Pioneer Cemeteries and Their Stories,

Madison County, Indiana

Hardy-Culp Cemetery

Home Up

aka Somerville

Fall Creek Township

Location: north side of CR 575S, between CRs 25W and 100W


In the fall of 2017, the gravestones from the Hardy-Culp Cemetery were reset as memorials in the Seybert Cemetery also in Fall Creek Township.  Read below for the stories of these related family members.


All that was left of the Hardy-Culp Cemetery in 2004 was a pile of gravestones in the undergrowth separating a resident's backyard from a neighbor's corn field.  Before selling his farm land to a housing developer, the owner in the 1960s/70s had removed the gravestones and discarded them in the fence line.  The plot that was once the Hardy-Culp Cemetery was obliterated.  The MCCC took steps to gain possession of the stones before they were lost forever.  Commission members began considering the options for placing these stones as memorials within another pioneer cemetery also in Fall Creek Township.

    Through the efforts of former MCCC member Georgia Lyons, today's Madison County historians know some important facts about the early pioneer settlers buried at the Hardy-Culp Cemetery.  Georgia made a record of the gravestone transcriptions done by Ed Vestal and Glen Walker for this cemetery in 1934, and she also did some research on the families buried  in it.  The portraits herein--derived from combining Georgia's discoveries, Sam Harden's history of the county, and biographical facts received from descendents and genealogists Howard Browne of Williamsburg, Virginia, and Sunni Larsson of Missouri--present settlers deserving of modern-day appreciation. 

    Martin Brown, 1793-1856, the first on the list below, was a veteran of the War of 1812.  He received land patents for his military service and came in 1828 to Fall Creek Township from western Virginia.  Martin purchased, for $300, eighty acres, the southwest quarter of section 12, in Fall Creek Township on November 13, 1828.  In 1833, Martin's older brother Abel, younger brother Friend, and their parents followed and also settled in the Fall Creek area.  The father of Martin and his brothers was also named Martin Brown/e.  The father was born in England, arrived in America circa 1789, and died in Madison County in 1834.  He may very well be buried in the Hardy-Culp.  The mother of Martin and his siblings was named Mary and like her husband was also born in England.  Her death date is unknown. 

Martin Brown's stone, left, was the only intact maker found during the MCCC's inspection in the summer of 2004. 



The stones, below, were photographed while in storage.  Martin Brown's marker, left, is remarkably preserved even to the traditional poem at the bottom: "Blessed be the dead which die in the Lord..."  Though broken, the markers for the Hardys, center and right, still give a surprising amount of data.  Partners in life, the Hardys also shared the same stone cutter and Victorian symbol for mourning: the weeping willow.  Underneath the willow is a lamb, representing in this case, rebirth.

    Martin Brown's sister Julyana also came to  the Fall Creek area.  Julyana/Julia, the last name listed below, had married in 1813 Captain Samuel Hardy, 1793-1847.  The Hardys were an old family from Maryland, the original immigrant having arrived in that state in the 1600s. At some point in their travels through Virginia, the Brown and Hardy families met and became long-lasting friends.  Captain Sam's mother was present at the birth of Abel Browne, Martin's older brother.  Like Martin, Capt. Hardy, himself, may well have been a veteran of the War of 1812 or at least must have seen some military service since it is doubtful that the title "Captain," which had been placed on his gravestone, was a mere affectation.  After Sam, Julia, and their children arrived in Madison County, they purchased property in township 17, section 1 and in township 22, section 19.  The children from this marriage were Emma, Samuel K., and John A. John eventually married Sarah Jane Bunker, daughter of Moses Bunker, another Madison County pioneer.  (For more on Moses Bunker, go to the Busby Cemetery page.)  Mrs. Julia Hardy died in 1854, seven years after her husband, and "Wife of Capt. S. Hardy" was placed on her grave marker.

