Pioneer Cemeteries and Their Stories,

Madison County, Indiana

Duck Creek Township

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Duck Creek Township--Henry Cochran 1838

The Waymire Cemetery, left, is the only pioneer graveyard in Duck Creek Township in the protection of the trustee.  The eight other settlers' burial sites have been destroyed and lost.

In the lower right corner of the picture can be seen the curve placed in the road by state developers of mid 19th century in respect for those buried here.

    Duck Creek Township in the northwest corner of Madison County was the last area to be settled.  In the fall of 1838, Henry Cochran purchased land in section 35, built a rough log cabin, and returned to his home in Ohio.  A year later and accompanied by his father, Cochran returned to Duck Creek and took up residence.  In 1839, Thomas Casteel and Elijah Berryman settled in the area.  No other settlers are recorded for the next nine years.  Finally, A. C. Ritter entered land in 1848 in what had been part of the Miami Indian Reserve.

    Duck Creek Township provides a lesson to historians and genealogists.  Because of its later development, this township has the fewest marked pioneer cemeteries; however, it also has the most destroyed burial grounds on record. Historian Margorie Pierce has listed a total of eight small family plots or early church cemeteries for this township.  Only one has been turned over to the township trustee's office, the Waymire Cemetery.  The others have been destroyed-- stones removed and earth plowed over or built upon. 

    It is not that Duck Creek settlers and later residents were more insensitive or pragmatic.  Their situation demonstrates, as it were, what people did in other Madison County townships before the passing of state law #1383 in 1973 protecting pioneer cemeteries. People change their environment, and when they do, cemeteries often have to give way to progress.  Evidence of this can be seen in other Madison County townships and communities where there are MCCC signs indicating a place as a former location of an early cemetery.  Because Duck Creek Township is newer and has remained farm land, unencumbered by commercial or residential development, its earliest cemeteries lasted longer and are, therefore, better remembered by the general populace in spite of their disappearance.

    For Madison County historians and genealogists, Duck Creek Township forces this question: if the township with the fewest early 19th century settlers has eight destroyed cemeteries, how many more pioneer cemeteries have given way to progress and gone unrecorded in those townships with an abundance of early settlers?  In other words, how many more family plots have been destroyed in the past and forgotten about over the years in Fall Creek, Anderson, Stony Creek or Union, those townships with a heavy population and a great deal of later industrial and commercial development?  This remains a disturbing question.

    As stated above, the Waymire/Cochran Cemetery is recorded and under the township trustee's protection.  Listed below are the family and church cemeteries in this township that have been destroyed.  The land on which they were located is still held by private concerns:

    1.  Leisure Cemetery, west of SR 13 between CRs 1800N and 1850N

    2.  College Corner, at junction of SR 13 and CR 1400N;

                This destroyed burial ground is shown on the 19th century county map, made by the Lima Mapping Co., as in the northeast quarter of section 1 and across the road from Christ Church, which was in the northwest corner of the intersection.  The cemetery is marked as being surrounded by the property owned by "Jno Widner."

    3.  Concordia, northeast corner of section 1, across the road from church;

    4.  Hopewell/United Brethern Cemetery, 1/2 mile south and 1/4 mile west of Leisure in section 16;

    5.  Ragweed--later renamed Union Valley Christian--at junction of SR 37 and CR 1550N, southwest corner;

    6.  un-named church cemetery on CR 1600N (7480 W, in front yard of private residence);

    7.  un-named cemetery on CR 880W north of CR 1700N, west side of road in section 15.

Research covering the history, exact location, and persons buried in these is on-going.

Click here for modern map of township pioneer cemeteries.