May 16, 1885 Silver Creek Annual Cemetery Association Meeting

FRIDAY, MAY 22, 1885

SILVER CREEK -- Saturday, May 16, was the day set for the annual meeting of silver Creek Cemeterial Association, and thither accordingly a great throng of people from the surrounding county traveled to honor their dead.

At 10 o'clock fully a thousand people were gathered under the shade of the beech grove near the cemetery and many walked among the mounds scattering flowers upon them. It was a notable gathering.

The Association met at 10:45 with the singing of a hymn. Among the audience were many of the old settlers of the surrounding country, while the young people had turned out also in large numbers.

Dr. Coombs, President of the Association mad a few remarks after the singing, convening the meeting. Secretary W. H. McCoy, of Franklin, then read the program.

Rev. McClain of Charlestown, read the Scriptures and Elder Andrew offered a fervent prayer of thanksgiving for the pleasure of meeting again. The meeting then sang: "All Hail the Power of Jesus Name," led by Elder Harry Jackson, of Charlestown.

Mr. McCoy next read the proceedings of last year's meeting which were approved.

The Committee then reported.

Elder Jackson made a report on Committee on music. He stated that the committee had been much dispersed by removals, but he thought it was not necessary to take any steps.

The Committee on speakers reported.

the Committee on Obituary reported that there had been a greater mortality in the Association last year than for many years. The deaths during the year were:

After the report of the Committees Rev. T. B. McClain addressed the Association. He said, that in life all have a view to the possible overthrow of their plans. This lightens disappointment. Life and its plans are uncertain. One thing is certain, life will end. It will come sooner or later. Why is it, that so much of our life is spent for its uncertainties and so little for the certainties. man should plan and work, but always with the fact in view, that all may end at any moment. The address was a fine one and was attentively listened too, and a vote of thanks tendered the speaker.

He was followed by Elder Thomas Jones of Little York, who expressed his pleasure at meeting with the Association and at its purpose in neat affective words.

With the singing of hymn 200 the meeting was then adjourned for dinner.

Dr. Coombs, before adjourning, stated that during the dinner hour a collection would be raised, to build a road to the church, so that it might never be shut off. The cost of the land and improvement would be $70.

Elder Jackson also stated that on the Saturday before the third Sunday in June, at Stony Point church, a trustee of the Association would be elected to fill the vacancy by the death of John Coombs.

The people then scattered over the grounds to enjoy the bountiful store of good things brought along by the ladies. Big baskets filled with cakes, pies, chicken, ham, biscuits, etc., made their appearance, while tablecloths were spread and appetizing luncheons covered the ground as if by magic.

At every spread was a happy group of young and old, smiling, talking and eating, making one of the prettiest picnic groups imaginable, under the shade of the beech trees.

Hospitality ruled the hour, and no stranger was permitted to remain hungry.

After dinner the people visited the cemetery, where almost every one had some relative buried, and every grave had its group of visitors.

The Association re-convened at 2 p.m. and Mr. W. M. McCoy read a historical paper on Silver Creek church and Cemeterial Association, which was highly interesting to the old people who were present.

Mr. McCoy's Historical Sketch

Elder Littell then told what he know of Uncle David Drummond. He said Uncle David was a hardworking, even-tempered man and he had been known, after going to New Orleans with a flatboat, to walk back the whole distance. he was an officer of the church until he died a few weeks ago. His seat here was never vacant while he lived here. Everybody liked him and he tried to do good to everybody.

At the conclusion of Elder Littell's remarks, Dr. Coombs introduced Mr. Herman Rave of the National Democrat, who made an address appropriate to the occasion. H. Rave's Oration

Friends: -- Billions of people have lived since the beginning of the earth, and among them millions of sages, and poets and orators have thought and sung and spoken upon every subject until there can hardly be a new thought conceived or an old one put into new words.

Even on this occasion I cannot say anything new, for as you have laid away your dead under the grass and come now to give this day to their memory, so have others done ages before you.

But bear with me! Love is always new! It is the Phoenix that rises forever from the ashes of age and triumphs over all. Love will lend now fire to old thoughts and old words, and we will listen again, as people have listened for five thousand years to the tale of affection. We will tell it over these silent grass covered resting places of your beloved sleepers, and it shall be to us a sweet and tender memorial of these who are gone.

