Compiled by Ann Simmons Eldredge
Cassius M. Lea (1846-1925), pictured to the right, was the third of four children born to William Lea and Mary Verner Lea, and the grandson of Major William Lea. Major Lea was one of the first settlers in the area, coming here in the late 1770s. Leasdale Station, on the banks of Chartiers Creek, was named for him. Major Lea is buried at Old St. Luke’s Cemetery in Scott Township.
During the Civil War, Cassius served in Co. I of the 193rd Pennsylvania Infantry. In December 1871, he married Emma Margaret “Maggie” Simmons, daughter of William S. and Margaret (Henry) Simmons, and they lived in Union Township (now Banksville/Carnegie). Maggie passed away from complications of childbirth on Oct. 31, 1872. Maggie (pictured below) and the infant daughter are buried in the plot adjacent to Maggie’s parents.
Maggie’s obituary reads: “Death, in whatever form it may come, or whatever may be its circumstances, is usually distressing in its character. But when it comes suddenly and unexpectedly, when its victim is an only daughter, a beloved and loving sister, a young and devoted wife, it is undesirably painful. Such a death occurred Oct. 31st, 1872, when Emma Simmons Lea was called, as we trust, to the home of the redeemed. Her state of health was hopeful and encouraging but a few moments before her spirit took its departure from the body, it is supposed the cause of her death was disease of the heart. By her death many young friends have lost a genial companion, St. Clair congregation one of her young members and the immediate friends have sustained a loss which can only be borne through the sustaining grace that is in Christ Jesus. May that grace be vouchifed to each one of them. But a few minutes before her death she wrote the following lines, referring to her child, which had died a few days before”
“Up among the angels,
That bright and happy band,
Our own dear babe has gone,
To take its harp in hand.
Mother, brothers and sisters dear,
Weep not that she did leave you here;
She has gone to her home, gone to her rest,
Gone where the good alone are blest-
Home in Heaven.
Jesus wept with sorrowing friends;
Jesus comforted their soul;
Jesus died, He suffered pain,
He died that we might live again for all.” -MAGGIE
After the death of Maggie, Cassius married Mary H. (1856-1914). They lived in the Carnegie area with their three daughters. The tombstones for the Leas are missing, but they are laid out in front of the Simmons graves near Scott Road.