Pioneer Cemeteries and Their Stories,

Madison County, Indiana

Rigdon/Knox Chapel Cemetery

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aka Knox Chapel/Independence

Boone Township

Location: south side of CR 1900N, between SR 37 and CR 500W

Rigdon Cemetery--above looking northeast into Grant County,

below looking southeast into Madison County

 

    Because the Ridgon Cemetery is on the east-west road that marks the boundary between Madison County and Grant County, this burial ground contains first land owners and settlers from both counties.  The cemetery sits on the south side of CR 1900N.  In the mid and late 19th century nearby on the north side existed a small place of worship named Knox Chapel.  Both the cemetery and the chapel were part of the village of Independence, a small community center started in the 1850s in Madison County.  As the village grew and settlers entered this area--once part of the Miami Indiana Reservation--a post office was needed.  The local post office was named Rigdon, and the little town was referred to by the two names simultaneously.  This is not uncommon in settlement locals.  Furthermore, the cemetery went by all three names at various times: the Independence, the Knox Chapel, and the Rigdon.  The name of "Rigdon" may have won out eventually over the other names for both the village and cemetery because a doctor and family of that surname were one of the first land owners on the north side of the road.   Pryor Rigdon is shown as a first land owner on the southern border of Grant County.  The Rigdon family settled just north of the village and cemetery in 1849.

    Two stones for the Rigdon family are pictured below.  At right is the marker for "Elizabeth wife of Dr. P. Rigdon died Sept. 20, 1857 aged 36y 5m 10d."  Left is a stone for "Joseph A. son of P. & M.A. Rigdon died Jan. 26, 1870 aged 1y 10m 6d."  Joseph's gravestone was omitted from the transcription list by some oversight.

 

    Levi Hiatt and wife Ann were also first land owners in 1849 in southern Grant County.  However, when the couple passed away, some thirty years later, their relatives, had the couple buried in the nearest cemetery which was in Madison County--the Ridgon.  The Hiatts may have worshipped in Knox Chapel across the road from the cemetery, and that, probably, was the decisive factor as to the location for their graves. Other first land owners in Grant County listed on this cemetery's gravestone transcription record are Josiah Thrasher, James Hamilton, and Daniel Bayless.

Grant County settler Levi Hiatt, left, has a stone just like his wife's, right.  Levi's, however, is almost illegible.  His name can be made out, and he died in his fifties.  Judging from the style of his marker, he probably passed away in the mid 1800s. 

Ann's stone is quite readable.  She was "wife of Levi Hiatt, died Apr. 27, 1879 aged 57y 7m & 17d." 

The fact that both stones have at the top a hand holding "the bible" would support the couple's attending Knox Chapel which once stood across the road.

 

Josiah Thrasher, left, settled in Grant County in 1849.  He died in 1868 when "45y 8m 1d" old.  At the top of his stone is the Victorian symbol for the partnership between husband and wife.  Perhaps his wife is buried next to him, now in an unmarked grave.  A boy of five, also named Josiah Thrasher, is on the burial list below. 

Right is the stone for Caroline wife of J. Wells.  A J.T. Wells is a first land owner in Madison County in sections 13 and 14 nearby.

 

 

Another couple who may very well have attended church at Knox Chapel are the Spergeons, John and Sarah below.  While John's stone, right, is decorated with the same symbol as the Hiatt's above, Sarah's stone, left, has an index finger pointed to the biblical text.  This was a message to 19th century onlookers to seek enlightenment herein.  John died at eighty-two in 1866, and Sarah passed away in 1878 when she was seventy-six.

 

Settlers to the rural farming area, Allen Russell and his wife both died in 1873. Matching markers have always been popular for husband and wife.

 

The Kenney/Kinney family is well represented at the Rigdon.  John's stone, left, is a well preserved large tablet.  John died "Nov. 26, 1863 aged 33 years."  In the middle is what is left of a large tablet for Catherine Kenney.  Because the two markers are next to each other and matching in material, size, and font, John and Catherine were probably man and wife.  Right is a later gravestone for "David M. son of J.O. & C. Kinney died July 19, 1876 aged 22y 9m 5d."

