Pioneer Cemeteries and Their Stories,

Madison County, Indiana

Bunker Cemetery

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aka  Davis

Fall Creek Township

Location: west side of CR 225W, between CRs 900S and 950S

Shrouded by late summer foliage, the Bunker-Davis Cemetery on a hilltop in southern Fall Creek Township was one of the first reclamations tackled by the first Madison County Cemetery Commission, 1973.  W. Lloyd Scott, some of whose ancestors rest here, was instrumental in petitioning the Madison County Board of Commissioners to appoint a cemetery commission and in drafting the MCCC's statement of purpose.

The grave marker of Harvy/Harry Scott, 1791-1845, Fall Creek Township pioneer, shows the metal frame work used in the mid 1900s by the first MCCC to stabilize broken or damaged stones.  In later years aluminum would be preferred because it does not rust as this metal has.  The small metal plaque at the top explains that this stone was reset by W. Lloyd Scott, a Harvy Scott descendent.  Kiszia, Harry's wife, 1790-1847, rests next to him.

Another early pioneer family to the southern part of Madison County were the Davises.   The stone of Johnson Davis, c. 1791-1847,at left, still shows the cement foundation added in 1973.  Johnson's wife Elizabeth, c. 1789-1856, is also buried here.  She died at "67y. 3m. 5d."  Johnson and his family entered Fall Creek Township around 1829 along with his brother Elisha Davis, c. 1786-1856, who is listed in Harden's history of the county.  Elisha and his wife Miriam Scott, c. 1786-1855, sister to Harvy Scott, are both interred here along with eleven year old son Willis and twenty-nine year old daughter Kisah.

    Brothers Elisha and Johnson Davis* came with their families from the Elizabeth City area of Pasquotank County, North Carolina.  They arrived in Indiana around 1829 and had settled in Fall Creek Township by 1835.  Like other pioneers, they migrated with a group of family members and friends from the same region, settled on neighboring farmland, helped each other survive, and were buried next to each other at a cemetery near their Hoosier pioneer homesteads. 

    Originally, the Davis family emigrated from England, possibly starting from Wales.  A family story explains that Elisha was the first of the family to be born in the United States around 1786.  He eventually married Miriam Scott, 1786-1855, and before leaving North Carolina, they had six children.  Since Miriam was a sister to Harvy Scott, 1791-1845, whose stone is pictured above, it is safe to assume that the Scotts and Davises traveled together on their journey to Indiana.  Elisha and his brother Johnson, whose stone is also pictured above, both applied for land patents: Elisha for 160 acres and Johnson for forty in the southern sections of Madison County.  The Scotts also homesteaded nearby. 

    Concerning eventual ownership of his land, Elisha was ahead of 19th century customs.  Elisha's first son Morris left three young daughters in 1856 when he died.  Elisha deeded part of his own land to these granddaughters, Emily, Anne, and Tensley.  Elisha could have given the land to other adult members of the immediate family, but it seems he wanted to secure a future for the three little girls. 

    Elisha and Miriam's daughter Maranda was evidently like her father because she, too, chose to do something that was not customary for her time.  Maranda, who was born in 1828, married Francis Marion Bunker.  They had a family of five children when Francis suddenly died at age thirty-nine in 1865.  Maranda never remarried, continued living at the family farm, and raised all five children and a granddaughter by herself.  Undoubtedly, nearby family members helped; that was the pioneer lifestyle.  Maranda, though, who died in 1908 at "79y. 2m. 7d.," appears to have been more independent and self-sufficient than was usual for women of the 19th century. 

    Something that was customary for pioneers to do was to take custody of neighbors' children orphaned by tragedy.   Margaret Shipley may very well illustrate this.  Davis genealogist Pam Brown has not found any Shipley connection to the Davis-Scott extended family; yet, a Margaret Shipley is listed on various census records as a child and later as a young adult living with members of the Elisha Davis family. There are no family stories or records that explain Margaret's placement in the Davis homes. It is assumed that young Margaret was related to the Eliza Shipley listed below, who died in 1849.  Margaret was possibly taken in because of some tragedy in the Shipley family, and, as was the custom, cared for by the Davises.

    Another son of Elisha was Bailey Davis, who was born in 1821.  Bailey married Charity Pritchard and they had a daughter Samantha who married a Harkrader.  Charity's sister Mary Ann married William George, and Charity and Mary Ann's brother was Jesse Pritchard, who owned eighty acres, part of which adjoined Johnson Davis's property.  In fact, Jesse's land was only one mile northwest of the cemetery.  Bailey Davis appears to be the glue connecting most of these seemingly divergent names together.

