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Keathan Mayfield A group of interested descendants and friends of those buried in Hopewell Baptist Cemetery met recently to plan for the clearing, fencing and future maintenance of the cemetery. The cemetery is located in Franklin Township, Floyd County, Indiana. The land for the log church which no longer stands and the cemetery was deeded in 1837 by Robert and Martha Sampson LaFollette of the earliest if not the first white settlers in Floyd County Indiana. Forrest Campbell, Roscoe Phillip Mayfield and Chester E. Toops were elected as trustees of the newly formed Hopewell Cemetery Association. Those interested in assisting with the above projects and the restoration of this historic cemetery may send their donations to the secretary - treasurer Mr. Forrest Campbell Georgetown, Indiana, Route No.3. Another meeting is planned within the year and it is hoped that those interested in Old Hopewell Cemetery may attend. Further notice will be sent to the papers of the time and place. Those present were Forrest Campbell, Roscoe Phillip Mayfield, E. Heinze, Chester E. Toops, Evelyn Sampson Richardson, Mrs. Emma Heinze, Mrs. Margaret Kinzer, Mrs. Edna Ketzner, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Gresham, Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Hartman, Mr. and Mrs. William LaFollette, Morris White, Terry Kinzer and Larry Hartman.
Mar 03, 2013 · posted to the surname Mayfield
Keathan Mayfield THE COURIER JOURNAL - INDIANA SUNDAY,OCTOBER 17, 1999 GROUP CLEARS BLACK FAMILY'S 19TH - CENTURY FLOYD CEMETERY Pam Peters thinks the people buried in the Finley family cemetery in southern Floyd County may have lived a life of crime. Specifically, she thinks the Finley's one of a handful of black families in Floyd County in the 1800's illegally helped escaped slaves who just crossed the metaphorical Jordan - River - the Ohio - from Kentucky to Indiana. Peters, who since 1996 has been researching Floyd County's ties to the Underground Railroad, brought a youth group from Concordia Lutheran Church in Louisville to the Finely family cemetery yesterday to help clear the towering weeds that had obscured the tombstones and to get a close up look at the family's history. Peters said the cemetery is unusual among old black cemeteries because it has elegantly engraved tombstones, an indication the Finley's were affluent. Peters said she heard about the cemetery from her friend Albert Kaegi, a farmer who lives nearby. He led the church group yesterday to the cemetery's remote location on farmland near Hopewell Road. I think if people knew about the cemetery, they didn't know it was black, Peters said. Some people think that a lot of black history is lost, but it's here; you just have to dig for it. The youths, along with Peters and her husband, Curtis, Concordia's pastor, tackled the weeds with clippers and rakes. It took them about and hour to clear most of the weeds from the 35-by-40-foot cemetery, and as they did, they uncovered tombstones that had fallen over time. The tombstones mark the graves of the family of Josiah Finley, a farmer who bought the surrounding land a little at a time in the 1840's and 1850's. His wife, Malinda Finley, is buried in the cemetery, as are at least six of their children, ages 2 to 21, and one grandchild. All of thechildren and the grandchild died in 1861. I heard the flu went through and killed them all, said Bill Hubert, who lives in the old Finley house and owns the land. That's what my dad told me. The Finley's lived just a few miles from the river and had a large, remote tract of land, two characteristics that support Peters theory that they were part of the Underground Railroad. While delving into census records and old newspaper articles, Peters, a former legal secretary, has come across many reports of slaves escaping from Louisville into New Albany. She said free blacks played a key role in the movement, and the Finley farm would have been a logical place for fleeing slaves to go. I don't think of the Underground Railroad in Southern Indiana as a big organization, she said. It was a spontaneous reaction from fellow members of their race. Peters said the cemetery offers an important historical lesson:It shows that there were black settlers in rural Floyd County as far back as the 1820's when Cesar Finley, a relative of Josiah's first bought some land. People just aren't aware that there were free African Americans living here so early, she said. They were some of the founding fathers of Floyd County. Hubert said he usually trimmed the weeds in the cemetery, but they grew out of control from the spring rains. Peters said she is working with the cemetery's county trustee to ensure that it is properly maintained. Don Harshey, director of community corrections for Floyd County, said he wants to start bringing work crews - people on probation or home incarceration - to the cemetery regularly. Members of the youth group said that despite encountering some thorns and scratchy weeds, the project was more exciting than other youth group events. This is probably the best thing we've done, Simon Davies, 15, said. Peters said it would be impossible to determine the exact activities of the Underground Railroad in Floyd County because of the secrecy surrounding it. She is working on a book on the subject and has identified a few houses in New Albany that were likely spots for hiding escaped slaves. Another mystery, she said, is what happened to Josiah Finley. He isn't buried in the cemetery. I haven't seen a trace of him, so I'm guessing he left Floyd County, she said.
Sep 19, 2010 · posted to the surname Finley
Keathan Mayfield On January 24, 1926, Floyd County was rocked by the news that they had lost one of their finest. Floyd County Sheriff's Deputy Daniel Alonzo Mayfield had been shot and killed during an altercation with suspected bank robbers, making him the first, and to date the last, Floyd County officer to die in the line of duty. Now 77 years later, one officer wants to insure that Mayfield is not forgotten. A lot of people knew what had been passed down, but few really knew the facts, Floyd County Police officer Jeff Firkins said. Firkins has worked to get Mayfield's name added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. It is a lot like the Vietnam Memorial, Firkins said. Any officer killed in the line of duty can make it on the wall. The ceremony will be held in May as part of National Police Week. It is to honor the nation's law enforcement officers and pays special attention to those who have given their lives in the line of duty. As part of the ceremony, the names of those officers newly engraved on the memorial will be read during a candlelight vigil. My bigest regret is that it took us this long to do this for him, Firkins said. Mayfield, along with Sheriff Jacob Yenowine and three New Albany Police officers, were called on to head off two cars containing six men who had just broken into Farmer's State Bank in Lanesville, Indiana. According to a Tribune article published a day after the shooting, the officers intercepted the two cars at 4:00 a.m. as the vehicles sped into New Albany's west end. A gunfight ensued, in the middle of which Mayfield was shot once in the head. He died at the scene. Many people would later contend that it was the would be robbers that fired the bullet that killed Mayfield, but in fact, a fellow officer who accidentally hit Mayfield while trying to stop the cars. No official announcement was ever made about just who fired the shot, and no one was ever brought to trial. The body of an ex-convict dead of a fatal gunshot wound and believed to be the driver of one the cars was found in a culvert beneath a road a week later. Firkins disagrees with that assumption that an officer's bullet killed Mayfield, and politicians at the time covered up the facts. I think that if that happened today, technology would prove that the bullet came from the burglars, Firkins said. There is nothing I've found that would point to any other conclusions. The incident was major news at the time, and issues of The Tribune spoke of rewards for arrest of the bandits dead or alive. Then Prosecutor Chester V. Lorch vowed to bend over backwards to send them to the chair if they are caught. It was huge news at the time, Firkins said. But it has been so long a lot of people don't know about it. Despite extensive research, Firkins is unable to find any surviving family members. If any of them are still living, they would be invited to participate in the memorial service in Washington, Firkins said. An invitation and more details will be sent to the department and to any surviving family members in the latter part of March. Anyone with any information concerning the whereabouts of Mayfield's family can call Firkins at 812-948-5400.
Feb 14, 2010 · posted to the surname Mayfield