This family cemetery is in Section #10 of Washington Township on the Lagro Road. The Big Four Railroad passes through a part of it and many graves were covered when the grade was made. A number of stones are still there, some are broken and cannot be deciphered. The earliest date is 1845 and the latest is 1880. No burials are made there now and to all appearances those interred there are lost to the memory of the relatives. The name of Ellis, Curtis and Boots being associated with those of the earliest settlers. David Badger is named as the first white man to have come to this township. The marriage records show that Reason Badger and Mary Curtis were granted license to marry May 28, 1840. Andrew the son of R. & M. Badger died July 7, 1846 aged one year. We may presume that they were closely related to the Daniel Badger who came here in 1826.

Vines, briars, shrubs and debris defy one to wander about in this cemetery and few there be who will attempt it.

The above was written by the DAR in the 1940's.

I have heard this cemetery referred to under both names. I believe I read somewhere that Curtis donated the land for this cemetery. Job Curtis is buried here, although I could no longer locate his stone. He died Jan. 24, 1880, aged 83y.12d.

In April, 1994, 50 years after the DAR read this cemetery, this is what I found. The cemetery was grown up in weeds and briars last year so badly, I couldn't get in to read anything. But this spring a neighbor living next to the cemetery cleaned up this old cemetery, they have cut and burned, 'til it is now back to a lovely little quiet place. It is situated on the Curtis Creek, just west of Lagro Road, and bordered on the north by a section of Lagro Road that is now abandoned. I have watched this little cemetery for several years, seeing it being destroyed by careless mowing, and vandalism. Then finally left to it's own devises for several years, with virtually no care at all. Young people were having parties there for several years, and the sheriff's department were being kept busy running them out, until finally they closed the stretch of road, that used to serve as part of the Lagro Road. This seems to have deterred most of the vandalism in this cemetery, but I'm afraid it is too late. In the 1940's, the DAR recorded 25 burials in this cemetery. I picked up 2 the DAR didn't record, but lost 14 individuals they had recorded. This means 14 grave markers are lost now. Most, I fear, have been carried off by the perpetrators. It was, in the sixties and seventies, a big deal to college kids to have grave markers in their dormitories. Then the younger generation picked up this grotesque habit. I feel this is what has happened here.

I want to straighten out a little misconception that has been handed down for several years. I don't know where the DAR got the information, that the railroad had actually ran through this cemetery, but that is not what really happened. You can go in this cemetery and see that the railroad does come pretty close, but it did not go through it as was previously thought. The interurban track also cut through this little cemetery, but I am convinced it also did not destroy anything but maybe the sleep of the dead that lie here.

I am including an article written by Richard S. Simons, about the Curtis Cemetery. He also believes these tracks did not cause any harm.

Ghostly Tracks

"THE GHOSTS that inhabit Curtis Cemetery, four miles northwest of Marion, (actually it is straight north), never had it so busy as the night the men came to lay the interurban track.

It all started shortly after the turn of the century, during the Hoosier traction craze. Marion then was the queen city of the natural gas belt, and Wabash, 19 miles northwest, was a busy industrial city. Promoters in the area decided that the two should be linked by electric railway.

Surveyors went over the proposed route in the fall of 1902. They found favorable, and on Feb. 24, 1903, the Indiana Northern Traction Company was incorporated to link Marion with Wabash and then to continue to North Manchester, at the northern edge of Wabash County. The contract for grading was soon signed and the work began.

Like most traction lines, this one paralleled a railroad. It crowded close the Big Four's Michigan division right of way (now the New York Central) between Marion and Wabash.

There were few serious problems and the engineers were happy-until they arrived at Curtis Cemetery.

The railroad already had crowded close to the southwest corner of the cemetery, and, try as they might, the traction engineers couldn't find a place to put their track.

So they sat down with their dilemma and gave it a good strong think. Finally, they decided on a bold step. They would cut across the corner of the cemetery, just nip the edge so that it would cause no actual damage.

But the engineers also knew well the vagaries of human nature. They realized that someone might decide that he would suffer mental inconvenience if the burial ground were touched by speeding traction cars.

Possibility of an injunction loomed large in the engineers' minds, so they decided on a second bold step. They would build the line at night to forestall legal proceedings.

Under the protection of darkness, a number of men soon assembled silently amid the graves and tombstones of the old cemetery.

Just as quietly, equipment began to arrive-shovels, picks, axes, scrapers and spades. All of it arrived after dark.