    The Bunker Cemetery with its Davis-Scott-Bunker-Pritchard-George-Harkrader-Shipley extended family is a time capsule of pioneer life style.  Here are first families who sacrificed, suffered, and helped each other survive in the untouched southern regions of Madison County. In the late 20th century, Harvy Scott descendent W. Lloyd Scott would acknowledge and appreciate his ancestors' contributions.  W. Lloyd Scott petitioned for a cemetery commission, helped draft its mission statement, and made the restoration of the Bunker Cemetery a personal priority.

*The Davis family biographical information was provided by family genealogist Pam Davis Brown of Florida.

Names
ID Names Birth Date Death Date Cemetery
7501 BROWN, MARIUM E. 38Y. 3M. 9D. DEC. 19, 1892 BUNKER
8114 BUNKER, AMANDA A. 61Y. 1M. 14D. SEP. 23, 1917 BUNKER
8113 BUNKER, AMANDA A. 1859 1934 BUNKER
8117 BUNKER, FRANCIS 39Y. 11M. 12D. JAN. 15, 1865 BUNKER
8119 BUNKER, MARANDA 79Y. 2M. 7D. FEB. 3, 1908 BUNKER
8122 BUNKER, RICHARD SMITH 61Y. 1M. 14D. SEP. 23, 1917 BUNKER
14716 DAVIS, BAILEY or BALEY 75Y. 5M. 2D. OCT. 9, 1896 BUNKER
14740 DAVIS, CHARITY 42Y. 3M. 22D. APR. 7, 1863 BUNKER
14796 DAVIS, ELISHA 70Y. 10M. 5D. SEP. 15, 1856 BUNKER
14799 DAVIS, ELIZABETH 67Y. 3M. 5D. SEP. 3, 1856 BUNKER
14964 DAVIS, JOHNSON 56Y. 7M. 11D. JAN. 29, 1847 BUNKER
14983 DAVIS, KISAH 29Y. 7M. 18D. SEP. 23, 1848 BUNKER
15023 DAVIS, MARIAM 69Y. 11M. 10D. OCT. 1, 1855 BUNKER
15026 DAVIS, MARINDA S. 9M. 24D. JUL. 9, 1849 or 1851 BUNKER
15072 DAVIS, MIRAM
 
OCT. 1, 1855-? BUNKER
15229 DAVIS, WILLIS 11Y. 3M. 22D. MAR. 1, 1855 BUNKER
19631 FESLER, REBECCA J. 33Y. 6M. 3D. NOV. 22, 1885 BUNKER
22515 GEORGE, JOSEPH H. 1Y. 2M. 3D. DEC. 30, 1862 BUNKER
22517 GEORGE, LYDIA I. DAIRY 2Y. 10M. 5D. MAY 10, 1888 or 68 BUNKER
22524 GEORGE, MARY A. 64Y. or 44Y. 3M. 2D. JUL. 5, 1892 BUNKER
22552 GEORGE, WILLIAM A. 69Y. 6M. 20D. JUL. 19, 1895 BUNKER
26036 HARKRADER, EMILY 1M. 1D. MAR. 21, 1879 BUNKER
27437 HEDER / RADER?, CYNTHIA 29Y. 2M. 16D. APR. 2, 1881 BUNKER
27438 HEDER, CYNTHIA J. 39Y. 2M. 16D. APR. 12, 1881 BUNKER
32150 JARED, NANCY E. 3Y. 11M. 24D. OCT. 3 or 31, 1847 BUNKER
32244 JARRETT, NANCY E. 3Y. 11M. 24D. OCT. 31, 1847 BUNKER
49974 PRITCHARD, JESSE 35Y. MAY 11, 1856 BUNKER
49976 PRITCHARD, JOSIAH 46Y. 11M. OCT. 21, 1817 BUNKER
49977 PRITCHARD, JOSIAH 49Y. 11M. 8D. OCT. 24, 1847 BUNKER
50341 RADER, EMILY 27Y. 1M. 1D. MAR. 21, 1879 BUNKER
50346 RADER? / HEDER, CYNTHIA 29Y. 2M. 16D. APR. 2, 1881 BUNKER
54894 SCOTT, HARRY 54Y. MAR. 26, 1845 BUNKER
54897 SCOTT, HARVY 54Y. MAR. 26, 1845 BUNKER
54934 SCOTT, KISZIA 57Y. AUG. 9, 1847 BUNKER
56285 SHIPLEY, ELIZA 41Y. 1M. 20D. APR. 26, 1849 BUNKER

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