Close-ups of these stones speak of the deaths of children in the Brown family.  At right, a son of Martin and Susanah died "Feb. 10, 1834."  This is the oldest marker from the cemetery.  At left, John H. who died in 1846 was Martin's grandson.

    Martin Brown's wife, Sussana/Susan, was a McAllister.  The large McAllister clan was a prominent pioneering family that became well established throughout Madison County.  There were four brothers and three sisters all of whom raised large families.  The siblings' father was Garrett McAllister who was born in 1765 in Virginia.  (For more on the McAllisters, go to the McAllister Cemetery page.)  Susan was his sixth child; she was born in 1797.  She and Martin produced these children: Mary A., Lorenzo D., Susan, Harriet, Emily, Elizabeth, Martin, Louiza, and Garrett W.  Susan's brother Garrett McAllister traveled with Martin into Madison County; he witnessed Martin's purchase of the land in 1828.  Susan died in 1866, ten years after her husband, and is buried in West Maplewood.

    Arriving in 1828, Martin Brown and his brother-in-law Garrett McAllister were the "scouts" for their families and friends.   Members of the Brown, Hardy, and McAllister families followed Martin and Garrett into Madison County in 1833.  For safety reasons, this second wave would probably have traveled together from their homes in western Virginia since the three families were related by marriage.  That was the custom of the times--for travelers to go in large groups (later called "wagon trains"), not by themselves; the wagons were usually drawn by oxen.  Martin Brown's five year old nephew, John E., son of Friend Brown/e, would later recall the trip for a family history book.  John E.  described "The Night the Stars Fell," November 13, 1833, during their journey.  On the night of that date, there was the Perseid meteor shower, one of the most important events in astronomy for the century.  All three families who witnessed that spectacle, the Browns, Hardys, and McAllisters, are listed in Samuel Harden's book The Pioneers as among the early settlers to the untouched wilderness of Fall Creek and Adams townships.

    Around 1859/60, William Culp/Cupp, born in 1817 in Kentucky, settled with his family in the vicinity and thus became neighbors of the Browns and Hardys.  The 1860 census lists the Culp/Cupp family including wife Nancy (Davis). She is recorded as forty-two years of age and born in Indiana as were their three children, Elvira, William, and Nancy.  Nancy, the wife, must have died shortly after the census taking because her gravestone reads, "42 yrs., wife of William."  In 1862, William lost his three year old daughter Jane (Nancy Jane).  The father eventually remarried twice and sometime in the early 1870s moved his extended family to Missouri.  However, two of his loved ones, wife Nancy and daughter Jane, remained here in Madison County in the sacred ground of the Hardy-Culp Cemetery.

Split like the family, the one Culp/Cup gravestone found, left, alone represents mother Nancy and daughter Jane, resting still in Madison County.

Right, "Mary A. wife of John Howard died Aug. 23, 1839." As was customary at the time, family graveyards often accepted the lost loved ones of neighbors and friends. 

       While these pioneers and settlers of the Hardy-Culp no longer have a recognizable resting place for their descendents to visit, the MCCC hopes this cemetery page gives Martin Brown and those family members and friends interred near him appropriate commemoration on the world wide web.


Names Birth Date Death Date Cemetery
Brown, Martin 63 yrs., 2 mo., 6 days Mar. 19, 1856 Hardy-Culp
Brown, John H. son of Lorenzo D. & Nancy 1846 Hardy-Culp
Infant Brown son of Martin & Sussana Brown Feb. 10, 1834 Hardy-Culp
Culp, Jane aged 3 yrs., dau. of Wm. & Nancy Nov. 7, 1862 Hardy-Culp
Culp, Nancy 42 yrs., wife of William   Hardy-Culp
Howard, Mary A. wife of John Aug. 23, 1839 Hardy-Culp
Hardy, S. Capt. age 55 July 22, 1847 Hardy-Culp
Hardy, Julia wife of Capt. S. Aug. 23, 1854 Hardy-Culp