In the south east corner of Paoli Township, long ago was a settlement of colored people, which was known as Little Africa. Most of these people had come to Orange County with Quakers from North Carolina, and many of them had been born in slavery. The only trace left of the little settlement, is an abandoned graveyard, difficult to access and almost impossible to find. There were a few stones with inscriptions. Probably the last person buried here was Simon Locust, a preacher, who died in September, 1891, at the age of 67 years. On farms in a few other places in the county, small groups of graves having markers with no inscriptions have been found, said to be burial places of colored people.
*NOTE: Little Africa cemetery is now located in the Hoosier National Forest, and is quite easy to find. It is a bit of a walk, but the trail is gravelled and fairly level. Scouts occasionally tend the cemetery, and place white crosses on the graves.
Paoli Township, North Of Monon Depot. Obliterated.
North of the Monon Depot, on a hillside, for many years was a marble box-tomb, which was almost covered with honeysuckle vines. The top panel had a well cut inscription. Here was buried a young daughter of Thomas and Ann Bowles, who had died during a cholera scourge, probably in the early thirties. After the land passed out of the possession of the Bowles family, the tomb was leveled, and covered with earth.
ELROD FAMILY CEMETERY
Orleans Township Section 12, T2N R1E. Obliterated.
Located 3 miles south west of Orleans, in the north section of the old James Lindley farm. The land was entered by Roger McKnight on Jan. 17, 1815, and was later acquired by Robert Elrod. The Elrod families came from North Carolina. There were 20 graves, only 3 or 4 of which had markers with inscriptions. Two of the graves were covered with bricks, built up in box-fashion. On another part of this farm were 3 ancient graves, identity unknown, marked by field stones. They are also now obliterated. Two stones from the Elrod burying ground were found.
ELROD, Robert; 25 Dec 1760-20 Jul 1828.
KELSHAW, Sarah, In Memory of, who died 3 Mar 1824, age 55y.
FRENCH FAMILY GRAVES
Northwest Township. Section 29, T3N R2W. Abandoned.
Samuel French entered 2 tracts of land in this section in 1836. His name appears in a list of voters in 1819. In 1817 George French had entered land in section 31. James French and George Hedge French entered tracts in the same section in 1837 and 1840. There are six graves in the little burial plot in a field, and three of the stones have inscriptions. A Paoli newspaper of 1841 contains an obituary of Samuel French, which states he left a wife and nine children.
FRENCH, Samuel, d. 21 Sep 1841, age 52y/5m/16d.
FRENCH, Julia A., w. of Samuel, 11 Oct 1796-4 Apr 1854.
FRENCH, George H., d. 28 Jun 1847, age 62y/9m/27d.
Orleans Township. Section 7, T2N R1E Obliterated.
Located in the northwest quarter of the section, and east of state highway 37. Roger McKnight entered the land in 1813. It was later sold to Benjamin Chatham, then to James A. Frost, and in recent years has been known as the Simeon Frost farm. The Picketts at one time lived on a part of the farm and were probably related, through marriages, to the McKnight family. The cemetery had a dozen, or more, graves and some of them had markers with inscriptions. Long after the cemetery was plowed over, the late Mr. Grant Carroll of Orleans discovered the grave stones of Roger and Lydia McKnight and had them placed in Green Hill cemetery in Orleans, where others of the family were buried. Roger McKnight was born in 1767. The deat date is illegible. His wife, Lydia, died Aug. 27, 1844, aged 79y/9m/19d.
Known also to have been buried there is Jacob Pickett, son of Jacob Pickett, Sr. He died in Dec., 1874. His first wife and others of the McKnight and Pickett families are said to have been buried there. The second wife of Jacob Pickett is buried at Scott graveyard in Paoli township. The name sometimes occurs Piggott.
FISHER-LOCK FAMILY CEMETERY
Orleans Township Section 9, T2N R13. Obliterated
Thaddeus Fisher entered this land soon after he came from Kentucky. He was born in Virginia, married Sarah Stine in Kentucky, and they came to what is now Orange County about 1812. Samuel Lock (Locke) later owned the farm. The little burial plot had 8 graves. The stones have been removed and covered with earth and the graves destroyed by the plow. Known to have been buried here were:
Fisher, Sarah Stine; w. of Thaddeus.
Lock, Samuel; He married Delilah Edwards Jan.14, 1819.
Lock, Delilah; w. of Samuel.
Lock, James; Married Mariah Fisher in 1832.
Lock, Mariah; w. of James