Old Widow Bonesteel's Cemetery, Pleasant TownshipIndex of Old Widow Bonesteel's Cemetery burials . . . .

The Northwest Indiana Genealogical Society cemetery index for Pleasant Township, Porter County, Indiana, published December 1993, does not include Old Widow Bonesteel's Cemetery.

Old Widow Bonesteel’s Cemetery was in the vicinity of the village of Mayville, situated immediately north of present day Baum’s Bridge on the Kankakee River. The cemetery's general location was in the southwest quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 26, Township 33 North, Range 6 West.

Goodspeed and Blanchard write in their 1882 history of Porter County that:

           "The first death [in Pleasant Township] was that of Jeremiah, a son of J.
          Sherwood. He was buried at what is now the Widow Bonesteel's farm,
          where there are only a few graves."

In the book The Kankakee River Almanac, published in 2005, it is stated that:

“Mrs. James Bonesteel, who bought the land that contains the cemetery
          known in one part as Boot Hill and another as God’s Half-Acre, generously
          permitted the continued use of the site for burials. For years it was known
          as Widow Bonesteel’s burial ground.”

A column appearing in the September 1, 1965, issue of The Vidette-Messenger states that:

“The Hydes settled on Lone Tree Island. During their period of residence
          there they lost three children by swamp fever and they were buried on the
          island. The Sherwoods had lost their son, Jeremiah, previously, and had
          buried him on the Widow Bonesteel’s farm [at Mayville], where she had
          permitted the location of a community cemetery. But the Hyde children
          couldn’t be taken over the water-covered prairie, so the first cemeteries
          are recorded as ‘Widow Bonesteel’s’ and ‘Hyde’s Cemetery.’”

The exact location of this cemetery is unknown. The only known burial at this cemetery is Jeremiah Sherwood, but others are very likely interred in this now lost burial ground. 

Goodspeed, Weston A., and Charles Blanchard. 1882. Counties of Lake and Porter, Indiana: Historical and Biographical. Chicago, Illinois: F. A. Battey & Company. 771 p. [see p. 219]

The Kankakee River Historical Society. 2005. The Kankakee River Almanac. St. John, Indiana: R&B Fine Printing. 100 p. [see p. 71].

The Vidette-Messenger
, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; September 1, 1965; Volume 39, Number 50, Page 8, Columns 1-5 (Kouts Centennial Edition). Column titled “Pleasant Township's Early History Vague.”

NOTE: If you have information that you like to add to this database, including corrections, then please contribute it to Steve Shook.

Old Widow Bonesteel's Cemetery data prepared by Steven R. Shook


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