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Sunday, May 1, 2016

'Grand opening' Saturday for cemetery expansion at Boone-Hutcheson

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The most historic grave marker at Boone-Hutcheson Cemetery is that of Susan Boone, sister of frontiersman Daniel Boone. Board member Gordon Hutcheson examines the original marker, which sits in front of the larger Boone marker. Even cemetery officials are uncertain whether she is still buried there or not.
Can a cemetery really host an open house? Can you invite someone to come to a place they would rather never be seen? Can you even call it a "grand opening"?

Boone-Hutcheson Cemetery officials will apparently find out this Saturday.

It is then that cemetery officials will unveil their new 2,500-grave section that should serve the burial needs of the community for the next 200 years.

Celebrating their efforts on completing an expansion of Boone-Hutcheson Cemetery are board members (from left) Steve Aker, Bob Rissler, Dellon Blanton and Gordon Hutcheson; volunteers who assisted with the project, Matthew Hutcheson, Garrett and Jared Hutcheson (kneeling), and board members Jerry Kester and Keith Hutcheson.
It will be first come, first served Saturday, Oct. 15 for residents to pick out a choice final resting place from among the 680 new 10-by-20 foot gravesites (containing room for up to five individual graves apiece).

The so-called "open house" is scheduled for noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at the historic cemetery in Washington Township, southwest of Greencastle, just around the corner and up the hill from Houck Covered Bridge.

Keith Hutcheson notes that the expansion project has been 10 years in the making and has been accomplished with all volunteer help with the physical labor all coming over the past two years as the former cornfield gave way to a grassy expanse. It represents 200 to 300 hours of work, Hutcheson said, from the time the excavator cleared the ground and the land was tilled up, seeded and covered in straw.

The property was previously part of Forest Hutcheson Estates with a significant portion of it donated by one of the Hutcheson brothers.

Some 680 markers were buried to enumerate the gravesites. That was graciously accomplished with the aid of Putnam County Sheriff Steve Fenwick, who allowed the jail trusties to help out at the rural cemetery.

The cemetery has about $38,000 in the project, Hutcheson said, noting that it only brings in about $3,500 a year through lot sales (about 15 annually). That amounts to half the annual cost of mowing and other upkeep ($7,000).

So the hopes are that lot sales in the new section will boost that, especially after Saturday's first look at the sites.

"We want to show people what we've done," Hutcheson said, "and give them an opportunity to buy lots. Somebody will have the opportunity to get first choice (in a cemetery section) for the first time since 1949."

And they need not be a Boone or a Hutcheson.

"Anybody can be buried out here," Hutcheson assured, noting that in addition to those Boones and Hutchesons, you will find plenty of other Putnam names like Sutherlin and Albright around the historic grounds.

Cemetery officials estimate that only about 75 sites remain in the original section and eastern expansion that was completed in 1949.

Next year Boone-Hutcheson Cemetery will mark its 200th year, having opened in 1812 as a family cemetery. More than 900 people are buried there.

Gordon Hutcheson, longtime cemetery board member, says one stone in the cemetery bears the year 1812.

Perhaps the most famous gravesite belongs to Susan Boone Rissler, sister of famed frontiersman Daniel Boone.

The small original marker is still there on the west side of the cemetery, overlooking the valley below. It is accompanied by a larger marker denoting the Boone family.

"Most people think she's still right here," Gordon Hutcheson said, pointing to the site.

"We're still burying Boones," he added. "We buried John not too long ago. He had two sons. The two (Boone) boys say she's not there, that she's buried in Kentucky, according to the Boone family."

Coins often line the top of the headstone, left by visitors for good luck.

You may not have to be a Boone or a Hutcheson to be buried in the beautiful little cemetery, but it helps. Looking around, it seems the Hutchesons outnumber the Boones.

"I think there are more Hutchesons than Boones," Gordon Hutcheson conceded. "I'd say the Hutchesons stayed here and the Boones left.

"But it doesn't make much difference what I say," he adds, "somebody's going to dispute it. They'll be out here next week counting Boones and Hutchesons."

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Where is the expansion going to be located, in relation to the "backward P" layout of the cemetery as it was? My mother and father are both buried in the cemetery currently, and I'm wondering how it's going to change, as I now live out of state and it's more difficult for me to get to the cemetery to visit the grave. Consequently, I'd like to know if I'm going to have the same "landmarks" to find their graves that I currently have.

-- Posted by KittyBelle on Tue, Oct 11, 2011, at 10:17 AM

Susan Boone Rissler is the daughter of Moses & Hannah Boone and the granddaughter of Squire Boone, Jr. & wife Jane VanCleave born in KY 1802. Later her parents Moses & Hannah moved to Harrison County, IN where she later married William Rissler in 1824. Squire Boone, Jr. is the brother of the famous Daniel Boone making Susan a great niece of the famous Daniel Boone. Can you do a correction? Information keeps being put out that Susan is a daughter of famous Daniel Boone and that is wrong. I am a direct descendant of Susan Boone Rissler and know this to be a fact. You can check the Putnam County death records for her death information. She died in Washington Twp., Putnam County in November of 1885. She does have a brother named Daniel Boone, but he is NOT the famous Daniel. He is also a great nephew of the famous Daniel Boone.

Susan Boone & William Rissler are my Great-Great-grandparents. This couple came to Putnam County in 1825. One of their sons, Hiram Rissler, married Nancy Irwin and they are my great Grandparents. Hiram and Nancy's daughter, Hattie Ann Rissler Johnson is my grandmother.

-- Posted by MLHazelrigg on Wed, Oct 12, 2011, at 5:13 AM

As the stone says, Susan Boone Rissler is the sister of Daniel (A.) Boone (not the famous frontiersman) and sister of Squire Boone (also not the famous Daniel's older brother). Susan, Daniel A. and Squire were children of Moses Boone, son of famous Squire Boone Jr, who was brother to famous Daniel Boone. Also the memorial stone really indicates that children of Squire (Susan's brother) Boone and wife Phebe Rissler Boone were buried there before Squire and Phebe moved on to Iowa where they are buried. The cemetery's even older more historical stone is that of Moses Boone there close to daughter Susan Boone Rissler in Boone-Hutcheson Cemetery.The stone of her father Moses should be recognized and preserved as an even closer connection to famous Squire Jr. and famous Daniel. So much confusion due to the family using the same names down through the generations. (fyi, I am a descendant through Susan's husband Wm E. Rissler.)

-- Posted by stermeer on Sun, Oct 23, 2011, at 10:09 AM

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