The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

November 7, 2011

Board hears of cemetery destruction

Digging, tracks come within inches of caskets

COVINGTON, Ind. — A pioneer cemetery alongside U.S. Route 41 and underneath the road has been attacked by three companies digging in the area.

“Seventeen graves were desecrated,” said Jasper Fogleman, chairman of the Fountain County Cemetery Commission. Digging and tire tracks came within inches of the caskets. He reported the damage at Burch-Covalt Cemetery on Monday to the Fountain County Commissioners.

Fogleman declined to give the names of the companies involved.

“They are begging us not to prosecute,” Fogleman said. “They have offered to do anything we want — to erect a fence around the cemetery, install a flag pole and put sod over the affected areas.”

The cemetery about 3 miles north of Interstate74 was designated a cemetery in 1858. Fogleman said records indicate that in 1926 the stones were pushed back off of the cemetery. He said the cemetery commission, which is restoring many pioneer cemeteries in Fountain County, found two stones that belonged in the cemetery.

Forty-seven graves are underneath U.S. 41.

Fogleman wants to give the companies 60 days to take care of the requests. If they don’t, the county attorney has the report and charges will be filed.

Commissioner Terry Ellingwood questioned whether the companies were aware of the cemetery.

“I think these people came in here not knowing it was a cemetery,” Ellingwood said.

Fogleman said he would keep the commissioners informed.

In other business, commissioners:

  • Gave assessor Sandy Whitaker permission to go to the county council for an additional $10,400 from the county sheriff’s disclosure fund for new land assessment.
  • Gave highway superintendent Rusty Peevler to investigate the possible purchase of a used grade-all plow.
  • Signed the contract for extension contractual services with Purdue University for 2012.
  • Reappointed Dr. Max Hoffman and Evelyn Miller to the Fountain-Warren Health Board.
  • Will have Ballenger’s of Lafayette work on the trees on the courthouse lawn for $2,150.

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