John ForrestTo the north in Boone Township, Madison County, on county road 1650N, is the Forrestville Cemetery.  Boone Township is comprised of large expanses of farm land.  The tree-lined fields, unimpeded, gradually rise to a geographic high point in section 21.  Here with only three or four houses in sight, the Forrestville Cemetery has a commanding view of the beauty of the surround Hoosier landscape.

There a hamlet named Forrestville once existed where early pioneers lived, thrived, and had families.  It was organized and platted in 1850 by Rev. John W. Forrest on land which he owned.  At one point, Forrestville had several houses, the reverend’s Baptist Church which he began in 1853, a general store, and, eventually, school house #5.  Residents, congregants, and local farming families took advantage of the graveyard’s proximity and buried their dead in the ground donated by Rev. Forrest for that purpose.

Among those interred here is the very first settler to Boone Township, Wright Smith.  Mr. Smith was born in 1798 in Virginia.  He, along with his wife Lydia and six children, arrived in 1835.  His farming practices were highly successful, and his descendants remained in the area and added to his agricultural enterprises.  Like Rev. Forrest, Wright Smith started one of the first churches in the area, the Methodist Episcopal.  He erected the house of worship for the congregation at his own expense.

The little town of Forrestville ceased to exist a few short years after its founding.  Its cemetery, however, out of necessity, kept expanding.  Today, the burial ground is utilized by descendants of those earlier settlers and present-day area residents.  An association manages the cemetery’s business and has added land for new sections to the east to accommodate the township’s growing population in the 21st century.

Published on March 31, 2014 at 12:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

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