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A Bicentennial Burial Ground: Rogers Cemetery

On Fee Lane, north of the railroad tracks and on the east side of the road facing north, stands Foster Quadrangle, an Indiana University dormitory built in 1964 as part of the university’s post-war expansion. Between the dorm and Fee Lane is a small cemetery enclosed by a low limestone wall. This is called the Rogers Cemetery, and is one of the original ones in the county. Its oldest grave is that of a one-month newborn, James Baugh, who was born and died in 1818, Monroe County’s founding year.

There are 32 graves listed in the County Cemeteries of Monroe County index, which names it as Rogers 2 Cemetery. Half the graves are from the Rogers family, with Baughs and Hooks also buried there. The pioneer Rogers and Baugh families lived in log cabins on the knoll just north of the cemetery. Most died before the Civil War, and the most recent recorded burial was in 1879.

The Bloomington Evening World reporter writing about Rogers Cemetery (“Little Cemetery on Fee Lane is Old Burying Ground,” Bloomington Evening World, Nov. 21, 1926), pointed out the unusual proximity in time, within a week during early July 1829, of three Baugh children’s deaths, at ages 2, 7 and 14, perhaps due to an epidemic or fire. Life in those frontier years was often short– the ages of the Rogers’ buried in the cemetery show that except for six of the 16, they died very young: two as newborns, two one year-olds, a four year-old, and five between 10 and 20.

The land on which the cemetery stands is in the northwest quarter of Section 34 of Bloomington Twp. This 160 acre tract was originally purchased in 1821 from the Vincennes Land Office by John Henderson, who in 1830 sold 85 acres of it, for $750, to George W. Hook. George, who died in 1839, and his wife, Sarah, who died in 1863, are buried in the cemetery.

George Hook’s two daughters, Martha and Eliza, sold the 85 acres to William O. Fee in 1863 for $3,825. The deed mentions the cemetery:

 “But it is agreed and so understood that the grave yard or burial ground on said land is reserved and not conveyed by this Deed which is now inclosed [sic] by a plank fence. [Deed Book U, p. 298]”

I could find no subsequent deed that mentioned the cemetery, so I assume that it still belongs to the Hook family. The land eventually passed to the Rogers family, who sold it to Indiana University in 1914 (Deed Book U, p. 298).

Post submitted by: Lee Ehman (Library Volunteer)

Comments (3)

  1. Dodd, J. Robert



    I don’t know if we have used this cemetery as COTM, but it should be added to the list. It will also be included in the Cemeteries of Monroe County book. Someone has already done a lot of the research on it.


  2. Malcomb, Lou

  3. Anne Rogers


    Thank you for the history on this cemetery. I walked by it many times as a student without realizing I was related to many of the people buried there. Mary Rogers was my great-great-great grandmother. George Hook married Sarah Rogers, my first cousin 4 times removed. I have not established if there were any Rogers connections by marriage with the Baughs.

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