"Only by preserving history are
we fit to make it." Edward Ronsheim
The Madison County
Cemetery Commission welcomes you.
The purpose of the Madison County Cemetery Commission is to restore and
preserve the early cemeteries in our Indiana county. First formed in 1973, Madison
County's sesquicentennial, the MCCC was established by the Madison County
Board of Commissioners in response to public concern and the passing of
state laws protecting the cemeteries of pioneers and early settlers.
As in the past, today's Board of County Commissioners--Steffanie Owens, Jeff
Hardin, and John Richwine--continue
to recognize the need to maintain and protect this important part of our
We invite you to browse through our pages--to take a walk,
as it were, through our pioneer cemeteries, tour our Hoosier past, and meet our early settlers who
did the hard work of making a community out of the wilderness.
We might suggest that you meet an unassuming
of the War of 1812, the veteran
who was killed with a tomahawk at the Strawtown Massacre,
the twelve Revolutionary War
soldiers buried in our county, the first white family--Moravian
missionaries, 1801-1806,--descendents of a Mayflower pilgrim, a sweetheart of Hoosier poet
James Whitcomb Riley, a friend of Daniel
Boone, the protector of famous
African-American Frederick Douglass, a
Hancock whose ancestors escaped from hostile tribes, a responsible
pioneer bartender, the
very first mid-wife in the county, the
rafts man who delivered the lumber for the first court
house in Indianapolis, a merchant who supplied pork to Cuba,
another who sold bear skins and beeswax, a
postmaster who carried the mail in
his hat, a strong man who could split 500 rails a day,
Anderson mayor who had a story about a raccoon, the
justice of the peace who wrote everything in
farmer who walked his
hogs from Chesterfield to Cincinnati, the
settler with the earliest birth
date, 1748 (!), the wealthiest
family who were traveling to Illinois when an
ox died, or their son
that helped preserve the
area that is now Mounds State Park. Madison County has a lot of
history to learn from and be proud of including the only instance during the
19th century that a United
States court of law
held whites strictly accountable for killing innocent Native Americans.
The convicted were sentenced to be hanged, legally executed,
and Native American tribal leaders were allowed to witness the event.
See what a pioneer homestead looked like, or
learn how to use a turnip
as a lamp. Go to church in the 1840s,
read a mystery, or meet an internationally registered
tree which helped guide settlers along the Fort Wayne Trace. Find out what
Pendleton was like in 1830 or where
Bonge's is located along White River or what
Anderson has to do with the Lenni Lenape or
where Alexandria's ghost travels or why
associated with stale cheese. Look at some beautiful
our pioneers or at an original log cabin still being
used as a residence.
Tour our stone library of 19th century memorial styles,
or attend some of Madison County's rededication
ceremonies. Learn the restoration process used for the newly reclaimed Cottrell Cemetery and
earlier for the Weddington Cemetery.
(Clicking on any of the underlined words will take you
immediately to the page that has that particular story.)
This is where to start if you are hunting for a specific burial ground.
This section has an alphabetical list of all pioneer cemeteries in Madison
County. Each cemetery then has its own page which contains the cemetery's
location, list of recorded burials,
pictures, history, bits of biographies, and highlighted
pre-Civil War veterans. If your ancestor was a pioneer or early
settler, do not forget to look on the township history pages
where you might find
more biographical information.
History & 1876 Maps:
If you are researching the early history of Madison County or any of its
townships, start here. This section provides a look at pioneer life, the beginnings of Madison
County, and the 1876 map of the county. Each township
page then continues
with early Madison County history and includes for the individual township
the 1876 plat map, pictures, biographical sketches, a list of early
settlers, and a list of cemeteries.
Maps to Cemeteries: If you
want to visit a cemetery, this section shows for each township the modern roads and locations of
the pioneer cemeteries.
If you enjoy looking at pictures, go here. This section has multiple
galleries. Among them are "Pioneer Homes and Buildings," "Native
Americans," and "Revolutionary War Veterans," which compile
all the pictures used throughout the site on each respective topic.
Archives: This section
highlights the mid 20th century efforts--before protective state laws were
passed--of the Madison County Historical Society's Cemetery Conditions
Committee to find and record all cemeteries in the county and to transcribe
their grave markers. Newspaper photos from the time illustrate the
committee's hard work. Those cemeteries completely destroyed for
profit or desecrated for convenience are discussed as well as the
contributions of earlier individual county historians.
