Pioneer Cemeteries and Their Stories,

Madison County, Indiana

Wesley Chapel Cemetery

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aka  Forest Chapel

Richland Township

Location: northeast corner of CRs 650N and 125E

 

The Wesley Chapel Cemetery view on the right shows the fence with gate and sign to mark and help protect the sacred ground of early township people of faith.  The close-up at left shows some of the stones, most of which are from the Victorian Age--mid 19th century--and are in excellent condition.

    This cemetery belongs to what was the first church in Richland Township, a Methodist house of worship.  William Noble organized the small congregation which at first held meetings in private homes.  Later the Holston Schoolhouse on CR 650N was used, and finally in 1860 a frame house of worship was constructed across the road from the school.  The new building was dedicated and christened "Wesley Chapel" after John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement.  Wesley Chapel held services every two weeks for over thirty years and on the nearby farm of J.R. Holson/Holston, even had annual "camp meetings," which followers of John Wesley's movement would attend from all parts of the country. The land for the chapel, its cemetery, and the schoolhouse was donated by J.R. Holson whose stone is pictured below right.  The 1876 township plat map shows the school, the chapel, and its cemetery all at the same intersection.  Both buildings are long since gone, but the cemetery remains a steadfast witness to the faith of early Richland Township settlers.

Jane Wood Holson's stone is an excellent example of high Victorian style with medallion, acanthus leaves, curving lines and decoration. 

Jane's husband J.R Holson donated the land for Wesley Chapel, its cemetery, and the Holson Schoolhouse, all once located on CR 650N at its intersection with CR 125E.  Not limited to the Methodist movement, J.R. also provided land for another cemetery one mile north of this one on CR 140E for neighbors and friends not connected to Wesley Chapel.  This second cemetery is named for him and is called the Holson.

 

The four stones above also show popular Victorian symbols and styling.  Three of the four have clasped hands which symbolized a husband and wife meeting in heaven.  The hand pointed upward with the message represented religious zeal in this life.  The drape stood for the mourning by friends and family.  While each stone is essentially a rectangle or pillar, the severe straight lines are softened with curves--an essential part of Victorian style: the arches, drape, medallion, flowing script, and rounded tops.

 

Pillars and podiums were also popular with the Victorians.  An obelisk, like the one on the left for "Sarah wife of Wm. Meredith, died Apr. 19, 1878, aged 65 yrs. 1 m. 19ds," symbolized the connection between heaven and earth.  A pillar, like the one on the right complete with ivy and ribbing, symbolized the noble life of the departed--in this case Charles Hollowell.  In the middle, the draped and tasseled podium always represented the religious faith of those interred under it; the book on top was the Bible, of course.  Usually the name and dates of the deceased were inscribed in the medallion, but this one seems to have been left blank.

 

By contrast, the rectangular slabs of the 1850s, like the one on the left for J.R. and Nancy's daughter Sarah, were also very traditional.  Most of the time some of the lettering would be rounded.  The dove at the top symbolized innocence.  Styles began to change in the 1880s when curving lines went out of fashion and straighter forms took their place as shown by the blockish markers in the middle and on the right.  Furthermore, styles change slowly, so while Elizabeth Watkins's marker is more severe, it does have a Victorian urn on top which symbolized mortality.  Additionally, throughout the 19th century it was customary to have much smaller gravestones for children as can be seen on either side of Andrew McNeer's severe, dark gray stone on the right.

One of the most interesting stones at the Wesley Chapel is the one at left.  Stylistically, it is of the 1840s, and the death date looks like its reads, "Died Feb. 13, 1834." However, on the list below George Manbling is listed as passing away in 1854.

"Curiouser and curiouser...," as Alice would say in Wonderland.

One should remember not to be too ridged when analyzing the cultural styles of the past.

