Taggart Cemetery

Perpetual Care and Improvement Plan

Prepared by

John W. Hamblen, Ph. D.
Street Address
Columbus, IN 47201
Ph. --- --- ----

Taggart cemetery in Hamblen Twp., Brown Co., Indiana has been neglected for many years even though at least four Civil War Veterans and one Mexican War Veteran are buried there, plus numerous early settlers who help found the county. Indiana statutes are clear in assigning responsibility for maintenance of such cemeteries. The Township Trustee has primary responsibility for the maintenance of cemeteries " --- which do not have an organization for this purpose or the organization does not have adequate funds for this purpose." Failure to meet their responsiblility makes the Trustees guilty of a "Class C Infraction". [Burns, Indiana Statutes, IC 23-14-27-4] "--- A judgment of up to five hundred dollars ($500) may be entered for a violation constituting a Class C infraction. ---" [IC 34-4-32-4]


Step 1. Approach the present Trustee and determine his/her plans for the maintenance of Taggart cemetery in 1990 and request that the following steps be taken immediately:

a. The Trustee should arrange for the Brown County Council to provide an all- weather access road to the cemetery. In connection with this the Trustee should request that a survey be made of the Cemetery. [All that we have now is a an exclusion of one and one-half acres for cemetery purposes in the Deed, Bk. 80, p. 131, of Lee E. and Irma Jean Morgan and an old fence which does not appear to inclose all of the graves. No record can be found of the original deed from James Taggart, Sr. referred to in The Hamblen and Allied Families by A. Porter Hamblen, p. 110. According to Bob Melton, Brown Co. Auditor, the $500 referred to as a perpetual care fund has long ago been disbursed.]

b. The Trustee should plan for bringing the Cemetery up to a reasonable condition by cutting and killing obnoxious weeds, some leveling and mowing during the summer of 1990.

c. The Trustee-elect should plan to continue this maintenance until an organization can be formed and funds pledged sufficient for a Perpetual Care Fund. (Approx. $15,000)

Step 2. Prepare a mailing list of as many descendants of those buried in Taggart as possible.

Step 3. Announce a meeting for the purpose of selecting officers and preparing Articles of Incorporation for the Taggart Cemetery Association as a not-for- profit corporation.

Step 4. File Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State.

Step 5. Solicit pledges for the Perpetual Care Fund of Taggart Cemetery. Collect no money until a minimum amount, say, $10,000, has been pledged.

Step 6. Establish an Escrow Account and collect pledges.

Step 7. Establish a an irrevocable perpetual care fund with a bank. Such an arrangement would include the automatic reinvestment of long-term CD's at prevailing rates and depositing 90% of the interest, paid quarterly, into the operating account of the Taggart Cemetery Association. Such an agreement should be in effect as long as the Bank is in business. The officers of the Taggart Cemetery Association would not have access to the principal, except to add to it, unless the Bank ceases to exist and then only to transfer the funds to another bank. [The additional 10% would be left to increase the principal as a hedge against inflation.] Since this account would not be held in trust for the cemetery by a corporate trustee "--- then the treasurer of such cemetery or other person or persons having custody thereof shall furnish a fidelity bond with a corporate surety thereon, payable to such cemetery in a penal sum equal to not less than one hundred twenty-five percent(125%) of the value of the principal of the trust estate at the beginning of each calendar year, which bond shall be deposited with the auditor of the county wherein is situated such cemetery,---" [IC 23-14-1-18].

Step 8. The Taggart Cemetery Association gradually assumes responsibility for maintenance of Taggart Cemetery. [My best estimate of the time required for Steps 2-8 is 3 to 5 years.]

I am determined to see that the above plan is carried to completion. My great- grandfather, William Hamblen, is one of the Civil War Veterans buried there and both of his parents, Pleasant and Milly [Weddle] Hamblen, my gr-gr-grandparents, are buried beside him. In addition, numerous other relatives are buried there, also. [The other Civil War Veterans identified by Ken and Helen Reeve in Brown County, Indiana, Cemeteries are Eliakim Curry, George Hamlin and J. H. Smith. The Mexican War Veteran is Rev. William Hamblen.] To demonstrate my sincerity in this matter I now pledge $1000.00 to the Perpetual Care Fund under the conditions outlined above.