Silver Creek-Salem Meeting House  -  Joel Haworth of Indiana

Editor's Notes: This Joel Haworth's  (IN) family line is George/Sarah - James/Sarah - Richard/Ann - then Joel Haworth/Elizabeth Maxwell.  This family line should not be confused with that of another Joel Haworth, who also ran a safe house in Kansas.

In additional, we have extensive information, including pictures of Eli Haworth, son of Joel Haworth.  See Eli Haworth

The  "other" Joel Haworth's  (KS) family line is: George/Sarah - James/Sarah - James/Phebe - then Joel Haworth/Sarah McKee.  See second Joel Haworth - of Kansas


(click on the small picture to expand it)


  Elizabeth Haworth       Joel Haworth  Joel and Elizabeth Haworth  

    Silver Creek-Salem Meeting

   Mary Haworth Elliott & Her Children


We have a picture of Joel Haworth Elliott (son of Mary Haworth Elliott), and his  biography, in the "Bios" section of this web page.

Mark Davis writes about Joel Haworth:

Joel Haworth's house was one of the stations on the 'Underground Railroad'.  An excerpt on the life of John Beard from the 1884 Beers Atlas of Union County, Indiana mentions this fact:
"He (John Beard) at one time assisted, with his father, in the escape of some fugitives, who had permission to attend a "quilting" at a point opposite the city of Cincinnati.  It had been previously planned that they were to be met at Cincinnati by the Beards, and conveyed to a place of safety until they could make good their escape.  John Beard met them at Cincinnati with a team, from whence he conveyed them to the house of Joel Haworth, in Union County, during the first night, and on the night following to the house of Levi Coffin, in Wayne County, from which place they were sent to Canada.  This circumstance occurred about the year 1840, and the number of fugitives was nine."


Mark Davis has made numerous cemetery searches, and here is what he describes about his search for the Joel Haworth head stone.

Mark writes:

In July 2003 I made a trip to Wayne County, Indiana in search of my Elliott ancestors. They were Quakers who along with many others of the era had migrated from the "old North State" (North Carolina) to the free Territory of Indiana, partly because of their opposition to the institution of slavery. They made their new home in Wayne County, Indiana in 1815. While there I discovered the obituary notice of my great great great grandmother, Mary S. Haworth. She had married my great great great grandfather, Mark Elliott at Silver Creek-Salem Friends Meeting in Union County, Indiana in 1835. Her obituary stated that her parents, Joel and Elizabeth Haworth were "noted anti-slavery Friends." 

This raised my curiosity and I decided to uncover what I could about the lives of Mary Haworth's parents. I drove to the town of Liberty where I visited the Union County Public Library. The staff there are accustomed to genealogy enthusiasts like me and within minutes I was given more books to peruse that I could shake a stick at! There I found a story that mentioned Joel Haworth giving refuge to nine runaways (fugitives) in his home around 1840. From his home the following night the runaways were taken to the safe house of the famous Quaker abolitionist, Levi Coffin, who lived about 25 miles to the north. I immediately felt a connection with this man and I felt an urgent need to visit the place where he and his wife were laid to rest. Thanks to the directions given to me by the friendly librarian, it was not at all difficult to find the Salem Friends Cemetery, which is located SE of the town of Liberty out in the countryside. (Sometimes when I stop to think about it, I imagine that most folks would find it a curious thing that I enjoy traipsing through old cemeteries. To me it is just as normal as strolling through a park, though much more interesting. But then, I am a Quaker and we Quakers are known for being an odd bunch!) 

Across the road from the Salem Cemetery stands the Salem Friends Church. It is a small, clean, white frame structure that can, by my estimate, accommodate no more than fifty Friends at Meeting for Worship. The cemetery is very old and probably contains more gravestones erected in the 1800's than in the 1900's. Before long I discovered the gravestones of Joel Haworth and his wife Elizabeth. Sadly, Joel's gravestone had fallen, but fortunately was not broken and it was in good shape. Having brought some garden tools with me I began the task of up righting the stone in the hot midday summer sun of Indiana. What I thought would be an exhausting task turned out to be fairly easy. I believe that the Light was shining mercifully on me that afternoon!

When done my heart was glad as I gazed upon the gravestones of a couple who had demonstrated much courage, love and faith in their lives. Here were a man and a woman, who were so convinced of their faith and beliefs that they went to great risk, yes, even to overtly break the law of the nation to actively demonstrate their brotherly love to those runaways who were in such great need at the time. I stood there before their graves and I sobbed. I had no other way of thanking them for their courage and love. If only I might someday find such courage and faith within myself!      Mark Davis



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