Friday, October 28, 2016

Follow Up on Grave Robbery 1962

Article the following day in the Vincennes Sun Commercial, May 7, 1962, about the Grave Robbery posted yesterday on this blog.  

"No light has been shed as yet on the reasons for the excavation of the grave in the old Howard cemetery on the north edge of George Field, but considerable research about the history of the cemetery became known on Monday. Byron R Lewis and Oran Calvert, members of the Lawrence County Historical Society said that it was one of the oldest and most historic cemeteries in the county. James Malcolm, Illinois Veterans Administration service officer, said that graves of seven veterans, one of them a veteran of the Revolutionary War, are located there.

Mr. Lewis and Mr. Calvert said the cemetery was named for John Howard, one of the earliest settlers of Allison Prairie. He filed for land there sometime between 1810 and 1820. One of his daughters married a Childress, a name still prominent in Lawrence County.

Adam Claycomb whose first wife was buried at the grave where the newly discovered digging was done, was a member of the old Centerville Christian church, which was located at about the place one of the now present George Field hangers appears now. Mr. Lewis has the old records of the church and of Mr. Claycomb’s membership there. The first Mrs. Claycomb died and was buried in 1852.
Some years ago Mr. Lewis visited the Howard Cemetery and copied the legends on some 50 or 60 headstones.

Mr. Malcolm said the veterans buried in Howard cemetery were these men: Isom Childress, a Revolutionary War soldier; James Crews, a veteran of the Black Hawk War, buried January 31, 1849; George Rennix, of the Civil War and buried May 1, 1862; Arthur Chenoweth, veteran of both the Black Hawk and Civil War; John Miles Adams of the Ninth Indiana Calvary of the Civil War, buried October 19, 1865; and JH Norton and Martin V Organ both Civil War veterans.

Investigations of the unexplained excavation in the old cemetery still are underway. The hole left was about 2 foot wide, possibly 5 foot long, and about 6 feet deep.

Ed Note:  No other information has been discovered yet about this mysterious grave robbing.