The William Thompson family, Presbyterian pioneers from Pennsylvania, came to the area in 1821 and bought a 78 acre tract of land located on the south bank of the Vermilion River (Fractional NW quarter of Sec 5, Twp 17, Range 9 West). Currently the home site is just west of the railroad tracks, bounded on the north by Route 234 and on the south by Curtis Street. The exact location of the graves is not marked, but burials are documented in Harold O'Donnell's "Eugene Township: the First 100 Years" history of Vermillion County IN (1963). Rev. Grover Williams hand carved a new marker for William Thompson and his wife Jane McFarlane and placed it on the west side of the Presybyterian Church to memorialize these church founders and the family's nearby burial location.
William Thompson was 64 years old when he arrived with his wife Jane, son John 33, Andrew M, 31, Alexander 27, James 23, and daughters Jane 22, Mary 20, and Lacey 18. They built a log house north and east of the current Presbyterian Church where a fine spring was located. The first Presbyterian meeting was held in this log house in 1824. Those attending were the Thompson family, the Wm. Armour family, Mary West, Hannah Laughlin, Eliza Rodman, Margaret Caldwell, Wm. Wilson, two "Wilson girls, one of whom, Susan, later married Alexander Thompson. The minister was the Rev. Isaac Reed." The church was called Vermillion River Presbyterian church. The "roots" of this church connect to the Big Springs Church in Newville, Cumberland Co PA.
In 1900, a descendant, John Grondyke (Groenendyke) deeded land to the Presbyterian Church for a new building. At the time it was constructed, the old cemetery in the orchard was or had been disturbed so that stones no longer sat precisely on the graves, says O'Donnell. In 1963, the old stone for William Thompson remained and noted his dates. Only three other stones remained - children of Robert W. and Susan Waterman who died in 1853. Susan Scroggs married Robert Waterman in Vermilion County in 1842. Susan's mother was Margaret Thompson Scroggs, a daughter of William and Jane McFarland Thompson. Hence the Waterman children were great grandchildren of William and Jane.
The 1874 will of William Thompson's son John makes reference to a "three rods square" parcel on the Thompson farm "in the orchard" which included the graves of his parents, brothers Alexander and James (with James' wife), and sister Mary. He also directed his burial there.
The cemetery is located behind (north of) the Cayuga Presbyterian Church in Eugene Township (SW quadrant of the NE quadrant of the NW quadrant of Section 5 Township 17 N Range 9N).
The cemetery is listed in the Cemetery and Burial Grounds Registry of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and in the State Historical Architectural and Archaeological Research Database (SHAARD) with Cemetery Record Number CR-83-23 (Thompson).
GPS Coordinates: 39.94956, -87.46658
- Added: 28 Oct 2017
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #2654297
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