Monday, August 26, 2013

From Jones to Jones With Friends: Part 3

Paula and Kari Spinler and Dianne and Harold Mitchell along McDaniel's east fence.

The friends are Dianne (Vincent) and Harold Mitchell, Jacob and Marilyn Vincent, Doris (Cottrell) Christensen, Kari and Paula Spinler and Cary DeVore. We spent much of Thursday visiting six pioneer burial places in northeast Wayne County, commencing at 9 a.m. with "little" Jones Cemetery and ending up at "big" Jones Cemetery during the afternoon.

This was going to be the final post about that, but I got so tangled up in McDaniel Cemetery, our next-to-the-last stop --- big Jones will have to wait for another day.

McDaniel is located in Section 23 of Union Township, about eight miles due west of our previous stop, Squire Wadlington's grave just over the line in Appanoose County --- and conveniently on the road to lunch at the Millerton Cafe. Great food. The Millerton Cafe causes my vegetarian friends to regret their lifestyle choices.

McDaniel is not that far off the road, but it's one of those you-can't-get-there-from-here places. If you look to your left (south) about half way down the big hill west of Bethlehem toward the bridge over Jordan Creek and the New York Cemetery just beyond, you'll see a pond tucked into the woods with an old trailer house beside it. The cemetery is slightly to the southwest atop the wooded hill beyond the pond.

Don't rely on Google Maps if you're trying to find it. Google has planted the cemetery on the wrong side of the creek.

Marilyn and Jacob Vincent walk toward the cemetery's south fence.

And then look for tombstones in knee-high undergrowth.

But to get there, you have to enter the farm driveway of what I've always known as the Fetters place at the top of the hill, then cut west through pastures. We had planned to drive in, but our escort didn't appear --- so we hiked in rather than forming a motorcade across private property. Follow the ridge west, through a gate into a second pasture, then off northwest to the timber's edge.

The long, narrow cemetery slopes downhill from the edge of the timber and is fenced, but overgrown --- and that made locating the small tombstones difficult. Then there was the poison ivy.

The downslope from north of the cemetery toward the pond below.

According to the Wayne County Genealogical Society's 1979 cemetery book, the Wright Go-Getters 4-H club took the then-abandoned cemetery on as a project during the spring and summer of 1976, cleared it, fenced it, set up fallen stones and maintained it for a time. So we have those girls (and their parents) to thank for conserving it.

According to the cemetery book, there were 14 tombstones here during 1976, but we didn't find that many. The Find-A-Grave McDaniel Cemetery site confuses the issue by throwing a few others into the mix, some of whom may not be buried here at all, and concluding that there are 18 burials. Who knows?


What we do know, courtesy of the genealogical society, is that Henry McDaniel purchased the land on which the cemetery is located during 1851. The first burials here probably were members of his family.  It was deeded to the public as a burial place during September of 1859.

The Peter Ruark family came along soon thereafter and also buried their dead here --- a majority of the burials are Ruarks. In addition, there is a single Hancock --- William H., son of T.S. & N., who died Feb. 29, 1856, age 1 year, 8 months and 17 days.

This little cemetery predates the very large New York Cemetery, just across the creek, and that cemetery's establishment probably caused McDaniel to fade into obscurity. 

William H. Hancock's parents, Thomas Squires and Nancy (Torr) Hancock, for example, are buried in the New York Cemetery. Thomas came to Wayne County in 1849 to stake a claim and then returned to Indiana, returned behind a yoke of oxen in 1851 to establish a home and then returned to Indiana in 1853 to marry Nancy.


Henry McDaniel, 44, a native of Tennessee, and his first wife, Eliza, 39, a native of Kentucky, were enumerated on Nov. 9, 1850, in the federal census of that year along with children Frances, 19; Barnett, 15; Catharine, 13; David, 11; Henry, 6; Greene, 5; and Joseph 1. All of the children except Joseph (born in Iowa) had been born in Missouri.

Various sources identify Henry and Eliza and their family as the first settlers of Union Township, arriving in the spring of 1849. It seems likely that their cabin was located in the immediate vicinity of the cemetery that bears their name. Keep in mind that there usually was a lag between the date pioneers made pre-emption claims on their land and the date they got around to traveling to the nearest land office (at Fairfield during 1851) and filing it.

According to the "William Edward Zintz Family Tree," found online at, Henry had married Eliza (or Elisa) Gowin (or Cowin) on 18 August 1828 in Howard County, Missouri. Seven of their surviving children were born in Missouri. The eighth, a son named Ananias, was born in Wayne County during 1851.

At some point between 1851 and 1856, Eliza McDaniel and perhaps one of her children died --- the Zintz family tree does not account for Catharine. These may have been the first burials in the cemetery, one or more most likely during 1853 or earlier. 

