James Smith and his wife, Eleanor (Kearney) Smith, purchased land in the Beechwoods area of Washington Township in 1825. James
and Eleanor were from County Donegal, Ireland, and settled first in Centre County, PA; then sent their sons Andrew and Matthew to Jefferson County the next year to begin clearing his newly-purchased land in
Jefferson County. Eventually the brothers and sisters of James also followed him to the same area. His wife, Eleanor Keamey Smith, died May 28, 1831, at the age of 41 years, and became the first person buried in
Beechwoods Cemetery which was on land that then belonged to the Cooper family. The original name of the cemetery was Cooper's Hill.