Mt. Zion Cemetery is located just west of Henryville on Blue Lick Road, which is a few hundred yards WEST of the I-65 overpass on Highway 160. Click here for a topographical map of this site, courtesy of www.TopoZone.com.
To reach the cemetery, turn SOUTH onto Blue Lick Road from Highway 160 and proceed about 1 mile. The first cemetery you approach will be St. Francis Cemetery, the Catholic cemetery in Henryville, which will appear on your right. Go past that site to a very sharp curve in the road. The old section of Mt. Zion Cemetery will be on your right and the new section will be on your left, between Blue Lick Road and Interstate 65.
The picture at left was taken from the corner of the old section, looking across Blue Lick Road toward the entrance to the new section of Mt. Zion Cemetery.
I visited Mt. Zion Cemetery in the company of Jeanne Burke, Thelma Hogue and Gerald Kelly on 5/2/98 after our Clark County Cemetery Preservation Committee meeting in Henryville.
The site is very well maintained and appeared meticulously manicured. There are some very interesting stones here including one small four-sided obelisk on which the name HUFFMAN wraps around the base of the monument, with "HUFF" appearing on one face and "MAN" appearing on the adjacent face.
Another interesting marker is the beautiful two-toned PRALL monument (see photo at right).
There is a lovely old solitary stone adjacent to the shelter house used for funerals which reads:
The following is from the introduction to an extensive index found at the Charlestown Library of burials at Mt. Zion Cemetery in Monroe Township:
"About 1838-1839, Mt. Zion, another early temple of Methodism, was erected on Salem-Blue Lick Road, 1/2 mile west of where Henryville now appears on the map. The original buidling was a small affair, constructed of huge logs, later a frame addition was built which made this a commodious building in which to expound the word of God. This was a great and popular place for the assemblage of God's people. The announcement of preaching quarterly meetings, funerals or any other religious function being certain to attract immense congregations.There is also a newspaper clipping affixed to this introductory page, from the National Democrat of 3 June 1887, which says:
"With the settlement and rapid growth of Henryville's population, the power and influence of this church was vastly increased. A magnificent beech grove then stood on the north and west sides of the church yard, and many attended the basket meetings held therein. The influence of such pillars of Methodism as the late Rev. Seymour Guernsey, James S. Ryan and other local preachers who labored in church and Sunday School was a tower of strength of this grand old sanctuary. But Mt. Zion, like Bowery Chapel, had its last days.
"The increasing population of Henryvile required provision for housing her religious population. Mt. Zion church, convenient for a large rural neighborhood, was too far from the town. Finally, the membership decided on the erection of Williams Chapel M. E. Church on the town's main street.
"Mt. Zion had ceased to exist, except as a burial ground. The ground in Henryville was named for the late Samuel Williams, a pioneer Methodist born 1799, who assisted in hewing out the logs for the original Mt. Zion Church. He was the father of Joseph Williams and grandfather of the late Wallace Williams, whose widow, Blanche, resides in Henryville (1960).""From 'The Past Century for Christ', page 12, by Mrs. Thomas."
I have no further information on this cemetery. Additional information may be available from the Charlestown Public Library, 51 Clark Road, Charlestown, Indiana 47111; telephone: (812) 256-3337."The oldest grave in Mt. Zion cemetery is that of James F. Biggs, an infant son of the late Abner Biggs. The child was buried in November 1837, and would therefore have been a man of fifty years of age had he lived."
E-mail: Dee Pavey
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