Pioneer Cemeteries and Their Stories,

Madison County, Indiana

Walker Cemetery

Home Up

aka Lee

Monroe Township

Location: south side of CR 1250N, between CRs 300E and 350E

The view on the left is looking north into the Walker Cemetery's hilltop.  Beyond the trees in the background the land slopes to Polecat Creek and CR 1250N.   The Walker is well maintained and contains 119 graves of early Monroe Township settlers.  Since it is within the pasture land of Par-A-Dice Farm, visitors should ask permission and directions of the owners, Max and Nancy Draper.

    The Walker Cemetery, itself, exists today as a monument to the pioneer history that transpired in its vicinity.  The cemetery is located on a hill on  Max and Nancy Draper's Par-A-Dice Farm east of Alexandria.  A thick woods on the hilltop overlooking Polecat Creek on the south side of CR 1250N hides the cemetery from the view of motorists.  However, this spot was a focal point for early Monroe Township settlers.  The Epworth Trail which ran east to west from Ohio to Delphi, Indiana, skirts the cemetery's south boundary, and deep wagon ruts are still visible in a long strip of the Draper's surrounding pasture.  Before the 1840s when "state roads" replaced the trails, the Epworth was one of the few navigable traces through this part of the Hoosier wilderness. 

This view is from inside the cemetery, looking south.  Between the cemetery fence and field fence in middle ground, the ruts made by wagon wheels on what was once a section of the Epworth Trail can still be discerned.  To the left of the sign east of the cemetery is the Indian burial ground and possible campsite; to the right is the Draper's home, the original section of which was built mid 19th century.

    An early settlers' log church, named the Epworth Church after the trail, sat just west of the cemetery's location.  The Epworth Church continues today with a modern building one mile east at the corner of CRs 1250N and 350E.  An Indian burial ground is said to be located just east of the cemetery.  The bodies of Native Americans were deposited there after an altercation with early settlers.  Perhaps this was originally a camping area for the tribe since many of their artifacts can still be found in and around this location.

John Brunt's stone, although discolored, is in good shape as pictured left.  John homesteaded the property and began the cemetery with the first burials: his first wife Elizabeth and several of their young children.  John died "October 21, 1846, aged 44 yrs."

On the right is the stone of "Emily S. daughter of Thomas A. and Rebecca Parks, died March 12, 1851 aged 6m 20 da."  The death rate among children in pioneer days was often as high as one out of three.  The number of children's graves at the Walker supports this percentage.

    West of the cemetery along the trail's route is the farm house built between 1858 and 1860.  Along with the modern additions is the original portion which retains its mid-Victorian character.  Finally, the very first settler to this land, John Brunt, is resting at the Walker.  He homesteaded the property about 1837 and died in 1846.  With him is his first wife Elizabeth, who must have perished shortly after arriving since her death date is in the 1830s.  She may have been the first interred here and the reason for beginning a burial ground on the farm. Near Elizabeth are the graves of several of the Brunt children.  Neighboring homesteaders, travelers, and church members would eventually utilize the cemetery's services. 

Although the Walkers owned the land for around 100 years, the cemetery is also known as the Lee maybe because there are so many Lee family members interred here.  Pictured right is the base of Nancy Lee's grave marker, "wife of I.J.W. Lee died Feb. 25, 1875, aged 31y. 1m. 16d."  The scroll work and curving lines along the corners and for the urn platform on top are typical of mid Victorian architectural style.  This monument would have cost more than the simple rectangular upright slabs of stone with unadorned information.  The latter was the most common form of grave marker.

    After John Brunt died, his second wife sold the farm to the Walkers and from them the cemetery received its name.  Walker family members owned the property until 1955 when the Drapers purchased it.  Fortuitously, it was Nancy Draper who platted the 119 graves in the cemetery in the 1970s and recorded much of her farm's early history.  Later in the 20th century, Nancy would become a volunteer member of the Madison County Cemetery Commission.

   

Genealogists often seek information from gravestones, and in the case of discolored, faded, or partially destroyed stones, basic sidewalk chalk can be used to make the incising more legible.  The flat side of the chalk is rubbed up and down and sideways across the inscription.  This makes the letters and numbers stand out.  Some genealogists add an extra step by taking photographs of the stone from different angles.  Then the pictures are compared.  Often, different shadings and shadow effects help illuminate the chalked text.  The chalk does not hurt the stone and washes off with the rain.  The "before" is shown in the middle and the "after" on the right: "Mary wife of Wm. Cunningham died Sept. 27, 1875, aged 61yrs. 5m. 8da."  Mary and William were each other's second spouses.  William's first wife Jane has the stone pictured at left: "Jane wife of Wm. Cunningham died Sept. 4, 1859 Aged 36y. 2m. 8d."  A family genealogist would then know that Mary and William married after 1859.

The Walker Cemetery and its connection to historical events continues with Mary's stone.  Mary's maiden name was Gustin, and her paternal grandmother was Bethany Fuller who was a descendent of Edward Fuller, one of the Mayflower Pilgrims who signed the "Mayflower Compact,"  America's first document of democracy.  Descendents of Mary Gustin Dilts Cunningham, 1814-1875, still live in Madison County, and some of her Gustin relatives can also be found at the Keesling and West Maplewood cemeteries.

