Old Weddleville

Historic Carr High School

Weddleville, Indiana sits just outside of Medora in Jackson County, out in the country where you wouldn’t even think it was it’s own town. But back before the 1930’s Weddleville was connected to the rest of Indiana by US 50. After US 50 was moved to it’s present location, a mere two miles north, the town just kind of died out. Now all that’s left is a few houses and one of the oldest remaining high school buildings in Indiana.

Carr High School, also known as the Weddleville School House, was built in 1857. It was abandoned in 1934 (around the time that US 50 was moved) and wasn’t used again until 1940. It served as a church until 1963, and then it was placed on the Indiana State Register of Historic Sites and Structures on October 25, 1987.

Weddleville Cemetery

Now, why am I giving you a history lesson about a building on a cemetery blog? Well, right next door is the Weddleville Cemetery. The oldest marker in the cemetery is that of Fielding McHargue, who was the first person buried in the cemetery in 1892. I find it interesting that this was when the building was still being used as a school! The cemetery is also the final resting place for several veterans of the Civil War, WWI, WWII, and Vietnam.

It’s well worth the visit to see the cemetery and the old building. During our visit, the outside of the building was in the process of being restored, and from the looks of some older pictures, they’re doing a very good job! I thought there was quite a few interesting markers in the cemetery as well.

Do you get mail in Heaven?

If you would like to visit the cemetery and have a GPS unit, just plug in the coordinates 38.83772, -86.22359 and it should take you right to it! For more information about the school, you can visit the official Weddleville site.

The murder of Pearl Bryan

Forest Hill Cemetery

When I was just a little girl I would go with my mom and grandma to place flowers on the graves of our family members. We always visited two cemeteries, Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Hall, Indiana and Forest Hill Cemetery in Greencastle, Indiana. For years I walked around these two cemeteries without knowing anything about them. It wasn’t until very recently that I learned about the murder of Pearl Bryan, who is buried in Forest Hill Cemetery.

Pearl was a young woman, only a bit older than I am right now, who is said to have been very popular and attractive in the Greencastle area. She met a man named Scott Jackson through a cousin, which eventually led to an intimate relationship. It was only after Scott had packed his bags, moved to Cincinnati, and broke off their relationship when Pearl found out she was pregnant.

Scott wanted to break off all contact with Pearl, so when he found out she was pregnant he told her that he had made arrangements for her to get an abortion. That was when Pearl told her parents she was going to Indianapolis and headed to Cincinnati instead.

When Pearl reached Cincinnati, Scott introduced her to Alonzo Walling. Witnesses claimed seeing the three around town, including a violent argument between Pearl and the two men. A few days later, Pearl’s headless body was found in Kentucky.

Pennies on Pearl's marker

There was evidence of botched abortion attempts, as well as cocaine in Pearl’s system. She had been decapitated by dental tools, and her head was no where to be found. She was identified by her shoes, which were traced back to a store in Greencastle.

Scott and Alonzo were tried in 1897 and sentenced to death. They never revealed what happened to Pearl’s head, even though they were offered life sentences instead of death for the information. There’s lots of rumors about what they did with her head, including using it for satanic rituals, but no one really knows since it was never found.

Pearl's marker next to a Bryan marker

Pearl was buried in Forest Hill Cemetery without her head. Due to the controversy surrounding her death, her grave became a sort of tourist attraction. Visitors would chip away pieces of her headstone and it was eventually removed due to vandalism. All that is left of her marker is the base, where visitors leave pennies, head face up, so that Pearl won’t be headless.

Some people also claim that they see Pearl’s ghost, sometimes headless, sometimes not, in the cemetery. Pearl is also thought to haunt Bobby Mackey’s Music World, located close to where she was murdered in Kentucky.

The billboard on the right tells Pearl's location in the cemetery

If you wish to visit Pearl’s grave, Forest Hill Cemetery has posted where it’s located on a billboard in front of the mausoleum. Pearl is buried beside other Bryan’s, so make sure you have the right grave, since I’ve seen another marker people have mistaken as Pearl’s.

Read more about Pearl:

New year, new ideas, and more cemeteries!

Hmm, I wonder what I was looking at?

I want to welcome everyone into 2012, although a bit late. I have many plans for my blog, including stories that are more informative and creative. I know that last year I wasn’t very good at updating, and when I did, it was news articles from around the web. This year I want to focus on content that I have created myself, but still cover the area of cemeteries in the news. Hopefully it will really pick up in the the Spring when weather gets better and it’s too cold to go out and visit cemeteries! Until then, I have some pictures from previous cemetery trips to hold you over.

Why do people leave pennies on this stone?

Now, I’m looking for cemeteries located between Northern Kentucky and the Indianapolis areas that I can visit and then write stories on. I’m not picky… a local tale, a historic person, a unique gravestone… anything that will spark my interest to investigate further. I will be doing my own research, but would also love to hear from any of my readers (if I even have any?) about cemeteries they find interesting!

Do you have any unique cemeteries for me? Leave me a comment with the name of the cemetery and when it’s unique!