The oldest burial ground in
Butler township, of which there is any account, is the Clayton cemetery, in the
northeastern part of the township. James and Thomas Clayton were among the
pioneers that settled along the Mississinewa river below Peoria, and James
Clayton died a few years after coming to Miami county. He was one of the first
persons to be buried in this graveyard, which still bears the family name.
Several Indians were buried here before the Miamis left for their new
reservation in Kansas, but their names have been forgotten.
About two miles west
of the village of Peoria, (New Hope?) in the southeast corner of section 7 and a
short distance northwest of the Presbyterian church, is a small graveyard that
grew up about the time the church was established there in the fall of l863, but
it cannot be learned who was the first person to be, buried there.
Another old graveyard in
Butler township is located in the northwest corner of section 22, about a mile
and half of south of Peoria. A Christian church was built near this point about
1868, but it is not known whether the graveyard was established by the church or
not. There is a sort of tradition, not very well founded, that some burials had
been made there before the church was founded.
At the May term of
the county commissioners' court in 1903 a petition was filed asking for the
incorporation of a cemetery association at Peoria. The matter was continued
until the next term, in order to give the petitioners an opportunity to give the
proper notice of an intention to ask for such an incorporation, and on June 1,
1903, the Peoria Cemetery Association was regularly incorporated. to have and to
hold a certain tract of ground in section 10,, township 26, range 5.
Alfred Ramsey, former county commissioner, headed the movement for the
organization of the association. This is the only incorporated and regularly
recorded cemetery association in Butler township.
atlas of Miami county published by Kingman Brothers in 1877, and also on a map
of Miami county published by Rand, McNally & Company in 1905, two cemeteries
are shown in Clay township. One of these is located near the United Brethren
church in section 28, about a mile and a half east of Bennett's Switch, (I
believe this is Chittick and is actually in Deer Creek Township.) and the other is a short distance southwest of the village of
Near the north
line of section 23, in the western part of Deer Creek township, is an old
cemetery that was once the churchyard of the Baptist church founded there in
1849. A number of the pioneers of the township were buried here during the
existence of the church, but since the congregation was disbanded in 1893 the
cemetery has fallen into decay through neglect and is rarely used. In the southern part of section 36, in the same township and not far
from the Howard county line, is another small burial place; there is also a
graveyard on the middle fork of Deer creek, in the northeast corner of section
29, about a mile east of Bennett's Switch, and another is situated in the east side of section
17, on the south bank of Deer creek and a short distance east of the village of
county atlas and map above referred to show three cemeteries in Erie township.
The first is situated near the United Brethren church in section
8, in the northern part; the second is near the old Methodist
church in the southeast corner of section 10, and the third is
in the southwest quarter of section 21, just north of the Wabash railroad and in
what was once the Joseph Richardville reserve.
extreme northern part of Harrison township, just north of Pipe creek in the
northwest quarter of section 5, and a short distance southwest of the village of
Santa Fe, is an old country graveyard in which some of the early settlers of
that part of the county found their last resting place. The
McGrawsville Methodist church has a cemetery near that village; there is another just east of the village of North Grove; one in the northwestern part of section 8, north of the Pan Handle
railroad; and there is an old burial ground in the
southeastern part of the township that was once maintained by the Wesleyan
Methodist church of Cary, but it is no longer used, except on rare
The first cemetery in Jackson township was laid out on the farm of
Thomas Mason and the first burial there was that of an infant child of Thomas
and Mary Addington. This graveyard, afterward known as the Xenia cemetery, was
the beginning of the principal burial place at Converse, though in recent years
it has been greatly enlarged and improved. Second in
importance is the cemetery just north of Amboy, in the northern part of section
23, which is the principal place of interment for the people of the town and a
large district of the surrounding country. There is an old
cemetery in the south side of section 2, on the bank of Pipe creek and on
section 1, about a mile farther east is what was once known as the South Grove
Protestant cemetery. About half a mile northwest of
Converse is the churchyard of the Friends or Quakers, where the members of that
denomination and their friends bury their departed.
