Indian Burial Grounds

More Bones Found newspaper article

Several unmarked Indian burial grounds have been found in Allen County. If you know of more locations or sources of information, please Contact Allen INGenWeb.

See our page Indians of Allen County, Indiana.

A newspaper article in 23 November 1899 Fort Wayne Daily News describes one location during excavation for Methodist College at the west end of West Wayne Street. Others were near the St. Joseph River such as old Miami town and at Cedarville.

Current attitudes towards museum display of human remains is changing

October 16, 2023 post by the UMass Public History Program on Facebook:

The American Museum of Natural History still holds ~12,000 human remains in its collections, and the repatriation process has been slow -- or without clear legal guidance, in the case of the remains of enslaved people. UMass Amherst Public History Professor Sam Redman spoke to Zachary Small for the New York Times and Erin L. Thompson for Hyperallergic on the need to treat these remains, which have been put through experiments to bolster scientific racism, with respect.

Read Small's article: Facing Scrutiny, a Museum That Holds 12,000 Human Remains Changes Course The American Museum of Natural History said it would address its collecting of remains, which stretched into the 1940s and included practices now viewed as abusive and racist. [The New York Times article is behind a paywall]

A New York Museum’s House of Bones The American Museum of Natural History holds 12,000 bodies — but they don’t want you to know whose. Erin L. Thompson October 15, 2023 at

[Article includes this paragraph: Most of the human remains still held in American museums are those of Native Americans (nearly 100,000, according to a recent ProPublica report). But the remains of thousands of individuals from outside the United States also sit in storage at institutions including Chicago’s Field Museum, the University of California, Berkeley’s Hearst Museum, and the University of Pennsylvania. The Smithsonian Institution, with the remains of 33,000 individuals, and Harvard University, with 22,000, hold the largest human remains collections in the United States. ]


Other similar articles:

Not a paywall: NY natural history museum changing how it looks after thousands of human remains in collection at AP News.

NY natural history museum changing how it looks after thousands of human remains in collection The American Museum of Natural History says it is pulling all human remains from public display and will revamp how it maintains its collection of body parts with the aim of eventually repatriating as much as it can and respectfully holding what it can’t [ local The Journal Gazette newspaper is also behind a paywall]

History of Fort Wayne, from the earliest known accounts of this point, to the present period. Embracing an extended view of the aboriginal tribes of the Northwest, including, more especially, the Miamies ... with a sketch of the life of General Anthony Wyane; including also a lengthy biography of ... pioneer settlers of Fort Wayne. Also an account of the manufacturing, mercantile, and railroad interests of Fort Wayne and vicinity by Brice, Wallace A , Publication date 1868 on

Page 284

Just to the south of the fort, m what is now " Taber's Addition," was located the burial-ground of the garrison ; and where also were deposited others not immediately connected with the fort. Lieutenant Ostrander, mentioned in a former chapter, who had unthoughtedly fired upon a flock of birds passing over the fort, had been repremanded by Captain Eay, and because of his refusal to be tried by a court-martial, was confined in a small room in the garrison, where he subsequenily died, was among the number buried in this old place of interment. Another place of burial, where also a number of Indians were interred, extended along the northwest corner of Columbia and Clinton streets, and to the adjoining block. Many bones were, removed from this point some years ago, in digging cellars, and laying the foundations of buildings.

In 1846, in the progress of excavating for a foundation wall, immediately to the west of the northwest corner of Main and Calhoun streets, were dug up and " removed the remains of an Indian, who had long before that been buried, with a gun excellently mounted, some trinkets of silver, and a glass pint flask of whisky, which liquid was still preserved in at least as good a state as when buried. The hair was also in a fair state of preservation, though the skull was much decayed, as were the gun mountings carroded."