Names
ID Names Birth Date Death Date Cemetery
2222 BAKER, BENJAMIN 76Y. 9M. 10D. 1882 WALKER
2253 BAKER, ELIZA 1840 1873 WALKER
2443 BAKER, WILLIAM F. DEC. 11, 1834 OCT. 30, 1909 WALKER
3581 BECK, EDITH 72Y. 1886 WALKER
3594 BECK, HARRY 38Y. 1854 WALKER
6298 BRANON, IDA BELL 8M. 1873 WALKER
7577 BROWN, PHEOBE 1818 1865 WALKER
7625 BROWN, SARAH 36Y. 3M. 22D. SEP. 2, 1864 WALKER
7674 BROWN, WILLIAM 68Y. 8M. 27D. 1889 WALKER
7726 BROXLES, CORDELIA 8M. 1868 WALKER
8950 CAMPBELL, J. B. 4 IND BATT   WALKER
8974 CAMPBELL, JULIA RUBY 23D. FEB. 2, 1912 WALKER
13289 CRAMMER, RUSSEL R. 38Y. 2M. AUG. 20, 1888 WALKER
14078 CUNNIINGHAM, ELIZABETH 24Y. 9M. 1868 WALKER
14084 CUNNINGHAM, BLANCH   1870 WALKER
14090 CUNNINGHAM, CHARLES 6M. 1875 WALKER
14132 CUNNINGHAM, JANE 36Y. 2M. 8D. 1859 WALKER
14156 CUNNINGHAM, MARY 61Y. 5M. 8D. 1875 WALKER
29107 HODSON, JOHN M. NOV. 7, 1836 SEP. 27, 1905 WALKER
29853 HORN, GEORGE 54Y. 7M. 4D. 1854 WALKER
30303 HUDSON, JOHN MAY 5, 1834   WALKER
32629 JOHNSON, COURTNEY J. 21Y. 1855 WALKER
32898 JOHNSON, WILLIAM APR. 13, 1843 NOV. 24, 1865 WALKER
33442 JONES, PAUL C. MAR. 21, 1844 APR. 25, 1882 WALKER
35179 KINSEY, (INFANT) 2M. 1869 WALKER
36602 LARUE, (INFANT)   1845 WALKER
36609 LARUE, JOHN W. 40Y. 4M. 1862 WALKER
37189 LEE, (4 INFANTS of WILLIAM & C     WALKER
37209 LEE, CAROLINE   1865 WALKER
37210 LEE, CHARLES INFANT 1883 WALKER
37225 LEE, ELGY 9M. 1849 WALKER
37226 LEE, ELGY C. 40Y. 1M. 29D. 1849 WALKER
37236 LEE, ELZY J. 1Y. 2M. APR. 12, 1867 WALKER
37251 LEE, HILLARY 78Y. 1842 WALKER
37252 LEE, HILLARY 84Y. 6M. 1892 WALKER
37254 LEE, I. JOHN W. JUN. 7, 1830 JUN. 26, 1896 WALKER
37294 LEE, NANCY 24Y. 1M. 16D. 1872 WALKER
37293 LEE, NANCY 1838 1872 WALKER
37317 LEE, SARAH 75Y. 7M. 2D. 1849 WALKER
37878 LEWIS, JOHN T. 52 IND INF CO G   WALKER
38703 LOVE, ELIZABETH 40Y. 1M. 3D. 1874 WALKER
38712 LOVE, JOHN & JACOB   1875 WALKER
38721 LOVE, MARY ANN 32Y. 8M. 9D. 1881 WALKER
39727 MARKLE, CORYELL DEC. 17, 1872 OCT. 13, 1874 WALKER
39751 MARKLE, JOHN 61Y. 1891 WALKER
         
39752 MARKLE, JOHN D. DEC. 1829 MAY 6, 1892 WALKER
39774 MARKLE, ORA 7M. 22D. 1882 WALKER
39777 MARKLE, ROBERT JAN. 3, 1855 APR. 21, 1882 WALKER
         
39784 MARKLE, SARAH J. JAN. 13, 1835 1888 WALKER
39945 MARSHALL, LOUISE M. 25Y. 6M. 11D. 1852 WALKER
40681 MCCALLISTER, CHARLES C. 8 IND INF CO K   WALKER
41416 MCDANIEL, ELIZABETH 85Y. NOV. 17, 1912 WALKER
43508 MILLSPAUGH, MARY 1854 1895 WALKER
49629 POTTS, ALEXANDER 1826 SEP. 26, 1876 WALKER
52060 RIGDON, THOMAS J. 18Y. 5M. 1860 WALKER
58818 SPENCE, BARBARA 29Y. 1867 WALKER
58822 SPENCE, SARAH 3M. 1874 WALKER
63643 TUCKER, THOMAS 8 IND INF CO I   WALKER
65097 WALKER, ELLEN 22Y. 1875 WALKER
67207 WHITE, EMILY 23Y. 2M. 1866 WALKER