 

Names
ID Names Birth Date Death Date Cemetery
1993 BABBIT, MARY 87Y. 11M. 3D. DEC. 17, 1892 WESLEY CHAPEL
1994 BABBIT, WILLIAM H. 75Y. 3D. OCT. 28, 1876 WESLEY CHAPEL
4923 BLACKLIDGE, MARY M. 40Y. 1M. 1D. OCT. 28, 1877 WESLEY CHAPEL
6642 BRIGHT, SARAH ANN 34Y. 3M. 15D. SEP. 11, 1871 WESLEY CHAPEL
10405 CHILDS, HERBERT MAR. 12, 1888 AUG. 21, 1888 WESLEY CHAPEL
11041 CLEVENGER, (INFANT)   DEC. 23, 1918 WESLEY CHAPEL
11061 CLEVENGER, JOSEPH T. 40Y. SEP. 2, 1888 WESLEY CHAPEL
11071 CLEVENGER, MAUDE E. 40Y. JAN. 7, 1919 WESLEY CHAPEL
11079 CLEVENGER, SARAH FEB. 22, 1845 MAR. 2, 1902 WESLEY CHAPEL
11266 CLUFF, ADELIA JUN. 30, 1871 MAR. 28, 1904 WESLEY CHAPEL
11267 CLUFF, JAMES H. MAR. 31, 1850 MAR. 24, 1904 WESLEY CHAPEL
13926 CUBBAGE, PAMELIA 79Y. FEB. 18, 1855 WESLEY CHAPEL
20643 FORKNER, CORNELUSH 22Y. 3M. 17D. NOV. 15, 1869 WESLEY CHAPEL
20657 FORKNER, MATTIE 64Y. JUN. 20, 1935 WESLEY CHAPEL
20938 FOUST, MARTHA S. 1807 1871 WESLEY CHAPEL
21297 FRAZIER, JOHN M. NOV. 14, 1871 JUL. 23, 1893 WESLEY CHAPEL
21300 FRAZIER, JOSEPH M. 48Y. 2M. 11D. MAY 17, 1881 WESLEY CHAPEL
21719 FULLER, PERRY 68Y. 9M. 28D. OCT. 16, 1884 WESLEY CHAPEL
25499 HAMMOND, GEORGE 56Y. 1M. 6D. OCT. 10, 1879 WESLEY CHAPEL
25503 HAMMOND, JOHN 17Y. 2M. 7D. APR. 10, 1870 WESLEY CHAPEL
25505 HAMMOND, NANCY E. 19Y. 8M. 2D. SEP. 16, 1871 WESLEY CHAPEL
25508 HAMMOND, REBECCA MAY 17, 1825 MAR. 3, 1885 WESLEY CHAPEL
25646 HANCOCK, WILLIAM 76Y. 3M. 20D. NOV. 12, 1892 WESLEY CHAPEL
29357 HOLLOWELL, CHARLES F. 18Y. 10D. NOV. 3, 1871 WESLEY CHAPEL
29418 HOLSTON, J.R. 61Y. 6M. 29D. JUL. 16, 1851 WESLEY CHAPEL
29419 HOLSTON, JANE WOOD 41Y. 3M. 13D. DEC. 8, 1864 WESLEY CHAPEL
29422 HOLSTON, JOSHUA REED 66Y. 3M. 6D. APR. 9, 1878 WESLEY CHAPEL
29504 HOOD, MARY 19Y. 3M. JUN. 12, 1871 WESLEY CHAPEL
31177 HUPP, SARAH 56Y. 10M. 5D. OCT. 15, 1894 WESLEY CHAPEL
31178 HUPP, SYLVESTER 47Y. 9M. 21D. MAY 11, 1884 WESLEY CHAPEL
31819 JACKSON, ANN 63Y. 1M. 3D. APR. 11, 1873 WESLEY CHAPEL
31838 JACKSON, CYNTHIA A. 1851 1903 WESLEY CHAPEL
31898 JACKSON, JAMES L. 1847 1917 WESLEY CHAPEL
31962 JACKSON, RICHARD 54Y. 7M. 11D. OCT. 16, 1857 WESLEY CHAPEL
36578 LARMORE, ELLA W. 18Y. 1M. 24D. FEB. 7, 1877 WESLEY CHAPEL
36764 LAWLER, MAGGIE 22Y. 4M. 23D. MAY 11, 1886 WESLEY CHAPEL
