It’s been awhile since I’ve visited a cemetery, and I forgot how much I enjoy quietly moving from memorial to memorial. I visited Fink Cemetery in Lafayette. The weather was perfect and the area was lively with the sounds of a nearby church’s Fall Fest. I saw a tractor pulling a covered wagon on the walk over.
A friend had recommended the site, because of its interesting history:
Under the minimal light of the moon, people were dumping cholera victims into mass graves. While there was no markings for the mass graves, I walked around the south and east sides where they are located. I wondered how many people were buried in piles, what their names were, and the holes left in their family histories. It is upsetting to think how epidemics not only wipe out populations, but individuality. They are no longer people with stories in these mass graves, but a representation of sickness.
When I’m walking around, I usually have my Find A Grave app pulled up on my iPhone. I love when memorials are accompanied with images and/or a eulogy of the deceased. I came across one grave that had an unique story.
According to a user on Find a Grave, James (Jim) Jones (Dec. 9 1852 – Dec 16 1917) was an interesting character. As it appears on the site:
Jim Jones 09 Dec 1852 and his sister Mary Frances Jones.
Jim’s mother Miranda Johnson (1833) died on ” MAR 18th 1859 ” soon after Jim & Mary were born.
His father William Marion Jones was killed on AUG 14th 1859, while trying to stop a runaway horses.
Jim and Mary Frances were then to be raised by their fathers brother Thomas Bybee Jones, Tipton County Court of Common Pleas, October 17, 1859 Page: 348.
Jim was a Trapper while married to Mary Cooper Jones.
Jim Jones was frequently in a tavern talking with the famous James Whitcomb Riley in Indianapolis, IN.
This was most likely between 1883 and 1893. Jims daughter Clara would go to the bar and say Jim Jones, Mary Jones says it’s time to come home.
While I could not verify this data, I like to imagine it is real. Although, I am not trying to create some Indiana lore here, so just take it with a grain of salt.