This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Makeever Cemetery

In late May I finally re-visited the old Sayler-Makeever Cemetery, also known as the Old Settlers Cemetery. It is located about a mile due west of the Jasper County airport. To reach it, go east on county road 400S from its intersection with Airport Road (700W) about a mile. When you come to the first houses, there is a gravel road that goes south. Turn on it.
The road is lined by trees on the west and is about half a mile long.
When you reach the end of the road, this is what you will see. The white fence is fairly new and is not wood, but plastic.
The sign at the entrance has dropped the Saylers. Now it is just Makeever.
Some of the monuments are broken. Many are very small and are very hard to read if they can be read at all.Maybe if you spent some time you could figure out what this one says.

There were a few that were embedded in the ground. I do not know if this is how they were originally, or if the headstone fell over and was just left alone. If I am reading it correctly, it is about 150 years old.The picture below captures the general feel of the cemetery--old and decaying despite efforts that keep the grass mowed.
In the back there were some markers that were in better shape.
One of the few recent graves is this John Doe marker. I first learned about it here. Recently (June 11, 2009) the Rensselaer Republican reported that efforts to identify the victim had been revived. He is thought to be a victim of serial killer Larry Eyler, who is believed to have killed 26 men, sexually abusing them. Eyler died of complications from AIDS in 1994.
If you know where to look, you can see this cemetery from State Road 114 when you about a mile east of the interstate, but there is no access from SR 114.


Elle Weems said...

I first learned about the cemetery because of a geocache that is hidden very nearby it. It was the piece of history that attracted me to learning more about Rensselaer. Having only coordinates and a handheld GPS proved interesting to wind through the country roads. Of course, I was unfamiliar was the area then. I didn't realise that there's really no way to get lost.

Elle Weems said...

Oh, and if you would like to ever post a waymark, Patrick Makeever's grave monument is appropriate for the Headstones of Centenarians category on

If memory serves, the man lived to 103 years old and his monument states this.

Anonymous said...

I like this little cemetery. One time when we wondered out there, I saw a fox and a pheasant. That has always sounded like a picture book story to me.
Thanks for enticing the memory coming back.

Anonymous said...

Oops! Wandered not wondered....

reMark said...

Being a native plant enthusiast (not knowing much, but loving native plants), I am very interested in some of the perennials that are around some of the headstones. They are probably as close to original as we can infer in Jasper County.

This is a very graceful place to watch the wind dance across the corn as the land gently rolls. If you visit, be sure to bring a trash bag and pick up a few pieces of litter. The Makeever's and the Sayler's thank you.