 

Sometimes a family's involvement in an area's development is only evidenced by those they left behind.  Below are the stones for females who are the only representative of a particular surname on the burial list.  Far left is the stone for Mary Butler who died in 1865 when twenty-seven years old.  Center left is the simple marker for Susannah Holladay who passed away in 1860 at twenty six.  Center right, Nancy, wife of Dr. C.E. Riggs, died in 1863 at thirty-two years.  At far right is the well preserved stone for Rhoda, wife of Ephraim Mullen; she died Aug. 4, 1869.  Other members of their families might be buried here now without markers, or perhaps the families moved on.

 

 

Below are the grave markers for the children of settlers.  Evidently when the transcription of the Rigdon Cemetery's gravestones was done in mid 20th century, attention was paid to the memorials for adults since all of these, below, have been left off the burial record.  Admittedly many of these are most difficult to read.  At far left, James W. died in 1859; center left, John, son of the Thrashers, died Nov. 12, 185?; center right, a Taylor succumbed in mid 1800s; and far right, John M., son of the Lightfoots, died in 1860.  It should be remembered that the death rate in the 19th century for the young was one out of four increasing often to one out of three.

Above far left, John & Margaret Griffee lost an infant in 1864.  Center left is a unique stone for three children of the same family.  Unfortunately, the soft white marble has eroded so badly that only hints of their names and data can be discerned.  Center right is a marker for two children: Mary and Hester Jones who died in 1876.  By contrast, the stone, far right, for Flora B. can be easily read.  She was the "dau. of G.A. & Lucinda Coleman died Oct. 8, 1876" when two years old.

 

The gravestones for children are generally smaller in size than those for adults and are often marked with lambs, like the three above, symbolizing innocence.

 

    The earliest graves on the burial record, below, for the Rigdon Cemetery are for Thaddeus Jones who died January 7, 1834, and Joseph Keaton/Keatern who died in 1835 when "58y 1m 26d" old.  This would make Joseph's birth year about 1777--during America's Revolutionary War.

 

Rivaling the earliest gravestones on the burial transcription records is that for Cyrus Newkirk, left, who died "Dec. 2, 1835,"  The list below has 1855--however.  Cyrus was forty-five years old which would make his birth year about 1790.  There is a Daniel Newkirk who purchased land in section 12 in Madison County in 1849; he is probably a relative.

Another interesting stone is that for Ann Gray whose maiden name was Adamson according to the incised data.  This additional information is usually omitted from the markers for wives.  Ann was seventy-seven when she died May 11, 1860.  She was born, therefore, circa 1783.  There is a David Gray who purchased land in 1852 nearby in Madison County.

 

 

The Rigdon Cemetery was used by residents of both Grant and Madison counties into the early 20th century.

 

Names
ID Names Birth Date Death Date Cemetery
1743 ATHAN, ANNA 17Y. 8M. 22D. MAR. 23, 1875 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
2724 BANKS, SUSANAH 67Y. 7M. 22D. OCT. 12, 1869 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
2725 BANKS, SUSANAH 67Y. 7M. 28D. OCT. 18, 1869 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
3140 BARTON, MARTHA ANN 1858 1899 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
3355 BAYLESS, DANIEL 69Y. 9M. 9D. DEC. 20, 1864 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
4296 BENTLEY, WILLIAM J. OCT. 15, 1863 MAR. 25, 1896 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
5918 BOWMAN, MARGARET KAUFMAN OCT. 25, 1829 SEP. 15, 1909 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
8597 BUTLER, MARY 27Y. 19D. NOV. 8, 1865 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
9408 CARR, ANDREW H. CO G 58 REG
 
RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
9732 CARVER, EMILY 57Y. 3M. 15D. NOV. 17, 1881 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
11807 COLLINS, LAURA 24Y. 7M. 16D. FEB. 2, 1875 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
13762 CROSS, JENETTEA
 
JAN. 12, 1859 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
16105 DICKEY, ALTA MAR. 1, 1897 MAR. 8, 1897 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
16141 DICKEY, WILLIAM MAY 2, 1864 JAN. 3, 1906 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
16842 DOWNS, THADDENS SEP. 29, 1890 APR. 4, 1894 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
16843 DOWNS, THADDEUS SEP. 29, 1891 MAR. 4, 1894 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
16956 DRAWHON, GEORGE 44Y. 4M. 21D. JAN. 12, 1892 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
16959 DRAWHORN, GEORGE 44Y. 4M. 22D. JAN. 12, 1892 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
17633 EATON, JACKSON H. OCT. 14, 1815 SEP. 29, 1908 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
17637 EATON, MARTHA E. MAR. 23, 1819 AUG. 13, 1905 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
19044 FABAM, JOHN E.
 
