Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN


August 19, 2008

Shiloh Desecrated: DCSD seeks information on vandalism at cemetery

Decatur County Sheriff’s Deputy Dave Henderson has seen a number of baffling things in his line of work, but the discovery he made Monday evening may have been one of the worst.

“I don’t understand it,” Henderson said Tuesday as he walked through the cemetery. “I don’t know what joy somebody could get out of defacing somebody’s grave.”

On Sunday, caretakers and trustees of Shiloh Cemetery discovered a violent scene of criminal mischief. About 30 to 40 gravestones at the historic Shiloh Cemetery were toppled, broken and destroyed. Henderson said, given the size of many of the broken markers, a group of people trespassed sometime in the late night either Tuesday or Wednesday and wrecked havoc on the more than 160-year-old cemetery. They targeted the largest and oldest tombstones, destroying most of the large markers, many of which had dates between 1850 and 1880. The oldest was from 1837.

Each weighed easily two tons, according to Bill Fenley, one of the cemetery trustees, and caretaker Lonnie Spillman. They said it would take at least three or four people to topple some of the largest stones. The vandalism was wide spread as well. Henderson noted they didn’t stick to the back of the cemetery where night would have hidden them from any passers-by on desolate County Road 400 North. They had the audacity, he said, to break stones under the only lamp post at the cemetery and not a row of graves was untouched. The damage to the old tombstones was hard to gauge.

“It’s hard to put a price on something sacred,” Spillman said.

The men estimated the damage at between $30,000 and $40,000, which makes the crime a Class D Felony, cemetery mischief.

The stones, Fenley said, could mostly be fixed, but it would be hard to place them back the way they were. Given the cemetery’s age and history, finding the proper location for each broken shard and toppled headstone would not be an easy task.

Text Only
  • nws-gb072414-mainsource mug 2 MainSource income rises 5.9% GREENSBURG — MainSource Financial Group reported second-quarter net income of nearly $7.8 million, up about 5.9 percent from a year earlier.Higher net interest income more than offset slightly lower noninterest income.Greensburg-based MSFG is the par

    July 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick Holiday World to Unveil $22M ProjectOfficials at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari in Santa Claus will announce details Thursday of a $22 million investment. The project represents the largest amount ever spent on a single ride in the attraction’s nea

    July 24, 2014

  • nws-gb072414-meth bust couple mug 2 Indy couple arrested on drug charges GREENSBURG – An Indianapolis couple has been jailed in Decatur County Jail on felony drug dealing charges following a lengthy police investigation.Zachariah Long, 33, and Christina Cowles, 32, both of Indianapolis, were arrested around 4 p.m. Tuesday

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Decatur County Events Calendar Local clubs, service groups, fraternal organizations and others are encouraged to send their Coming Events information to the Daily News at or Daily News, PO Box 106, Greensburg, IN 47240. All July – International Crafts

    July 24, 2014

  • nws-gb072414 DCCF pic DCCF names Scheidler to Decatur Society Although, it could easily have been mistaken for a Scheidler family reunion, the Decatur County Community Foundation was actually hosting its Annual Meeting on Tuesday, June 24. The Decatur County Schools Administration Building was the perfect setti

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws-gb072414-Kids Closet pic Kids Closet to hold fashion show at next opening GREENSBURG – The Kids’ Closet of Decatur County has made quite a name for itself in the relatively short time it has been in operation.In just two years, the organization has grown significantly, outgrowing the basement space at First Christian Churc

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws-gb072414-eagles wings pic 1 'On Eagle's Wings' to return GREENSBURG – Registration is well underway for the second annual On Eagle’s Wings 5K Run/Walk set to return to the St. Mary’s Elementary School campus late next month.The sophomore running of the event, which seeks to memorialize four prominent commu

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • $200K budget cut for GCS GREENSBURG — Greensburg Community Schools expect to see their budgets decline by about $200,000, or 0.8 percent, for the next school year.Superintendent Tom Hunter said that he expects tax rates, which help determine local property tax bills, to be a

    July 23, 2014

  • nws-gb072314-Littles pic Little Mister and Miss accepting contestants GREENSBURG – Once again, preparations are underway for the Tree City Fall Festival Little Mister and Miss Tree City contest.For several years, the Littles have been crowned at the Fall Festival, but as with any contest, a significant amount of prepar

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws-gb072314-ymca 100 carnival - pic 04 YMCA marks 100th anniversary GREENSBURG — Kids rode horses and the kiddie train, chugged popcorn, shot a bow and arrow, played putt-putt, tossed darts into balloons and toilet paper into a toilet, ran an obstacle course and petted an alligator. It was practically impossible to f

    July 23, 2014 4 Photos