37974 LEWIS, SUSANNAH 27Y. 11M. 27D. JUL. 1, 1870 WESLEY CHAPEL
39141 MABBITT, ANTHONY 63Y. 4M. 6D. MAY 4, 1888 WESLEY CHAPEL
39147 MABBITT, GEORGE H. 23Y. 14D. MAR. 14, 1871 WESLEY CHAPEL
39541 MANBING, GEORGE 21Y. 11M. 13D. FEB. 13, 1854 WESLEY CHAPEL
39542 MANBLING, NANCY 63Y. 8M. 29D. FEB. 7, 1871 WESLEY CHAPEL
39653 MANRING, AMBROSE APR. 5, 1802 DEC. 21, 1870 WESLEY CHAPEL
39735 MARKLE, EVERT J. 1Y. 1M. 15D. JUL. 23, 1890 WESLEY CHAPEL
40491 MAYNARD, CHARITY 14Y. 7M. 4D. AUG. 6, 1851 WESLEY CHAPEL
40509 MAYNARD, JAMES 52Y. 9M. JUN. 11, 1861 WESLEY CHAPEL
40524 MAYNARD, SARAH 1813 1890 WESLEY CHAPEL
40749 MCCARTNEY, MELINDA 28Y. MAY 15, 1865 WESLEY CHAPEL
42252 MCNEER, ANDREW H. 74Y. 11M. 1D. JAN. 18, 1883 WESLEY CHAPEL
42253 MCNEER, CATHERINE 72Y. 7M. 2D. APR. 17, 1873 WESLEY CHAPEL
42579 MEREDITH, ELIZABETH 31Y. 3M. 18D. MAY 17, 1867 WESLEY CHAPEL
42589 MEREDITH, SARAH   APR. 19, 1878 WESLEY CHAPEL
42592 MEREDITH, THOMAS 40Y. 7M. 10D. JAN. 17, 1876 WESLEY CHAPEL
42595 MEREDITH, WILLIAM 60Y. 10M. 7D. OCT. 20, 1866 WESLEY CHAPEL
43935 MONTAGUE, ROBERT 1827 AUG. 26, 1882 WESLEY CHAPEL
44026 MONTICUE, ROBERT M.     WESLEY CHAPEL
48246 PECK, THOMAS FEB. 14, 1863 MAR. 4, 1863 WESLEY CHAPEL
52142 RIGGS, MARTHA A. 41Y. 10M. 18D. SEP. 3, 1891 WESLEY CHAPEL
57556 SMITH, AMANDA J. 36Y. 5M. 25D. APR. 8, 1890 WESLEY CHAPEL
57693 SMITH, EDMUND 23Y. DEC. 16, 1871 WESLEY CHAPEL
57903 SMITH, JESSE 24Y. 1M. NOV. 21, 1871 WESLEY CHAPEL
58057 SMITH, MARY G. 69Y. 5_ SEP. 6, 1886 WESLEY CHAPEL
58083 SMITH, MILES 65Y. 11M. 27D. AUG. 9, 1871 WESLEY CHAPEL
60756 STURGE, (CHILD) 12Y. DEC. 16, 1895 WESLEY CHAPEL
65105 WALKER, FRANCIS A. 11Y. 1M. 24D. JUL. 25, 1851 WESLEY CHAPEL
65129 WALKER, JOHN 22Y. 8M. 20D. OCT. 19, 1856 WESLEY CHAPEL
65829 WATKINS, ELIZABETH JUN. 14, 1803 AUG. 19, 1881 WESLEY CHAPEL
65840 WATKINS, JAMES 16 IND INF CO K NOV. 18, 1862 WESLEY CHAPEL
65844 WATKINS, JOHN E. 4M. 5D. SEP. 1, 1865 WESLEY CHAPEL
65847 WATKINS, LEWIS JUL. 29, 1808 NOV. 29, 1859 WESLEY CHAPEL
65860 WATKINS, PERRY WILLIAM 130 IND INF CO B APR. 1, 1864 WESLEY CHAPEL
68218 WILLIAMS, MORGAN T. 1823 1863 WESLEY CHAPEL
70056 YERGEN, JAMES     WESLEY CHAPEL
70134 YOUNG, WIFE OF WILLIAM W. 27Y. 5M. 14D. MAR. 20, 1869 WESLEY CHAPEL