Cauli Le Chat

Cauli Le Chat
Cauli Le Chat, MPL Roving Reporter

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Following Paul Hadley's Footsteps, Part Quatre

UPDATED MARCH 29, 2016:  We've added some aerial images and maps to better locate where Simon Moon's cabin was situated.  Our thanks to MPL trustee Steve Saucerman for working all this out for us.

My minions and "Flat" Cauli embarked upon another adventure following in the footsteps of Paul Hadley (1880-1971), designer of the Indiana State Flag, artist, teacher, curator, and longtime Mooresville, Indiana resident.  It was really hot, humid, and, periodically, raining, so I stayed home.  As boss kitty, I can do that.  Just ask Tober, another famous library boss feline.

At either Hadley's 1931 or 1924 art exhibitions at Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis, at which he taught during the period, Hadley's watercolor, "Simon Moon's Cabin," was displayed.  It was donated to Mooresville Public Library, where it hangs today in our Paul Hadley gallery.

"Simon Moon's Cabin," by Paul Hadley
(click photos to bigify)


Scowl-Face's photo leaves something to be desired, so here's a clearer image of the painting (borrowed from page 28 of this magazine article: Perry, Rachel Berenson. "Paul Hadley: Artist and Designer of the Indiana Flag." Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History 15(1) [Indiana Historical Society, Winter 2003]), pp. 20-29 (click here to find links to the full article.)

(Image courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society)

Since Hadley did not drive motor vehicles, his friends drove him around to various places where he could paint landscapes and structures.  Carl Harris, whose estate donated this (and another) Hadley painting to MPL, was one of Hadley's neighborly "chauffeurs."

Simon Moon (1786-1879) was a Quaker (Society of Friends) who, during the 1830's, settled land in Morgan County, Indiana (first in Gregg Township, then in Brown Township). He lived near Long Ridge, a few miles southwest of Mooresville.  "Our" Simon Moon is often mistaken for a relative, also named Simon Moon (1784-1835), who, on May 6, 1834, founded the town (now city) of Westfield, Indiana (in Hamilton County, north of Indianapolis), along with fellow Friends Asa Bales (Mooresville's first postmaster in 1826) and Ambrose Osborne.  All had relocated to Indiana from North Carolina.  We know that the "Westfield" Simon Moon was married to Hannah (Stout) Moon (1789-1844), and both are buried in the Old Friends Cemetery Park in Westfield, while "our" Simon Moon and his wife, Lydia Moon, are both buried in the Bethel Friends cemetery (see grave markers below).  This has confused historians for many years, since the "Westfield" Simon Moon had once lived with Asa Bales in Mooresville before moving to Hamilton County.


Inset showing "S. Moon's" land immediately
west of the Bethel Friends church
(from W.W. Richie's 1875 Map of Morgan County, Indiana)
(courtesy of the Library of Congress)

Simon Moon's cabin sat atop a hill immediately west of the Bethel Friends Meeting, founded in 1842.  The church and cemetery are still located there. Simon Moon, along with his wife, Lydia Harvey Moon (1798-1878), daughter Elmima Moon Lindley (1827-1859), and other family (daughter-in-law, grandchild), are buried in the back row of Bethel Cemetery. Most of the Moon's children, however, are buried in other Morgan County cemeteries.  Simon and Lydia share the same grave stone.

 Bethel Friends Meeting & Cemetery
(a few miles southwest of Mooresville)

posing at Bethel Friends Meeting

Simon Moon's grave marker (August, 2014)
on the back of Lydia Moon's grave stone

Close-up of Lydia Moon's grave marker (July 2014)
(Simon's is on the other side)

The Moon burial plots sit along an ancient fence row at the back of the cemetery, all hidden beneath weeds and brush, and we were unable to reach all of them.

Elmima Moon Lindley's grave marker (July 2014)

But let's get back to Paul Hadley's painting of Simon Moon's cabin. Looking west of the church beyond the old section of the cemetery, which rests behind the building, there stands heavy underbrush and woods.  From this vantage you can't really see the hill upon which Simon Moon's cabin once stood.

Looking west toward the Bethel Friends Meeting & Cemetery
(note heavy brush & woods behind)

Here's where Richie's 1875 map really helps us orient the Moon land and cabin, which is clearly marked almost due west of the Bethel Friends church.


Cabin location indicated on Simon Moon's land
(red line orients cabin with Bethel Friends church)
(note crook in road as shown in Hadley's painting)
(from W.W. Richie's 1875 Map of Morgan County, Indiana)
(courtesy of the Library of Congress)


Modern aerial photos place the cabin along North Bunker Hill Road.  The streetview from 2013 shows the hill upon which Simon Moon's cabin once stood, although Paul Hadley was standing further away (and downhill) when he painted his watercolor.

Aerial view orienting Simon Moon's cabin
with the Bethel Friends Meeting
(image courtesy of Google Maps, 2016)

 Close-up of aerial view (above)
(image courtesy of Google Maps, 2016)


Location of Simon Moon's cabin
(photo by Steve Saucerman, March, 2016)
(note slight swale in front of hill, as shown
in Paul Hadley's painting)

Google streetview from N. Bunker Hill Road
(looking South) also shows knoll
upon which Simon Moon's cabin once stood
(courtesy of Google Maps, Sept. 2013)

Paul Hadley's painting (again)

Simon Moon's cabin was torn down well over half a century ago.  In her history of the Bethel Friends Meeting (1958), Dela Lindley stated:
  • "Simon Moon was one of the outstanding Quakers in his day, being a farmer, tanner, shoe cobbler, herb doctor, and was believed by some to be a conductor for the 'Underground Railroad.'"
"When the cabin was destroyed," wrote longtime Morgan County historian Becky Hardin, "Mrs. Lindley said there were two closed spaces [that] were discovered on either side of the fireplace large enough to hold two people. The only entrance was from the attic.  It is thought this may have been a place to hide runaway slaves, or as they were described, at that time, 'Men of Color.'"  [Hardin, Becky, The Indiana State Flag: Its Designer (Biography of Paul Hadley with Anthology of his Paintings), p. 15 (1976). Click here to find links to read a digital copy of this fine biography.]

When you're next visiting the Library, take a look at this and all of our other Paul Hadley paintings.  History in watercolor.  Pretty neat, I'd venture.

2016 Update:  Many thanks to MPL trustee Steve Saucerman for determining the location of Simon Moon's cabin based upon a comparative analysis of modern topographical maps and Richie's 1875 map.  Here's a photo of Steve on the MPL Carnegie Library's last day (January 1988).


Steve Saucerman (left) checked out items on MPL Carnegie's last day
(January, 1988), assisted by MPL Director Pat Vahey (middle)
and MPL Staffer Theresa Lucas (right)



Your Roving Reporter On The Go,

Cauli Le Chat

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