The Six Mile Cemetery has its roots in the founding of the Six Mile Church on September 2, 1838. When founded with the help of Hallet Barber, Six Mile became the first organized church in Wells County. The original church site is marked with a cornerstone monument that contains one of the original corner stones used in the construction of the log cabin that housed the congregation. This marker rests in Section 14 of Harrison Township near the banks of the Six Mile Creek. This land was sold to the church by Thomas and Hannah VanHorn on a deed dated March 15th, 1842. As with many early churches, it is believed that the Six Mile Cemetery was actually started beside the original church. This would also coincide with the probable date of the beginnings of the cemetery association.
While no specific date exists for the establishment of the cemetery at its current site in Section 11 of Harrison Township, this land was sold to the Six Mile Christian Church on a deed dated August 17th 1858, by Adam and Eliza Miller. It was after this that the second Six Mile Church
was constructed in 1859 in what is now the western corner of them cemetery. It is believed that that many burials at the original church were moved to the new cemetery location. The earliest engraved date of death on an existing stone at the current site is that of John Studabaker who died in 1839, which predates the sale of land, the moving of the church, and the probable establishment of the current cemetery. This marker was probably moved from the original site on which no markers currently exist.
As time progressed the need to expand the cemetery grew. The earliest existing map is a hand-drawn document created by G.M. Dailey dated October 7, 1863. The association also has the original deed for lots 1 and 10 sold to Abram Studabaker dated October 17, 1871. This growing burial ground was owned and run by the Six Mile Christian Church and managed by the church trustees. In 1913, this situation changed with a fire that destroyed the third Six Mile Church which was built in 1905 on the site of the fourth and current church building.
The 1913-1915 Articles of Association states: "Nearly seventy years ago, the pioneer citizens residing along the Wabash River east of Bluffton and vicinity and members and friends of the Six Mile Christian Church selected as a burial place for the departed dead of the community, a
beautiful shady slope in the forest on the banks of the Six Mile. For more than a half a century the funeral car has borne to it the bodies of our nearest and dearest. For nearly seven decades our tears have watered and our hands have cared for their earthy homes.
Long years ago the woodman's ax felled the forest trees, and the forestwas cleared away. In its place is found the graves and many beautiful monuments to the memory of our dear ones. Every year new graves and new monuments appear. Death's toll keeps on apace, and this city of the dead
stands out as a last resting place for many a wearied Pilgrim.
To their last resting place have our loved ones been consigned, and now it becomes our duty to see that their memory shall be revered by our tender care of their habitiations, their temporal lodging until the trumpet shall sound. It is the least we can do, and in accordance with this purpose the Six Mile Cemetery Association was organized and incorporated January 2, 1914."
GPS Coordinates: 40.7196, -85.12968
- Added: 19 Aug 2000
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #185132
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