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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Indianapolis in Marion County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

The Plague Cemetery

 
 
The Plague Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, April 19, 2019
1. The Plague Cemetery Marker
Inscription.  A "burying ground" established near this site in 1821 is believed to have been the first cemetery in what is now Indianapolis. It has been historically referred to as the "plague cemetery" because the first interments were people who died that year from a febrile epidemic (possibly malaria) that afflicted many residents of the area. The wife of John Maxwell, the brother of David Maxwell, M.D., one of the founding members and chairman of the trustees of Indiana University, was among those buried here. Dr. David Maxwell was the grandfather of Dr. Allison Maxwell, the first dean of the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Following construction of the medical school building, now Emerson Hall, in 1918, there were plans to alter the cemetery site. In response to concerns expressed by state historians, the dean of the School of Medicine, Charles Emerson, asked Dr. Thurman B. Rice of the Pathology Department to monitor the location while the landscape was lowered several feet. There was no evidence of any graves being disturbed. The site was marked for many years by a plain boulder.
 
Erected
The Plague Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, April 19, 2019
2. The Plague Cemetery Marker
Click or scan to see
this page online
2005 by Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial SitesEducationScience & MedicineSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1821.
 
Location. 39° 46.559′ N, 86° 10.713′ W. Marker is in Indianapolis, Indiana, in Marion County. Marker is on Barnhill Drive north of Medical Drive, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 635 Barnhill Drive, Indianapolis IN 46202, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Wilson House Site (within shouting distance of this marker); Emerson Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); This Tablet Marks the Homestead of Isaac Wilson, Pioneer and Patriot. (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Robert W. Long Hospital (about 400 feet away); The College Inn Site (about 600 feet away); Indiana's Mazzini (about 600 feet away); Coleman Hall (about 600 feet away); Mill Race Site (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Indianapolis.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 25, 2019. It was originally submitted on April 25, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 343 times since then and 133 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 25, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Oct. 25, 2021