Early Native American Indian Mound Builders Ruins in Lagrange County, Indiana


EARLY NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN
MOUND BUILDERS
LAGRANGE COUNTY, INDIANA
Indian Burial mound map of Lagrange County, Indiana. The human figures represent large skeletons hat were found within the mounds. A graveyard in Lagrange County, Indiana of giant humans over 8 feet in height here

Lagrange County map shows the locations of the burial mounds and earthworks in the county.  Each of these sites were investigated, with only one mound that was found.  This mound was not listed in any of the county histories, but was from a list given to me by Mr. McKibben who was head of the Historical Society for many years.  He thought that one of the mounds on the list was still extant, and had not wished to give it to university archaeologist who had been there earlier while doing an archaeological survey of the county.  He was afraid, and justly so, that university archaeolosists would destroy anything they found.  The one mound that was found was coniclal in shape and encircled by a ditch.  The top had been removed by a local without permission, The mound was photographed but heavy rains made the picture quality poor and it was left out of, "The Nephilim Chronicles: A Travel Guide to the Ancient Ruins in the Ohio Valley."

85 burial mound and earthwork sites photographed and direction provided in Indiana. 222 burial mounds and earthworks photographed in Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky and Michigan.

History of LaGrange County
        Since it has been established that Northern Indiana, including LaGrange County, is rich in the remains of that mysterious people known as Mound Builders, it seems necessary to give at this point what is known of those people in this vicinity. The reader will fine in Chapter I, Part II, of this volume, complete classification of the Mound Builders’ works. Without attempting another such classification, the antiquities of LaGrange County, so far as known will be considered. I may be premised, that, from the fact that no military fortifications have been discovered in either of the two counties LaGrange or Noble, the territory was in the center of a large country of Mound Builders, and not on the border, or between two or more hostile tribes. Nothing has been found here, with one possible exception, save sepulchral, sacrificial and memorial mounds. Owing to the state of the weather, the historian has been unable (as was done in Noble County) to make a personal examination of the mounds of LaGrange County. However, many of those which were opened in the past by citizens of the county, who were generally careless in their examinations, have been made to yield up a portion of their secrets. A number of years ago, two mounds were opened on Section 13, Milford Township. A quantity of crumbling human bones were taken from one of them, among them being a skull quite well preserved. Some of the teeth were almost as sound as they ever were, and the under-jaw, a massive one, was especially well preserved. In the other mound was found a layer of ashes and charcoal, extending over two or three square yards of ground. This was undoubtedly a mound where sacrifices were offered to the deity of the Mound builders, and where burial rites with fire were performed. On the line between Sections 20 and 29, Springfield Township, is what might have been a fortification. The writer carefully examined the spot which is the summit of a gradual elevation; but, although Mr. George Thompson indicated the position of the alleged circular embankment, only slight traces of it were visible, and these were apparently much the result of speculation. It may have been, however, as the old settlers assert, Near the center of the level space on the summit was a large mound, at least five feet in height, in 1836. This was opened about that time, and from it were taken enough bones to indicate that more than one person had been buried there. It is said that a few trinkets, such as slate ornaments or mica were found. In the same township, about a mild northwest of this spot, are one large mound and perhaps a smaller one. These, it is said, have not been seriously disturbed. On Section 27, Clay Township; are two mounds, large ones, which have not been subjected to exhaustive examination. The writer has been told that there are three mounds in the eastern part of Lima Township, on the farm of George Shafer. Three-quarters of a mile northwest of Lima, on the Craig farm, are three mounds, which were opened a number of years ago. The usual bones and charcoal were found, as were also various trinkets, which may be seen in the private collections of curiosities of Lima. About forty rods west of James Moony’s house, in Van Buren Township, are three mounds, all of which have been opened. Human bones, slate ornaments and other trinkets were found, as was also an abundance of ashes and charcoal.  There are also mounds in the vicinity of Buck, Shipshewana and Twin Lakes. The peculiar formation about Wall and other lakes is due to the agency of ice. It is thought by some that the Indians or Mound Builders were responsible for the embankment, but no one familiar with formations of the kind will make such a declaration. Such walls are very numerous on the banks of Western lakes, especially those of Illinois and Iowa. Around some of the lakes of the latter State is a continuous chain of boulders and gravel, which, by observation through some thirty years, was undoubtedly thrown up by the united action of ice and waves, and the process of freezing and thawing. This fact is well understood and universally admitted by geologists, in Iowa. It may be added that were other evidences in the county of the presence in past years of Mound Builders aside from their mounds. Reference is made to stone or other implements or ornaments. W.H. Duff and Master George Dayton, both of Lima, and Dr. Betts, of LaGrange, especially the former two, have fine collections of antiquities. Mr. Duff has nearly 300 specimens, and Master Dayton has over 400. These consist mainly of stone axes, mauls, hammers, celts, mortars, pestles, flint narrow and spear heads, copper knives, and cooper arrow or spear heads, fleshing and skinning instruments, ceremonial stones, shuttles, and various other implements evidently used in weaving or sewing, colored slate ornaments, breast-plates of bone, ornamental charms and totems, igneous stones, many curious varieties of arrowheads and darts, etc., etc. There have also been found in the county an extremely rare slate or stone ornaments or implements, bone and metallic ornaments, small fragments of pottery, mica (not native), curiously carved pipes stone or other substance, besides other articles, the uses of which are extremely doubtful. Much more might be said in detail on the same subject.

Geological Survey of Indiana, 1874
     The section of high, undulating, lake-dotted country, of which Lagrange county is a part, does not seem to have been the home, or even the haunt, of any considerable number of the Mound Builders. One small earthwork is all that is known in the county; that is on Brushy Prairie, in the eastern part. It is about fifty feet across, nearly circular and raised two feet above the surface of the prairie; near the center is a small mound, about eight feet in diameter and three feet high. An excavation made, in this central mound, some years ago, exposed decaying human bones, some broken pottery and a few stone implements.
Early Lagrange County Plat map showing the location of the circular work.  Additional circular works were reported in Dekalb and Steuben Counties.  Next to Springfield is Brushy Prairie, where the smaller work was located.  Both of these sites were investigated with no remains of these earthworks found,

Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, 1879
       One mound, fifty feet base diameter, two feet high, near Brushy Prairie post office, human remains, potsherds, and flint implements about.