“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Wakarusa in Elkhart County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Bull Cemetery

Cemetery Heritage

Bull Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, September 10, 2013
1. Bull Cemetery Marker

Bull Cemetery
Established circa 1848

A Historic Cemetery Listed in Indiana's Cemetery and Burial Grounds Registry of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Installed 2009 Indiana Historical Bureau and James G. Hermsen for the Reed, Bull, and Dalrymple Families

Erected 2009 by Indiana Historical Bureau and James G. Hermsen.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Cemeteries & Burial Sites. In addition, it is included in the Indiana Cemetery Heritage series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1848.
Location. 41° 30.49′ N, 85° 58.574′ W. Marker is near Wakarusa, Indiana, in Elkhart County. Marker is on County Road 44 0.3 miles east of County Road 7, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Wakarusa IN 46573, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Nappanee Furniture (approx. 4.7 miles away); Nappanee Cartoonists (approx. 4.7 miles away); Nappanee World Wars Memorial (approx. 4.8 miles away); Stahly - Nissley - Kuhns Farm (approx. 5 miles away); St. John's Lutheran Church (approx. 6.2 miles away); Brumbaugh Cemetery (approx. 6.6 miles away); New Paris World War II Memorial (approx. 7.7 miles away); Violett Cemetery (approx. 7.8 miles away).
Also see . . .
Bull Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, September 10, 2013
2. Bull Cemetery Marker
View to east along County Road 44
Click or scan to see
this page online

1. Indiana Cemetery Heritage Sign Initiative. A program of the Indiana Historical Bureau to mark cemeteries that are over fifty years old. (Submitted on September 11, 2013.) 

2. Bull Cemetery at (Submitted on September 18, 2013, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.)
Additional commentary.
1. Reclaming the Cemetery
Dave Overton wrote an article back in 1978 and was republished in 2006 (Volume 38, Number 2) of the Michiana Searcher about the rural cemetery named Bull in Union Township. In his article he profiled Bull as one of the nearly lost cemeteries of Elkhart County. Now since that reprint, there is an update to Bull Cemetery that needs to be recorded.

Prior to Dave Overton’s reprint, I had been in search for the final resting place of my ancestor, William S. Reed who had married Christianna Wenger. For some time these were only names in a family history booklet my mother kept with her most important papers. About seven years ago while speaking to my cousin; she remembered that William S. Reed was buried in Bull Cemetery. Looking into the Cemeteries of Elkhart County Vol. II, p. 356, we noted that his stone was turned over and was too heavy to lift. My cousin’s husband offered to go to Bull Cemetery and together we would try to turn the stone over for verification. But when we got there, the cemetery was gone. All that was left was a pile of stones, mostly broken and crops planted over portion of the cemetery. This discovery began a long journey to reclaiming the cemetery.
This story is not about how the cemetery came to its sad condition.
Bull Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, September 10, 2013
3. Bull Cemetery
View from roadside
I think in all cases, the same reason exists, and that is the interest and concern for the cemetery and all who may be buried there was lost long before the cemetery itself became lost. Lost from the memories of the descendants who are buried there, lost from the interest of the community in which they live. A recent comment made about Bull Cemetery by Dean Martin is very fitting and that is “I wish someone had shown interest in this cemetery a long time ago.”
My efforts to reclaim the cemetery began long before Mr. Overton’s reprint. When it was published, it gave me all the more reason to continue with the often frustrating efforts of being in Indianapolis, and having to direct all my requests remotely.
The restoration of Bull Cemetery has taken about seven years from my first discovery to the placing of the Historical Marker at the cemetery on August 22, 2009. I am appreciative of the hard work that the local agents performed, including the Union Township Trustee and his board and staff, who had the patience to bear my impatience. There were a lot of steps that needed to be done in a proper and orderly sequence that obviously took time. It has never been truer as in this case, “if it is worth doing, it is worth doing it right.”

Bull Cemetery is now shown on the books of recorded cemeteries both in Elkhart County as well as at the Department of Natural Resources in Indianapolis, who ultimately oversees abandoned cemeteries. The DNR and the Indiana Historical Bureau have been most helpful providing guidance as to how to proceed. Along with the Cemetery being recorded, the full quarter-acre has been reclaimed, fenced in with an attractive
Bull Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, September 10, 2013
4. Bull Cemetery
View of entire cemetery
white rail, and the broken stones have been reassembled as best as possible in the order in which it was recorded for the 1990 Cemeteries of Elkhart County.
Dave Overton identifies Israel R. Dalrymple, as one of the first burials. He was the first schoolteacher in Union Township. Stephen Bull who is also buried there was a justice of the peace in 1857. William S. Reed owned more than 200 acres including the land surrounding the cemetery and was the postmaster in Southwest, IN. It is for these families and their descendants that the Historical Bureau Cemetery Sign was erected. Now that the community has re-established a lost cemetery, the important job for all of us is to convey that oral and written heritage that makes a community proud of its ancestors and what they did before us. If that happens, there would be no need for cemetery restorations, just preservations. This success story I pray will encourage and inspire others who see neglected or lost cemeteries to act now while there is still time. It is often quoted (from who I know not who to give credit), that a people who know not where they have come from, never will know where they are going.”

Information about William S. Reed
William S. Reed b. April 8, 1799 in Fauquier County, VA and died May 18, 1874. He married Christianna Wenger, born June 5, 1785 at Edom, Rockingham Co., VA and died December 22, 1850. She is buried at Old Yellow Creek Cemetery, Harrison Township. Together they had five children all who remained in the county:
Abraham I. Reed born July 1, 1818 in Rockingham Co., VA and died March 2, 1897. He is buried at Yellow Creek Frame Cemetery. He married Mericha “Mary”
Bull Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
By James G. Hermsen
5. Bull Cemetery Marker
Weaver (1817-1901) and together had 8 children, six of which remained in the county.
Margaret Reed born February 18, 1820 in Rockingham Co., VA and died April 16, 1893. She married Benaville B. Good (1812-1868). Both are buried at Old Yellow Creek Cemetery. Together they had 12 children; all but one remained in the area.
Mary Ann Reed born December 15, 1822 in Rockingham Co., VA and died December 11, 1882 in Union Township. She married Peter Blosser (1817-1861). They both are buried at Old Yellow Creek Cemetery. Together they had four children all continued to live in the county.
Harriet Reed born April 5, 1827 in Rockingham Co., VA and died November 21, 1896. She married German immigrant John M. Christophel (1819-1886). They both are buried at Yellow Creek Frame Cemetery. Together they had 8 children, five who remained in the county and three who moved to Kansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee.
Elizabeth J. Reed born March 15, 1829 in Rockingham Co., VA and died May 29, 1908. She married John N. Christophel (1822-1901). They are buried at Yellow Creek Brick Cemetery. Together they had 10 children, all who remained in the county.
William S. Reed married a second time to the widow Mary Ann Guinther born 1811 and died September 30, 1884. She is buried with William at Bull Cemetery. Together they had two children. David Reed born about 1853, of whom we have not found further information. Angeline Reed born December 27, 1856 and died August 28, 1880 is also buried with her parents at Bull Cemetery. She never married.
There are over 450 direct descendants that have been identified of William S. Reed just in the first 5 generations In some lines descendants
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to the 10th generation have been identified.

James G. Hermsen
Indianapolis, IN
August 23, 2009
    — Submitted July 15, 2014, by James G. Hermsen of Indianapolis, Indiana.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on September 11, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 573 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 11, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.   5. submitted on July 15, 2014, by James G. Hermsen of Indianapolis, Indiana.

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Apr. 22, 2021