BARRON FAMILY BURIAL GROUND
A LONG-ABANDONED PIONEER CEMETERY OF A NOTEWORTHY FRENCH-CANADIAN FAMILY WHICH HAS PLAYED AN IMPORTANT PART IN INDIANA HISTORY.
In EEL TOWNSHIP, CASS COUNTY, Indiana. West of city of Logansport. (In the "Barron RESERVE.")
This small pioneer burial-ground is directly south of the now (1939) abandoned brick school-house of the hamlet known locally as "Dunkirk." It is, however, not easily accessible from the northward, because between it and Dunkirk lies the "west yard" of the Pennsylvania Railroad (and main-line tracks to both Chicago and to Effner or Peoria, Illinois.) The cemetery therefore is best approached (from Logansport) by going westward on the north bank of the Wabash River. One half mile or more west of the the L.C. Railroad Bridge (also of the Pennsylvania Railroad), and immediately north of Longcliff Island, is the modern farm-home of Clarence Briggs. The cemetery is in the woods at the rear of (that is, NORTH of) this house, and is on a rather beautiful but very lonely, grassy, wooded knoll of sandy soil. From this knoll, one can, by looking eastward, see the church-spires (and taller chimneys) of Logansport. This knoll is about 70 rods (or some 4 city-squares) south of Dunkirk, and is nearly that far north of the river-road (which is a continuation westward of West Wabash Avenue.)
This cemetery is understood to have been entirely abandoned (so far as burial purposes are concerned) before even the outbreak of the Civil War. Since that time, the remains of a number of persons who were originally buried here have been removed (to Mount Saint Vincent and Mount Hope Cemeteries at Logansport and perhaps even other modern cemeteries). Among those removed were several children of Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Heath. [This Mrs. Heath had been Miss Mary Ann Barron, and eventually became Mrs. Anthony Smith. A street at Logansport was named in honor of each of this lady's two husbands (Heath Street and Smith Street), as well as of her father (Barron Street), all of these surnames being prominent ones in the pioneer history of Cass County, Indiana.] it is understood that only nine persons still lie buried in this long-abandoned (and almost entirely forgotten) little family burial-ground, which now contains only three little tombstones (which are of the humblest sort, mere little blocks of native limestone brought --- nearly a century ago --- from quarries nearly a mile distant, and rudely carved --- probably by persons having no special tools nor skill at this work).
Although these humble little stones are now (October 15, 1939) worn so perfectly smooth that they show no signs whatsoever of EVER having been carved at all, their inscriptions were still dimly but plainly legible even a third of a century ago, and, fortunately for our present purpose, were found by the seemingly almost ubiquitous Dr. J. Z. Powell (now himself long deceased), and not only deciphered but copied into his ever-ready notebook, (where the present copyist found them!)
This almost wholly unknown little pioneer cemetery is important primarily because it contains the grave of one of Indiana's most historically important pioneer citizens, Joseph Barron, Sr., who in addition to serving in the Battle of Tippecanoe ( and other Indian war conflicts) and in the War of 1812, served as United States government interpreter at almost every treaty with the Indians ever held in this part of the Middle West! He had settled at Vincennes as early as 1790. He had numerous adventures of uncommon interest. [It is said he was twice condemned to death by The Prophet (the Shawnee), only to be saved (and set free) both times by the Prophet's still more distinguished brother, Tecumseh!] But this is not the only grave of unusual interest here!
On the afternoon of September 9th, 1938, in connection with the observance of the centennial of the tragic deportation to Kansas (by Indiana State Troops commanded by Brig. Gen. John Tipton), of "the last of Indiana's Potawatomi Indiana," a delegation of Logansport grade-school children visited this lonely little abandoned rural burial-ground of pioneer days, and searched out and (after a memorial service conducted by the L'Anguille Valley Memorial Association), decorated the grave of a little Potawatomi Indiana girl who had escaped from the soldiers in 1838, and remained in Indiana after her fellow tribesman had practically all been taken West. This little Indian girl had finally died in 1845, at the age of about twelve, after spending the final seven years of her "short but useful" life on and very near the site of what is today the city of Logansport's large Washington School, situated on the banks of the Wabash at the intersection of North Cicott Street and West Wabash Avenue. (Part of the flowers used were marigolds gathered from the schoolyard itself!)
Anxiety voiced by one such school child "lest COWS should come and EAT the flowers" [which the school children had placed a the little Indiana girl's grave], resulted in the L'Anguille association's subsequently providing a sturdy wire-fence for this long-abandoned, neglected, and almost entirely forgotten burial-ground, & the farmer, Mr. Briggs, who is the present owner of this woods, gladly co-operating.
On Memorial Day of the following year, 1939, flowers were again placed at the little Indian girl's grave, -- and, this time, also at the grave of Joseph Barron, together with a small flag of the sort usually placed on the graves of soldiers. (This was perhaps the first time that Barron's grave had been thus decorated for possibly three-quarters of a century.) The L'Anguille Valley Memorial Association hopes eventually to erect at least a government headstone of marble at the grave of this distinguished Indiana pioneer of Canadian birth and French descent.
GIVEN NAME, etc.
DATE OF BIRTH
DATE OF DEATH
|BARRON||Joseph (Senior)||1773 at Malden (now Amherstburgh) Essex Co. Ontario||12 Dec 1843||nearly 71 yrs. (unmarked grave)|
|Treaty gave his children a large reserve west of ___ south of Eel River _____________Logansport.|
|BARRON||Joseph (Junior)||25 mar 1857||(unmarked grave)|
|NOTE: In each generation of Barrons, the name Joseph appears; the county has had 4 or 5 soldiers of that name!|
|BARRON||Sarah Ann||1811 or 1812||30 Sep 1845||w/o Peter|
|BARRON||Alexander||1831 or 1832||21 Sep 1838||9y; s/o Peter & Sarah|
|BARRON||Caroline A.||illegible even in 1908||illegible even in 1908||d/o P. & S.|
|BARRON||Benjamin||19 Mar 1846||7y; s/o Peter & Sarah|
|BARRON||Mitchell||s/o Joseph, Jr.|
|BARRON||Anthony||s/o Joseph, Jr.|
|SWAWGWAHK||Nancy||about 1835||1845 ?||aged about 12 to 14|
|(This little girl, a full-blooded Potawatomi, is understood to have been born at the Potawatomi town of Wimego on the banks of Indiana Creek northwest of the present town of Lucerne (Cass county, but very near Fulton county-line), and withher father ( and some Potawatomi stragglers in Fulton County) to have been slated in 1838 for removal to Kansas along with Chief Menominee's band of Marshall county Potawatomis from Twin Lakes. She escaped from soldiers and was adopted by Joseph Barron.|
This report was transcribed by Debby Beheler for the Cass County INGenWeb, all rights reserved.
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