The following at the "residents" who will be featured on The Sexton’s Tales: Reliving History at Kokomo’s Crown Point Cemetery, presented by the Howard County Historical Society and the Howard County Genealogical Society.:



William Baker Smith (1818-1905)

William Baker Smith, a county pioneer who came from Ohio in 1845, was a contemporary of Kokomo’s founder, David Foster. Known locally as “Uncle Billy,” he endured many hardships throughout his life. However, he went on to become a successful farmer, owning his first farm in Clay Township. His second farm ultimately became the best part of Kokomo, allowing him to make a handsome profit from the sale of his land. During his long life, he was married to his first wife, Sarah, for more than 60 years, raising six children to adulthood. Besides farming, Uncle Billy also worked as a teacher,, auctioneer, county assessor, and township assessor.



Milton Garrigus (1831-1920)

Milton Garrigus, at the age of 16, came from Richmond to be one of

the first pioneers to clear a farm in eastern Howard County. He was the Greentown postmaster before he joined the 39th Indiana Infantry in 1861. During the Civil War, he was a prolific letter writer, many of which were printed in the Kokomo Tribune, relating his experiences at the battles of Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Nashville, and as a prisoner of war. After the war he moved to Kokomo to practice law. He was active in politics and many community organizations and was an orator and debater whose words were often used as weapons against those who did not share his beliefs. His first marriage produced nine offspring and his second, at the age of 70, gave him three children. He led a very active life, from his pioneer travels on an oxcart in his youth to an airplane ride on his 88th birthday.



George W. Defenbaugh (1838-1906)

“Grandpa and Grandma” Defenbaugh (or Deffenbaugh) first made their appearance in Howard County around 1850, coming from Fairfield County, Ohio, with their 11 children. Son George proved to be an avid businessman, first as a grocer with his brother-in-law, and later managing his own quarry on Home Avenue. He also was a fervent supporter of new business ventures, such as the Peru and

Indianapolis Railroad and the local drilling for natural gas. The father of six children, three of whom survived to adulthood, George was responsible for building Defenbaugh Hall on Sycamore Street for the local Swedenborg Congregation. Defenbaugh (or Deffenbaugh) Road is named for his family.



John R. Goyer (1857-1921)

Much like members of the Defenbaugh family, John Goyer’s father and uncle migrated to Howard County from Ohio in the 1800s to become prominent local farmers. John was one of 11 children; as an adult, he continued the family legacy of farming. The Goyer Farm, which encompassed nearly 300 acres, was on present-day Goyer Road. The Goyer land also furnished sand for the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company in Kokomo for 18 years. John’s marriage to Clara produced five children, three of whom lived to adulthood. Their quiet farm life experienced tragedy one cold, winter night when son Walter lost his wife and two of his four children in a house fire.



Otis C. Pollard (1871- 1944)

Besides his wife Mary, Otis Pollard’s two greatest loves were the law and the news. Otis came by his love for the law naturally, as he was the son of C. N. Pollard, a prominent attorney who served as a Howard County judge. Otis passed the bar at the age of 21 and worked in Kokomo as deputy prosecutor for a few years. His next venture was writing a regular column, “In Days Long Gone,” for the Kokomo Dispatch, demonstrating his interest in the history of the courts in Howard County. However, his love for the law called him back, leading him to join his aged father in his legal practice, while he continued to write about times past and the effects of the law on our land.



Nathaniel Prime (1829-1875)

Nathaniel Prime, an early settler of Howard County, served as a captain of Company D of the 89th Indiana infantry during the Civil War. Upon his return to Kokomo, Nathaniel became the first sheriff of Howard County for two, two-year terms. During the war, Nathaniel’s company had to march for several days through swampland. Later, he and his men were captured by the Confederacy and held as prisoners of war. These circumstances probably contributed to his untimely death from lung fever at the age of 48. Perhaps that is the reason his daughter Arabelle had the words, “died that their children might live” engraved on her parents’ tombstone.



Dr. Helen Seegar Stone (1895-1976),

Dr. Joseph C. Stone (1879-1946)

Dr. Helen Seegar Stone, one of the talented and popular Seegar sisters from Greentown and a cum laude graduate of Northwestern University, taught classes at Kokomo Junior College from 1929 through 1947. She and her husband, Dr. Joseph Stone, rented the Seiberling Mansion, which was sold to Indiana University in 1946 shortly after Joseph’s death, leading to the supposition that Helen Stone taught classes in the same rooms that she had formerly inhabited. Dr. Joseph Stone, a native of Missouri, came to Kokomo in 1917 to practice osteopathy. Taking an ardent interest in his community, especially high school basketball, he served as physical advisor to Kokomo

High School athletes, and as a school trustee for six years. Joseph, who was active in osteopathic associations and a board member of the Indiana Society for Crippled Children, invented and owned the patent for the “Keystone Posture Meter” which detected and corrected posture defects. However, World War II interfered and the “posture meter” was never produced.



Elnora Trueblood Gause (1851-1955)

Elnora, or Nora as she was known, was born in 1851 and, at the time of her death at the age of 104, was the oldest resident in Howard County. Her life spanned the time of horses as the main mode of transportation to the inventions of automobiles, airplanes, and nuclear submarines. When Nora was just a child, she lectured her friends about the need to love and care for animals. As an adult, she was a very active humanitarian, founding an official humane society in Kokomo, which led to her being nationally recognized as the “Leading Humanitarian of the United States.” One of the highpoints of her later life was the birthday greeting she received from President Eisenhower on her 103rd birthday.



The Rev. John Lowe (1805-1863)

Rev. John Lowe was a very highly respected citizen of Howard County and one of the very first preachers in the area, serving in the Methodist denomination. He and his wife, Anna, were the parents of four children. Rev. Lowe was only 57 when, on May 28, 1863, he and Nelson Cooper were murdered in Kokomo while attempting to detain two horse thieves. In the re-enactment, his daughter, Mattie, and her sister-in-law, Carrie, engage in an animated conversation concerning the events surrounding that fateful day.



Thomas Kirkpatrick (1820-1891)

Thomas Kirkpatrick’s ancestors hailed from Scotland, and his family came to Indiana in the 1830s by way of Virginia and Ohio, where Thomas was born. In 1843, shortly after his marriage, Thomas came to Howard County and staked his claim on farmland near what would become Kokomo. He was active in the development of Kokomo and helped develop Pete’s Run gravel road to Burlington. He opposed slavery and served in the Civil War as captain of Company E of the 13th Indiana Volunteers. Mistakenly told that Thomas had been killed during the war, his wife, Margaret, suffered a mental breakdown and upon his return, did not recognize him as her husband. Thomas became politically involved, serving as county commissioner and state representative, but post-war life was very difficult for him. His farming efforts did not pay the bills, resulting in foreclosure by the bank, the same day as his wife’s death. Like Milton Garrigus, Thomas’ second marriage was to a much younger woman and produced a baby girl.

SOURCE: Howard County Historical Society

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