Charlestown Township, Clark County, Indiana

Shelby monument behind wrought iron fence
Unknown monument in foreground

Jonquils in bloom at Shelby Cemetery
March 7, 1998
This cemetery is located on Lot 122 at Halcyon and Water Streets (adjacent to the park behind City Hall, on a hill).

According to the Charlestown Township Trustee in the Summer of 1997, this site is maintained by St. Michael's Catholic Church in Charlestown.

Local historian Jeanne Burke advises that Shelby Cemetery was, in fact, a very large cemetery. Only two marked plots remain but the entire hillside gives evidence that this whole area was a graveyard.

There are depressions throughout the area indicative of graves and clumps of daffodils or jonquils and yucca plants scattered across the tract.

Jeanne says her research indicates that many people were buried here in Charlestown's early days.

It will take an enormous amount of work to clear and probe this site. In early March, the vegetation is relatively sparse but, in a few months, it will be severely overgrown.

It will be interesting to learn whether St. Michael's Church has any records or information on this site.

I visited Shelby Cemetery on 11/28/97 and again on 3/7/98. The two little fenced plots appear to have been "weed whipped" in the recent past, but it doesn't appear much if anything has been done to the rest of the hillside where so many other graves appear to be.

The only remaining visible stones are in two tiny, adjoining, fenced plots.

The one on the east side contains a four-sided monument, only a portion of which remains today (the crown seems to have been removed) and which bears the following inscriptions:

.              .                       .               .

SHELBY         Donnie D., infant

               daughter of Evan and

               Donnie R.               02/07/1873      07/07/1873
SHELBY         Donnie R., second wife

               of Evan                 02/20/1848      02/16/1873
SHELBY         Evan, husband of (1st)

               Donnie R. Ramsey and

               (2nd) Lizzie R. Ramsey;

               inscription appears to

               read: "The hand of

               merciful God"           01/05/1843      04/09/1886
SHELBY         Lizzie R., second wife

               of Evan                 01/27/1857      09/08/1879
SHELBY         Thomas W., son of Evan

               and Donnie R.           05/18/1870      07/12/1870

               {Thomas and Donnie D.'s

               inscriptions are on the

               same face of the monument.}

Judith A Trolinger <> offers the following recitation and details on this SHELBY line:

Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky (son of Letitia Cox), and his wife Susannah Hart were the parents of:

Donnie R.,
first wife of Evan Shelby

Donnie D. and Thomas W. Shelby,
children Evan and Donnie R. Shelby

Evan Shelby

Lizzie R. Shelby, second wife of Evan
Adjacent to this plot is a second plot, surrounded by a wrought iron fence, with a single short monument with the inscription, "Budded on earth to bloom in heaven". (This marker is in the foreground of the photo at the top of this page.)

There are no names on this monument and, judging from the size of the fenced area, there may be additional burials here. On the other hand, perhaps the four-sided monument in the adjoining plot memorializes burials in both plots.

POSSIBLE GENEALOGICAL LINKS TO THIS SHELBY FAMILY -- The list of Clark County marriages for the period of 1790-1850 indicates the following SHELBY marriages:

Evan SHELBY married Nancy E. GRIFFITH        11/19/1846 *

Helen SHELBY married Joseph SHELBY           09/04/1832

John SHELBY married Margareet C. McCARLEY    02/27/1838

Joseph SHELBY married Helen M. B. SHELBY     09/04/1832

Margaret SHELBY married Newton LOUGHERY      10/27/1830

Ora Moore SHELBY married Joel H. B. MOORE    12/07/1828

Uriah B. SHELBY married Mary Ann HAMMOND     03/11/1838
* Evan SHELBY, husband of Nancy E. GRIFFITH, was the son of Isaac SHELBY and Nancy BLUE and grandson of John and Elizabeth (PILE) SHELBY.
The 1820 Census for Clark County lists the following SHELBYs:
Shelby, Evan      1820  CHARLESTOWN TWP      Page 046

Shelby, Isaac     1820  CHARLESTOWN TWP      Page 043
The 1830 Census for Clark County lists the following SHELBYs:
Shelby, Isaac     1830                       Page 052

Shelby, Margaret  1830                       Page 051
Baird's History of Clark County, published 1909, offers the following information on the SHELBY family in Clark County:
"In 1801 the prospects of the little town [of Springville]

were the brightest.  Even [sic] Shelby [was] county surveyor,

. . . ."  [Page 47]
Evan Shelby was treasurer of the Blazing Star Lodge, No. 3

of Charlestown in 1818 [Freemasons].  [Page 211]
Between 1811 and 1813, Evan Shelby was a Clark County Judge.

[Page 284]
It would appear that the elder Evan Shelby referenced in Baird's History was the grandfather of the Evan Shelby buried on the hill in Charlestown. Shelby Cemetery is not far as the crow flies from the old settlement known as Springville and the family could have very easily migrated to the center of Charlestown.

BTW, I have no connection to this line of SHELBYs, just an interest in old cemeteries.

I presently have no further information on this cemetery. Further information may be available from the:

Jeffersonville Twp. Library     or      Charlestown Library

211 East Court Avenue                   51 Clark Road

Jeffersonville, Indiana 47130           Charlestown, Indiana  47111

Telephone:  (812) 285-5635              Telephone:  (812) 256-3337

E-mail: Dee Pavey

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© Nov 2004