To me a grave is always a hallowed spot, for these is the visible end of that wonderful being -- man. There his weakness and his strength are covered up together. There his hopes and aspiration cease. There the fever of life is cooled and the storms of passion are lulled forever. There the gates close upon the mystery of his being and knowledge dawns upon him like the rising sun.

A grave is always a hallowed spot. It is doubly hallowed when affections gathers around it and hides its tear bedewed eyes in the cool grasses of the mound. Why should we dread the grave? It hides so much we love, so much we long to know.

Why should we fear the grave? Its inexorable gates will close upon you and I also. They will close upon every man in his time.

Toward this we all converge, Nay, there is not a thought nor a word, nor a deed, which shall not ultimately come to this place.

If any of us have done well or indifferent or bad, the rest of mankind will bring the deeds we left behind us and pile them upon our last resting places with praise or blame and thus build for us monuments, invisible, but far more lasting and often more truthful than are the stones placed over our heads.

You are building such monuments now in kindly tale and happy reminiscence of your friends who sleep here.

It is pleasant to do it. If it were only this, that were enough to make it the duty of every man to remember his departed friends for the pleasure it gives. But it also elevates. We forget the faults of the absent ones and dwell upon their goodness a lone. We model the poor clay of mortal humanity into immortal, spiritual beauty; with every year we add a refining touch; we clothe it with our own, best thoughts, our purest longings, our loftiest aspirations. All that is good in us we put upon it.

No man can steadily create for himself an ideal and look upon its goodness and nobility without being the better for it, without being lifted more or less out of his own shortcomings. Therefore I say, it is a sacred duty, not only to your friends but to yourselves which you can fulfill and this day will bear for each of you rich fruit in increased affection and strong aspiration after the good and true.

How fondly memory travels back through the years and lingers under the shade of leaves -- long since fallen -- speaking to friends -- long since gone -- and returns a little sadder, but also a little more hopeful.

I cannot believe that yonder mounds are the end of all. I think that the very fact that our hearts hang to the past is a pledge of the future. I believe, with Holy Writ, that these places are only the inns of a night that that there is a reunion in store for us, more pleasant even tan this of today. I believe that a May morning will come when all creation shall be renewed, and with it every old and beloved acquaintance. It is in this hope that you and I are able to come here. If it were not so, the memento mori about us would sink us in unutterable sadness.

Let us live up to our hope, to our faith. Let us rejoice that these we love are safely housed from storm and stress. That their labor is over and the time of rest has come for them. Let us also rejoice, that there are still days left for us to reach out higher, to do better, to become fitter to meet them beyond the gates of the grave.

Dr. Coombs, President of the Association moved, that the Association request the publication in the National Democrat of Mr. McCoy's paper and Mr. Rave's address, paying both a high compliment. The motion carried.

A vote of thanks to all the speakers was passed and the Association adjourned until next year.

Notes: A fact not generally know is that Sinking Fork disappears at the old Amos Goodwin cemetery and passing below Silver Creek Cemetery reappears at the northwest corner of the latter burying ground, several miles distant, through a rocky portal. Many years ago several men in a skiff penetrated a long distance into the cavern of Sinking Fork, a feat now impossible.

Elder McCoy will preach at Silver Creek church on the second Sunday in June.

Among the old people present were: Mrs. Mary Bottorff, Mrs. Lorena Coombs, Mrs. Malinda Coombs, Mars. Rachel Coombs, Mrs. Rebecca McCoy, Mrs. Littell and Dr. D. H. Coombs, Messrs. Wm. Nickels, John P. Nicholson, Louis bottorff, sr., John Dietrich, Mahlon Carr, Elder A. N. Little, C. C. White, Alf. Worrall, Sr., Alexander Kirkpatrick and W. S. Ferrier.

The committees remain as they were.

At the luncheon spread by the ladies of Uncle Billy Nickels family and Mrs. Dr. Coombs, were gathered beside the family Ref. T. B. McClain, Charlestown; Elder Jones, Little York, Elder Andres, Sellersburg; W. S. Ferrier of the Record, and H. Rave, of the Democrat.

Dr. Coombs advanced a new theory in hygiene. He advocated dissension. Accordingly everybody followed his advice and the appetizing vlande {???} contracted visibly.

Fully a thousand persons were gathered at old Silver Creek.

Silver Creek Association is the only society of its kind in the world. Silver Creek is the oldest cemetery in Indiana.

The face of Rev. George Schwartz the venerable pioneer was missed this year. The amount of the collection was then announced, being $32.50.

E-mail: Dee Pavey

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