Churches and Cemeteries of Adams Township, Cass County, Indiana
From: History of Cass County, Indiana
Edited by: Dr. Jehu Z. Powell
The Lewis Publishing Company
Chicago and New York 1913

ADAMS TOWNSHIP CHURCHES

Rev. Wm. M. Rayburn, a Methodist preacher, was probably the first minister to expound the gospel of Christ in this township about 1832. He held religious services in the cabin of Logan Thomas in the southwest part of the township, but no class was then organized.

ZION M. E. CHURCH

This was the first religious society to be organized in Adams township. Anthony Martin settled on the northwest quarter of section 7 in 1831. He was a blacksmith and the first to ply that trade in the township. In 1833 he sold his claim to James McClung and moved to Laporte. No records are accessible showing the details of the organization of this church, but there is a cemetery (Grables) on the Martin McClung farm and burials were made here prior to 1833, these with the family and church relationships, shows, according to I. W. Kreider's investigations, that a class was organized. in this neighborhood about 1835, composed of Benj. Enyart and wife, Silas Enyart, Thos. Enyart, James McClung and wife, Rev. Ashabel Buck with members of the Hummer, Dague and other families not now ascertainable. Meetings were held in private houses and later in a log school house located on the northwest quarter of section 5, Adams township, until about 1846, when a, hewed log church was erected near the house above mentioned, on land donated by Henry McHenry. This log meeting house served as a place of worship until 1888 when it was torn down and the present frame building was erected at a cost of $1,800. The trustees in 1888 who erected the new church were Wm. S. Finnimore, G. W. Wolford, D. N. Dague, Win. M. Preston and J. O. Winegardner.

This congregation increased and flourished for many years, but deaths and removals and the close proximity of other surrounding churches caused a decrease in membership. While this is not a large congregation, yet, what is lacking in numbers is made up in zeal and the church is moving along in the even tenor of its ways, doing its duty in the Master's cause. The present membership is reported to be 71. Present pastor, Rev. Spokane, 1912.

Rev. Ashabel Buck was one of the first pastors and Rev. J. J. Cooper, in 1885-87.

TWELVE MILE CHRISTIAN CHURCH

To Elder Thos. Whitman the credit is due of sowing the first seed, which, under careful culture, germinated, and in due time developed into the Twelve Mile Christian church.

There had been preaching at intervals for three or four years in the cabins of Thos. Skinner and J. Reed by Father Atkinson, Rev. A. Snethen of Kentucky, Rev. Jos. Roberts and N. Myers, but on January 16, 1847, Rev. Whitman perfected a permanent organization at a. meeting in the cabin of Thos. Skinner with a charter membership as follows: John and Lucinda Davis, Thos. and Amelia Skinner, Richard Skinner, James Davis, Thos. and Jane Whitman. The first officers were John Davis and Thos. Skinner, deacons, and these two with John Johnson, trustees. Thereafter meetings were regularly held in private residences and the congregation rapidly increased Among the new members were Margaret and Elizabeth Davis, Margaret and Nancy Reed, Rebecca Stroud, Amelia and Elizabeth Jones, Abraham Lowman, Mary Johnson, Elmore Simons, Joseph and Henrietta Venters, Jos. Lowman, Eliza M. Beck, S. Skinner, Rebecca Balew, Cynthia Bockover, Joel Black, Caroline Skinner, O. P. Davis, Rebecca Reed, D. L. Davis, Wiley Johnson, Margaret Skinner, Sarah J. Davis, Susan Lowman, Catherine E. Leavel, Isabelle Ashworth. In the fall of 1848 a hewed log meeting house 24x36 feet was erected in the northeast quarter section 22, on land donated by Thomas Skinner and this church has generally been known as the Skinner church.

This log building was used for church purposes until 1870 when it was replaced by a new frame building 36x40 feet and dedicated to the service of the Lord, by Rev. T. Whitman, the first pastor, on December 25, 1870. The church seats 300 and cost $1,100.

