Private Burial Ground

    Situated about Five Miles west-southwest of the City of Logansport ’s Cicott Street Bridge (over Wabash River ).

   A manuscript record in the handwriting of the late local historian Dr. Jehu Z. Powell, and found by the present writer in the museum of the Cass County Historical Society (in City Building at Logansport, and dated about 1907 or 1908, states that this cemetery is near the very center of the east half of section 6 of CLINTON TOWNSHIP, CASS County, which means in Congressional Township 26 North of Range One (1) East; for, although this small township of Clinton happens to contain part of four separate congressional townships (in two distinct ranges) and, naturally, some little duplication (of section numbers) of a very confusing sort, it contains only one section numbered “6”.

   Research discloses that Hewit L. Thomas (or Thompson!) bought this east half of section 6, on March 21, 1825, while still a resident of Fayette county, Indiana, and from Nicholas Reagan, likewise of Fayette county, and apparently under the name of Hewit L.Thompson, a name which is repeated again and again in the deed, with the result that even is indexed under the name “Thompson”, a thing which gave us a rather long search, and almost was overlooked entirely. (See D.R.”A” pg.224.) Late in 1847, in a deeded record, Hewit L. Thomas’s wife’s name is given as CHARLOTTE O. Thomas. On 1-12-1853, Judge Thomas and wife finally sold said E1/2 of Section Six to JOHN MYERS (See D.R.”Q.”, p.230). By or before 1878, the cemetery-farm had passed into the hands of Ike, or Isaac, Myers (See Kingman Bros. Atlas)

   Further research discloses that Judge Hewit L. Thomas was born in Tompkins county, New York, on 4-27-1805, and was the son of Nancy (Wynans) Thomas and Minor Thomas, the later of whom was a native of Connecticut and of Welch descent and a prominent Baptist clergyman who finally settled at or near Connersville in Fayette county, Indiana, where he was a pioneer settler.

   A farmer, teacher, and hotel-proprietor before coming to Cass county, Hewit L. Thomas came to Clinton township in or before 1836, but, in 1853, sold out to John Myers, and moved to Noble township (across Wabash River), where he became deeply interested in the lumber business, moving, in 1855, actually to the state of Minnesota, where he remained till near the end of the Civil War, serving 2 or 3 terms in that state’s Legislature, while two of his sons served as officers in the Union army during that war, one rising to the rank of actually brigadier-general. His sons are said to have been Meredith H. (born 1826), Minor T. (b. 1830), and William H. (b. 1833). His wife had been Miss Charlotte C. Helm, daughter of William (of Virginia ) and Elizabeth Drummond (of Scotland ) Helm, and a relative of a prominent Cass county, Indiana, educator and historian Thos. B. Helm (who died 1889). Miss Charlotte C. Helm had been a Mason County , Kentuckian.

   But while living in Clinton township, Hewit L. Thomas served as associate judge of the Circuit Courts, sharing the bench with Judge Horace P. Biddle (who later became Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court), Judge John W. Wright and Judges James Horney and Jesse Julian. Later he served as township trustee of Noble township, etc., etc., and was doubtless a man of considerable ability and real prominence.

   His Clinton township farm, containing this little burial ground has been known as the Isaac Myers (father of the late Judge Quincy A. Myers of the Indiana Appellate Court) farm, the Haney Farm, the Ignace Willy Farm, and today, 1941, as the Dr. Francis T. O’Leary Farm.

   Descendents of Judge Thomas are said to have gone to Texas and perhaps also other western states. Judge Thomas is said to have headed the very first agricultural society ever organized in Cass county, Indiana.

   In or about 1865 Judge Thomas is said to have returned to Cass county, but to have settled in Clinton nor Noble township, but in Jackson township, near Galveston (and north of Kokomo, Indiana), where he was still living in 1886.

   In this little Thomas private burial-ground between 1836 and 1853, were buried:

 THOMAS, a baby girl, died about 1840

   “Remarks” Dau. of Hewit L. (& Charlotte C.H.?) Thomas, and buried at an attractive spot “just back of the Thomas log-cabin.) This grave was dug by the late Robert Reed, an Uncle of the late (and widely known) C. Bruce Reed of  ¾ mi. S. E.

 HELM, Mrs. Henry H.  died “1830’s or early 1840’s.”

   But this lady’s remains are understood to have later been disinterred, and re-interred in some other and perhaps more permanent cemetery.

   “and probably a few other persons,” who, according to historian Powell, still lie buried here in graves now entirely unmarked, and whose names the present writer does not seem able, at this late date, to obtain.

   Fieldwork indicates that the center of the east half of section 6 is perhaps only about 20 rods southeast of the ravine (or narrow and rather winding hollow) of a small spring-fed creek and northward flowing creek, on the east side of which is said to have been one or more little log cabins, the site of one of which is still detectable, at a point only about 80 rods, southwest of the present sturdy (and large) brick house formerly occupied by the Myers family, and now by Dr. O”Leary’s caretaker, Mr. Williams,---which brick house is perhaps 25 rods south of an east-to-west road which runs along the East-to-West midline of the north half of said east half of said section 6.

   On both terrace-rims are some attractive spots which may have served as this little pioneer-day family burial place; but the present writer is unprepared to say precisely which one, if any of them so served. (END OF REPORT.)

This report was transcribed by Sadie Cunningham for the Cass County INGenWeb Project in September 2006.

Added 16 October 2006

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