Agnew Cemetery, Morgan TownshipIndex of Agnew Cemetery burials . . . .
The Agnew Cemetery is a single person burial site located on Morgan Prairie. The
first death in Morgan Township was David Agnew, Senior, who froze to death in a
late fall snow storm in 1835. Agnew was buried near where he was found on the
prairie. David Agnew, Junior, was born shortly after his father's death at
Pleasant Grove in Morgan Township on April 4, 1835.
According to a newspaper article published in The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana, on August 18, 1936 [Volume 10, Section 3, Pages 17-18]:
"Leading off from these main routes [Pottawatomie Trail] were
several branch trails worthy of notice. One branched to the
westward from the Pottawatomie (near Tassinong); crossed
Morgan and Horse prairies; passed Indian Town (now Hebron)
and Hickory Point; then on to the Hickory Creek region
of Illinois. This is the path on which David Agnew lost his
life on that fatal night more than a century ago."
"The first burial in Porter county was the burial of David Agnew.
Mr. Agnew was the brother-in-law of David Bryant of Pleasant
Grove, Lake county, and a relative of the Bryants of Porter county.
He had sent his family on to Pleasant Grove and was coming with
a load of furnishing. He was following the old Indian trail that
leads west from Tassinong when a blinding snowstorm struck. The
trail was soon covered and lost. Mr. Agnew loosed the oxen and
tried to find his way on. Later he drove a stake into the ground
and tried to keep warm by walking around it in a circle. His body
was found the next morning and taken to the cabin of Lewis
Comer for the funeral."
"Lewis Comer was born in Virginia on December 25, 1798. Early
in life he decided to be a minister and for several years traveled
about the states of Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Ohio and
Indiana. He made his home in Ohio and Michigan before coming
to Morgan township, Porter county, Indiana, on April 19, 1835,
where he bought a farm of 108 acres. He first duty as minister
was to preach the funeral of Mr. Agnew, who had frozen to death
in a storm on Morgan Prairie. The funeral was preached in
Comer's cabin and the body was put to rest somewhere on
Morgan Prairie.1 This was the first funeral in Porter county."
The following concerning David Agnew was published in 1876 in A. G. Hardesty's Illustrated Historical Atlas of Porter County, Indiana:
"In the fall of this year  a Mr. Agnew, a relative of the Bryants
of this county, and a brother-in-law to David Bryant of Pleasant
Grove, Lake county,2 to which place he had sent his family, and
was following the next day with an ox wagon loaded with his
household goods, but, encountering one of those fierce and
intensely cold storms, that like the simoon, comes on unawares,
Mr. Agnew lost his way, and although but little snow fell, it soon
covered the Indian trail which he was following, and when but
a short distance from Mr. Bryant's home, he became hopelessly
bewildered, and after unloosing his team and traveling a short
distance he found a stake driven into the ground, around which
he travelled many times that last night of his earthly life, and
close to which his frozen body was found the next day and
taken back to Morgan Prairie and there the first burial3 of a white
man that ever took place in this county, of which we have
any authentic record, was the depositing of Mr. Agnew's
remains in their last resting place."4
The exact location of Agnew's burial has been lost to history.
1 Lewis Comer's homestead was located in the southeast quarter of
the southeast quarter of Section 11 in Morgan Township.
2 Pleasant Grove is located in Porter County, not Lake County. David
Bryant's property consisted of the north one-half of Section 23 in
3 Note that David Agnew was very likely not the first white man
buried in Porter County. It is known that Joseph Bailly buried his
son, Robert, at what is now referred to as the Bailly Cemetery
4 Agnew's property was located in south one-half of the southwest
quarter of Section 18 in Morgan Township, approximately two
miles northwest of Comer's cabin. Given locations of the
Comer and Agnew properties, Agnew may be buried in either
Section 17, 18, 19, 20, or 21 of Morgan Township.
NOTE: If you have information that you like to add to this database, including corrections, then please contribute it to Steve Shook.
Agnew Cemetery data prepared by Steven R. Shook