Pioneer Cemeteries and Their Stories,

Madison County, Indiana

Jones-Heagy Cemetery

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aka Weems

Richland Township

Location: northeast corner of CRs 600N and 425E

    John Hancock, buried here in 1886 at eighty-two years of age, not only has a surname linked with American history but also has ancestors who survived hostilities in the colonial frontier.  His family's story gives modern readers a glimpse of what it was like to live on the fringes of civilization in the early 18th century in the American colonies.  According to Cynthia Hancock Reeder, John's sister, in an 1891 letter reproduced in Samuel Harden's The Pioneer, their father was a Joseph Hancock, born 1758; he was a seven year veteran of the Revolutionary War.  Joseph's mother was Mary Bush who lived to be 106 and whose first two husbands, including Joseph's father, were killed by Indians.  Several of Joseph's half-siblings were taken as prisoners by belligerent tribes, and one member, according to the family history, was burned at the stake. 

    After the Revolution, Joseph married Catherine Baltimore whose mother, "Grandma Baltimore" had had a dangerous, harrowing experience, herself, with a Native American tribe.  Grandma Baltimore's first husband was named Stotts; they had six children.  Mrs. Reeder relates what happened to her ancestress and the family:

    "The Indians came upon them and killed her husband and took her and her six children prisoners, and drove them off to their [Indians'] towns, where her children were scattered, and she never knew what became of them.  She was finally sold to the French, when she and nine others ran away.  They had to hide during the day and travel at night.  There were but two ever got through to the fort, grandma and a comrade.  After this she married Baltimore.  The fruits of this union were a son and daughter, Catherine Baltimore, my mother..."

    While such frightening events did not occur in the wilderness of the New Purchase, these stories indicate how much different the pioneer life style was from today's. Pioneers, whether settling in colonial America or creating a community in Madison County, had to be constantly concerned with the basics of survival: the next meal and the meals for the next seasons, safe passage, water, weather, injury, sickness, aloneness, care of livestock, and attack from wild animals or wild men.  Luckily, for later members of the Hancock family, the pioneers and settlers in Madison County, Indiana, did not have to worry about hostile Native Americans--for the most part.  The Delaware who had sold their lands in the St. Mary's Treaty of 1818 and the Miami who had moved to reserves in the north were basically peaceful. 

    The Jones-Heagy Cemetery's Hancock family were among the early settlers to the county's east-central Richland Township.  John, son of Joseph discussed above, was born in Ohio March 8, 1804.  His wife Elizabeth Pollard was born in Kentucky in 1807.  They were married in 1826 in Wayne County, Indiana, and their son Joseph was born there January 5, 1831.  Other children of the John Hancock family were Nancy, Ruth, Pollard, George, Fanny, and Rebecca.  The Hancocks migrated later in the 1830s and were among those farmers taking advantage of the township's "rich land."  Son Joseph eventually married Esther Fountain whose people had moved to the county from Maryland also in the 1830s.  Joseph and Esther's children were Sarah, John, Mary, William, Joseph, James, and Martha.  There are eleven of the Hancock name buried at the Jones Cemetery as well as collateral branches of the family.

 

 

    Many of the stones from the 1850s are in very good shape and show the iron staples used in mid 20th century to repair broken markers.  Additionally, the rectangular slabs are very large and thicker than in most other cemeteries of this period.  The Hancock stone on the left and the Eppard on the right are two examples.  Chalking would bring out the incising on both, even the lengthy verse at the bottom of the Eppard.  The difficulty with a few of the stones is that they face into the perimeter fence.

    The cemetery was named for the first land owner who donated this portion to serve the surrounding farming families.  Isaac Jones, the first justice of the peace for Richland Township, was from John Hancock's generation.  Isaac was born around 1790 and died at fifty-seven years in 1847.  Also from the Jones family are Elizabeth who died at forty-two years of age in 1854 and Robert who was sixty years old when he died in 1866.  Robert's daughter Nancy died the previous year as her stone, right, documents.  Others from this time period are Christopher Tanner who was born around 1793 and died in 1858 and Samuel Eppard with a death date of 1887 at seventy-two years of age.  Both of these men lost wives named Mary soon after settling. 

   

Life on a frontier as unthreatening as the New Purchase still exacted a toll on the wives and mothers of pioneering families.  Pregnancy and child birth were very dangerous in this era before medical knowledge.  Above are two of the earliest stones both for wives named Mary: on the left the wife of Christopher Tanner and in the middle the wife of Samuel Eppard.  Mary Tanner died in August of 1848 at forty-two years of age; Mary Eppard died the next month at age thirty-one.  On the right Amanda, wife of Chancy Vermillion, died in 1861 at only twenty-two years old.

Marking the end of the period of early settlement for Richland Township and all of Madison County was the Civil War.  At right, the stone for Jesse Melvin Cook, "son of Z. & A. Cook, died 'In the service of his county,' Dec. 26, 1862, aged 24 years..."  The incising is still remarkably legible.

 

What other stories did the Hancock, Jones, Eppard, and Tanner families have of their ancestors' trials and triumphs?

