This society was the first to be formed in Bartholomew County and was organized in early 1821 by Jesse Ruddick and Catherine his wife and daughters Polly and Nancy along with Joshua and Betsey McQueen, Elijah Sloan and wife and Robert and Kate Wilinson.

During the fall of 1822, a Camp meeting was held and the people there agreed to build a Union MeetingHouse, Free to All. John Young donated an acre of ground for a Church and GraveYard and soon after a twenty by sixty-foot log house was built and long known as Liberty Meeting and SchoolHouse and also as Hawpatch Chapel.

The Fourth Quarterly Conference of the Flatrock Methodist Circuit held in 1822 at this location included the following present, George Hester—circuit preacher, Joseph Pownall—local Elder, Thomas Lowrey—local preacher and Joseph McQueen, Peleg Gifford, Nelson Monroe, Henry Bewell, John Parker, Exhorters. Also present were Hezekiah Davidson and John Farquar—Stewards and Isaac Marshall, T. Dane, Nathan Carter, Elijah Sloan, Enoch Evans, James Striker, Lewis Blankenship, W. Conner and Dorman Bloss—Class Leaders.

During 1865, a Methodist Society was formed at Clifford into which the Hawpatch/Liberty society was merged. The first class was composed of about fifteen members among who was Johnson Joiner—leader, Frank Miller, Elmira Barb and W. L. Linke. The first preacher was J. S. Reager followed by J. C. White and J. C. McCaw. This Methodist society left the Hawpatch/Liberty Chapel during 1865 and met in the United Brethern Chapel, which was built on the East Side of Clifford in 1858. In 1879, this society built a new chapel on the West Side of Clifford with Julian P. Morton as the superintendent.

The Separate Baptist In Christ also met in the Liberty/Hawpatch Chapel from 1827 to 1845. Prime leaders of this society were Joseph and Uriah McQueen, both of whom had been Methodists, but differences on doctrinal points drove them from that Church. During 1845 the Separate Baptist built a Chapel northeast of Clifford, located approximately one quarter mile north of County Road 600N on County Road 350E. This building later became known as "The Frog Pond School". In 1850, this Separate Baptist Society merged with The Mount Sidney Society and built the Separate Baptist Chapel which is standing today on County Road 700N and Marr Road.


According to 1889 Bartholomew County History, the land donated by John Young to the society consisted of one acre. No platting records exist, however the area actually measures more than 1.3 acres. Perhaps the area was enlarged following a dispute and agreement between John Young and David Taylor, purchased the Young property without knowing about the donation.

An old building foundation is still visible which appears to follow the same general configuration as the 60 by 20-foot log building constructed during 1822. Some limestone steps are still in place near this foundation. The area is now dominated by the Hager family gravesites. The reason for this could be the Hager family association with Reverend Joseph McQueen, long time Separatist Baptist Preacher, who married Matilda Hager. Perhaps the most dominate grave marker in this same area is the marker of William C. and his wife Maria A. Taylor who may be descended from the David Taylor family.

During 1874, James Marr, Benjamin B. McQueen and Frederick Miller recorded a plat of 48 (16 by 16) burial sites on the immediate south side of the original layout. Through the courteousness of Ray Marr Jr., the original platt/drawing has been made available for copy.

During 1909, Sophia E. Newsom, N. C. Newsom, W. T. Newsom and B. W. Parker recorded and additional 12 (16 by 16) lots immediately south of the Marr, McQueen and Miller platt.

During 1911, Sophia E. Newsom, Nathan C. Newsom, W. Terrel Newsom, Willis Newsom, Count Newsom, Ora Newsom Finkel, Albert Finkel, Kate Newsom Death and Roy Death recorded 20 (16 by 16) lots on the west side of the original layout. An approximately 19 foot roadway was left between the original and 1911 addition that runs from the west gate on the north side along County Road 500N.

During 1942, the military extended the cemetery by approximately one-half acre on the East Side and across middle road. This was to provide burial space for the random graves removed from farms through out Bakalar Airbase.

The Hawpatch/Liberty Cemetery now consists of approximately 2.7 acres and 1850 gravesites.


Last updated on October 31, 1999