Before the official city of Connersville, born in 1813, there was a little place just a few miles east of it which preceded it by four years.
That place was, and still is, Springersville, which sits along the county’s Simpson Creek which, incidentally, is named for the first settlers of the town, the Thomas Simpson family.
The Simpson family found its way to Indiana, and Fayette County, in 1809 – the same year the renowned “Twelve Mile Purchase” took place between the United States government and the Delaware, Potwatamies, Miamies and Eel River Miamies Indian tribes. That purchase allowed for the extension – twelve miles west – of government-owned land from the 1795 Treaty of Greenville line, including what would become Fayette County, Connersville and, of course, Springersville.
In fact, only four years later – in 1813, the same year the city of Connersville was born – a gentleman by the name of William Dawson purchase the land, in Springersville, which now serves as the Springersville Cemetery. The cemetery is one of more than 100 pioneer cemeteries within Fayette County.
Dawson sold the land to the Simpson family, the initial settlers of Springersville, and soon part of the land served as the location for a multi-use school, meeting house and church. Documents dating to 1836, regarding Springersville, make notation of the public cemetery.
That cemetery still remains to this day, with its oldest resident being Samuel Frazey, who was buried there in 1816. The year 1874 saw the Springersville Cemetery Association formed to help care for the cemetery, with yet another Simpson – Thomas Simpson Jr. – being a boardmember for the association.
The cemetery, to this day, is a walk back through the proud history of Springersville and Fayette County. It is the final resting place for 28 Fayette County veterans, from all major U.S. wars, and even has a doll house which serves as a memorial to Marie Shepler, who passed away due to enlargement of the spleen.
As many within Fayette County can attest, whether it be the various cemetery associations or the Fayette County Cemtery Commission and its volunteers, preservation and upkeep of such historic cemeteries is not an easy, nor cheap, task.
So in the fall of 2015, the Springersville Cemetery Asssociation took the route that many within the Fayette County community have taken when it comes to planning for the future and ensuring that their efforts, and programs, live on.
No, it wasn’t a visit to a life insurance agent. Rather, it was a visit to the Fayette County Foundation, where the association established the Springersville Cemetery Association endowment.
And just recently, the association received the first fruits of that endowment, with the FCF presenting the association’s inaugural endowment grant for $192.80 during the Springersville Cemetery Association’s spring clean up day.
Such efforts will continue to ensure the cemetery looks much the same as it did more than 200 years ago, when it was first established, while also keeping Springersville’s history intact and alive for future generations to see.