A Sunday school was organized in 1846 in the cabin of T. Skinner and has been successfully operated from that day to the present time and has been a great aid to the prosperity of the church. The present membership of the church is about 60. A cemetery adjoins the church. The first interment therein was Mary, the wife of Nathan Skinner, March 16, 1841.

Pastors who have served this congregation are as follows:

Rev. Thos. Whitman, 1846-51; Rev. Abraham Snethen, 1852; Rev. John Winters, 1853-55; Rev. Thos. Wells, 1856; Rev. Benj. Trapp, 1859-63; Rev. Wm. Y. Winegardner, 1864-75; Rev. James Ulery, 187680; Rev Samuel McNeely, 1881-83; Rev. S. Culbertson, 1884-86; Rev. Joshua Greer, 1887-90; Rev. Taylor Jackson, 1891-92; Rev. M. M. Wiles, 1893-95; Rev. Kendall West, 1896; Rev. Abraham West, 1897-98.

The following ministers have at times, held services in this church, but dates are not known:

Rev. Nicholas Myers, Rev. McKinzie, Rev. Joseph Roberts, Rev. Bussard, Rev. Faucett, Rev. A. D. Kellison, Rev. 'Williams, Rev. E. Tillman, Rev. Atchison, Rev. L. Shoemaker, Rev. Wm. Hefflin, Rev. A. L. Thomas, Rev. T. Webster. Rev. Charles E. McCoy is the present pastor, 1911-12.

TWELVE MILE CENTER M. E. CHURCH

For many years there were irregular church services held in the school house at Twelve Mile but no organization was ever formed until the year 1883, when the Rev. R. J. Smith held a series of meetings, arousing a great religious interest in that neighborhood and organized a class of forty members, at the schoolhouse in the village of Twelve Mile. Joshua Howell was class leader and Andrew Decker, Sunday school superintendent. Sunday school was maintained with irregular preaching for a number of years but a house of worship was never built as Twelve Mile was only a few miles distant from Zion and Bethlehem Methodist Episcopal churches. In 1891 this little congregation assisted the United Brethren people to erect their church at Twelve Mile and have blended with that organization and with the above named Methodist churches, so that the Twelve Mile Center Methodist Episcopal church organization no longer exists as a separate or independent class. Rev. R. J. Smith continued as pastor of this church and accomplished much in bringing many souls to Christ, and although the organization was abandoned yet his work greatly strengthened the other three churches into which the members of this congregation entered and became blended.

CORINTH BRETHREN IN CHRIST (PROGRESSIVE DUNKARDS)

This church is an outgrowth of the German Baptist, Brethren or Dunkard church at Mexico and eastern part of Adams township and they are known as Progressive Brethren in Christ, as they do not adhere to some of the old customs of the parent church, such as the special style of dress, music in the church, etc.

The organization of this congregation was perfected in 1890 at schoolhouse No. 5, by Rev. S. H. Bashor.

The charter members were H. C. and Adda Reed, Belle Dalzelle, Aron C., Wm. C. and Nora Black, Frank and Jennie Dillman, Samuel and Rhoda Damm, Mary Grandsinger, D. A. and Josephine Hopkins, S. McClain,. A. M. Sherard, T. E. and Maggie Thomas, Sarah Teal, Geo. D. and Sarah Wilson, Eliza E. and Mary Crook, Win. M., Anna, David and Barbara Young, Marion and Emma Kreider. This congregation at once began to plan to build a house of worship and purchased one and one-half acres of land, and the records show that S. F. Dillman conveys a church site located in the southeast corner of section 28, Adams township, to the trustees of the church; D. A. Hopkins, S. McClain, and D. Young; date of deed, June 10, 1890. A church edifice was at once begun and completed the same year and formally dedicated to the Triune God, November 21, 1890. The church is a substantial frame building erected at a cost of $2,600. There is a burial ground adjoining the church and the first interment therein was a. child of Logan Thomas in the year 1833.

