Jurisdiction: Bertrand Township Section 8
Status: Inactive. BCGS Cemetery Records updated March 2011.
Location: Corner of Dayton Road and Buffalo Road
Cemetery Governing Body: Bertrand Township
Location of Cemetery Records:
From “The Berrien County Record” Tales of an Old Town Installment #196, which originally ran from 1939 to 1944, W. C. Hawes writes:
“Mt. Zion Cemetery is being kept up yearly, entirely because of the public spirit of the Chronicler of Dayton, Fred Richter. Ten years ago it was recorded in the Record that two out of the three soldiers of the American Revolution buried in Berrien County are in Buchanan Cemeteries. One Revolutionary veteran buried here is William Ferguson, granduncle of Shirley Jennings of Buchanan. His remains are buried under a gnarled oak tree in Mt. Zion Cemetery, south of Bakertown. His nephew, George Ferguson, great-grandfather of Shirley Jennings, came to northern Indiana in the early 1830’s, living for a time on the old Chicago Road northeast of New Carlisle and then moving to a farm a mile south of M-60 near Dayton. It is believed that his uncle, William Ferguson, came to live with him, died here and was accordingly buried in Mt. Zion Cemetery.”
William Ferguson was born in Virginia in 1760 and died on July 1, 1844. He served under General George Washington in the Revolutionary War.
From “The Berrien County Record” Tales of an Old Town Installment #172, which originally ran from 1939 to 1944, W. C. Hawes writes:
“Fred Richter cleans up Mt. Zion Cemetery as a tribute to buried pioneers. One granite monument, about 12 feet high and with a base 4 feet square, was erected by the Deardoff and Wilson families in 1875. This monument is believed to have been imported from France. The following Wilson children are buried near it: Ransom, Manville, Granville and Martha Wilson. The remaining name on the monument is that of Christina Deardoff, possibly a near relative. On the map of the village of Dayton, you will find a property addition names after the Wilsons and Deardoffs. Consequently, they were probably pioneer property owners in the village. Many markers in this old cemetery are inscribed with the names of Redding and Wilson, of whom there were many living in Dayton many years ago. The oldest marker I found was one for Permelia Redding, wife of B. M. Redding. She died December 27, 1836. My guess is that her husband was the founder and first postmaster of Dayton. He was buried in the Niles cemetery. The following children were buried beside the mother: Perlina died 1844, Elizabeth died 1838, Sarah died 1840, and Benjamin died 1837. They all died very young, probably from a contagious disease, quite common in those days, which doctors could do little for. There is also an Ezekiel Redding and his wife Rebekah, who died only a month apart in 1838. The old cemetery is also dotted here and there with the markers of war veterans. One with a soldier of the American Revolution, nine of the Civil War and one World War I. I do not doubt but that there are many graves in this cemetery that are not marked at all. The sunken but unmarked pieces you notice as you walk through indicate this. Frank Noggle, a Galien Township historian told me that he had been informed that early settlers had used the site of the present Mt. Zion Cemetery for a campground but he had no idea what the names of those settlers were. There were comparatively few families living in Bertrand Township west of Niles in the period from 1832-1843. The latter date in 1843 is when the old Mt. Zion Church is known to have been built. Frank Noggle states that this church was first known as Bethel Church and that is was built and first owned by Methodists. He had no idea where they came up with the name Mt. Zion. My imagination tells me that this camp meeting place may have been used as a sort of get together place where the first residents came together to spend their time near their departed ones.”
Written By Chriss Lyon