During the exceptionally cold winter 1841-42, an Infant surnamed PINKERTON died at the Pinkerton log-cabin, the site of which is a few rods S.E. of the present [June 5, 1941] buildings on the Reuben St. Clair Blackburn Farm, now owned by William & Maude [ Blackburn ] Brown. Located in the N.W.1/4 of the N.E. 1/4 of Section 20, T. 28 N., R. 1 E., 2nd Ind. P.M. and in W.-Central HARRISON Township in N.W. CASS County , INDIANA .

Editorial: This log-cabin was located 1 3/4 miles slightly [ south? ] of due west of Lucerne, IN & perhaps about 40 rods west of a N/S road forming section 20’s east half mid-line. This death occurred at a time when it was virtually impossible to dig even a small grave of any size in this vicinity. Tradition says that the body of this baby was kept in a bureau drawer in the Pinkerton cabin for 4 weeks & was than buried at a suitable spot just south of the cabin & at the foot of a very large walnut tree. This tree later was felled & only its huge stump remained to mark the babe’s grave. Still later, even the stump was burned out; and the grave is now entirely unmarked & is remembered only by the very oldest-settlers of this immediate vicinity.




A HARRISON Township Pioneer, a man surnamed McGowen or McGowan died at a very early day and was buried by the side of a N/S road approximately 1mile S.S.E. of the previously mentioned Pinkerton- Burial- Place . The McGowan grave is perhaps now largely [or entirely] covered by the widened County road which runs N/S between the N.W. 1/4 section 28 & the N.E 1/4 section 29. The grave on the older narrow road than would have been on the N.E. corner of the N.E 1/4 of section 29 in HARRISON Township , CASS County , IN.

  The present Report written by [Mrs. Grace (Shafer) Conrad recalls that when she was a little girl out driving with her grandmother [the late Mrs. Mary (Foglesong) Blackburn], would [sometime prior to or about 1907] occasionally stop the horse, get out of the buggy, and place upon this grave a bouquet of flowers, in memory of this Mr. McGowen whom she very likely had known prior to his death which had occurred a great many years previously. [This Mr. McGowen may or not be closely related to Cyrus McGowan who is buried in the nearby Indian Creek Christian cemetery.]

  Also, this elderly lady, the late Mrs. Mary F. Blackburn, would sometimes stop and similarly decorate one other grave, that of a young girl, whose name is completely forgotten by the informant, but was located just a few rods south of Mr. McGowan or McGowen.  


This report was compiled from data submitted on May 15, 1941 to the






Mrs. Grace May [SHAFER] CONRAD

1224 High Street , Logansport , Indiana


In response to it’s newspaper appeals to the citizens of Cass County to compiling accurate [and as complete as possible reports on all known pioneer and other cemeteries both large and small, in this region]



In an effort to confirm or at least shed some badly needed additional light upon the persons mentioned as buried in these 2 little Pioneer day burial grounds, the L’A.V.M.A. Committee on Cemetery Research’s Chairman has undertaken some additional research.

No published writings, manuscript materials, maps nor other known records seem to mention any such Harrison Township burial places.

Research does disclose that there was a family named PINKERTON, who lived in or owned at some time the W. 1/2 of the N.E. 1/4 Section 20, T28N, R1E, 2nd Ind. , P.M.

Though incorrectly & misleadingly indexed on part of this, Deed Record Books, F & J. at the Cass Co., IN courthouse in Logansport , indicates that “Mr. William L. Gott,  on 10-22-1842 traded to DAVID PINKERTON, the very land on which the PINKERTON INFANT is said to be buried about 1841-42. Other records disclose that he had a wife name “Maria” & at least 2 sons who grew to manhood named Virgil H. & William aka Will Pinkerton. David died in 1851 while William was still a teenager & his brother; Virgil was for a short time before the Civil War in or near Bloomington , IL . The Pinkerton boys than transferred their father’s land to Susan Blackburn shortly before the war [West 1/2 of N.E.1/4 Section 20.]

The spot where the Mr. McGowen is reported to have buried is somewhere near the N.E. Corner of Section 29 & in a 1/4 section of the N.E.1/2 which we find was sold on March 9, 1846 by MARTIN Mc GOWEN to Mr. William Kilgore. This E.1/2 of N.E.1/4 of Section 29 had originally been “entered” September 5, 1835 by Joseph St Clair. [An E-W road which formerly passed through the S. portion of the E.1/2 of the E.1/2 of Section 20 has been supplanted by an E-W road which forms the boundary-line between Sections 20 & 29, with Section 29 being that with which we are concerned. The Mc Gowen burial place is apparently on land owned by Dallas A. Brown [Jun.1941]

This report was input by Pat Fiscel February 2007 for the Cass County INGenWeb Project.


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