The members of the 2013 Madison County Cemetery Commission
are Ranny Simmons, chairperson, Russ Willis, Devon Dow, Sherry Ballinger, and Melody Hull,
secretary, web site author and manager. If you have questions or comments
about this site or the historical information presented, please contact
Melody at firstname.lastname@example.org.
family genealogy should be addressed to Nancy Lawler, Genealogy Department,
Madison County Historical Society at
The Madison County Cemetery Commission is a legal county
entity designed to assist township trustees with their responsibilities in
regard to old and abandoned or relinquished burial grounds. In
Madison County, the preservation of our history has been not just a legal
responsibility but an ethical duty in amicable co-operation.
State law outlines those legal responsibilities in Indiana Code 23-14-67-5; (05)IN
1155.1.10, Sec. 5. (b):
cemetery commission shall do the following:
(1) Assist township trustees with the restoration and maintenance of
abandoned cemeteries under IC 23-14-68.
(2) Notify the county auditor and county recorder of the location of
cemeteries within the county.
(3) Educate local officials and residents concerning the legal requirements
regarding the care, protection, and preservation of cemeteries.
(4) Designate cemeteries within the county as active or inactive with regard
to future burials."
More specifically, the township trustees'
duties are mandated in Indiana Code 23-14-68, Care of Cemeteries by
"Application of Chapter, Sec. 1.
(a) This chapter applies to each cemetery that: (1) is without funds for
maintenance; (2) was in existence on February 28, 1939; and (3) is operated
by a nonprofit organization or is not managed by any viable organization. (b) This chapter does not apply to a cemetery located on land on which
property taxes are assessed and paid under IC6-1.1-4.
trustee locating and maintaining cemeteries, Sec. 2. The trustee of each
township shall locate and maintain all the cemeteries described in section 1
(a) of this chapter that are within the township...
of cemeteries, Sec. 3. For the purposes of this chapter, the maintenance of
a cemetery includes the following: (1) Resetting and straightening all
monuments. (2) Leveling and seeding the ground. (3) Constructing
fences where there are none and repairing existing fences. (4)
Destroying and cleaning up detrimental plants (as defined in IC 15-16-8-1),
noxious weeds, and rank vegetation.
"Appropriations for care and maintenance; cemetery tax, Sec. 4. (a) The
township shall appropriate enough money to provide for the care, repair, and
maintenance of each cemetery described... (b) The township may levy a
township cemetery tax to create a fund for maintenance of cemeteries under
failure to perform duties, Sec. 5. A township trustee who fails to perform
the trustee's duties under this chapter commits a Class C infraction."
This site is a work in progress. If you would like
to contribute biographical information about a pioneer buried in Madison
County, ask for a reciprocal link to a family genealogy web site, or suggest
a pre-Civil War homestead, house, or building for a picture, contact
Melody email@example.com .
noted, the historical and
biographical information, drawings, and maps used on this web site have been
researched and taken from the following literary sources:
Cemeteries and Record of Deceased Veterans of Madison County, Indiana. Zook, Haroldyne, compl. n.p. 1988.
Baker, Ronald L.
From Needmore to Prosperity. Indiana University Press. Bloomington &
Bock, Gene. "Man About Town." Anderson Herald-Bulletin, Anderson,
Dec. 6, 1969-Sept. 7, 1970.
"Memorial to Patriots of the American Revolution Resting in Madison County."
Biographical History of Madison County, Indiana. Hawkins H. H.,
editor. n.p. Anderson, 1978.
Anderson A Pictorial History. G. Bradley Publishing, Inc. St. Louis,
Forkner, John L. History of Madison County, Indiana,Vol. I &
Vol. II. Lewis
Publishing Company. Chicago, 1914.
History of Madison County, Indiana. n.p. 1874.
The Pioneer. William Mitchell Printing Company. Greenfield, 1895.
History of Madison
County, Indiana. Helm, T. B., editor. Kingman Brothers. Chicago, 1880.
Alan. Indian Names in Indiana. The Blasted Works. Monticello, 1993.
The MCCC wishes to thank Beth Oljace
and Ranny Simmons for compiling and offering for use on this web site the
Anderson Public Library's Tombstone Records Database.
Unless otherwise noted, all the
photographs contained herein were taken by MCCC members.
Melody would like to
also thank Tom Hull for his help in taking pictures and setting up the
program and John P. Summers for his gift of the Madison County history