MIAMI INDIAN CEMETERY
Grant County Indiana
also see Miami Indian Cemetery
"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. An Indian woman 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."
("Lest We Forget", by Cora Straughn)
The Grant County Indiana Baptist records say that Rev. Isaac McCoy was 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.
An Indian Cemetery
It stands on a hill overlooking a beautiful and fertile valley sloping down to the Mississinewa River, in view of the site of the Battle Field where, in 1812 the American forces put the Indians to rout. The building is almost a wreck made so by long disuse, vandals and the elements. To the rear of the little church is an all-but-forgotten cemetery. Pine trees, with their stately towers, stand 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.
"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).
In times past this cemetery fell victim to unconscionable acts of vandalism. Many of the stones are gone or broken. At some time 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.
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. Their 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.
(Daughters of the American Revolution)
When viewed in October of 1994 the flowers and roses no longer existed, but the weeds and underbrush were gone. The cemetery is being 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, when thousands of people visit this forgotten cemetery and pay their respects to the Spirits of the proud race who originally inhabited this beautiful little valley.
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 about 1782 near the mouth of Me-to-cin-yah Creek, Wabash County. 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; 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 and restoration attempts, the DAR list and Cora Straughn's list in her book "Lest We Forget" was used to compile a list of burials in this cemetery.
Aveline, 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
Bundy, 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."
Bundy, Mary - dau of C. & J. Bundy died May 19, 1881 aged 19 years
Chapendoceah, Charles son of G. D. & M. Chapendoceah died Oct. 15, 1879
Chapendoceah, Mary - wife of George D. Chapendoceah died Oct. 15, 1879 aged 24 years
Chapindagh, Angeline died 1867 age unknown
Cotsipon, Jacob died Aug. 9, 1883 aged 31y.4m.20d.
(one stone) Doles, George 1857 - ____
Lucy 1858 - 1898
Dosia, Mary died Feb. 15, 1877 aged 16 years
Ka-Ge-To-No-Quah died Jan. 29, 1881 aged 69 years
Kisman, Ada (No dates.)
Marshall, 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.
Me-Shing-O-Me-Sia died Dec. 16, 1879 aged about 98 years
Jane 1837 - 1911
John 1845 - 1939
Newman, Martha J. - dau of John W. and Jane Newman Mar. 8, 1873 - Nov. 3, 1887
Peconga, C. died Sept. 16, 1879 aged 64 years
Peconga, Infant dau of R. & B. Peconga Mar. 11, 1876
Infant son of R. & B. Peconga died Nov. 8, 1880 aged 11 days
Peconga, Lizzie -wife of Peter Peconga died Apr. 14, 1883 aged 19 years
Infant of Peter and Lizzie Peconga born & died Apr. 14, 1883
Peconga, Lucy - wife of Thomas Peconga 1861 - 1924 "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God"
Thomas 1858 - 1932
Willis E. 1887 - 1925
Prickett, Jerome - son of J. M. & Hannah Prickett aged 8 months (No dates.)
Prickett, Lucinda - dau of J. M. & Hannah Prickett aged 2 months (No dates.)
M.F. died July 1880 aged 29 years
Richards, Samantha 1866 - ____ "Mother"
Shap, Elizabeth - dau of G. & D. Shap died Sept. 16, 1872 aged 5 years
Shapadosia, Peter - son of G. & B. Shapadosia died Mar. 15, 1866 aged 2 years
Shapadosia, Sarah - wife of George D. Shapadosia died Apr. 17, 1873
Ta-Ke-E-Quah - wife of Me-Shing-O-Me-Sia died Sept. 15, 1879 aged 94 years
Tawa-Taw, Ellen died July 19, 1879 aged 29 years
Tawa-Taw, Nelson died Oct. 9, 1879 aged 35y.6m.
Tawa-Taw, Rosie - dau of N. & M. Tawa-Taw died Oct. 10, 1887 aged 14y.3m.6d.
Tawa-Taw, 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... (illegible)"
Mollie died June 23, 1884 aged about 85 years
Walters, Infant - dau of J. & E. Walters born & died Jan. 10, 1888
Winters, Amanda Catherine - dau of Joseph & Louiza Winters died May 10, 1865 , aged 5 months
Winters, Elizabeth Margaret - dau of J. & L. Winters died July 3, 1873 aged 3 years
Winters, Joseph - son of Joseph & Louiza Winters died Dec. 27, 1877 aged 4m.20d.
Sarah died Sept. 1878 aged 70 years
Bible Record of William & Frances Peconga
Carnegie Building of the Marion Public Library
"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 39 Aug 1887."
"Thomas Peconga died April 27, 1932 - aged 74"