A Sunday school was organized in 1900 and the workers. therein are zealous in the cause of the Master and through the efforts of the Sunday school the membership of the church has increased until it numbers 110. The following persons have served the congregation as pastors or elders in charge: S. H. Bashor, August 1, 1889-1890; D. A. Hopkins, March 1, 1.890, Oct. 1, 1890; W. C. Perry, October 1, 1890-91; J. H. Swihart, October 1, 1891-93; W. C. Perry, October 1, 1893-94; J. H. Swihart, October 1, 1894-97; L. W. Ditch, October 1, 1897-98; Wm: M. Miller, October 1, 1898-99; D. A. Hopkins, October 1, 1899-00; W. C. Perry, October 1, 1900-03; J. M. Fox, October 1, 1903-04; A. S. Menaugh, October 1, 1904-05; P. M. Fisher, October 1, 1905-06; A. S. Menaugh, October 1, 1906-07; D. A. Hopkins, October 1, 1907-10; C. C. Guisso, October 1, 1910-11; D. A. Hopkins, October 1, 1911-12.

DUNKARD CHURCH (OLD GERMAN BAPTIST) CONSERVATIVES

The Mexico German Baptist church was organized at Mexico, Miami county, in 1881 by Wm. Fisher and Geo. Balsbaugh, with the following list of charter members: Joseph Edward, John Kinzie, John Arnold, Wm. Fisher, Geo. Balsbaugh, Eliza Miller, Lewis Fisher and Joseph Angle.

Meetings were held in schoolhouses and private residences until 1883 when a frame church was erected about two miles east of Mexico, Miami county. There were some dissensions in the congregation and they became divided into progressives and conservatives. The conservatives predominated and as the majority of the latter resided west of Mexico and in Cass county the church was torn down in 1897, moved and rebuilt on the southeast quarter of section 4, about one mile northeast of the town of Hoover in Adams township at a cost of $1,800 and the church has continued to prosper. The present membership is reported to be sixty-five. Services are held every two weeks with Geo. Balsbaugh, Wm. Fisher and Elisha Miller, officiating.

The deacons are Edward Kinzie, John Kinzie, Benjamin and John Angle. The church is not large but is composed of plain but devout and earnest Christian workers who believe in practical religion and act accordingly.

HOOVER'S METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH

As early as 1887 Brother Fennel, a traveling minister, held meetings in the Hoover schoolhouse half a mile west of the village of Hoover and organized a class of ten or twelve. A year later Rev. Butler took up the work and held revival meetings which increased the membership of the class, but some of them inclined to the United Brethren church and joined with others of that faith at Twelve Mile, leaving the Methodist class at Hoover weak and in a state of suspended animation for several years. However, in 1902, Rev. Wm. Amoss held a series of meetings in Hoover schoolhouse and reorganized the class, some of the members of which are: Mrs. Kizzia Lunsford, Mrs. Rose Wolf, Mrs. B. E. Meadows, Mrs. Mollie Henry, E. Buskirk *** Laura Buskirk, Lawrence Buskirk, Mrs. Crook, Eliza Cox, D. W. Doran, Ora Doran, Frances Doran, Bertha Doran and Myrtle Doran.

Through the efforts of Rev. Amass, a neat, frame church edifice was erected and dedicated September 27, 1902, at a total cost of $2,500, and by the assistance of the Ladies' Aid Society, six months later, the entire church debt was paid, leaving the church free from all financial obligations and in a prosperous condition, both financially and spiritually. Pastors who have served the congregation are: Rev. Wm. Amoss, 1902-04; Rev. Wm. Hamilton, Rev. Eli Davis, Rev. A. C. Hoover, Rev. Gee. Pelly, Rev. John Parker, 1910-13.

UNITED BRETHREN CHURCH (TWELVE MILE)

The first services held by this denomination in Adams township was at the house of Enos Butler in Sec. 19 and Rev. B. S. Clevinger was the first preacher. Later Rev. Levi Hoover and Jos. Terrell preached at irregular intervals in the Dudgeon schoolhouse at Twelve Mile This church was formally organized July 10, 1887, by the Rev. H. E. Butler, with a charter membership as follows: A. J. and Mary Decker, Geo. Leonard, Mrs. D. Conrad, Ida Decker, Effie Decker, Sarah Hoover, Mary A. Hoover, Cordelia Ward, J. B. Decker, Elizabeth Randolph.

