History of Memorial Park

Although the smallest of the County Parks, Memorial Park is one of the most historic sites within Indiana County. Originally surveyed in 1774, the site was once a church cemetery (many graves are still located in the park). During the Civil War the site served as a hiding place for travelers of the Underground Railroad.

The park’s doughboy statue was erected in 1925 by a group of citizens led by Alex Stewart, father of the actor James Stewart. Nearby is the Clark House, home of the Indiana County Historical and Genealogical Society. More information about the doughboy statue and its creator can be found in our document, “About the Doughboy“.

A geophysical investigation of Memorial Park was conducted in November 2006 by IUP Archeological Services. The study was conducted to provide historical background of the park and to estimate the extent of burials within the park. Additional research is planned in the future. In order to get a better sense of where the graveyard sites within the park reside, please review the aerial photo map of the project. One look at the possible burial site map will give you some idea of just how big a cemetery Memorial park used to be. For a thorough understanding of the project, please read the report prepared by this Archeological Services group.

We also have a PDF available of a list of known gravesites.

A further study was conducted by Mehgen Reedy Pace and several IUP students in the summer of 2012. Additional, unknown gravesites were uncovered at this time. Please read the brief findings of their report.