Brownstown Township / Jackson County / Indiana

Board Minutes and Schedule, Project Updates, and News Items


Township Projects

Projects that the Township has completed or is currently working on.


September 11, 2017

 Jackson County Fair Board:

 The original (township, town and county) cooperative “Bicycle/Pedestrian Path” project plan (2011) included connecting a multi-use path with the existing asphalt paths in the Jackson County Fairgrounds.  That BROWNSTOWN/EWING MAINSTREET project was started with the Brownstown Community Indy 500 contest winnings of $25,000.  Brownstown Township matched the $25,000 and the Brownstown Chamber of Commerce helped complete the project to Hough Creek in 2012.  At that time, limited funds prevented connecting to the fairground paths.

 In 2016 Jackson County was designated by the United States Center For Disease Control (CDC) as one of the most obese counties in Indiana, Therefore, elected and appointed local officials need to consider projects which may help encourage more local physical activity. Completion of the “Bicycle/Pedestrian Path” to connect with existing facilities in the county fairgrounds has been identified as a project to help increase local physical activity.

 The Brownstown Township Board has budgeted for an increase in our 2018 Recreation and Culture Fund to help support the “Jackson County Healthier Together” project.  We request the Jackson County Fair Board cooperate with the  Brownstown Township Board to financially support the completion of the “Bicycle/Pedestrian Path” by the Jackson County Park Board.

 Jack Gillespie, Chairman, Brownstown Township Board

Larry Raymer, Chairman Jackson County Park Board




Cemetery Tree Clearing Project

The First German Presbyterian Cemetery restoration project was initiated June 1, 2017, after the Jackson County Highway Department constructed an access lane on the easement to the cemetery property located north of county road 400 South at about 75 East in Brownstown Township. This access lane allowed the Township Board and Trustee to begin a tree clearing project for this historic site recently donated to the township by retired Brownstown High School Teacher, Lynn Hinnefeld.

Brownstown Township entered into independent contracting agreements with Brownstown High School students Jordan Statzer and Dylan Cockerham to clear the small trees and brush from the cemetery property.  Teacher Blake Hackman and Township Board Chairman Jack Gillespie provided supervision for the tree clearing work.  On June 14, 2017 Gillespie brought Mr. Hinnefeld to the site to get pictures of the project progress and meet with Hackman and the boys to discuss some of the family history of the cemetery.

As Jackson County departments have compleated cooperative projects of surveying the cemetery property and constructing an access lane to the site, the Township Board Chairman sent a gratitude email to the County Commissioners, Council, Auditor, Highway Department and Surveyor.  This was another local government cooperative project to restore a truly historic Brownstown Township site.




RESTORATION PROJECT 2015:  Two weeks by “Graveyard Groomer”


First German Presbyterian Cemetery


This review of property ownership was researched and used to properly name a cemetery plot to be donated to Brownstown Township by Lynn W. Hinnefeld .  This cemetery plot on the Hinnefeld farm near Wegan was named Lopp/Presbyterian Church Cemetery in the Jackson County Cemetery Book compiled by the Jackson County Genealogical Society in 1993.  According to county records the cemetery property was first owned by the First German Old School Presbyterian Church in 1863.

According to a document in the Deed Record/W/1863-1864/Part 1/Jackson County, Pages 67-68, on the 11th day of June, 1863 Barnard and Henriette Lorman, for the sum of seventy dollars, conveyed and warranted to the Trustees of the Jackson County first German Old School Presbyterian Church property to be used for church and graveyard purposes.  That property was located in Section 36,Township 5, Range 4 of Jackson County, Indiana and described as:  “Part of the Southwest corner _______of the Southeast quarter __of the South East quarter of Section Thirty six (36) Township five (5) Range four (4) Each containing Two acres (2)”.

According to a document in the Deed Record/11/1875-1876/Part 2/Jackson County, Pages 348 & 349, on the fourth day of April, 1876 Frances Kopf, widow of Francis X Kopf, Deceased, for the sum of Forty (40) dollars, conveyed and warranted to the trustees of the 1st German Old School Presbyterian  Church of Jackson County about one acre described as 10 rods east of the 2 acres deeded to the church on June 11, 1863 by Barney Lorman and wife as described above.

Deeds provided by Lynn Hinnefeld in 2016 indicated both church properties above were deeded to Harmon Hinnefeld in 1894 and 1898.  Those deeds were recorded in Deed Record/1898/42/Pages 381 & 389.  Since many tombstones record deaths before 1876, the cemetery was consider a part of the original 1863 Lorman property and not a part of the 1876 Kopf property. There were no records to support the “Lopp” name used in the 1993 Jackson County Cemetery Book.  That was considered a possible typing error for Kopf since F. X. Kopf is buried in the cemetery and Frances Kopf, widow of Francis X Kopf were both named in the 1876 deed.   Considering the information above, the name of the cemetery when recorded in 2017 will be known as First German Presbyterian Cemetery.

On October 19, 2016 Lynn W. Hinnefeld signed an agreement with Jack Gillespie, Chairman, Brownstown Township Board to allow the township to survey this abandoned cemetery in order to prepare a deed for this cemetery plot to be donated to Brownstown Township, Jackson County, Indiana.

