in Jeffersonville Township
(Click the photo to see what it looks like now!)


"I live in or near Clark County. How can I help?"

Our most basic needs are (1) manpower and (2) information. While we certainly have no shortage of abandoned and neglected cemeteries, we are always on the look-out for new sites that need attention.

If you can volunteer to help us, get in touch with me (Lois Mauk) or one of the other volunteers listed at the bottom of this page.  We have monthly "meetings", rotating the meeting location to a different township every month.  We try not to spend a lot of our time and efforts engrossed in parliamentary procedure, talking about the problem.  Instead, at our monthly meetings, we spend about an hour talking about the status of various issues that affect pioneer cemeteries and the status of current local projects.

Besides the efforts of CCCPC volunteers, we have some access to excellent manpower in the form of prison work details and people working off community service sentences.  We have had significant success in using these work crews on various sites and hope to continue those relationships.

Prime weather for cemetery cleanup is Spring and Summer. This is awfully hard work to tackle in the heat of summer. Cooler fall days may mean less perspiration and, hopefully, fewer creepy-crawlers!  If you look at cemetery indexes, you will find most of them are dated for a period from October to March -- with good reason!

"When is the next meeting?"

The meeting schedule for the CCCPC is located at

"I drive past cemeteries every day. They look like they are in pretty good shape. Is there really a problem?"

To date, we have identified over 200 cemeteries in Clark County.  We learn of new ones about once a month.  Most of these sites are not in locations you are likely to notice on a daily basis. Most of them don't look like the memorial gardens at Walnut Ridge or Eastern Cemetery.

I know of three off the top of my head where only one or two stone remained standing, all the other stones having been toppled, broken or are submerged beneath the soil. These sites are so overgrown with trees, brambles, weeds, poison ivy and vines that they are virtually unrecognizable as burial grounds. Each one of these sites is the burial grounds for families who pioneered the settlement of Clark County.

One of our early members spent months searching for her family's ancestral cemetery. It is in a heavily populated area of Clarksville. Her grandmother (who is still living) and other individuals specifically remember visiting the cemetery near the ancestral home as late as the very late 1940s. We have recently received confirmation that the area she has been searching is indeed the correct location; unfortunately, the cemetery is absolutely gone. None of the living family members are aware of the graves having been relocated. The Health Department has no record of the cemetery having been legally moved. It now appears certain that the stones vanished or were removed and the property developed as a subdivision.

It sometimes takes a lot of detective work to even find these cemeteries. Some of them simply cannot be found as they have disappeared. We are sure there are many, many more for which we have found no information, especially 19th Century graves of free and slave Blacks and Native Americans.

Members and supporters of the CCCPC have recently been instrumental in the restoration of a good number of pioneer cemeteries in Clark County:

       Dan and Betty Johnson have personally restored:

  1. ALLEN CEMETERY in Silver Creek Township
  2. BOTTORFF/COUCH CEMETERY in Silver Creek Township
  4. HENDRICKS CEMETERY in Silver Creek Township
  5. PLUM RUN CEMETERY in Silver Creek Township
  6. SMITH CEMETERY in Silver Creek Township
  7. WHALEN CEMETERY in Silver Creek Township
They were assisted at Plum Run Cemetery by Eagle Scout Jamie Huffman and his family.

Dan and Betty also provided substantial advice and encouragement to many others to tackle similar projects.

Other projects undertaken since the organization of the CCCPC include:

WEIR CEMETERY in Union Township:

Nancy Monroe was instrumental in encouraging William E. Stewart, the Union Township Trustee, to clean up this site.  The Trustee utilized several days of efforts by an inmate crew provided through the auspicies of the Clark County Sheriff, Mike Becher.  This project is not yet complete and a good deal still remains to be done.
McCLINTICK CEMETERY in Jeffersonville Township:
In cooperation with Dale Popp, the Jeffersonville Township Trustee, Steve Overton, a Sellersburg Eagle Scout, was primarily responsible for the repair of stones and second-stage restoration of this site.  The initial phase of the reclamation of McClintick Cemetery was accomplished by a Community Service work crew provided through the auspicies of Clark County Superior Court Judge Steven Fleece and under the supervision of his Probation Officer, Joe Renck.

Continuing care for McClintick Cemetery has been done by inmate work crews provided by Clark County Sheriff Mike Becher.

Hale-McBride Cemetery in Jeffersonville Township:
Donny Loweth, his wife Carol and their children have repeatedly cleaned what remains of Hale-McBride Cemetery.  Unfortunately, most of the cemetery was paved over in the 1970s to build a strip shopping center and only a few stones remain.
Adams Family Cemetery in Jeffersonville/Utica Township (it's right on the boundry line):
Sheriff Mike Becher is providing another inmate work crew to work on the newly rediscovered Adams Family Cemetery.  The crew's efforts are being supervised by Deputy Sheriff Joe Egan, in cooperation with George Clark Schlosser (a member of the Board of New Chapel Methodist Church, which technically owns the property) and Bill Scott, a descendant of the Adams family which deeded the cemetery to the Church in 1890.
Grayson Cemetery in Jeffersonville Township:
Plans are underway to restore this abused and neglected site.  This is an enormous undertaking and additional information will be released as soon as the plans are definite.
Sawmill Road Cemetery in Oregon Township:
Thanks to the involvement of LouAnn Staley, Sheriff Mike Becher's department invested considerable in cleaning up this site.
These are only a few examples of the wonderful things being accomplished by ordinary people who care enough to get involved.

