Prospect Cemetery History

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Prospect Cemetery came into being in 1858 when Elder Philip Shively and his wife Penelope deeded the land to the Church Of Christ  to be used as a graveyard in the town of New Prospect. Many people are buried there including at least three civil war soldiers and Philip Shively himself. Sadly many of those buried there are children such as Joseph Woodruff, who was barely two when he died. His marker reads, “ Though lost he’s lost to earth alone. Above he will be found. Amidst the stars and near the throne. Which babes like him surround.” 
Most of the stones are from the 1800’s. The cemetery was used up until at least the early 1900’s
 It has been abandoned for many years. Cleaned up then seemingly forgotten and now rediscovered.
Quite a few stones remain standing even though around 1990 an individual destroyed some of them.  
To get to this cemetery you need to take State Road 56 to French Lick and go through French Lick and West Baden. Then turn left onto State Road 150. Next turn onto County Road 825 W. Go left onto Upper Sand hill Road. From there you will need to turn left again at a stone wall. This takes you onto a private driveway. Up this driveway you will see a barn. On the other side of this barn is the cemetery.
So much of our history lies buried in cemeteries such as Prospect. These people are important to us because without them where would we be? Cemeteries are a link to our past. A link that we must protect.

 Lisa Hendrixson

Philip and Penelope Shively donated the land for the church and cemetery.  Deed record book 18, page 423 states "Philip and Penelope Shively for natural love and affection, warranty deed to trustees of the Christian Church of New Prospect: John Purkhizer, Levi Lane, and Henry Hall. For purpose of graveyard and church building. North side of town of New Prospect, at stone marked A, then west 12 roads to stone B, then north 14 rods to stone C, then east 14 rods to D, then to place of start, 1 acre more or less, part of the SW 1/4 of NE 1/4 of section 27. Also part of the NW 1/4 of NE 1/4 of section 27, beginning at stone A, then west 6 rods to stone B, then north 10 rods to stone C, then east 6 rods to stone D, then to beginning, 1/2 acre more or less." 

Robert Lane

Prospect Cemetery has long suffered abuse at the hands of man and nature. A 1913 story in the Springs Valley Herald tells of some spontaneous efforts to clear away brush and undergrowth. As noted above, a number of stones were destroyed in 1990. The most recent clean up effort took place May 22, 2016, which included the removal of small trees and undergrowth.

The French Lick Springs Valley Herald
5 June 1913
Cleaned Cemetery.

The Prospect Cemetery had got so overgrown with briars and bushes and was such a neglected looking place that the womanly pride of several of the girls of the neighborhood decided to clean it up. So one day last week the daughters of Ed Richardson, Cal Murphy, Ed Grigsby and Joe Lomax went to the cemetery and cut and burned the briars and bushes and when several days later when some of the men went to clean it up they found it in nice shape.
Courtesy of Cathy Clark

Click each image to enlarge

July 1998

 May 22, 2016

May 22, 2016

May 22, 2016
Prospect Cemetery Then and Now