Methodist Chapel 2


5301 Churchman Avenue, Franklin Township, Marion County Indiana


“At the Methodist Chapel in the northwest corner of the township is a burial-ground of about one acre, which is well filled with graves though not crowded. One of the first interments in it was that of the wife of Simon Peters.” (Sulgrove) The cemetery was part of the Methodist Wesley Chapel, also called the Methodist Episcopal Church, organized in 1838, by members of five families. They built a log church which they replaced around 1860 with a frame church. The church had closed by the 1880s when Miss Anna L. Churchman, the daughter of Francis M. Churchman who owned the fine house, “Hillside,” across the road (now demolished), used the abandoned church for Sunday School classes for children and young people.

The cemetery was, according to J. Eugene Reilly who surveyed it on February 17, 1945, about half an acre. He included with the list of names sent to the Indiana State Library, these comments about the cemetery: “Fifty feet south of the intersection of Garstang and Cincinnati Streets in Beech Grove, it lies on a small hill overlooking the Beech Grove Shops of the Big Four Railroad. It is in very poor condition with many of the stones broken and weathered. Also there are many weeds and briers in it.”

The cemetery continued to suffer from neglect and vandalism for many years, but has now been fenced, and sunken graves have been filled in and stones reset. The cemetery is in Franklin Township, at about 5310 Churchman Avenue, and is cared for by the Franklin Township Trustee although the Beech Grove Fire and Police Departments are located immediately to the west.

The first burial appears to be in 1848, the latest in 1909.
(from: “Called Home” by The Franklin Township Historical Society)