Compiled by Sheila D. Watson
"In the early day each Indian tribe observed its own particular burial customs. Burial underground seemed to be foreign to their thinking. When they finally adopted this custom they dug shallow graves. In these they placed a warrior's favorite blankets, war accouterments and weapons. Having killed his dog or best pony it was placed upon the grave. A squaw was given cloth or other things she would appreciate in the spirit world. When TawaTaw's wife died her daughters bought a bolt of silk cloth which, with her jewelry was buried with her."
- Cora Straughn's Lest We Forget.
Baptist records say that Rev. Isaac McCoy sent by the Baptist Foreign Missionary Society to Fort Wayne in 1829 probably reached the banks of the Mississinewa. Old records show that on June 1, 1861 Union Church was reorganized. The entry reads as follows: Consistent members of a regular Baptist Church of our Lord Jesus Christ situated on the Indian Reserve in the County of Grant and State of Indiana, Union Church was reorganized June the 1, 1861. the number of "consistent members" was twenty three all marked "native" except seven and two of these, Joseph Havens and P.L. Carter were marked as having died in the army.
"In the rear of the church and on the north end of the tract belonging to it is a graveyard in which only Indians are buried. This plot is a portion of what was once a large reservation granted by the United States Government to the Miami tribe of Indians. Its proximity to the battle field of the Mississinewa will in time insure it the proper recognitional history."
Whitson's History pp. 626 - 627
Louise Miller Winters was an adopted daughter of Chief Meshingomesia. Her mother was murdered by a jealous Indian. Because the old chief had two sons and no daughters he wanted this motherless baby for his own. He adopted her and was true to his promise until she married Joseph Winters. Their little child was the first person buried in this burial ground called "The Indian Cemetery." The last Chief of the proud Miami Tribe is also here with his wife and their family.
- Lest We Forget, Straughn
An Indian cemetery - another mark of the white influence on the life of a fine race.
Each Indian tribe had its own custom for disposing of their dead. This cemetery is not in accordance with the practices of the Miami Tribe, but is the result of the Christian influence. The Chief with his three wives belonged to the Baptist church. The building is almost a wreck made so by long disuse, vandals and the elements. It stands on a hill overlooking a beautiful and fertile valley sloping down to the Mississinewa River. It also permits a view of the site of the Battle Field where in 1812 the American forces put the Indians to rout. To the rear of the little Church is the cemetery. Some pine trees keep vigil over the resting places of the once powerful tribe of the Miamis. A tangle of myrtle, roses and other old fashioned flowers vie for supremacy but are fast being overcome by the weeds and underbrush permitted by long neglect. The names are Anglicized to a degree. The varied spelling is probably due to the whims of the one who did the carving in the stones.
The above was written by the DAR in the 1940's.
By Sheila D. Watson
Click on Photo for larger view.
Indian Cemetery Photos by Paul Caldwell
I read this cemetery in October of 1994. The flowers and roses no longer exist in this place. The weeds and underbrush are gone now, too. The cemetery is well cared for by a custodian. The gate is kept locked to keep vandals out, except during the time of the Re-enactment of the Battle of 1812. Then thousands of people visit this cemetery.
In the past many times this cemetery was the victim of vandalism. Many of the stones are gone or broken. At some time in the past much repair work has been done. The pieces have been put back together and lined up in rows. They are probably not where they were originally set. They have done a nice job in fixing and keeping this cemetery in good shape.
The following is from the Combination Atlas Map of Grant County, Indiana published in 1877 by Kingman Brothers.
"Me-shin-go-me-sia was born near the mouth of Me-to-cin-yah Creek, Wabash County, about the year 1782. He was married about the year 1815 to Tac-ka-quah, daughter of So-a-nah-ke-kah.
On the death of Me-to-cin-yah, Me-shin-go-me-sia became chief. He was the father of two sons, Po-kung-gah and Ataw-ataw, both of whom are now living and are heads of families. Po-kung-gah is the father of six children born as follows; William, Robert, Mary, Jacob, Thomas and Peter. The children of Ataw-ataw are Nelson, Anna, Ellen, Lucy and John. Of these children, William, Robert, Nelson and Anna are married. Robert has two children; Nelson has six and Anna, who married James M. Prickett, a white man, has two. These children all have Indian names, but are known by the English as given above."
Because of the vandalism, I used the DAR list and Cora Straughn's list in her book "Lest We Forget" to compile a list of burials in this cemetery.
*Denotes a stone not found at this time.
Click on photo for larger view.
*Mary J. wife of F.H. Aveline died Nov. 8, 1882 aged 28 years
Aw-Taw-Waw-Taw died Dec. 26, 1879 aged 62 years
Camillus died Nov. 13, 1895 aged 24y.4m.18d.
Ta-Ke-E-Quah wife of Aw-Taw-Waw-Taw died July 21, 1874
Coon died Oct. 3, 1868 aged 31 years
"Our father has gone to a mansion of rest
From a region of sorrow and pain.
