South Bend City Cemetery
Backstory and Context
In 1832, the South Bend City Cemetery was then far away from the city, surrounded by forest. As the city grew towards it, more of the city’s leaders were laid to rest here.
Unlike many other places, the Cemetery was never segregated. Members from South Bend’s first African American family, the Powells, are buried here. Including, Farrow Powell, the family patriarch. Descendants of the Powell family still live in South Bend, and the Powells founded Olivet African Methodist Episcopal Church, the oldest historically Black church in the city.
A short distance away, Schuyler Colfax is also interred at the cemetery. Colfax served as the Speaker of the House when the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was passed finally ending slavery. Almost 15,000 here in death achieved what they could not in life: a peaceful co-existence with neighbors from different racial and ethnic backgrounds.