Sunday, March 13, 2016


I published a blog post here about my Aunt Lena's visit in 2013, when she was 90 years old. In that post, I mentioned that she'd visited five years earlier, in 2008. Today's post is about that earlier visit.

As usual, Aunt Lena's 2008 visit was timed to coincide with the family reunion in July. One of the things we did together while she was here was to visit the old homeplace and the nearby cemetery.

100_2055-Lena Wilson at Red Men Cemetery
Aunt Lena, taking a photo of a grave marker at the Red Men Cemetery

The tombstone in the above photo marks the grave of my dad's mother. Dad's father's name is also on the marker, but he's not really buried there. He had moved to Oklahoma following the death of his wife, my dad's mom. There, he had remarried and had two daughters, one of which was Aunt Lena. He died in Oklahoma and is buried there.

100_2061-Red Men Cemetery
The Red Men Cemetery is just an old country cemetery, nothing fancy.

100_2064-Banter Farm
This is the home where my dad's dad grew up with several siblings.

100_2066-Banter Farm
The barn on the old homeplace

100_2068-Banter Farm
Another view of the house, an old windmill, and a couple of outbuildings

An old photo of the family farm that I found in a box of old pictures. I wish I could tell you who the woman is sitting on the porch.

When we were there in 2008, the farm was still in the family and was still being farmed by a member of the family. I don't think the house was being lived in at the time, although the last surviving member of my grandfather's generation still called it home. She was in a nursing home and has subsequently died. The last I heard, the farm was to be sold and the buildings torn down. I haven't been back there to check on it, though.

I have only one memory of visiting the farm as a youngster, so the only real connection I feel to it is that of a family heritage. But even that slight connection feels significant.

Aunt Lena's health has deteriorated significantly in the last few years. She lives in California, where she can be close to her son and his family. In spite of her health issues, her spirit and vitality are still evident.

Update 3/21/16:

Seeking an answer to Betsy's question, I found the following information on the internet:

mound_builders- burial mound in Warren, Indiana

"Early native American Burial mound located in Warren Indiana in the Red Man cemetery.  The encircling ditch can still be seen around the mound. The mound is proto Iroquois who had assimilated many of the Adena burial mound and material culture traits. A few years ago a university archaeologists was seen trying to steal artifacts and skeletal remains from the mound."

Here's the link to the blog post where I found the above photo and information:

I’ve never noticed that mound at the Red Men Cemetery. Now I’m curious and looking forward to another visit to the cemetery to see it. I’m curious about the old home place, too, whether it’s still standing or not.


  1. Thanks for sharing with us your family history and Aunt Lena.

  2. We have a cemetery like that. I hate to hear of a great farm losing to the bulldozer. Lots of that around me.

  3. Love the old home place. So sorry to hear it is being brought down.

  4. I like the rambling look of those old houses.The big porch also looks welcoming.

  5. Hi, Great memories... I was going to ask about Aunt Lena... Sounds like she may NOT get back in 2018 (after another 5 years).... It would be great if she could come back again at least one more time before her death...

    Love the old house... SO many memories.. What is the significance of the "Red Men" Cemetery name?


  6. Linda, what wonderful memories. Your photos are beautiful!

  7. What a treasure to have these photos of the family property. And of course, of your Aunt Lena. Hopefully, she'll still have a few comfortable years ahead of her. I'm sure she has some wonderful stories to tell.

  8. Thank you all for your kind comments. Betsy asked about the origin of the name of the cemetery. I thought some of the rest of you might have the same question, so I've added an update to this post, with some information I found on the internet.

  9. Such an interesting post. It's sad to see that old house decaying where your dads dad used to live. It's really nice looking.

    Mersad Donko Photography

  10. Thanks for sharing this piece of history, Linda, it's interesting. I like the home where your dad's dad grew up and I'm curious now too to know whether the old home place still stands or not...

    1. I'll try to get down that way during the summer months and check it out. It's located about an hour's drive from my home, but it's not a direction we go often. So it will need to be a special trip, just to visit the cemetery and drive by the old homeplace. I'll keep you posted.


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