Cemeteries. Every city has one. They are mysterious, historic, haunting and, to me, fascinating. I developed a fondness for cemeteries as a boy.
Now whenever I’m out of town, I always make it a point to visit a cemetery. To me, they are better than any mountain range, skyline or other popular tourist attraction. They are hidden treasures containing a wealth of information about communities and the people who lived there.
Chances are you have visited a cemetery at some time in your life to pay your respects to a family member or friend, and perhaps you too appreciate the stories represented among the tombstones and monuments.
My travels take me to all over the South and Midwest, so I have decided to start documenting my cemetery visits with a series of photos in a new Sunday feature.
This week’s cemetery is Walton Cemetery in the Indiana town (pop. 1,032) of the same name. It’s funny how I never knew a city with my surname existed in my home state until I discovered it on a map!
When I got to the cemetery, it came as a complete surprise there wasn’t a single headstone bearing the name Walton.
As it turns out Walton, IN, a farming community, was founded in 1852 by Gilbert W. Wall whom the town is named after. Mr. Wall later moved to Minnesota, where he died.
How the name Walton was derived from Wall is beyond me. But I also learned from a staff member at the Walton & Tipton Township Public Library the town used to be spelled Wallton with two L’s. The town also had its own newspaper, the Walton Enterprise, and of course a Post Office like most towns did during that time period.
The Walton Cemetery consisted of two parts, an older section with headstones dating back to the 1800s and a newer section. For being such a rural community, some of the headstones were quite contemporary as my photos reveal.
Until next time….