Cemeteries of Allen County, Indiana

Catholic Cemetery

Current Street View photo from Google maps
Google Street View photos go back to 2007 showing the previous entrance and fencing.
The current entrance was updated somtime between 2011 and 2015.

3500 Lake Avenue, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46805-5572
Devine Mercy Funeral Home Catholic Cemetery https://www.divinemercyfuneralhome.com.

Traditionally called the Campo Santo, God's Acre, and the Reliquary of Saints. Modern cemetery office on the west side of 175 acre cemetery operated by the Catholic Cemetery Association. There were around 29,000 graves in 2008. The original Catholic Cemetery was on Cathedral Square in downtown Fort Wayne. A larger cemetery was then located on Swinney Avenue and Wall Street. After only 29 years the need arose for another larger location. In 1872, Bishop Joseph Dwenger purchased 120 acres, on Maysville Road one mile outside the city limits of Fort Wayne. Today it is called Lake Avenue. The bodies were removed from the other township cemeteries into the present location. The cemetery was then opened for interments in 1873. The Old Catholic Cemetery with maps is discussed on our ACGSI.org site. It includes a newspaper article titled Bones discovered under Superior Essex parking lot.

The old Catholic Cemetery was in service from about 1849 until 1873 on land that is now Swinney Addition. See maps and newspaper articles, including a 2002 newspaper article when bones were found under the Superior Essex parking lot on the Old Catholic Cemetery Fort Wayne, Indiana page on the ACGSI web site. Superior Essex is located at the corner of Taylor and Phenie Streets shown in the Street View Google Maps.

Celebrating 150 Years 1873 - 2023

November 25, 2023 Celebrating 150 years 1873-2023 advertisement in The Journal Gazette newspaper

  1. ACGSI cemetery plat maps
  2. Allen INGenWeb Google map
  3. BillionGraves over 30,000 records
  4. Find-A-Grave photos over 37,000 memorials
  5. Fort Wayne Catholic Cemetery through 1993 at The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  6. Friends of Allen County section map
  7. NSDAR tombstone photos

SHAARD Indiana State Historic Architectural and Archaeological Research Database (SHAARD)

  1. Survey Number CR-02-13
  2. Latitude: 40.0871; Longitude: 85.0936
  3. Established in 1872, first burial in 1873
  4. Catholic Cemetery section map
  5. Catholic.pdf - six page maps, aerial photos
  6. 003-214-26469.pdf map
  7. 02-13 survey form.pdf Cemetery Registry Survey Form, established 1872

January 13, 2011 postcard ca. 1910 posted by the original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebook.

Chief Richardville Monument
Chief Jean Baptiste Richardville memorial photos, Catholic Cemetery, Fort Wayne, IN, 1920s. (2)
from the Bert J. Griswold Collection of Fort Wayne History in the Allen County Public Library Digital Collections at the Allen County Public Library.
Label: Monument, now in the Catholic Cemetery, Fort Wayne, Erected to the memory of the Chief Richardville, by his three daughters.

NOTE on opposite page: and the indifferent workman allowed the strange Indian to carry away all the other relics except the bones which were reinterred. At least three bodies were disturbed, suggesting that the Indian burial ground was quite an extensive one, as the supposed grave of Little Turtle, together with other graves which have been disturbed in tits immediate vicinity, is four squares north of this spot, in Lawton Place. Possibly this was a separate burial place. -- B. J. G.

Page 97, (33) The Chillicothe village was located a short distance down the Maumee, probably on the site of the present Catholic cemetery.

Page 225

THE CHIEF RICHARDVILLE MONUMENT. The monument raised over the burial place of Chief Jean Baptiste de Richardville, in the present Cathedral square (the south half of which was used originally for a burial ground), was, at the time of the removal of the bodies to the Catholic cemetery in the southwestern part of the city, taken to the new burying ground, although the body of the Miami chief was allowed to remain In its original grave. Later, the monument was removed to the present Catholic cemetery, northeast of Fort Wayne. The small shaft of white marble was erected by the chief's daughters, Catherine, La- Blonde and Susan. While standing in the old cemetery, on the bank of the St. Mary's river, directly south from the Pennsylvania tracks, the monument became marred by sportsmen, who used it for a target in order to carry away its chips as souvenirs. It was removed to its present site by a granddaughter. Mrs. Archangel Engelmann, of Huntington, Indiana (daughter of Catherine, the wife of Chief LaFontaine). One panel bears the inscription: "Here Rest the Remains of John B. Richardville. Principal Chief of the Miami Tribe of Indians. He Was Born in Fort Wayne. Indiana, About the Year 1760, and Died in August. 1841." The resting place of the body of Richardville is described as a spot "just at the edge of the Cathedral, between the forward side door and the first buttress of the wall."

Copied from the book The pictorial history of Fort Wayne, Indiana : a review of two centuries of occupation of the region about the head of the Maumee River Volume 1 by Griswold, B. J. (Bert Joseph), 1873-1927; Taylor, Samuel R., Mrs, Publication date: 1917 on Archive.org.

