This cemetery is located in Grant 90 off Sellersburg-Utica Pike in Silver Creek Township on property owned by Sellersburg Stone. It is adjacent to a quarry and is being restored by an Eagle Scout named John Caufield.
John has been working on this site, off and on, for a couple of years now. He has invested an enormous amount of effort, working in cooperation with the management of Sellersburg Stone, to remove trees, thickets and overgrowth from this small cemetery.
Sellersburg Stone has been very cooperative and generous in assisting this young man to reclaim this lost site.
To date, John has located only a single stone, although there are surrounding depressions which may indicate additional burials here. The stone reads:
. . . . PHELPS Sarah b. 1813 d. 11/01/1839 (age 25 years, 11 months, 22 days)The inscription on this stone reads: "Sacred to the memory of Sarah, consort of Thomas Phelps, who departed this life November 1, 1839, age 25 years, 11 months and 22 days. Weep not my friends. Dry up your tears. I shall arise when Christ appears."
We presently have nothing further on Sarah PHELPS. John has found a photograph of this single stone, taken by Charles Dunn, at the Sellersburg Library, but nothing else about her family is yet known.
Local cemetery restorationist Betty Johnson says she has been told by several persons that this is the old WHALEN Cemetery. A search of 19th Century property records will no doubt reveal that this property was owned at one time by the WHALEN family.
Clark County marriage records for the period of 1790-1850 indicate that a Sarah WHALAN married a Thomas PHELPS on or about February 10, 1831. Our Sarah would have been 18 in 1831, a very likely marriage age for a young woman in that era.
The 1820 Census for Clark County indicates the following WHALENs living here:
Whalan, William CHARLESTOWN TWP p. 005 Whaland, James SILVER CREEK TWP p. 002The 1830 Census for Clark County indicates the following WHALENs living here:
Whalen, Edward CHARLESTOWN TWP p. 050 Whalen, William CHARLESTOWN TWP p. 050Bear in mind that the spelling of this name was dependent upon the literacy skills of the subjects being recorded as well as the skills of the census takers (who often spelled their subjects' names phonetically).
There are no PHELPSes listed on either the 1820 or 1830 Clark County Census Indexes. We have not checked the 1840 Census index, though Sarah was already deceased by that time. That record, however, may reveal whether there were other PHELPSes living in this area at that point in time.
We presently have no further information on this cemetery.
E-mail: Dee Pavey
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