The South Park Cemetery is the largest cemetery in Decatur County and is located on the southern edge of the city of Greensburg. The volunteer-run site FindAGrave, South Park lists 14,798 graves, with more being added each day (it listed 14, 797 just a few hours prior to me writing this). The cemetery is so large that the last time I visited I took about 50 photos and then called it quits – I promised that the next time I visited I would bring a lunch and plenty of water for a day-long visit.
The website for the cemetery, https://southparkgreensburg.com/about/, provides a short history:
The first cemetery in Greensburg was established in 1823 south of the Penn Central right of way and east of highway 421. When the railroad came through in 1853, the bodies in Greensburg Cemetery were moved to two cemeteries: Methodist Cemetery, formed in the 1840’s (west of Vine Street), and Decatur County Cemetery, established in 1850 on the west side of the present South Park Cemetery. In 1884, the newly established South Park Cemetery Association took over Decatur County Cemetery and enlarged the grounds. A few years later Methodist Cemetery became part of South Park. South Park has been enlarged several times since 1894.
The cemetery website also provides the capability to search for a name with an accompanying map so you can find most burials (I think it’s a work in progress since one grave I’ve photographed there isn’t listed). So it’s not perfect but still it’s one of the best, most user-friendly cemetery websites I’ve ever encountered.
In searching for the grave of John Everman Robbins (1825-1896) it brings up the exact location of the grave and where it is within the cemetery. If you click elsewhere on the map you can move in or further out to see the location. How cool is this?
At some point the families who buried their kin in the small Mt. Pleasant Cemetery south of town began to utilize the larger South Park, if they weren’t already using one of the other rural cemeteries I’ve previously discussed in these blog posts (i.e. Burks Chapel, Rockcreek, Mount Aerie, etc.). So for example, William Robbins Jr. and his wife Elinor are buried in Mt. Pleasant but all four of their children, Sarilda (Robbins) Styers, John Everman Robbins, James Gilman Robbins, and Merritt Holman Robbins, are all buried in South Park. This follows true for many family groups with the result that almost all branches of the family are represented here. I’ve also found many cases where a family member moved far away but upon death was brought back to South Park for burial.
Below are just several photos of some of our family members buried in South Park.
There are other cemeteries in Decatur County holding the remains of family members, including Hebron Cemetery near Adams, for example, where members of the Stark family are buried (Stark, Guthrie, Cline, Edrington, and others), but South Park is my last post specifically about cemeteries that we hope to visit on our post-reunion cemetery tour in July.
To conclude I wanted to mention a cemetery memorial to Anna J. Foley. Back in the 1980s I had contacted Anna as she did genealogical research in Decatur County and she was able to find a number of old obituaries and give me a list of land records related to my ancestor Nathaniel Robbins. So it was a surprise (and a delight) that the last time I visited South Park I saw this memorial to a local historian at the entrance to the cemetery.