Written December 5, 2016

by Jack R. Gillespie, Chairman, Brownstown Township Board

Approved by:  Lynn W. Hinnefeld  ____________________________________________

Dedication of “Township Soccer Fields”

November 12, 2016 11:00 AM

Introduction and History:  Township Board Chairman: Jack Gillespie

Introductions:  The members of the Brownstown Township Board are Beverly DeWitt, Hope Sitterding, and Jack Gillespie.  The Township Trustee is Jennifer Isaacs.  Trustee Isaacs and myself were present for the “Township Soccer Fields” dedication.

History:  In the 1970’s I became familiar with soccer as a “popular local community sport” while traveling to rural communities in South and Central America.  In many of the small, rural towns, I noticed kids were kicking any round object available in many vacant lots.  And on weekends most of the local people attended community soccer games or listened to national or international soccer games on the radio.  At that time Betty and I lived in Greenfield, Indiana which was just starting a youth soccer program.  So I volunteered to coach our son’s youth soccer team.  Soccer is now a very popular international sport.

When I was first elected to the Brownstown Township Board 10 years ago, I learned that townships had a responsibility for budgeting for local parks and recreation and culture programs.  So we started a township recreation and culture fund.  However, for this soccer project we had to do a special appropriation to use some of our reserve funds.

The idea of a cooperative project with local government unites started in 2011 when the “Brownstown Community” won the $25,000 AT&T Back Home Again In Indiana Decoration Contest.  That was truly a “community effort”, but there was no single “local community organization” to decide how to use the winnings. Linda McCormick was trying to organize “Brownstown/Ewing Main Street” at that time.  So she invited several people from local government unites to consider using the money for possible parks and recreation projects.  Since our Township had not financially supported local parks, the township board passed a resolution to match the community’s $25,000.  That allow for a $50,000 “Multi-Purpose Path” project in cooperation with the Jackson County Park Board and the Brownstown Chamber of Commerce.

After completing the “Multi-Purpose Path” project, I ask Larry Raymer if the Jackson County Park Board would consider a soccer field project.  He then advised me of the limited funds budgeted for the Jackson County Park Board, but indicated we might be able to use county property.

In November of 2012, the Brownstown Township Board passed Resolution 4-2012 to budget up to $45,000 for a cooperative soccer field project with the Jackson County Park Board.  Today’s dedication is the completion of that Brownstown Township and Jackson County Park cooperative soccer field development project.

Historic Marker:  Celery Signs designed and constructed the “Township Soccer Fields” sign dedicated today.  Naturalscape Services provided current landscaping and is planning landscaping around the new sign.

 Larry Raymer, Chairman of the County Park Board said a few words about how we coordinated the development of this Township Board, Jackson County Park Board, and Jackson County Council soccer field construction project.

Travis Norman then reviewed the project plans that Foresight Land Surveying developed and implemented.  He also discussed how he and Dan Blann organized and expanded the Brownstown Youth Soccer League.  Travis related that many of the visiting soccer teams have said the turf developed by Myers Sod Farm is the best they have played on.

Charlie Murphy spoke for the Jackson County Council and expressed their pleasure for the utilization of this county property.  He also indicated he would work with other council members to address any issues the County Park Board may have in the future.

Unfortunate Carl Shake was not present to discuss his and Brownstown Electric’s contribution of the equipment building.  Carl donated the boards from the Shieldstown  covered bridge and all of the materials and the labor for this building.

This dedication was the culmination of four years of planning and construction of the Brownstown Township Board and the Jackson County Park Board cooperative park and recreation soccer project.  We look forward to the Brownstown Youth Soccer League utilizing this facility for a truly popular local community sport program.

















Posted on Brownstown Youth Soccer League Facebook Page

Jack Gillespie
Today at 3:46pm
The Brownstown Township Board is preparing for a dedication of the Township Soccer Fields. This four year township project started in 2012 as a cooperative recreation development project with the Jackson County Park Board. The Jackson County Council designated county property for development of the Jackson County Park Board soccer program. Brownstown Township then provided the funding and coordination for construction of the soccer fields and the equipment needed to initiate a local community soccer program. Thanks to the Brownstown Youth Soccer League for organizing soccer coaches, parents,and soccer teams to utilize these cooperative township and county supported park facilities.

Brownstown Youth Soccer League

This is the first year for organized play on the Brownstown Township Soccer Fields.

Facebook page for Soccer League:

Old Brownstown Cemetery Sidewalk Project 2014

This provided a connection between the County Park Multi-use Path and the County History Center’s new sidewalk. The Brownstown Town Board paid for the History Center’s new sidewalk. These cooperative Township, Town, and County projects made it possible to walk or bike safely from the Jackson County Courthouse Square to the Jackson County Fairgrounds.

B'town Path 002 sidewalk 001 DSCN3040sidewalk 004DSCN3034sidewalk 003

Multi-use Path Project 2011-2012

The Brownstown Township Board, Brownstown/Ewing Mainstreet, and Brownstown Chamber of Commerce cooperated with the Jackson County Park Board to develop a ‘Multi-use Path’ on the original County Poor Farm property. In 2011 the Township matched the $25,000 won by the local community in an Indy 500 contest. The path was planned in 2011, built in 2012 and connected by Township and Town sidewalk projects to the Courthouse Square in 2014.
scene F-7scene A-3scene A-1scene C-1    IMG_4715DSCN3033 DSCN3032DSCN3035DSCN3036sidewalk 004   p

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