As narrated in
Chapter VIII, the first person to die in Jefferson township was Solomon
Wilkinson, who was buried just west of the Town of Mexico. That was the
beginning of the Mexico cemetery. Other members of the Wilkinson family were
among the early burials here. What is known as the
Walling graveyard was established in the southwestern part of the township as
early as 1836. Mrs. Burrell Daniels, whose husband built the first gristmill in
the township, was buried here. This graveyard was abandoned as a burial place
many years ago and the few graves there are now hardly distinguishable.
The Eel River cemetery,
located in section 2, township 27, range 3, about two miles west of Mexico, was
established by the members of the Eel River chapel about 1838. On March 6, 1911,
a plat of the cemetery was filed in the office of the county recorder, by W. H.
Myers, though it has been used as a burial ground ever since it was first laid
out three quarters of a century ago.
There are two cemeteries kept
up by the German Baptists in Jefferson township in connection with the church
about half a mile north of Mexico and the other in section 27, township 28,
range 5, about half a mile east of the village of Courter. In the cemetery at
Mexico are several graves of old people and children who were inmates of the Old
Folks' and Orphan Children's Home mentioned earlier in this
In Perry township
one of the oldest burial places is located in the east side of section 15, on
the north bank of Squirrel creek and not far from the county line. It was kept
up for a number of years by the Niconza Baptist church, but after the church
went down the cemetery fell into disuse. Brant & Fuller's History of Miami
County (page 719), in mentioning the death of James Bunton-the first death in
Perry township-says: "He was buried in the Niconza graveyard, one of the oldest
cemeteries in the county." There is an old cemetery in
Perry township in the western part of section 4, "near the prairie," about a
mile and a half west of the Wabash county line and near the northern boundary of
the township. Another cemetery is situated in the western part of section 7,
just north of Gilead and is the principal burial place for the people of that
village and the neighboring rural districts.
Peru township, being the
site of the city of Peru, is naturally better supplied with burial grounds than
any other in the county, and its cemeteries are larger, better kept as a rule
and more pretentious than are those of the smaller towns and country districts.
Mount Hope cemetery was laid out about the year 1845 and comprised about three
acres of ground. In course of time this land was all sold for burial purposes
and at such low prices that there were no funds with which to keep the cemetery
in repair. In 1881 the Mount Hope Cemetery Association was only incorporated by
the commissioners of Miami county and in 1884 an assessment of $6 per lot was
levied for the purpose of providing funds for the improvement of the grounds. In
1908 another assessment of $2.50 per lot was levied, and some money was willed
to the association as an endowment.
The Oak Grove Cemetery
Association was organized on March 30, 1868, and by various purchases acquired
about seventeen and one-half acres of land, adjacent to and surrounding the
Mount Hope cemetery on the north and west.
On February 6, 1912, a
new Mount Hope Cemetery Association was formed by the consolidation of the two
above mentioned associations and was incorporated on that date by order of the
commissioners of Miami county. At that time the assets of the old Mount Hope
association were $281.42 in cash and $1,900 loaned at six per cent on first
mortgage security. The assets of the Oak Grove association consisted of $285.58
in cash and nearly ten acres of unsold land, upon which there was a mortgage of
$3,000. By the consolidation of the two associations the lands of the new
association were made available for an extension of burial grounds and the cash
and endowment fund of the old one gave the new organization a fair working
capital for immediate needs.
New by-laws were adopted by the lot
owners of the Mount Hope Cemetery Association on February 3, 1913, at which time
the following officers were elected: Charles H. Brownell, president; Frank M.
Stutesman, vice-president; Henry S. Bailey, secretary; Joseph H. Shirk,
treasurer; Nott N. Antrim, Walter C. Bailey, George C. Miller, Sr., and Henry
Kittner, directors. Under the revised by-laws each owner of a lot or part of a
lot is a stockholder in the association, but no pecuniary benefit of profit
shall come to him by virtue of such relationship. The by-laws also provide that
each lot shall pay an annual assessment of $2 and each fraction of a lot an
assessment of $1 for the maintenance of the cemetery, and for the same purpose
each single burial space shall pay an assessment of fifty cents.