"I don't live in Southern Indiana. How can I help?"

If you'd like to help in some way but don't live in this area, the truth is we still need your involvement.  First, we invite you to join the CCCPC e-mail discussion group (see the main CCCPC webpage for information on joining the group).  Second, we invite you to get involved with our "sister" organization, the Indiana Pioneer Cemeteries Restoration Project by visiting http:/

"I understand the seriousness of the problem. In fact, we have the same problem in my area. What can we do here?"

A number of people from outside Clark County have asked me what they can do to help. One of the most effective things you can do is to get involved in your own area. This situation is not unique to Clark County or even Indiana. My suggestions include: Researching our family trees and indexing cemeteries, etc. is all well and good but, if we allow our pioneer cemeteries to crumble and vanish, are we doing our grandchildren a disservice? Will they be able to find your grandparents' graves 10 years from now?

Time is running out and the graves of many of our ancestors lie in serious jeopardy -- lost, forgotten and abandoned, threatened by neglect, the environment and the encroachment of progress.

"Who is legally responsible for protecting Indiana's 'lost and forgotten' cemeteries?

Even people who are not genealogists or "family historians" become concerned when they learn that great-grandma's grave has become an eyesore or a safety hazard. Indiana's state legislators cared enough to enact laws to provide mechanisms to identify and preserve these sites.

The Township Trustees have very specific statutory responsibilities to maintain many of these cemeteries but, as cemeteries are often considered such a low priority and funds so strained, they sometimes do not receive the attention they deserve!

Be assured that several of our Trustees have expressed a genuine interest in preserving and maintaining these cemeteries, but they need our help. If you know of a neglected cemetery in Clark County, contact the appropriate Township Trustee or Dee Pavey. Give the Trustee a chance to do something about the situation!

Indiana Code Title 23, Article 14, Chapter 68 (Care of Cemeteries by Townships), as amended through the 1997 Regular Session, states:

As added by P.L.52-1997, SEC.42.
As added by P.L.52-1997, SEC.42.
As added by P.L.52-1997, SEC.42.
All Indiana counties have the mechanism to ensure that these properties are properly maintained. Indiana Code Title 23, Article 14, Chapter 67 (Care of Cemeteries by Counties), as amended through the 1997 Regular Session, was enacted as law quite a few years ago. That statute states:
Sec. 2.

(a) The board of commissioners of a county may appoint a county cemetery commission of five (5) county residents.

(b) The members of a county cemetery commission shall be appointed for a term of five (5) years. The board of county commissioners shall stagger the terms of the members to permit the appointment or a reappointment of one (1) commission member per year.

As added by P.L.52-1997, SEC.41.

Sec. 3. A county cemetery commission may request the levy of an annual tax for the purpose of restoring and maintaining one (1) or more cemeteries described in section 1 of this chapter that are located in the county. The tax may not exceed fifty cents ($0.50) on each one hundred dollars ($100) of assessed valuation of property in the county.

As added by P.L.52-1997, SEC.41.

Sec. 4. A county cemetery commission established under this chapter shall:

(1) present an annual plan and budget; and
(2) make an annual report; to the board of county commissioners and the county council for approval.
As added by P.L.52-1997, SEC.41.
You can search the Indiana statutes yourself at the Office of Code Revision Indiana Legislative Services Agency site at .

In 1993, the Clark County Cemetery Commission was established pursuant to Indiana Code 23-14-26. Five local residents were appointed as Commission members. Since 1993, the Cemetery Commission has annually submitted to the Commissioners and the County Council a budget to identify, inventory, assess, clear, clean, protect, preserve, restore and maintain these "lost and forgotten" pre-1850 burial sites. To date, the Cemetery Commission has received zero funding and has not been empowered to undertake its important mission.

If you would like the names and addresses of the Trustees, County Council and County Commissioners:

Clark County Commissioners Clark County Council Members Clark County Trustees

"Who can I contact to learn more?"

If you would like to learn more about how you can help protect this County's lost and forgotten cemeteries, please contact:

Lois Mauk                  Mary Jo Harrod          Dan & Betty Johnson

Jeffersonville, Indiana    Clarksville, Indiana    Sellersburg, Indiana

  (812) 282-6492             (812) 945-1583          (812) 246-9853

  E-mail:  Dee Pavey


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for more than 100 of our
200+ cemeteries

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© Nov 2004