Time travel as close as your local cemetery.

Sunday’s Cemetery 22

July 19, 2015 / by davidwalton


Standing at the grave of Thomas Piers, who was born in 1777 in County Meath, Ireland. He’s the oldest resident in St. Mary’s of the Knobs Cemetery.


Zezillia Faust (b. Dec. 21, 1779, d. April 4, 1857) is one of the oldest people buried in St. Mary’s. She came to Indiana from Hatzenbühl, a municipality in Germany.

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 – and sometimes further North – so I have decided to start documenting my cemetery visits with a series of photos in a Sunday feature.

DSC08875xThis week’s cemetery is St. Mary of the Knobs Cemetery in Floyds Knobs, IN. It’s another cemetery I often pass by while running in the Knobs. Many of the tombstones, especially the older ones, are quite weathered and give off a feeling of eeriness. Go ahead, call me a big chicken. But this is not a cemetery I’d care to visit after dark!

St. Mary of the Knobs is the oldest Catholic church in the Indianapolis Archdiocese. The original church opened in a log cabin in 1823. A brick church was built in 1836. Two additional churches have since been built.

While strolling up and down the rows of headstones, I saw many surnames that have become synonymous with Floyds Knobs. They include Knable, Banet, Fenwick, Sprigler, Freiberger, Libs and Andres.

Floyds Knobs was founded in the early 1800s. Some of the cemetery’s residents, like Thomas Piers (b. 1777) and Zezillia Faust (b. 1779), were likely the first settlers in the area.


The previous St. Mary of the Knobs Catholic Church (above) built in 1909 and the new church (below) which opened in March 2012.

DSC08881A unique feature of the cemetery is it’s watched over by two churches. The previous church built in 1909 backs up to cemetery. The newer church with its octagonal-shaped worship space opened three years ago. It can be seen from the cemetery looking westward.

Until next time….


One thought on “Sunday’s Cemetery 22

  1. Another fascinating cemetery. I can certainly understand why cemeteries are such an excellent tool for genealogists and history researchers.

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