Seeking right steps to mark lost cemetery

Thanks to Doug Gateway, David Howell and Paul Aldredge for volunteering to help with the railroad bridge along the proposed trail. I am sure that the students at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology will appreciate your efforts.

Rebecca Crowe, from the Fortville/Vernon Township Library and Fortville historian, writes:

“I am working on having a sign placed where I believe an unmarked cemetery is located at the corner of Fortville Pike and 700N. I emailed Amy Lynn Johnson, state archaeologist, archaeology outreach coordinator and team leader for archaeology from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and she forwarded my email to a woman who is in charge of the Department of Natural Resources Cemetery Registry. We’ll see what happens. I think that placing a sign at that location will take time, manpower and money. But I’m willing to fight for the Denney family. They have waited so long for the cemetery’s proof of existence that I won’t give up. (This is Denney’s Corner)

“There are three other possible unmarked graves in Vernon Twp. One is across from the old Brookside Airport in McCordsville. Another is the old Cochard Cemetery, near 200W and 600N. And there might be an old cemetery at the bend of Merrill St. where it becomes Hwy. 238.”

Can anyone assist Rebecca on her quests?

The Poor Farm

Thanks to John Fleming for providing us with a Board of Charities and Corrections minutes book. It goes from December 1904 to August 1906. It seems that the state of Indiana required counties to appoint such a board of six members to make periodic visits of the facilities.Judge Felt appointed the following six people as board members: Christian Kirkpatrick, Martha J. Elliott, Matthew L. Paullers, James Goble, Oliver P. Eastes and Matilda Marsh. Do you recognize any of these names?

The group met in the auditor’s office and was required by the State Board of Accounts to keep a minute book. Their major purpose was to oversee the conditions at the Poor Farm and the jail. The farm was at the location of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department shooting range and the jail would have been the 1875 one, which now serves as the prosecutor’s office.

At that time, the farm consisted of 216 tillable acres worth $1,000 per acre. The livestock at the time consisted of 20 cattle, six calves, six horses and 35 swine. The garden was 14 acres and there were two new orchards.

There were 19 inmates (their language) — 10 men and nine women. The facility housed the blind, the deaf and dumb, insane, epileptic and poor. There were no soldiers’ widows. The women were upstairs, and the men were in the basement. There were two bathtubs, and they bathed weekly.

For bedding, they used straw ticks. The physician who attended the farm and the jail was paid $200 per year. The sheriff at the time was John Carlson. He had four inmates in the jail.

According to the minute book, the jail wasn’t very clean. There were no bathtubs at the jail. In cold weather there was no bathing at all. The report reads the jail was infested with vermin. The sheriff’s and the deputies’ wives were the cooks at the jail.

So much for the good old days.

Enough. I have told you everything that I now and some things I don’t. Talk to me.

Write to Joe Skvarenina at or in care of the Daily Reporter at 22 W. New Road, Greenfield, Indiana, 46140.