To the Glorious land by the Diety blessed
Where he can never suffer again."
Mary dau of C. & J. Bundy died May 19, 1881 aged 19 years
*Charles son of G.D. & M. Chapendoceah died Oct. 15, 1879 aged 24 years
Mary wife of George D. Chapendoceah died Oct. 15, 1879 aged 24 years
(Stone was very weathered and illegible.)
Angeline died 1867 age unknown
Jacob died Aug. 9, 1883 aged 31y.4m.20d.
George 1857 - ____ S/S with Lucy
Lucy 1858 - 1898 S/S with George
*Mary died Feb. 15, 1877 aged 16 years
Ka-Ge-To-No-Quah died Jan. 29, 1881 aged 69 years
*Ada (No dates.)
Alice died Aug. 20, 1874 aged 6m.26d.
Charles died July 14, 1870 aged 5y.2m.25d.
Elijah died Apr. 29, 1871 aged 2y.5m.11d.
Ellen died Aug. 27, 1870 aged 20 years
Infant born & died Apr. 1871
James died May 1, 1861 aged 1y.2m.
Jane died Dec. 30, 1880 aged 50 years
Mary died Aug. 28, 1869 aged 16y.11m.
Now-One-Con-Ga died Dec. 1861 aged 7 days
Tosinia died Oct. 1, 1860 aged 1month
William died Apr. 12, 1876 aged 19y.11m.
All of these people were listed on the same stone.
Me-Shing-O-Me-Sia died Dec. 16, 1879 aged about 98 years
Jane 1837 - 1911 S/S with John
John 1845 - 1939 S/S with Jane
Martha J. dau of John W. and Jane Newman Mar. 8, 1873 - Nov. 3, 1887
C. died Sept. 16, 1879 aged 64 years
Infant dau of R. & B. Peconga Mar. 11, 1876
(Top of this stone was gone, could not check this stone for accuracy.)
* Infant son of R. & B. Peconga died Nov. 8, 1880 aged 11 days
Infant of Peter and Lizzie Peconga born & died Apr. 14, 1883
Lizzie wife of Peter Peconga died Apr. 14, 1883 aged 19 years
Lucy wife of Thomas Peconga 1861 - 1924 S/S with Thomas
"Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God"
Thomas 1858 - 1932 S/S with Lucy
Willis E. 1887 - 1925
Jerome son of J.M. & Hannah Prickett aged 8 months (No dates.)
Lucinda dau of J.M. & Hannah Prickett aged 2 months (No dates.)
M.F. died July 1880 aged 29 years
All three of these people were on the same stone.
Samantha 1866 - ____ (Stone broken at this point.)
*Elizabeth dau of G. & D. Shap died Sept. 16, 1872 aged 5 years
*Peter son of G. & B. Shapadosia died Mar. 15, 1866 aged 2 years
Sarah wife of George D. Shapadosia died Apr. 17, 1873 (No age listed.)
Ta-Ke-E-Quah wife of Me-Shing-O-Me-Sia died Sept. 15, 1879 aged 94 years
Ellen died July 19, 1879 aged 29 years
Nelson died Oct. 9, 1879 aged 35y.6m.
Rosie dau of N. & M. Tawa-Taw died Oct. 10, 1887 aged 14y.3m.6d.
Ellen died Jan. 18, 1894 aged 23y.11m.15d.
"We'll join thee in that heavenly land
No more to take the parting hand."
Frances died May 25, 1894 aged 25y.10m.20d.
"The briefer life, the earlier immortality."
Melvina died Feb. 27, 1894 aged 55 years
"Dearest Mother.... etc. (the rest was illegible.)
Mollie died June 23, 1884 aged about 85 years
(No last name was listed on this stone.)
Infant dau of J. & E. Walters born & died Jan. 10, 1888
"Father and Mother meet me in heaven."
*Amanda Catherine dau of Joseph & Louiza Winters died May 10, 1865
aged 5 months
Elizabeth Margaret dau of L. & J. Winters died July 3, 1873 aged 3 years
*Joseph son of Joseph & Louiza Winters died Dec. 27, 1877 aged 4m.20d.
Sarah died Sept. 1878 aged 70 years
William & Frances Peconga Bible Record
These records were transcribed from a bible owned by William & Frances Peconga. The bible was located in the Matter Park museum, but should be in the Carnegie building of the Marion Public Library at the present time - 1995.
Frances Peconga died February 22, 1904 - age 71
William Peconga died June 3, 1916 - age 70
Lucy Peconga died March 24, 1924 - age 62y.9m.4d.
Willie Peconga died September 28, 1925 - World War I
born 1887 on August 30
Thomas Peconga died April 27, 1932 - aged 74
Note: This notation was added to the bottom, source unknown.
(Would of been chief.) (Ching - qua - saw)
...Original page by Sheila D. Watson
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