Mary M. Gerhart Tomb, Lancaster Cemetery


The Christian bible phrase “not as I will but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39) marks the tombstone of Mary M. Gerhart. Mary lived a short life of forty-two years from June 24, 1824 to July 18, 1866. In her short life, however, she married twice and had three children.

Mary’s first husband was Frederick S. Hunter of Reading, Pennsylvania. Frederick worked at Leesport as a manager and part owner of Leesport Furnace. They lived together on South Fifth Street in Reading Pennsylvania and had three children; Nicholas R. Hunter, Leonora H. Leaf, and Mary H. Pusey. On August 20, 1863 Frederick died and left Mary a widow.

In August of 1865, Mary married Emanuel Vogel Gerhart. Emanuel was born in Freeburg, Pennsylvania on June 13, 1817. He was educated at the Classical School in York, Pennsylvania and moved with it to Mercersburg, Pennsylvania in 1835 when it became Marshall College. After graduating he taught and was ordained a minister in 1842. He then served as a minister for six years before moving to Ohio to become president of Heidelberg College.

Interestingly, Emanuel was sworn in as the first President of Franklin and Marshall College in 1855. He served as the president until 1866 and during his time in office increased the student body, built main college buildings and raised $10,000 for the school’s endowment.

Emanuel was married a total of three times, with Mary being his second wife. His first wife was Eliza Richenbaugh who died in 1864. Next, Emanauel married Mary until her death in 1866. His last wife, Lucille Cobb, outlived him.

Although Mary and Emanuel were only married for one year before her death, she took his name to the grave and is buried on a plot of land with important Franklin and Marshall founding figures.



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