Historic Greenlawn Cemetery in Franklin, Indiana was established in 1845. Today it has grown from its original three acres to approximately thirty acres and is on the National Registry of Historic Places. This serene park-like setting is the final resting place for over 15,000 Johnson County residents, including three hundred veterans. They represent almost every major armed conflict in United States history, including the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and other more recent conflicts. Many of these graves are located in the historic Soldier’s and Military section in the northwest corner of the property.
Two memorials in this section honor the sacrifices made by local residents in two of the bloodiest conflicts fought on American soil. In 1917, the Alexander Hamilton Chapter of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR), erected a memorial dedicated to the veterans from Johnson County who served in the American Revolution. It contains a beautiful boulder bearing a plaque honoring “the Revolutionary Heroes Who Rest in Johnson County.” Although none of these veterans are known to be buried here in Greenlawn, as many as 34 soldiers from the American Revolution have their final resting place in other cemeteries throughout the County.
A second memorial in the Soldier’s and Military section honors the veterans of the American Civil War. It contains another large boulder that was erected in 1940 by the Lincoln chapter of the Daughters of the Union, 1861-1865. An authentic cannon stood guard over the monument for many decades. The original cannon, made in 1861 by the Stedman Company of Aurora, Indiana, is thought to have guarded the southern Indiana border for the Union as part of a gun battery along the Ohio River. After the war, it was brought to Johnson County by members of the Grand Army of the Republic. In 2001, an agreement was reached between the City of Franklin and the Indiana State Museum to have the cannon refurbished and a full-scale replica built by South Bend Replica, Inc. The replica was placed in the Greenlawn memorial; the original is owned by the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis.