Fairview Cemetery Association Establishes Fund for Future Generations

September 4, 2020 / 5 mins read

Contact: Melissa Ford melissa@cfwabash.org

For Immediate Release

Date: 09/04/2020

Fairview Cemetery Association Establishes Fund for Future Generations

"Cemeteries should be more than places where stones lie on the ground. Cemeteries hold the stories of the people who have lived in the past…people who have shaped our past." – Audrey Bierhans As author Audrey Bierhans said, cemeteries hold the stories of the people who have helped shape us and where we live. Cemeteries are places for people to pay their respects and remember those who have passed before us. Keeping cemeteries beautiful and well maintained, is a way for the current generation to honor the past and invite descendants to connect with the lives of their ancestors. The Fairview Cemetery Association recognized this need to provide for the future preservation of the Fairview Cemetery, located at County Road 300 East and 1000 North, about three miles south and east of North Manchester and one mile north of Servia. On February 24, 1871, Wabash County resident, C. Mylin donated land to the United Brethren in Christ for a church building and cemetery, which comprises the first section of the current cemetery. A constitution and bylaws followed on June 20, 1896, and the Fairview Cemetery Association was established.

Over 124 years of judicious stewardship by numerous individuals and generations of association boards has assured a solid financial future. To continue preservation and maintenance efforts, the Fairview Cemetery Board of Directors approached the Community Foundation about creating an endowment. Fred Orr, board treasurer said, “The Foundation assures stable and continued appreciation of cemetery assets by offering professional management of charitable funds. Currently, the cemetery relies on the income from the sale of grave spaces, fees for placing monument foundations, and a charge for opening and closing graves. At present, these traditional sources of income are sufficient to meet general operating expenditures, but funds invested through the Community Foundation will enhance those primary sources and act as a hedge to offset future capital needs.” Countless cemeteries dot the rural landscape of Wabash County and can be seen throughout the Midwest. These community landmarks are a testament to those who lived their lives and established our small towns, farmed the land in our community, and paved the way for future generations. Like Fairview Cemetery, many cemeteries were established by churches, which once graced the well-manicured properties and provided this solemn service to their communities.

“As a boy, I would assist my grandmother in selecting just the right flowers, mostly peonies, to be placed on the graves of family and friends," said Orr. "Decoration Day, as she called it, was a Holy Day, and required a pilgrimage to the cemetery. This day was a time for visiting with family and friends, many of whom traveled considerable distances to pay their respects. It was not uncommon for my grandmother to count over 100 visitors during the Memorial Day weekend.” The Fairview Cemetery would not be the beautiful and well-preserved cemetery it is today without the individuals who have given their time and talent. These individuals include Scott and Kim Egner, S& K Excavating, Inc., who provide lawn care services and assists with the opening and closing of graves, and Scott Meadows of Meadows Concrete and Backhoe Service, whose business offers the placement of monument foundations. Orr would also like Fred Orr, treasurer or the Fairview Cemetery Association stands beside the grave of John and Ellenora Aughinbaugh, his great-great grandparents.

To thank the members of the North Manchester American Legion Post #286 who place flags on the graves of Veterans who served in the Armed Forces. “I would be remiss if I did not recognize the members of the Fairview Cemetery Association board of directors," said Orr. "These members include: Dan Metzger (president), Boyd Brubaker (vice president), Regina Metzger (secretary), Fred Orr (treasurer), Joe Carroll, Bill Collett, Steve Keirn, Judi Orr, and Kenny Shock. We look forward to our continued mission, and we welcome the Community Foundation of Wabash County as a valued partner.”