Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tombstone Tuesday :: Jacob & Louisa Phend at Hepton

Hepton Union Church is located in Scott Township, Kosciusko County, Indiana. It is two miles south of Nappanee, Elkhart County and a mile east of neighboring Marshall County. Jacob Phend, my second great-grandfather, was one of the founders of the Evangelical Church at Hepton and owned the land upon which the original church was built. The current church building, shown above, is on or near the site of the original church.

Jacob Phend was also one of the founders of at least two other churches; one in Marshall County and the other one in Nappanee.

In the spring of 1852, Jacob moved his family from Greene County, Indiana to Marshall County. In 1865 he purchased the land in Hepton, eventually selling the land in Marshall County to his two oldest sons John and Christian. Jacob had set aside a portion of that land in Marshall county for the erection of a church.

Jacob and Louisa lived on the Hepton farm until 1890 when they sold it to their son John and moved to Nappanee.

According to the Archives of DePauw University and Indiana United Methodism, the "Nappanee Mission" was organized in the fall of 1891 in the home of Jacob Phend. In 1892 a wooden frame church was built by the Mennonite Brethren in Christ and the Evangelicals together and was dedicated in the fall of 1892. The two groups worshiped there together for five years and then in 1897 the Evangelicals bought out the MBC. The building was then rededicated as the Evangelical church. In 1905 a parsonage was built and at that time the church had a membership of 110 and Sunday school enrollment of 124. A new and larger building was built and dedicated on October 31, 1926.

Hepton Union Cemetery is located on the north side of the Hepton Union Church. The view above is looking north-northwest. The view below is looking to the east. The graves for the Fisher and Phend families are located on the west side of the twin evergreen trees in the center of the cemetery.

JACOB PHEND / JUNE 27, 1828
LOUISA C. HIS WIFE / JUNE 27, 1829 - APRIL 4, 1897

According to his christening record (at the bottom of that post), Jacob was born in 1829, not in 1828. He died on October 7, 1917. Louisa's date of death was also inscribed wrong, she died April 4, 1898.

Three sons - John, Christian, and William - as well as some of their children and one of Louisa's sisters are buried in surrounding graves.

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