Locust Grove Cemetery,
Abington Township,
Wayne County, Indiana

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Project Coordinator: Theresa Berghoff >tres257@yahoo.com<

Location: Centerville Rd., north of the town of Abington, Abington Township, Wayne County, Indiana

Oldest Stone: 1815 (?)

Newest Stone: 1999

Project Status: There is ongoing research to add Locust Grove to the Indiana Pioneer Cemetery and Burial Ground Registry. Currently, Theresa is mapping and documenting stones. She has also been responsible for the removal of scrub brush in the cemetery. There were problems of mulberry & poison ivy growing up on the stones, especially in the wooded area. There’s also a constant battle with out of control yucca. In 2004, the township trustee had a lot of the mulberry removed from around the stones. Many dead trees and stumps have also been removed. As far as the stones, there are many broken stones that have been removed from their original sites. Many of the stones in the cemetery are leaning or fallen and need reset.

Click here to view restoration efforts!

Permission: Granted by Abington Township Trustee, Donald Schwab.

History:
According to The History of the Abington Circuit, written by R.E. O’Byrne:
"The Locust Grove Methodist Episcopal Church was known as the Centre Society in the early days when meetings were held in the log cabins of Gabriel Fender and David Railsback. In 1820 the meetings moved to home of Henry and Elizabeth Long Fender, on the site of the farm directly south of the cemetery. The Fenders donated the land for the church and cemetery. A log or log plank building was built on the southeast section of the grounds facing the Centerville Pike. There is also mention of a frame building on the site. In 1855 a brick building known as the “new church” was constructed of bricks made across the road from the church. This building was used until 1918. The Locust Grove M.E. Church was part of the Whitewater, Milton, and Abington Circuits at various times in the days of the Methodist circuit riders. Well known preachers were Rev. Allen Wiley, Rev. John Strange, Rev. James Havens, and Rev. Amos Bussey."
This information was found in the Methodist Archives at DePaw University.

Click here to view a photo of the Methodist Episcopal brick church.

According to History of Wayne County, IN 1884, Abington Twp. Churches:
"Methodist Episcopal Church.-- The first religious society, says 'Young's History,' was the Methodist Episcopal, organized at an early period of the settlement of the township. Among its early members were Thomas Moffitt and his wife; John Cox, his wife and son James; Peter Stevens, a preacher and also the first school-teacher, near Moffitt's; Henry Long, also a preacher, and his wife; Eli and Clark Penwell, and David Railsback and their wives; Henry Fender, his son Jacob, and John Fender, Sr. The first preaching was in dwellings. Their first meeting-house was a log building on the hill, near the site of their present brick house."

For many years afterwards, the Locust Grove Church held a June Camp meeting on their grounds. In 1963 the Indiana Conference of the Methodist Church sold the Locust Grove Church and Cemetery to the Locust Grove Cemetery Association for $1.00. New grave sites were surveyed on the north side of the cemetery. The church building was torn down in the 1970s. The last burial was in 1999. In July of 2001 a storm topped 5 large trees, and damaged the fence surrounding the cemetery. Recently, the only surviving member of the Cemetery Association turned the cemetery over to the Abington Township Trustee.

Incomplete list of burials:

Moses Robbins