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Sugar Grove Cemetery: Greens Fork, Indiana

Sugar Grove Church and Cemetery 6404 Sugar Grove Road
Greens Fork, Indiana 47345
Clay Township, Wayne County

Tombstone Information

For information about the burials at Sugar Grove Cemetery, visit Find a Grave.

In Recognition

Historical information and cemetery data compiled by Frances (Fouts) Wilson in 1996.

WayNet wishes to gratefully acknowledge Marvin Wilson and his sister, Frieda Wilson Newcomer for giving permission to WayNet to post this information complied by their mother, Frances (Fouts) Wilson. We also thank Jayne Beers for her assistance in bringing this information to our attention

Historical Information

Sugar Grove Cemetery - History

The Sugar Grove Church of the UNITED BRETHREN IN CHRIST was organized in June 1945 by the Rev. John T. Vardeman. (For additional information, see Vardeman.) On January 8, 1849, John Brown gave and deeded a part of his land to Church trustees, Andrew Nicholson, Elias Lamb, Nathan Wilson, and Jesse W. Brooks, to be used for a church and presumably, a cemetery. The deed was recorded February 5, 1849. A church building was erected, and cost $1,000.00 dollars.

In 1864 additional land was purchased. The deed, dated January 14, 1864, was made by Thomas Cranor, guardian of Oscar Wilson, minor son of Nathan Wilson, deceased and "Conveyed said plot to John Nicholson, Nanny Oler, and Jessie Fox, Trustees of Sugar Grove Society of the United Brethren in Christ.........forever for use as a burial ground, in consideration of the sum of seventy dollars."

No burial plots were laid out. It was a public burying ground. Anyone who wished could bury deceased loved ones there, and did...at no charge. As far as can be determined no records of burials were kept. There are a few stones there recording deaths of individuals who died prior to Sugar Grove Cemetery's founding, and no doubt, they were moved to Sugar Grove from previous burial sites.


Much effort has been expended to have all information accurate and dates correct. However, we are well aware of how easily errors can creep in, especially when using numbers. In a few cases we have pulled what we could find together, trying to arrive at conclusions. If we have erred, please forgive us.

 - Frances and Jayne

In 1889, the CHURCH OF THE UNITED BRETHREN IN CHRIST was split on a national scale, into two denominations, each of which had a church building (a few yards apart at Sugar Grove.) In January 1942, one of the buildings burned to the ground, and the two congregations, weary of the bickering and mistrust of the last 50 years, determined to put an end to it. Each resolutely withdrew from its respective denomination, and together formed and organized the Sugar Grove Community Church, and elected trustees Walter Cain, Hobart Durbin, Newton Gilmer, Lowell Harrison, Paul Oler, and Herlan Wilson.

Realizing that more cemetery space would soon be required, in 1944 the trustees purchased land from Horace and Elizabeth Boyd. It was called THE FIRST CEMETERY ADDITION. This was platted and lots were sold.

In 1980, a plot of land was purchased from William and Ruth Stout to have available when needed. It has recently been platted and made ready for sale of gravesites. It is called the SECOND CEMETERY ADDITION.

The rows in the cemetery are numbered from the road and going west. The last three west rows are platted. The rows in the original cemetery are not as wide as the platted ones are.


The original intent of this project was basically to learn and record birth, marriage, and death dates, and parentage of everyone buried in Sugar Grove Cemetery. But it has grown a bit in different directions. The names of service men and war veterans have been symbolized by a O and their ranks and branches of service stated. In the over all research project many little gems of family background and human interest were found and numerous ones have been included. Data and information have been gleaned from wherever it could be found including;

  • The stones in Sugar Grove Cemetery.
  • From relatives, Family Bible, and other records and genealogies.
  • Birth and death records in County Health Offices. Birth and death records were not kept in Indiana until 1882.
  • U.S. Census Records.
  • Old newspapers on microfilm at Morrison Reeves Library; and other old clippings and data from various sources.
  • Culberson Funeral Home.

Granddaughter and grandson, Sarah and Chris Newcomer gave valuable assistance in reading the old stones at the beginning of the project in 1985. Many older stones were difficult and almost impossible to decipher. Others were broken and sometimes out of place. There are also graves for which no stones were ever erected. In an effort to find as many as possible, all the death records at the Wayne County Health Office were scanned for Sugar Grove Cemetery burials.

Encouragement and much information including that of the Nicholson and related families and the Lamb family were provided by Kenneth J Nicholson. Early Lamb family data and genealogy charts from Robert Peirce were especially helpful. LaVora Rhinehart Lumpkin contributed several items of interest found during her own research that added valuable knowledge. Mary Wright Dennis patiently checked and rechecked marriage records in her possession and helped clarify certain puzzling data.

My son, Marvin D. Wilson and my daughter, Frieda E. Wilson Newcomer have been very supportive of the entire project as has the pastor of Sugar Grove Community Church, Rev. Howard P. Addison.

And last, but not least, Jayne Beers contacted me about my Sugar Grove Cemetery data; and said she had already entered listings of two cemeteries into a computer. We talked, and she indicated that she was willing and eager to do the same with Sugar Grove records, and that she could and would print them out into book form. And like the Little Red Hen, she did!

With my deep appreciation and sincere thanks to each and all persons who in any way helped make this volume possible.

Frances Fouts Wilson
June 8, 1914 to April 6, 1999

Postscript & Acknowledgement by Jayne Beers

Frances Fouts Wilson (1914 - 1999) has been gathering data for her genealogy aspirations for the past forty years. This "prime mover" in the compilation of Sugar Grove information has lived in this area all her life (so far) and the greater part has been just one-half mile north of the church and cemetery. As a member of the church for many years, she is considered more-or-less the self-appointed historian.

Her love of genealogy has allowed her to work with Kenneth J. Nicholson in the preparation of the book, Daniel and Mary Strickler, Pioneers, published in 1964.

This endeavor has been her most recent undertaking. She was not anxious to have any personal accolades attributed to her. With the insistence of family and myself, Frances did allow this portion to be included. I believe she deserves recognition for and gratitude by all of us who will gain from her knowledge. 

Francis Fouts Wilson
Born: June 8, 1914
Died: April 6, 1999
Buried: Sugar Grove Cemetery
Parents: Lenna & Ruth C. (Johnsonbaugh) Fouts

~ Jayne Beers


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