Pastors - Rev. H. E. Butler, 1887-9; S. Snyder, 1889-91; J. W. Hindbaugh, 1891-2; G. W. Lambert, 1892-4; 0. P. Kegg, 1894-5; J. Becket, 1895-6; G. L. Mattox, 1896-8; O. F. Landis, 1898-00; J. T. Keesey, 1900-03; J. N. Martin, 1903-04; J. Q. Kline, 1904-06; C. J. Miner, 1906-09; A. Cloud, 1909-10; R. G. Upson, 1910, present pastor.

It was not, however, until 1891 that steps were taken to erect a house of worship. One acre of ground was bought of I. W. Egman in the northeast corner of the northeast quarter of section 20, nearly a mile east of the present town of Twelve Mile. A commodious frame church was erected at a cost of $1,500 and dedicated in July, 1891.

A cemetery adjoining the church is maintained and Wallace Snuffin was the first interment March 7, 1888, as shown by the marker. When the railroad was constructed through Adams township about 1900, it left the old village of Twelve Mile to the cast a half mile or more and a new town sprang up on the railroad. In the year 1911 the congregation abandoned the old church and tore it down and erected at a cost of $5,000 with lot, a handsome new modern frame church in the present new town of Twelve Mile which was dedicated to the service of the Master January 7, 1912. A Sunday school was organized in May, 1886, and is maintained and the church is in a prosperous condition with a membership of 149. Rev. R. G. Upson is the present pastor.

CEMETERIES OF TOWNSHIP


GRABLE CEMETERY

This is probably the oldest burial ground in the township and is situated on the northwest quarter of section 7, about one and a half miles south of the Fulton county line and one-quarter of a mile east of the west line of Adams township.

John Grable, who owned the adjoining farm, deeded to Silas Enyart, John Abbott of Cass county and A. B. Chapin of Fulton county as trustees in trust, as a burial ground for the neighborhood, a tract of land 100 by 150 feet in the above named section; date of deed October 25, 1849, but the deed was not recorded until March 7, 1900. During this time the farm changed hands and the owners claimed the burial ground. It now lies in the center of a field with no road or lane leading to it. It is grown up with bushes and trees sadly neglected and a home for ground hogs where they burrow at will. There are probably 100 graves located here but the majority are unmarked.

According to Isaiah Kreider, who is an authority, a child of Anthony Martin was the first interment prior to 1833, but no stone marks the grave. The earliest interment as shown by the marker is Silas Enyart, died 1844, but we know the Martins who lived here in 1832-3 had deaths in their family.

A number of the Grable, Buck, Chapin, Enyart, Louthain, Stoughton, Lunsford and other families are resting here, but no interments have been made in recent years and the ground is practically abandoned as a burial place. The following soldiers are buried here: Darius Lunsford, Ohio Reg. War of 1812. Oliver Enyart, Co. E, Twenty-ninth Ind.; died at Nashville July 28, 1864. Frank Lunsford, Co. K, Fifth Ind. Cavalry; died August 26, 1892.

SKINNER CEMETERY

In the early forties James Reed donated ground for this cemetery, but deeds were never made until March 2, 1871, when Noah Simmons, who then owned the surrounding farm, conveys to the trustees of the church, Allen Obenchain, Richard Skinner and Isaac Newman, a piece of land 12x18 rods, in the northeast quarter section 22, for church and burial purposes and on April 2, 1892, additions were made to the original plat.

The old part was never platted, but the new addition is platted but not recorded. The Christian church, known as the Skinner church, adjoins this cemetery. The first interments herein are: Mary, wife of Nathan Skinner, May, 1842; Daniel Bayless, 1842; James Reed, the donor of the ground, August 7, 1843.

Soldiers - Thomas Skinner, War of 1812; died April 11, 1881, age 85. Win. Hunter, Co. K, Forty-sixth Ind.; died .August 28, 1894. D. II. Calkins, Co. E, Twenty-ninth Ind.; died April 8, 1865, at Chattanooga.