By 1856, when a special state census was taken, Henry had married as his second wife Rachel, some 10 years his junior. They were enumerated in Union Township with his younger children, David, Henry, Greene, Joseph and Ananias. By 1860, the McDaniel household consisted of Henry and Rachel and his four youngest sons. 

There reportedly is a tombstone at McDaniel marking Henry's grave and stating that he died April 29, 1862, age 57, although we did not find it. It seems likely that he was buried beside Eliza.

Rachel McDaniel may be buried in the family cemetery, too. When the 1870 census was taken, she still lived in Union Township and owned real estate valued at $500 plus personal property valued at $335. She was living with Arthur Stritchfield, 66, his wife, Louisa, 44, and their son, James H., 11. The Stritchfields seemed to have nothing at all --- and both Arthur and James were listed as day-laborers.

Rachel does not seem to appear in subsequent census records, although she might well have remarried. But it also is possible that she died between 1870 and 1880 and is buried near Henry and Eliza.

At least two of Henry and Eliza McDaniel's sons served in the Civil War. Henry died during the war; Greene, apparently soon thereafter and he, apparently, is buried here, too.

Greene enlisted 23 March 1864 in Co. I, 4th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and was mustered out on 24 July 1865 due to disability at Louisville, Kentucky. WPA tombstone transcriptions for Wayne County, made during the 1930s, state that he is buried at McDaniel Cemetery. The record implies that a stone was found but that it bore no dates. 

Henry Jr. also enlisted in Co. I, 4th Iowa Volunteer Infantry --- on 19 February 1864 --- but he died of "chronic bronchitis" at Rome, Georgia on 28 July 1864. He is buried in Marietta National Cemetery.

There also is some possibility that David McDaniel served during the Civil War and died soon thereafter of its effects, too, but the evidence is insufficient to link to the Wayne County family a David A. McDaniel, of the right age but residing in Clay County, who enlisted in Co. K, 24th Iowa Infantry, during 1862,  and was discharged for disability on Feb. 24, 1865, shortly before the war ended.

So the most likely McDaniel burials in McDaniel Cemetery are Henry, his wives Eliza and Rachel, son Greene and perhaps another child who died young.


It's unclear why the Ruarks, who outnumber the McDaniels, are buried here. The most logical explanation is that Peter Ruark, born 12 April 1810 in Kentucky, and his first wife, Jane Herron (or Herrin), settled near here first when they arrived in Iowa from Indiana in 1851. They had been married in Kentucky, then moved to Indiana.

Cary DeVore uncovers the tombstone of Jane and Peter Ruark

All of the Ruark stones seem to have been installed long after the deaths of those whose graves they mark.

Jane died during 1853, according to her tombstone, as did a daughter, Patsy, age 7, and an infant named Mary.

Little Mary Ruark also died during 1853 as did a sister named Patsy.

Peter married as his second wife Frances M. (Smith) Morgan, a widow with two sons, during July of 1854 in Princeton, Missouri, and they were living in South Fork Township during 1860, then moved to the Confidence neighborhood of Wright Township.

Frances became the mother of 10 children by Peter, four of whom died --- and some at least were brought to the McDaniel Cemetery for burial. Ruark grandchildren also seem to be buried here. When Peter died at age 63 on April 14, 1874, his remains were brought to McDaniel for burial with Jane and his children by both marriages. Frances lived until 18 October 1911, but chose to be buried instead in the Confidence Cemetery.

Joseph Ruark, son of Peter and Jane, like the McDaniel boys, served during the Civil War. He enlisted in Co. I, 4th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, on 2 September 1861 and served until 28 June 1865, when he was mustered out at Louisville, Kentucky. He returned home, but died soon thereafter and was buried near his mother and siblings at McDaniel Cemetery.


Find-a-Grave mistakenly locates the grave of Joseph A Johnson (1851-1931/2) at McDaniel because of an obituary reference that states he was buried in McDaniel's Cemetery --- although it specifies that the cemetery is located "two-and-one-half miles east of Confidence." Joseph actually is buried at Fairview Cemetery, also known as Main Station Cemetery and occasionally as McDaniel Cemetery --- north of the Rathbun dam. This is east of Confidence (Lake Rathbun intervened long after 1931/2), but quite a bit farther than two and a half miles.

1 comment:

Ken said...

Now you're in my old stomping grounds. We used to drive by the Fetters place each time we went to town (Corydon, that is) -- unless Duck Valley was dry enough to drive on. And even before I was old enough to drive, we used to ride our bikes to New York Cemetery. I had no idea there was another cemetery the other side of the creek.