The cemetery had fallen into disuse and then in a bad condition, with most of the stones being either broken wood or slate stones and had become overgrown. The cemetery had also been vandalized many times. Many headstones were removed, the bodies re-interned to an unknown location, and the area was tuned into a park in hopes of "cleaning up the image of the area." A monument was added to the park with a list of names compiled by the manual transcription efforts of an unknown person and information supplied to the Beech Grove Historical Society.
LICK CREEK CEMETERY
The following list and information in the files of the Marion County Genealogical Society is shown as an article in the Detroit Society for Genealogical Research Magazine, pp. 99-101, issue date not shown. It was entitled: “ “Beech Bank” Farm and Lick Creek Baptist Church and Cemetery, Beach Grove, Marion County, Indiana” by Ernest J. Coverdill of Lathrup Village, Michigan, who gathered his information in 1980 and alphabetized the list of burials in the Lick Creek Baptist Cemetery. (Interestingly, the following paragraphs describing the origin of this cemetery and the Lick Creek Baptist Church mentions burial of three individuals whose names are omitted from the alphabetized list. These have been inserted by the copier.)
“By patent, dated April 20, 1824, James Monroe, President, the title to the principal part of a farm known at a much later date as “Beech Bank”, was conferred jointly to one Susanna Mosely and her two sons, Azariah and Jacob Mosely, who “entered” the land February 18, 1823. The original land purchase, like many made in the 1820’s, consisted of 80 acres.
The Lick Creek Baptist Church (the first church in Perry township) was organized at the house of David Fisher (now the Ritzinger Farm), in the spring of 1826, by Abram Smock. Among the original members were David Fisher and wife, John Chinn and wife, William Gott and wife, Thomas Bryant and wife, James Turner and wife, and James R. McLaughlin and wife. A church edifice was built within one year after the organization with a burial ground in connection with the church. The first person interred in this ground was David Judd, on October 17, 1827. The second interment was that of Richard Ferree, a lad of about ten or twelve years old, who was killed by the overturning of a wagon. Also buried there is Abram Smock, who served the congregation for many years. About 1832, a large number left the church to organize the Buck Creek Baptist Church, which afterward became the Southport Baptist Church.
The six and a half rod square area upon which the church stood was leased on June 23, 1849 to the Lick Creek Baptist Church for a period of ninety nine years, with certain restrictions enjoined. A simple, one room, two-front-door church had been erected about 1850, on the brow of the hill, east of Lick Creek and near the center point of the east boundary line.
By reason of deaths and removals of members, the Lick Creek church was disbanded in 1866. Its building was torn down and the material removed to Indianapolis in 1867 or 1868. There it was rebuilt for the use of a colored Baptist church.
The Lick Creek Baptist Cemetery (13th Street Cemetery) adjoining the church, abandoned at the dissolving of the church, was located at what is now the entrance to the Beech Grove Park at Churchman and 13th Streets. The cemetery contains the bodies of at least three men with the surname Thomas. Two of those are Edwards. A soldier was buried in 1863, no information as to the Company to which he belonged. Also, Benjamin Thomas, a soldier buried in 1861. Thomas N. Thomas, buried in 1861, was a minister according to the engraving on the stone at the head of the grave. Benjamin Mc Farland was the most ancient one to be buried there, born in 1770. The oldest burial was Phinehas Judd, 1790-1827. The oldest person buried there was Samuel Tull, 1769-1854."