When Otho Holland Williams laid out his town in 1767, one of his first acts was to set aside a town cemetery on the hill overlooking the Potomac River where his parents were buried. We know it as River View Cemetery. For a short while, it was known as Potomac Hill Cemetery.
"those who have made so many sacrifices in the accomplishment of what has been done."
Tombstone of Brigadier General Otho Holland Williams (1749-1794) in a photo from the 1940s
The origin of River View Cemetery dates back to the November session of the General Assembly of Maryland in the year 1786 when it was incorporated by a special act of that body. The land was donated to the town of Williamsport by General Otho Holland Williams, the founder of the town, the plat of same being registered in Hagerstown under the date of May 18th, 1787. The earliest recollection of the oldest citizen now living recalls this hallowed spot as a public commons, thickly covered with a dense growth of underwood and briars. Such was its condition when the Ladies Cemetery and Memorial Association of the place was organized in 1881, having as its special object the caring for this silent city of the dead. This charitable organization procured its charter in 1887 and under its painstaking and efficient management the tares have given place to the wheat of disinterested, well directed, Christian effort.
The present officers of this organization are Mrs. Charles Davis, President; Mrs. Arthur C. Gruber, Vice-President; Mrs. Geo. Thompson, Treasurer; Mrs. Jacob B. Master, Secretary; Mrs. M.E. Long, General Manager
This tablet is donated by D. F. Hill & Son, of Hagerstown, Md and is specifically dedicated to those who have made so many sacrifices in the accomplishment of what has been done.
Chartered in 1881, the Ladies Cemetery and Memorial Association organized and dedicated themselves to maintaining the cemetery. In a formal ceremony in 1890, they decorated the graves of ex-soldiers of "Potomac Hill Cemetery." including:
General Otho Holland Williams, founder of Williamsport, a Revolutionary officer
George Spangler, a soldier in the was of 1812
George D. Williamson, war of 1846
Lieutenant Conrad Hitechew Lieutenant William Irwin, John Long, David Hoover, William Grimes, and John Newton, of the war of the Rebellion
Captain Patrick, regular army whose death occurred while on duty at Williamsport during the construction of the C & O Canal.
The first mention of "River View Cemetery" was in 1892.