JUN. 11, 1864 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
20115 FITE, HATTIE S. MAR. 5, 1822 JAN. 28, 1909 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
20116 FITE, JOHN SEP. 17, 1819 FEB. 23, 1897 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
20197 FLEENER, JONATHAN 73Y. 8M. 25D. OCT. 2, 1880 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
20198 FLEENOR, (INFANT DAU.)
 
JUN. 6, 1861 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
22441 GENNIL, EVY 9Y. 3M. 21D. JUL. 11, 1868 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
22650 GIBSON, JOHN CO K 130 REG INF
 
RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
23050 GLAZE, ALEXANDER SEP. 27, 1819 MAR. 27, 1891 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
23051 GLAZE, ELIZABETH 1815 1901 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
23529 GORDON, NORA LEE 6M. 5D. SEP. 15, 1871 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
23850 GRAY, ANN (ADAMSON) 77Y. 7M. 1D. MAY 11, 1860 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
24213 GRIFFEE, JOHN
 
JUL. 20, 1862 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
24215 GRIFFEE, MARGARET
 
JUL. 20, 1862 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
24899 HACKER, HARRIET ANN
 
NOV. 29, 1869 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
25109 HAITT, ANN 57Y. 7M. 17D. APR. 27, 1879 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
25417 HAMILTON, ELVA 13Y. 2M. 11D. OCT. 23, 1853 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
25433 HAMILTON, JAMES T. 1826 1865 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
25467 HAMILTON, WEALTHY 1828 1898 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
25613 HANCOCK, LAURA E.
 
AUG. 22,1890 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
26031 HARKEH, HARRIET ANN
 
NOV. 20, 1863 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
28191 HIATT, DAVID 18Y. 1M. 5D. JAN. 3, 1859 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
28215 HIATT, LEVI 55Y. 5M. 21D. APR. 27, 1874 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
29262 HOLLADAY, SUSANNAH 26Y. 22D. AUG. 1, 1860 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
33494 JONES, SARA J. SEP. 22, 1827 FEB. 10, 1894 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
33513 JONES, SARAH J. SEP. 22, 1827 FEB. 10, 1894 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
33533 JONES, THADDEUS
 
JAN. 7, 1834 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
33981 KAUFMAN, JOHN 16 IND INF CO K FEB. 4, 1872 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
33980 KAUFMAN, JOHN 78Y. 3M. MAR. 1, 1876 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
34003 KEATEN, HARRIET 63Y. 7M. 7D. JUL. 8, 1895 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
34004 KEATEN, THOMAS 81Y. 11M. 23D. APR. 16, 1862 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
34005 KEATERN JOSEPH 58Y. 1M. 26D. APR. 17, 1835 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
34007 KEATON, HARRIET 63Y. 7M. 17D. JUL. 8, 1896 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
34008 KEATON, JOSEPH 58Y. 1M. 5D. APR. 17, 1885 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
34009 KEATON, SUSAN E. 26Y. 8M. 10D. MAR. 17, 1880 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
34010 KEATON, THOMAS 81Y. 4M. 23D. FEB. 24, 1866 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
34524 KENDAL, ZILPHA A. 3Y. 3M. 20D. DEC. 7, 1863 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
34592 KENNEY, JOHN 33Y. NOV. 26, 1863 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
34909 KINDER, ELIZABETH 24Y. 9M. 5D. NOV. 11, 1860 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
35166 KINNEY, DAVID M. 22Y. 9M. 27D. JUL. 15, 1876 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
35169 KINNEY, JOHN 21Y. 23D. FEB. 16, 1875 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
35173 KINNEY, SARAH 17Y. 3M. 23D. DEC. 7, 1881 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
40180 MASON, WILLIAM D. 33Y. 14D. APR. 24, 1871 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
42512 MELDRUM, CARITY 42Y. 8M. 7D. AUG. 27, 1871 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
45099 MULLEN, RHODA 61Y. 6M. 22D. AUG. 4, 1869 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
45885 NELSON, MILTON
 
