In Fall Creek Township, Madison County, Indiana, the Mendon Cemetery receives its name from the Mendon/Menden post office.  Along the north side of county road 1050S, where it intersects with state road 9, there existed for about twenty-five years, as post office and a store stocked with general merchandise supplying the needs of the first families in the southern part of the county.

Around 1831, a Methodist Episcopal Church was formed, and members erected a house of worship to the weest of the postmaster’s home and office.  At the same time, across the county road from these buildings, a cemetery was also developed for the congregation.  In 1844, a United Brethren Church was added in the southwest corner alongside the cemetery.  Both churches and area farmers utilized the “Menden” cemetery services.

Among the pioneer families laid to rest here were the Mingles.  There were so many of that surname (multiple generations) buried here that at one point, the graveyard was even referred to as the Mingle Cemetery.  The patriarch of the family was John Mingle who fought in the Revolutionary War.

John Mingle is listed in the DAR Index of Patriots.  He was born in 1758 and came to the land along Lick Creek with his extended family in the 1820s.  He built a homestead near Mendon.  He died in 1842 at eighty-four years of age.  His flat DAR memorial stone rests beside the taller one for his son George, 1802-1869.  Evidently, the exact location of John’s grave could not be determined.

Mendon never became a town or village, legally, in spite of its buildings and businesses because the area was never platted or laid into town lots.  Around 1850, the establishments began to fade.  Eventually, the last postmaster resigned, the last store merchant moved on, and the United Brethren church dissolved.  Only the Methodist congregation remained intact and grew.

Methodist members, in 1868, had to actually construct a second, larger church on the site of the first, and this second building still stands.  The name above the door is “Mendon Church.”  The edifice, itself, is in good condition and is an excellent example of 19th century craftsmanship.  An explanation in a stone marker near the door states that the church was completely handmade and that the podium and pews are from native yellow poplar.  The church, in fact, is still used.  Descendents of the original settlers hold an annual meeting here “to commemorate the valiant pioneers who sacrificed so much.”

Published on March 31, 2014 at 1:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

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