Names
ID Names Birth Date Death Date Cemetery
1592 ASELEY, JAMES D. 8Y. 5M. OCT. , 1855 JONES or HEAGY
2118 BAGLY, CHANCY J.   MAR. 20, 1861 JONES or HEAGY
2119 BAGLY, DANIEL 26Y. 2M. 6D. AUG. 7, 1862 JONES or HEAGY
2120 BAGLY, JOHN T. 15Y. 9M. 7D. DEC. 19, 1895 JONES or HEAGY
10401 CHILDS, DANIEL B. 7Y. 2M. 6D. or 14D. MAY 29, 1868 JONES or HEAGY
10404 CHILDS, HENRY 44Y. 9M. 29D. JAN.or JUNE 30, 1867 JONES or HEAGY
10412 CHILDS, MARY G. 2Y. or 7Y. 2M. 6D. JUL. 14, 1867 JONES or HEAGY
12246 COOK, JESSE MELVIN 1838 DEC. 26, 1862 JONES or HEAGY
15406 DEAR, MARY E.   NOV. 1, 1862 JONES or HEAGY
15407 DEAR, MARY E. 1Y. 3M. NOV. 14, 1867 JONES or HEAGY
18461 EPPARD, FRANCIS JAN. 1, 1848 MAY 7, 1914 JONES or HEAGY
18462 EPPARD, HANNAH 30Y. DEC. 19, 1862 JONES or HEAGY
18463 EPPARD, JOHN A. 1837 MAY 1, 1864 JONES or HEAGY
18465 EPPARD, LACY F. 22Y. MAR. 20, 1903 JONES or HEAGY
18467 EPPARD, MARY A. 31Y. 7M. 12D. SEP. 26, 1848 JONES or HEAGY
18469 EPPARD, SAMUEL 72Y. 2M. 18D. AUG. 20, 1887 JONES or HEAGY
18471 EPPARD, U. F.     JONES or HEAGY
18472 EPPARD, VICTOR HUGO SEP. 20, 1882 DEC. 5, 1886 or 88 JONES or HEAGY
18473 EPPARD, W. FRANK CO B 8 IND INF   JONES or HEAGY
25580 HANCOCK, DAVID A. 4Y. 4M. 27D. JAN./JUNE 27,1864/67 JONES or HEAGY
25587 HANCOCK, ELIZABETH 49Y. 4M. 13D OCT. 30, 1857 JONES or HEAGY
25607 HANCOCK, JOHN   MAR. 13, 1886 JONES or HEAGY
25610 HANCOCK, JOSEPH C. FEB. 22, 1863 DEC. 25, 1865 JONES or HEAGY
25620 HANCOCK, MARY H. 1Y. 5M. 3D. OCT. 16, 1862 JONES or HEAGY
25622 HANCOCK, MARY R. 2Y. 5M. 21D. MAR. 17, 1865 JONES or HEAGY
25628 HANCOCK, POLLARD S. 43Y. 1M. 13D. JUL. 25, 1875 JONES or HEAGY
25627 HANCOCK, POLLARD S. 32Y. 8M. 20D. JUL. 25, 1875 JONES or HEAGY
25632 HANCOCK, REBECCA A. 7M. 1D. OCT. 3, 1840 JONES or HEAGY
25639 HANCOCK, SARAH 50Y. 7M. 26D. OCT. 14, 1882 JONES or HEAGY
25640 HANCOCK, SHERIDAN 6M. SEP. 10, 1865 JONES or HEAGY
31730 ISLEY, SARAH H. 32Y. 8M. 20D. NOV. 8, 1865 JONES or HEAGY
32995 JONES, ALVIN W. 26Y. 4M. 26D. APR. 24, 1875 JONES or HEAGY
33003 JONES, ANDREW F. 19Y. 11M. 26D. NOV. 21, 1872 JONES or HEAGY
33048 JONES, CAROLINE 86Y. NOV. 29, 1911 JONES or HEAGY
33070 JONES, CLARA EDITH 59Y. FEB. 6, 1947 JONES or HEAGY
33126 JONES, ELIZABETH 25Y. 7M. 11D. JUL. 27, 1861 JONES or HEAGY
33127 JONES, ELIZABETH 42Y. FEB. 9, 1854 JONES or HEAGY
33178 JONES, GEORGE R. 42Y. 7M. AUG. 16, 1864 JONES or HEAGY
33222 JONES, ISAAC 57Y. 6M. 20D. or 27D MAY 17, 1817 or 47 JONES or HEAGY
33246 JONES, JAMES W. DEC. 6, 1838 JUL. 27, 1864 JONES or HEAGY
33284 JONES, JOSEPH P. 71Y. JUN. 26, 1958 JONES or HEAGY
33419 JONES, NANCY PHILLER 23Y. 6D. JUL. 27, 1867 JONES or HEAGY
33477 JONES, ROBERT S. 60Y. 11M. 17D. MAR. 1, 1866 JONES or HEAGY
33484 JONES, SAMANTHA 3Y. 9M. 9D. MAR. 1, 1866 JONES or HEAGY
43182 MILLER, LEAH ELIZA A.   1867 JONES or HEAGY
57088 SIMPSON, GEORGE     JONES or HEAGY
61598 TANNER, CHRISTOPHER 65Y. OCT. 21, 1858 JONES or HEAGY
61609 TANNER, MARY 42Y. AUG. 31, 1848 JONES or HEAGY
61608 TANNER, MARY 21Y. AUG. 21, 1818 JONES or HEAGY
64170 VAN BUSKIRK, DANIEL 44Y. SEP. 17, 1911 JONES or HEAGY
64273 VAN METER, (INFANT) 4M. SEP. 20, 1901 JONES or HEAGY
64592 VERMILLION, AMANDA J. PENCE 22Y. 7M. 4D./5M. 1D. APR. 29, 1861 JONES or HEAGY
66639 WELLINGTON, JOHN R. 66Y. APR. 12, 1906 JONES or HEAGY
67886 WILLIAMPEACE, _EONER   JAN. 24, ____ JONES or HEAGY
70135 YOUNG, (INFANT)   OCT. 9, 1911 JONES or HEAGY