became a minister.  He had been a Methodist, but by the time he had completed his studies, he was beyond the age where the Methodist Church Board would accept applicants for the ministery in their denomination.  He applied for and received an appointment to the Elderton United Brethren Church near his home.  The land where the church was located was formerly part of the Steele homestead, composed of several tracts of land purchased from Olivia Pickering, daughter of Timothy Pickering.   The deed for the land where the Elderton Church was erected, specifies that the building should always be used as a church.  The church has long since been removed and the land cannot be sold for other use. 

David William Steele, died December 23, 1902, of consumption, and was buried in the Zion Cemetery in Eldred Township, Jefferson County, that was once part of the Steele homestead.  His wife Nancy died at her home of a stroke with paralysis, on August 29th, 1903, and was buried beside her husband of 55 years.   

(photo by Pat Steele)
(exerpted information from A Genealogical History of the Descendants of David and Margaret Steele, by Florence Shawkey, 1947)


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Patricia Steele,  10 Cherry Street,  Brookville, PA 15825