Then the men seized their favorite pieces of equipment and went to work. The night air soon rang with the sound of metal striking stones and timber and thudding against the earth. Surely the ghosts of Curtis Cemetery never danced to a scene more weird.

By morning, the work was completed. The right of way was level and smooth and construction crews sped on toward their goal.

And the neighboring farmers, the people who might have objected, were content for they found neither fancied no real damages on which to base a legal claim."


*	Andrew son of R. & M. Badger died July 7, 1846 aged 1y.4m.
	Anna J.  Oct. - 1845 aged 4 years.
		(This stone is broken in several pieces and 
		the bottom is missing.)
	Sarah Nancy dau of Wm. L. & Rebecca Bird died Sept. 7, 1868 
		aged 21y.22d.
		(I also found her footstone S.N.B.)
	Elizabeth Ann wife of W.H. Ellis and daughter of ----- Boots
			(the stone is broken at this place and 
			the name cannot be deciphered)
		died Mar. 2, 1862 aged 50y.8m.23d. 
		S/S with Eli F. Ellis.
		(This stone is broken more than it was.  Now 
		Elizabeth's name is no longer there.   I found a 
		footstone for Elizabeth Ellis - E.A.E.)
*	Martha J. dau of E.W. & Malinda Boots died Apr. 6, 1855 
			aged 16y.6m.11d.
	Mary F. or E. dau of E.W. & Malinda Boots died Feb. 11, 1855 
		aged 8y.5m.10d.
		(Broken in several pieces.)
	Aaron died July 13, 1845 aged 28y.
		(There is a weeping willow tree carved at the top of this stone.)
*	Anna wife of Job Curtis died Oct. 10, 1879 aged 85y.7m.20d.
*	Job died Jan. 24, 1880 aged 83y.12d.
*	Lydia died Aug. 17, 1844 aged 18y.
	Eli F. son of W.H. & E.A. Ellis died Mar. 17, 1851 aged 22y.18d. 
		S/S with Elizabeth Ellis.
	Elizabeth Ann wife of W.H. Ellis and daughter of ----- Boots
			(the stone is broken at this place and 
			the name cannot be deciphered)
		died Mar. 2, 1862 aged 50y.8m.23d. 
		S/S with Eli F. Ellis.
		(This stone is broken more than it was.  Now 
		Elizabeth's name is no longer there.   I found a 
		footstone for Elizabeth Ellis - E.A.E.)
*	 Leuranda dau of Henry & Phebe Gadbury died Oct. 20, 1848 
			aged 12y.9m.14d.
*	Anna E. dau of B.M. & P. Hamaker died Oct. 18, 1860 
			aged 7y.6m.11d.
*	John son of B.M. & P. Hamaker died Oct. 18, 1860 
			aged 7y.6m.11d.
*	John H. son of B.& P. Hamaker died Aug. 18, 1864 
			aged 10m.11d.
*	Mary P. dau of B. & P. Hamaker died June 12, 1860 
			aged 5y.5m.
			(I found a footstone marked M.P.H.)
*	Phebe wife of B.M. Hamaker died Aug. 13, 1855 
			aged 31y.8m.5d.
			(I found a footstone marked P.H.)
*	Isom died Sept. 1857 aged about 88y.
	Eunace R. dau of M.B. & L.A. Maggart died Feb. 2, 1861 
		aged 9y.9m.19d.
		S/S with Louiza B.
	Jacob died Sept. 27, 1858 aged about 66y.
		(This stone is broken into several pieces, much of it is missing.)
	Louiza B. dau of M.B. & L.A. Maggart died Jan. 19, 1861 
		aged 5y.8m.15d.
		S/S with Eunace R.
*	Mary V. dau of H.S. & E.J. Nichols died Nov. 12, 1858 aged 1m.15d.
			(I found a footstone with M.V.N.)
*	Caroline wife of R.T. Shelling died Aug. 10, 1862 aged 29y.8m.24d.
	Elizabeth born Aug. 8, 1811 died Dec. 29, 1897 aged 86y.4m.21d.  
		S/S with John H. 
	Harriet L. dau of L.M. & Samantha Smith died Oct. 15, 1864 aged 1m.28d.
		S/S with Jobe C.
	Jobe C. son of L.M. & Samantha Smith died Apr. 24, 1866 aged 28d.
		S/S with Harriet L.
	John H. Smith born Dec. 6, 1801 died Oct. 16, 1863 aged 61y.10m.10d.  
		S/S with Elizabeth

	*Denotes a stone not found at this time.

...Original page by Sheila D. Watson

Return to Cemetery Listings Page

Return to the Grant County Home Page