Volunteers erect sign to honor Jeffries Cemetery

(The Hoot News photos provided)

By J. Romano

A group of volunteers with the Friends of Concord & Jeffries Cemetery in Smith Township undertook an important step in marking an old cemetery in Whitley County Monday — erecting a sign giving a name to the sacred space.

Jefferies Cemetery is located in Smith Township on road 300N, west of 825E in section 23, and lies right along the road on the north side. The cemetery is the final resting place of members of the Jeffries, Crone, Pompey, Keen, Jones and other related families, with most graves dating to the mid- to late 1800s.

The sign was made possible in cooperation with Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

For months, volunteers have committed significant time and energy to cleaning and resetting headstones in Jeffries Cemetery and uncovering those that had fallen long ago.

The cemetery, while small, is important. Jeffries Cemetery was the final resting place of a small, vibrant community of diverse individuals. According to the Indiana Historical Society, the adjoining settlement, known as the Jeffries Settlement, was approximately 400 acres and, at its peak, included 98 residents of, “various ethnicities including Native American, French, African American, and others.  From 1850-1870, white, black, and mulatto residents were documented within the settlement.”

For more information about Jeffries Cemetery and settlement, visit https://indianahistory.org/research/research-materials/early-black-settlements/early-black-settlements-by-county/

To make a donation for the care of Jeffries & Concord Cemeteries, send checks to: community Foundation of Whitley County
1171 E. Woods Way,
Columbia City, IN. 46725
c/o Friends of Concord/Jefferies Cemetery

Jeffries Cemetery – Smith Township, Whitley County