JAN. 28, 1871 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
45982 NEWKIRK, ABRAHAM 1834 1871 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
45987 NEWKIRK, CYRUS 45Y. 4M. 18D. OCT. 2, 1855 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
47849 PARSONS, HENRIETTA 25Y. 5M. 16D. JUN. 16, 1852 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
47869 PARSONS, SUSANAH 25Y. 10M. 16D. APR. 16, 1862 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
47870 PARSONS, SUSANNAH 26Y. 10M. 16D. APR. 16, 1865 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
49672 POWELL, ISAAC 12Y. 10M. 8D. NOV. 6, 1865 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
49945 PRIGG, PARKER 23Y. 8M. 15D. MAY 2, 1855 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
52053 RIGDON, ELIZABETH 2Y. 1M. 25D. DEC. 18, 1863 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
52054 RIGDON, ELIZABETH 36Y. 5M. 10D. SEP. 20, 1857 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
52057 RIGDON, MARY A. MAR. 14, 1832 AUG. 24, 1901 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
52059 RIGDON, PYRON (DR.) AUG. 27, 1814 OCT. 28, 1900 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
52062 RIGDON, WILLIAM C. 38Y. 2M. 14D. MAY 30, 1880 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
52155 RIGGS, NANCY 32Y. 7M. MAY 19, 1863 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
53705 RUSSELL / RUSSEL, ALLEN H. or 15Y. 11M. 14D. FEB. 23, 1873 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
53979 SAFFORD, JOHN H. 83Y. AUG. 28, 1877 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
53980 SAFFORD, JOHN P. 54Y. 2M. 27D. FEB. 3, 1875 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
55307 SEWARD, ANDREW 43Y. 11M. 16D. MAY 10, 1874 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
55308 SEWARD, ANDREW F. 43Y. 11M. 26D. MAY 10, 1871 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
55311 SEWARD, CHARLES SEP. 23, 1871 MAY 20, 1894 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
55315 SEWARD, FRANCES J. 25Y. 11M. 16D. JAN. 16, 1853 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
56194 SHIELDS, WILLIAM 24Y. 2M. 6D. JAN. 16, 1869 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
57484 SMELSER, ANDREW 63Y. 20D. JAN. 22, 1874 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
57731 SMITH, ELVINIA G. 1Y. 9M. 5D. OCT. 15, 1863 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
58238 SMITH, WILLIAM E. 1Y. 5M. 19D. AUG. 27, 1875 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
58861 SPERGEON, JOHN 82Y. 10M. 28D. DEC. 28, 1878 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
58862 SPERGEON, SARAH 76Y. 4M. 18D. MAY 23, 1869 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
60602 STREET, DAVID 2Y. 3M. 13D. NOV. 6, 1878 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
60607 STREET, ELIZABETH 77Y. 5M. 16D. JAN. 31, 1886 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
60612 STREET, JOHN 72Y. 4M. 23D. AUG. 26, 1872 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
60619 STREET, SARAH 24Y. 10M. 6D. FEB. 22, 1852 or 57 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
61230 SWARD, CHARLIE SEP. 29, 1871 MAY 20, 1894 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
62100 TETRICK, ANNA F. 1852 1887 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
62108 TETRICK, ORA 2Y. 2M. 4D. MAR. 4, 1883 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
62687 THRASHER, JOSIAH 5Y. 3M. 4D. JUN. 17, 1868 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
66285 WEBB, MINERVA 41Y. 3M. 22D. FEB. 24, 1887 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
66599 WELKER, MILES 22Y. 2M. 22D. JAN. 11, 1858 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
66673 WELLS, CAROLINE 35Y. 1M. 26D. FEB. 12, 1865 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
66701 WELLS, HYATT J. 7M. AUG. 30, 1860 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
66731 WELLS, WILLIAM H. 41Y. 3M. 10D. APR. 26, 1871 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
67772 WILK, SHEPHERD MAR. 8, 1822 FEB. 8, 1897 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
68444 WILLS, MARGARET JUL. 26, 1824 SEP. 22, 1897 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
68448 WILLS, SHEPERD MAR. 8, 1827 FEB. 8, 1897 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL
68713 WIMMER, (INFANT) JUL. 8, 1938 JUL.9, 1938 RIGDON / KNOX CHAPEL