August 13, 2022 post by The History Center on Facebook:

Born in 1761, Jean Baptiste Richardville (Pinšiwa) was the son of a French fur trader father and a Miami Indian mother named Tacumwa, sister to the Miami war chief Little Turtle. Richardville and his mother built a trading empire based on control of the “long portage” between the St. Mary’s and Wabash Rivers, joining two water systems and thereby completing a pathway for commerce that extended from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. His 1827 home is now recognized as one of the oldest Native American structure in the Midwest, one of the first Greek Revival style houses in Indiana and the only surviving Treaty Houses in the nation. As principal Chief of the Miami, Richardville signed six treaties by 1840 that ultimately ceded over 950,000 acres of land in Indiana to the United States. At the time of his death, he held a fortune that included $200,000 in gold and silver, the equivalent of over $6.8 million today. On August 13, 1841, exactly 181 years ago today, Chief Richardville died in the East Bedroom of his magnificent mansion, still located in southwest Fort Wayne and stewarded by the History Center since 1991. Pinšiwa was first buried in the Cathedral Square Catholic cemetery in Fort Wayne beneath a splendid monument purchased by his daughters; however, with the construction of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in 1860, his gravesite and headstone were moved to the auxiliary Catholic cemetery southwest of downtown. Although there is some question as to whether his remains were disturbed, his monument was relocated, where, unfortunately due to its size and distinctiveness, became a favored target for passenger pistoleers riding along the nearby railway. The monument was then moved a final time in 1873 to the current Catholic cemetery along Lake Avenue, where is sits to this day. #sociallyhistory

April 20, 2012 post by The History Center on Facebook:

We have photos this morning of Chief Richardville's marker at the Catholic Cemetery. Thanks to Tom Alter for his photos!

Photos of Chief Richardville's Marker April 20, 2012 History Center Notes & Queries blog.

This is a large modern cemetery. The Resurrection Masusoleum, dedicated by Bishop Herman J. Alerding on All Souls' Day in 1918 is the oldest Catholic mausoleum in the United States and was designed by noted Fort Wayne architect Charles Weatherhogg. Notable burials included Miami Indian Chief John B. Richardville; Fort Wayne founding father Francis A. Comparet; Red Carrington, Fort Wayne's Mr. Baseball; sports promoter Gunner Elliott; Walter Rommel, mechanic to Germany's Red Baron; and Don Hall, founder of the city's restaurant chain.

The Cemetery staff also takes care of Saint Leo Catholic Cemetery in Leo, Indiana, and Saint Michael Catholic Cemetery at Pierr Settlement off St. Joe Center Road in the far Northeast corner of Fort Wayne.
From the Catholic Cemetery History page.

  1. Over 100 results for Catholic Cemetery search in the Allen County Public Library Digital Collections at the Allen County Public Library.
  2. Groundbreaking set for funeral home at Fort Wayne's Catholic Cemetery The facility, which also will include a crematorium, could open by October. by Kevin Kilbane published February 14, 2017 in The News-Sentinel newspapernow on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
  3. Ground broken for Divine Mercy Funeral Home ‘The focus on Divine Mercy will bring consolation’ by Jodi Marlin published in Today's Catholic.
  4. Divine Mercy Funeral Home celebrates grand opening November 8, 2017, Bonnie Elberson, Today's Catholic.
  5. Catholic cemeteries in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend The following cemeteries have been designated as sacred places by a Catholic bishop’s blessing. If a Catholic is instead buried in a nonCatholic cemetery, the priest who leads the burial rite will include a prayer of blessing for the grave. at Today's Catholic
  6. Journal Gazette photo
  7. That was our home about Steve Butler who grew up in a home where the mausoleum now stands by Rosa Salter Rodriquez published October 30, 2008 in The Journal Gazette newspaper. An Allen County Public Libraryaccount is needed to read this article online through the ProQuest web site.
  8. The Catholic Cemetery was discussed in Grave secrets Old cemeteries offer history lesson, scenic views by Devon Haynie published July 19, 2009 in The Journal Gazette newspaper. An Allen County Public Libraryaccount is needed to read the article online through the ProQuest web site.
  9. Prepping cemetery for big day Local crew spends months readying for holiday visitors by Cody Thompson published May 30, 2017 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.
  10. See a short video on the history of the Catholic Cemetery: From Here to Eternity by Eric Olson, 21Country Featured Reporter published December 14, 2017 at 21AliveNews.com.
  11. May 20, 2020 post by Divine Mercy Funeral Home on Facebook:

    Will you be visiting the cemetery this weekend in honor of Memorial Day?

    Did you know that out in front of the Catholic Cemetery there's a beautifully landscaped rosary?

  12. August 23, 2022 post by Divine Mercy Funeral Home on Facebook:

    We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful morning. We encourage you to come see the beautiful new Columbarium.

  13. New All Saints Columbarium at Catholic Cemetery Blessed by Nicole Hahn with same photos as Facebook post above published August 30, 2022 on Today's Catholic

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