Mount Hope is beautifully situated in the eastern part of section 28, just north
of the city limits and under the new organization the cemetery promises to
become one of the prettiest in central Indiana. Provisions have been made for
building up a general endowment fund, the income from which will be used for the
care of the cemetery, and in addition to this general fund the association has
made provision for a special endowment fund to consist of money or securities
given to the association with the understanding that the income shall be used to
beautify a certain lot or section of the cemetery.
cemetery, north of the Wabash railroad, and some distance west of the city
limits was bought early in the '60s, while Father Bernard Force was pastor of
the St. Charles parish, and was consecrated according to the ritual of the
church as a burial place for Catholics. Adjoining the Catholic cemetery is that
of the Lutherans which is a typical churchyard, neatly kept and sufficiently
large to answer all demands of the congregation that uses it as a burial ground.
In section 32, at the west end of the city of Peru and immediately east of the
Catholic cemetery, is what is known as the Reyburn graveyard, so named from one
of the pioneers families of the city, some of whose members were buried there in
early days. The atlas of 1877 shows an old Methodist cemetery in the north side
of section 11, about two and a half miles north of the city on the road leading
to Chili, and east of that road is the old Tillett graveyard, where several of
the Tillett family and their neighbors lie buried.
Pipe Creek Township
Pipe Creek township is well
supplied with burial places. In
the east side of section 5, near the northern boundary of the township and east
of the Lake Erie & Western Railroad, is an old graveyard that served as a
place of interment for the early settlers in that neighborhood. This cemetery has been supplanted by one
established by the United Brethren church about a mile farther west. There is an old burial ground in the
north side of section 14, on what is known as the Medsker farm, not far from the
Cass county line. About a mile
south of this cemetery is one established by the Christian church soon after the
close of the Civil war, and there is also a cemetery a short distance west of the
town of Bunker Hill.
In Richland township, near
the center of section 1 and about two miles east of the old village of
Wooleytown, is what is left of an old graveyard established in an early day. The
oldest cemetery in the township, however, is the one at Chili, which was laid
out some time prior to 1840. There is also a graveyard in connection with the
German Baptist church in section 3, near the northwest corner of the township,
and another at the Baptist church at Chili. The last mentioned is situated on
the bank of the Eel river a short distance below the town.
Paw cemetery, in Richland township, was consecrated as a burial place in 1840
and the first person to be buried there was Margaret,, daughter of Richard and
Amy Miller. On January 5, 1904, the tract of land including the cemetery was
conveyed to the trustees of the Paw Paw Methodist Episcopal church by Margaret
Miller. A plat of the cemetery was filed in the office of the county recorder on
August 13, 1913, the trustees at that time being Thomas F. Black, E. B. Miller
and Clarence Grogg. This cemetery is located in section 16, township 28, range
5, a short distance west of the old village of Paw Paw.
Referring again to the old
atlas and map previously mentioned, three cemeteries are noted in Union
township. One is situated in the northeast quarter of section 33, about a mile
northeast of Deedsville; the second is near the Missionary Baptist church in the
southern part of section 7, near Weesau creek and about three miles northwest of
the town of Denver; and the third is in section 16, just north of the old Weesau
In Washington township the
Wickler graveyard in the south side of section 15, about two miles south of the
county asylum, is one of the oldest cemeteries. It was established at a very
early day and one of the first persons to be buried there was a child of Robert
Love. The roads were in such condition at the time that it was difficult for
vehicles to pass over them and the little coffin was carried to the graveyard on
horseback by a Mr. Miller. Mr. Love, the father of the child, was also buried
here a little later.
The Rankin graveyard, in the southwestern part
of the township, is located on what was once known as the Bearss farm, on Big
Pipe creek and about two miles east of Bunker Hill. It is one of the old
graveyards of Washington township. Caleb Adams and a Mrs. Harter were among the
first persons to be buried in this cemetery.
Shortly after the
United Brethren church known as Crider chapel was built in 1869, a cemetery was
established in connection with the church. It is located in the northeast corner
of section 24, near Little Pipe creek and is still used as a place of interment
by the members of the church and the residents in the neighborhood.
Near the northwest corner of the township, in section 4, is an old graveyard on
the bank of Little Pipe creek, and in the extreme southwest corner, just south
of Big Pipe creek, is the old Hawes graveyard. John, Bernard and Conrad Hawes
settled in this locality in the early '40s and one of them (it is not definitely
known which) was the first persoa to be buried here. Another early burial in
this cemetery was a man named Larimer and several pioneer families used it as a
burial place for many years.
SOURCE: History of Miami
County Indiana Chicago, Brant & Fuller 1887