Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Research Trip - Day Two, Part One

Day Two dawned nice and bright.  All the clouds and rain from yesterday had disappeared and it looked like we would have a nice, sunny, warmer day ahead.

This day would start with a trip one hour out of our way but I couldn't help myself.  I had to find the grave of Little Freddie.  It was calling to me.  I discovered the newspaper article about Freddie taped to the front of my great-great grandmothers family bible.

A large number of sympathizing relatives and friends attended the funeral of Frederick Earl Driggs at the M.E. chuch Friday torenoon. Rev. O.V.L. Harbour preached an excellent, comforting sermon from the words of David in 2 Samuel XII 23, "I shall go to him but he shall not return me." The choir feelingly sang "Rock of Ages," "Asleep in Jesus" and "Nearer My God to Thee." The pallbearers were classmates of Freddie and were preceded by six little girls in white, with arms full of beautiful flowers. Freddie' classmates, the Junior League, The Ladies Aid Society and my O.M. Bevington and family all sent beautiful flowers to the bereaved family. The stores were closed during the service. The remains were laid to rest in Park cemetery.

As the newspaper stated, Freddie was laid to rest in Park Cemetery, Fairmount, Indiana.  Now, Fairmount, Indiana (made famous as the home of James Dean) is a small town surrounded by farm land.  I have to admit I made the same mistake here that I did with the cemetery in North Manchester.  I assumed it would be small.  Not so much.  The cemetery was large.  Very large.  And my heart sank as I realized that finding Freddie in this cemetery would be like finding the elusive needle in the haystack. 

However, I was not going to turn around and leave without even trying.  I mentioned that Freddie died in 1906 and my aunt pointed out that the older section of the cemetery was on the far side.  I had three roads I could choose to take to get there so, being the predictable person I am, I chose the one in the middle.  One thing we had going for us was that all the stones faced the road.  Therefore, by driving slowly I could look out one side of the car and my mom and aunt could watch the other side.

We had traveled most of the length of the cemetery when my mom let out a yell and said "There they are!"
And right there, right by the side of the road were the stones for Freddie's mom and dad, sister and brother.  Next to them on the right was a small white stone, completely unreadable which must be Freddie. 

I took a few moments with Freddie and then took the picture I came for.  I wish I had thought to bring flowers with me to leave behind as I felt so strange after coming all this way to just get back in my car and drive away.  I still want to order the death certificate for little Freddie.  I don't know why but I feel pulled to learn more about him and his life.

Moving on, we would be remiss if we didn't stop at the grave of James Dean while we were there.  Signs directed us to his burial spot.  When we got there I was shocked.  I really thought it would be some elaborate monument or something.  After all, James Dean is the biggest thing to ever happen to this little town.  However, it was a simple stone decorated only by those that had visited before us.

Park cemetery took me by surprise.  It was a beautifully well maintained cemetery in the middle of farm land.  I would have loved to take more time to explore a bit but we still had a drive back to Wabash to visit Center Grove Cemetery and then there was Amercia Cemetery.  Finding it would be a challenge.

But, after finding Little Freddie, I felt like I was up to it! 

Next up, Day Two, Part Two where we put on our hiking boots.  We're going to need them for this one!


  1. Oh... I loved this post !!
    I cant wait to see what more you find out on
    little Freddie... sooo interesting, especially if you feel pulled to do so.

  2. So happy to hear you found,Freddie!
    Just as a side note, I enjoyed the picture of the James Dean stone. I am related to him through a collateral line. I didn't know it then but he was my idol as a young teen.:)

  3. So glad you found Freddie!!!! Can't wait to read more!