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

Friday, October 31, 2014

Tales from the graveyard (updated)

The site findagrave.com is a database of graves throughout the United States and in many other parts of the world. It relies on crowdsourcing, that is, anyone who wants can contribute to the database. One result, unfortunately, is that the entries are of uneven quality and they often contain mistakes. However, when the entries are done carefully, they can contain a great deal of information to those who are trying to trace genealogies. (It is no accident that ancestry.com purchased findagrave.)

Looking through the many thousands of graves that have been recorded from Weston Cemetery for findagrave, one can find interesting bits of Rensselear history. For example, do you know the contribution that Abraham Leopold made to building Rensselaer?

Another pioneer business man in Rensselaer was Fritz William Bedford who had a general store and also a brick and tile manufacturing business. He died in 1915. A bit later in 1934 Benjamin Fendig, part of an important family of retailers died.  James Chapman, one of the organizers of the State Bank of Rensselaer, died in 1935. Just a year later was John Eger, an early grocer passed away.

Weston Cemetery also has graves of people who were prominent elsewhere but are for some reason buried here. For example, Samuel Foster, prominent in Madison Indiana, died here visiting his daughter and is buried in Rensselaer, not in Madison.


There are also stories of personal tragedy in the clippings attached to some of the graves. (Very few of the graves have anything attached to them. Less than one third have a picture of the grave marker.) There were car wrecks and airplane crashes, fires and electrical accidents.


The story of a woman who died undergoing a Caesarean is very sad, but I think a suicide is even sadder.

(For maps of Weston Cemetery and lists of people buried there, go here and click on the links at the bottom of the page.)

Update: The trees were in the Halloween mood today, putting on their ghost costumes.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well done, Rensselaer Adventures! Keep up your wonderful photo, investigative, and information presence.