DILLMAN CEMETERY

For many years this was known as the Dillman graveyard, from the fact that Daniel Dillman was the owner of, and lived on the adjoining farm. Prior to this, however, Samuel Lowman, who had entered the land, laid out a burial ground in the early thirties and it has been used for burial purposes ever since, but, like most of the early cemeteries, deeds were never made or recorded; until June 10, 1890, when S. F. Dillman, son of D. Dillman, conveys one and a half acres of land in the southeast quarter of section 28 to David Young, S. McLain and D. Hopkins, trustees of Corinth Brethren in Christ church (Progressive Dunkards), (Rec. 47, p. 519). This organization erected a church soon after and controls the management of the adjoining cemetery, which was included in the above conveyance. The ground is platted but not recorded. First burials were: An infant of Henry L. Thomas, 1833; a child of John Simons, 1833; a son of Miner Alley, 1833; four children of Mr. Wilson prior to 1840; Sarah, wife of Wm. heel, 1846; Elizabeth, daughter of D. Dillman, 1845. Soldiers - Levi Elmsford, Co. F, Forty-first Ind., died November 13, 1884; Jos. A. Spencer, Co. G, One Hundred Fifty-first Ind., died November 16, 1902.

MOUNT CARMEL CEMETERY

On July 6, 1891, I. W. Egman conveys one acre of ground to the trustees of Twelve Mile U. B. church, situated in the northeast corner of the northeast quarter of section 20, Adams township. The ground was platted but not recorded. The following year a church was erected but recently was removed to the town of Twelve Mile, but the trustees of the church have the management of the burial ground. The first interment was Wallace Snuffin, March 7, 1888. Soldiers - Frank Somers, Co. F, Seventy-third Ind., died December 10, 1905; Samuel Arthurholtz, Co. F, Seventy third Ind., died July 28, 1903; Wallace Snuffin, Ohio Reg.; Levi F. Bixler, Mich. Reg., died 1900; Geo. W. Wolford, Co. A, Eighth Ind. Cavly., died 1903.

JACK CONNER TOMB

This unique tomb is situated about a mile east of Hoover's crossing and south of the railroad a short distance in a beautiful walnut grove on a knoll surrounded on three sides by a ravine fifty feet deep. The ground was enclosed by a picket wire fence about forty feet square, but the fence has fallen into decay. John Conner was an eccentric Indian trader, the first settler in Adams township, locating here in 1828. He died August 20, 1846, and prior to death gave directions that his coffin be placed in a box, filled with tar and left setting on blocks above ground. His directions were carried out and the box thus prepared was left setting in the open air in that beautiful walnut grove where it has peacefully reposed for over sixty-six years. A few years later the neighbors complained and a stone vault was built over the box and coffin containing the remains, a photograph of which appears on another page, showing the appearance of this interesting tomb as it exists today, and his cabin a short distance across the ravine. His wife Elizabeth, who died March 1, 1849, lies buried here; also John Payne, 1846; three children of a Mr. Snell, 1851 to 1855; Elijah Conner, June 5, 1848, and Ms infant in 1840 and a child of John Hoover, 1853. Mrs. Mary M. Harp, whose maiden name was Dillman, now a resident of Logansport, attended this funeral and relates many interesting anecdotes of this most unique character in pioneer days and incidents connected with this most remarkable burial.

OLD TOWN INDIAN BURIAL GROUND

Is situated on the north bank of Eel river and west of the mouth of Twelve Mile creek on what is known as Little Charles Reserve. In the early settlement of the county, from 1825 to 1840, there was an Indian village extending for three miles along the river from a mile above Adamsboro, eastward. At about the location above described, there was a burial ground and residents in that locality have dug up Indian skeletons in gravel pits along the banks of the creek, but no exact spot or burial ground can now be located, as Indians more often laid their dead in hollow logs or trees or in the side of some cliff or hill. This ground was also the scene of General Wilkinson's engagement with the Indians in 1791, mentioned elsewhere, and a number of Indians and two soldiers were killed and buried here.

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