Another burial ground, used principally by the Indians, within the recollection of some of the early settlers here,extended from about where Messrs. Hill c& Orbison's warehouse stands, across the basin to the brewery, and beyond. And often had been seen, years ago, swinging from the bough of a tree, or in a hammock stretched between two trees, the infant of the Indian mother ; or a few little log enclosures, where the bodies of adults sat upright, with all their former apparel wrapped about them, and their trinkets, tomahawks, &c., by their side, could be seen at any time for many years, by the few pale faces visting or sojourning here.

Page 317

The Indians are said to have had some huts upon it, some years ago. In removing this great sand heap, as in digging at other points, within the present limits of Fort Wayne, the Indians having deposited their dead here and there, many bones and skulls were exhumed and removed. On one occasion, some workmen thus engaged, among many others, dug up a most remarkable skull — with high forehead and general formation extremely large — indicating a giant form to the possessor.*

  1. An Indian Mound along the St. Joseph River south of St. Joe Center Road in the Canterbury Green complex is shown on the Location Map of Johnny Appleseed Cabin and Vicinity noting the location of Johnny Appleseed's cabin and the area around his cabin as prepared by A.K. Hofer, C.E., Fort Wayne, for the Three Rivers Forum July 1937 shown on Location Map of Johnny Appleseed Cabin and Vicinity on the Indiana Memory digital library at linked to the original map at the History Center Digital Collection on the mDON mastodon Digital Object Network.
  2. A December 8, 2022 discussion on the 1889 book Valley of the upper Maumee River, with historical account of Allen County and the city of Fort Wayne, Indiana on True Fort Wayne Indiana History on Facebook mentions a land abstract referencing a house on St Joe Rd near Mayhew Rd. It said it was from the Ann Hackley estate and previously the Mississinawa (sp) burial grounds.
  3. Buried Concerns City's treatment of Miamis' grave sites, remains traces century of evolving thought by Charlie Savage published August 16, 2020 in The Journal Gazette newspaper. Charlie Savage is a Fort Wayne native and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist discussing the 100s of Native Americans buried in the "Indian Burial Ground" located around the Little Turtle burial location now a small park surrounded by older homes built in the early 1900s. He has references to earlier newspaper articles that we hope to eventually add to this page and our Indian Burial Grounds page. This article was discussed on the ACGSI Facebook page August 16, 2020. Under Read More points to Some of the historical materials mentioned in this account can be viewed at Excerpts about a Miami burial ground in the Spy Run District from a 1903 Journal Gazette article and several other newspaper articles through 2016.
  4. Location of Indian Burial Grounds in Fort Wayne, Indiana published September 10, 2013 on AmericanIndianHistory blog.
  5. West Central Neighborhood Indian Burial Ground - A small undated map of an Indian Graveyard states this was Once the Site of Immense Indian Graveyard at Fort Wayne, Indiana, West Central Neighborhood Once the Site of Immense Indian Graveyard published February 3, 2016 on Encyclopedia Ancient Giants North America blog,. A discussion of this map was October 23, 2016 on the original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebook. Google Map puts this map location at the same area as the October 4, 2017 story Human remains discovered in Fort Wayne thought to be from burial ground that includes the Press Release from the Allen County Coroner by Linda Jackson and Kayla Crandall published October 4, 2017 by Fort Wayne's NBC Focused on the Fort originally WKJG. Fort Wayne's NBC also posted it October 4, 2017 on their Facebook page. I also posted this article to start a discussion October 4, 2017 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook. The story Bones found during utility work to be reburied as historical site by Jacob Burbrink, Internet Director published October 4, 2017 on ABC TV station. This article says the discovery has been passed onto Office of Historical Preservation. I assume it will eventually appear on SHAARD, Indiana State Historic Architectural and Archaeological Research Database, that collects GPS location data, photographs and more on all cemeteries in the state of Indiana for posting on their web site. The SHAARD Allen County Cemetery List. Unearthed remains returned to graves May be Native American; DNR to mark site by James Duffy published October 5, 2017 and Bones returned to grave: DNR Miami assured proper rules followed by James Duffy published October 7, 2017 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.
  6. July 11, 2018 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook, a post on the Indian Graveyard photo above and a quote in the comments from page 317 of the 1868 book History of Fort Wayne, from the earliest known accounts of this point, to the present period. the following quote: the Indians having deposited their dead here and there, many bones and skulls were exhumed and removed.
  7. A Halloween Haunted Tour sponsored by ARCH ( Architecture and Community Heritage) usually mentions the West Central graveyard such as ARCH offers Haunted Sites Bus Tours! Fright Site Hikes! More! posted August 28, 2009 on their blog. The 2017 tour is Haunted History Tour – The Darker Side of West Central on October 14.
  8. Little Turtle grave location is shown on the Map of Kekionga - Miami Indian Chief THE GRAVE OF LITTLE TURTLE by J. M. Stouder published September 1912 Volume 8 Issue 3 Indiana Magazine of History. Little Turtle Memorial 0.13 acre memorial located east of Spy Run Avenue at Lawton Place since 1959 by City of Fort WayneParks & Recreation. Remembering Little Turtle on History Center Notes & Queries blog. Fort Wayne, Indiana: In search of Little Turtle published November 13, 2012 on Midwest Guest blog. Chief Me-She-Kin-No-Quah Little Turtle on Find A Grave. Little Turtle on April 3, 2013 discussion onthe original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebook.
  9. Mound Builders in Fort Wayne (Allen County) Indiana and Indiana Tourism: Top Ten Native American Indian Burial Mounds and Earthworks in Indiana on MoundBuilder blog has a map and several photos showing locations of Indian Burial Mounds and earthworks.
  10. Prehistoric Allen County Preservationist Fritz Zimmerman documents the area’s ancient earthworks by Michael Summers published February 2, 2012 on Fort Wayne
  11. Miami Chief Richardville burial location was discussed August 8, 2017 as part of Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and Cathedral Square burial ground on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook. Local historian Craig Leonard commented that there was a marker in 1936 for his burial location on the southwest corner of the church cathedral grounds, though his marble grave marker is now at the Catholic Cemtery on Lake Avenue. There could be a 1936 newspaper article discussing this.
  12. A Brief Hiistorical Survey of the Expropriation of American Indian Remains 85 page document by Robert E. Bieder, Ph.D, Bloomington, Indiana, April 1990 at NARF Native American Rights Fund.

