I have seen a lot of cemeteries and gravesites but this one in Indiana is definately strange. County Road 400 travels east and west near Franklin, Indiana. Just east of where it crosses the Sugar Creek is a concrete median with a marker surrounded by coins and flowers. The marker denotes the gravesite of Nancy Kerlin Barnett. She died in 1831 and was buried on a hill overlooking the creek. In 1912, it was decided to run a new road through the cemetery, and the bodies were to be moved to a new graveyard. When construction of the new road began, Nancy’s grandson Daniel G. Doty protected her grave with a shotgun, claiming it was her wish to be buried where she was. As the story goes, he remained there as workers moved the bodies and routed the road around her grave. The headstone and eventually a historical marker remained in the center of the road for decades.
In 2016, the road needed to be repaired, and it was decided that Nancy’s grave was a hazard to motorists and farm equipment. Plans were made to have her remains exhumed and replaced after the road construction was completed. To everyone’s surprise, the University of Indiana team exhumed the remains and found six more people’s skeletons in the grave. The bodies of two women, a man and four children were dug up. It is believed the body of the man had been previously dug up and placed back in the grave. Exactly who the bodies belong to are unknown, but it is assumed one is that of Nancy Barnett. It also makes one ponder if Daniel Doty did not want the grave disturbed because it would expose a secret he did not want revealed. After the section of County Road 400 had been repaved with a new median, the remains of all seven bodies were buried under the median, and a new marker for Nancy was placed on top of it. The gravesite still remains in the middle of the road and is one of the United State’s most unique gravesites.
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