Title: Wholesale Grocer
Birthdate: October 10, 1827
Death Date: March 22, 1915
Plot Location: Section 125, Lot E, Crypt 1
A mausoleum is erected because someone had the means to afford one, and that was the case with Jonathan Prichard. Although his name is over the entrance, he had it built to include past and future family members.
The structure itself is known as a vestibule mausoleum because it had a door that loved ones could enter to pay their respects in private. This mausoleum contains six sealed crypts which contain six coffins, for the parents and four of their children. Due to vandalism most mausoleums at Mount Moriah had to be sealed with concrete blocks.
Undocumented stories of Jonathan’s childhood say it was spent in an environment of wealth and culture, but his family was practically penniless when they came to America in 1853. His father died during the voyage and was buried at sea. Jonathan settled in Philadelphia with his mother and younger sister, working until he was able to start his own business as a liquor dealer in 1859.
Not long afterward, he invested in some houses in the Mount Airy section of the city, but his mother died in 1861 and his sister in 1867. Both were buried at Mount Moriah in Section 22, Lot 192. Jonathan married the daughter of one of his tenants, Jane Chapman, in 1866.
The Prichards had seven children, but two girls died in childhood and were buried with Jonathan’s mother and sister. By this time Jonathan had built a wholesale grocery business that was doing very well. Their daughter, Sarah, married a Lutheran pastor in 1899, the same year their youngest daughter, Anna Louise, died as a teenager. She was originally buried in a Lutheran cemetery, but moved to the mausoleum after Jonathan had it built in 1912.
By the turn of the century the three other Prichard offspring were adults and on their own. Jonathan learned the value of investing his income, not just spending it, when he bought stock over the years in banks, insurance companies, and the Pennsylvania Railroad. His practice was to always give a portion to God’s work, knowing he couldn’t take any of his wealth with him.
With his financial success, the family moved to Swarthmore in Delaware County. Jonathan decided he should use his resources to help his son-in-law, Rev. Jacob W.H. Heintz. In 1905 the young man became pastor of a small Lutheran congregation at 60th and Grays Avenue, but they needed a new building. Jonathan offered to fund the entire cost of construction.
The congregation showed their appreciation by naming it in his honor. Pritchard Memorial Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Rock of Ages was completed in 1908 at 6301 Elmwood Avenue. The congregation’s joy turned to grief two years later when Sarah died. Jacob remained as pastor until he died in 1939. The building is now the home of Christ International Community Church.
Jonathan died on March 22, 1915 of edema of the lungs, and Jane followed two years later. Four children, William, Jonathan, Mary, and Annie are all interred in the family mausoleum with them. There was a directive in his will that would have given his grandsons money and an allowance if they became ministers. Unfortunately, they didn’t. Jonathan’s estate was appraised at $188,400, or close to $6 million in today’s dollars.
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