Mound Builders

Where the Mound Builders Lived in Allen County on page 23 The pictorial history of Fort Wayne, Indiana : a review of two centuries of occupation of the region about the head of the Maumee River by Griswold, B. J. (Bert Joseph), 1873-1927Taylor, Samuel R., Mrs Publication date 1917 on

Pre-Historic Remains by R. S. Robertson on page 45 of History of Allen County, Indiana. Publication date 1880 on

Iroquois Burial Mound in Fort Wayne, Indiana on the St. Joseph River Burial Mound in Fort Wayne, Indiana on the St. Joseph River references Pre-Historic Remains by R. S. Robertson published 2018 on AdenaHopewellMoundBuildersOhioValley on Blogspot.

Antiquities of Allen and DeKalb Counties, Indiana by R. S. Robertson on page 380 of the Annual report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution by Smithsonian Institution. Board of Regents; United States National Museum. Report of the U.S. National Museum; Smithsonian Institution. Report of the Secretary on

AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVALUATION OF LATE PREHISTORIC VILLAGE AND SUBSISTENCE PATTERNS IN NORTH-CENTRAL AND NORTHEASTERN INDIANA is a online 225 page report pdf by Andrew A. White, Dorothea McCullough, and Robert G. McCullough with contributions by Leslie L. Bush, Donald R. Cochran, Devin Fishel, Rexford C. Garniewicz, Mark Moore, and Andrew M. Schneider; Robert G. McCullough, Principal Investigator Reports of Investigations 216 June 2002; at IPFW Archaeological Survey Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne 2101 East Coliseum Blvd. Fort Wayne, Indiana 46805-1499 at

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