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The McDonough County Cemetery Marker Project ď‚? A Project of the McDonough County Historical Society, Macomb, Illinois


The McDonough County Cemetery Marker Project has been coordinated by Gil Belles of the McDonough County Historical Society,

Macomb, Illinois


The Historical Society locates cemeteries in the county and marks them so the cemeteries will not be lost and so that those who came before us will not be forgotten.


The following are cemeteries located in McDonough County, Illinois that have been marked by the McDonough County Historical Society Markers have been photographed with people who care about that cemetery


On her recent visit to Macomb, Juanita Bryan stopped by the home and farm that her late husband Herschel and she built 51 years ago. Bryan participated in the dedication of a new sign on the site of the McDonough County Almshouse Cemetery that once occupied that property from 1884 to 1949. The cemetery site is on property now owned by Amy Fansler. In 1891, Frank Pearce, who purchased the land where the first poor farm had been located, exhumed and moved the remains of 31 graves to the paupers cemetery west of the new (1884) Almshouse. Aside from that specific number reburied in 1891, no other details exist on the number, names, or dates of Almshouse residents who died and were buried in the Almshouse Cemetery from 1884 to 1949, with one exception. In 1940, a Veterans organization from Washington, DC, came to Macomb looking for the grave of Civil War veteran Michael Nolan (Company A, 84th Illinois Infantry). Nolan had been a resident of the Almshouse several different times and died there in 1901. The county was embarrassed to show these representatives a plot of unmarked graves under weeds and brush. When the government headstone arrived to mark Nolan’s approximate spot, the county purchased a dozen or so generic ceramic markers for other graves. The Almshouse Cemetery and sign is deep in the woods on property where Amy Fansler lives with daughters Juliet and Jessica, and son Jordan. The cemetery sign project is supported by Clugston-Tibbitts Funeral Home in Macomb and Blandinsville, the Community Quality of Life Advisory Committee, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Blandinsville Township - Jan Shoemaker, Anderson and Huff Cemetery supporter, recently accepted a new sign donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. Anderson and Huff Cemetery is in south-central Blandinsville Township in McDonough County. John Huff, who died in 1875, was a veteran of the Civil War. He is buried among approximately 60 graves. His headstone reads: “We Loved Him, But He Died.” Current Blandinsville resident Jan Shoemaker, has her great great grandmother Rebecca Huff buried in this cemetery. One of the oldest headstones marks a grave from 1857. Two of John Huff’s sons married Anderson sisters. Anderson family graves outnumber the Huff’s. Anderson and Huff Cemetery is still active and beautifully maintained by the Blandinsville Township cemetery committee headed by Laura Melvin. The cemetery sign project is supported by Clugston-Tibbitts Funeral Home in Macomb and Blandinsville, the Community Quality of Life Advisory Committee, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Walnut Grove - Arberghast-Pearce Cemetery is located in Section 26 of Walnut Grove Township. Martha Walker, age 20, was the first to be buried there in 1838. The Pearce name derives from Jesse Pearce who donated the land "for use as a burying ground." There are four Pearce family members recorded buried in this cemetery. Jesse Arbogast farmed four miles north of the cemetery in the 1870s. But there are no Arbogasts (or Arberghasts) recorded as being in the cemetery, offering a mystery for the origin of that half of the name. There are five veterans of the Civil War in the cemetery, the most famous, Charles Allen Gilchrist, the only Civil War general buried in McDonough County. Gilchrist was born in 1834 in Vermont, his grandmother a niece of Ethan Allen. He studied surveying and engineering at Knox College and taught in a one room rural schoolhouse in McDonough County. In 1853, he surveyed the route for the Northern Cross Railroad from Galesburg to Quincy. He was elected McDonough County Surveyor in 1855. He created the plat maps for many towns in the county. Gilchrist volunteered to join the 10th Missouri Infantry as a Captain in 1861. He scored so high on the officer’s exam, he was promoted Colonel of the 12th Louisiana Colored Infantry headquartered near Vicksburg, Mississippi. Frustrated by the lack of medical support for his troops, Gilchrist rode a mule to the headquarters of General U.S. Grant to make a direct appeal for more surgeons. After the siege of Blakley, Gilchrist praised his men and wrote that their success “was a convincing proof that the former slaves of the South cannot be excelled as soldiers.” Before the war ended, he was promoted to Brigadier General. The Gilchrist family moved back to Carthage in 1867 where Gilchrist opened a lumber business, the Carthage Shoe Factory, and an engineering business with towns and railroads as clients. In the 1880s, he moved to South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin, helping build railroads and pipelines. His wife, Lucy Ellen, died in 1898. Gilchrist brought her body back and buried her in Arberghast-Pearce Cemetery. He moved to New York City where he continued to invent and manufacture parts for the railroad industry. After he died in 1906, his body was brought back to Arberghast-Pearce Cemetery. The cemetery sign project is supported by Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home, the McDonough County Genealogical Society, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Leon Bainter, Dick Lacey, and Jim Frisbie


Bethel Township - Leon Bainter, Dick Lacey, and Jim Frisbie (left to right), three members of the Archer-Bethel Cemetery Board, recently (before the snow storms!) accepted a new sign donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. Archer-Bethel Cemetery is southeast of Fandon in northwest Bethel Township in McDonough County. There are 15 veterans of the Civil War buried among approximately 600 graves. One of the oldest headstones marks a grave from 1838, the accepted date when the cemetery was founded. Archer-Bethel Cemetery is still active and beautifully maintained by a private cemetery association trust fund. Two other members of the board unable to be in the photograph are Craig Rigg and Gary Shelley. The cemetery sign project is supported by MidAmerica National Bank, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Hire Township, IL - - The Rev. Mike Deblois, pastor of Argyle Bible Church west of Argyle Lake State Park, accepts the newest sign in a project marking cemeteries sponsored by the McDonough County Historical Society. The Argyle Cemetery, northwest of Colchester, has grave markers dating back to 1836 as a part of early churches in the area. There is one veteran of the Black Hawk war (1857) and seven veterans of the Civil War. Their stones are among over 550 graves in this still active and beautiful cemetery cared for by members of the Argyle Bible Church. The cemetery sign project is supported by the Community Quality of Life Advisory Committee, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Colchester, IL- The Atkinson Cemetery, on property acquired by Argyle Lake State Park in the 1980s, is one of McDonough County’s more interesting historical cemeteries. The state park employees installed a new sign donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. Robin Hinchee, Argyle Lake site superintendent, approved the sign, Kenny John, site technician, erected the sign, and Bridget Napolitano, natural resources coordinator, researched the history of the cemetery. The cemetery plot seems to have been on land owned by the extended Atkinson family. The first burial in 1839 was Job Yard, first husband of Frances Atkinson. Thus the name Atkinson Cemetery. McCords owned adjacent land. John McCord, his wife Mary Willard McCord, nine children, and Jack his “Black Man,” settled in Emmet Township in 1832. The grave marker for “Jack, the Black Man of John McCord, aged 45 years, died about 1870,” still rests next to the graves of John and his wife Mary McCord. Also in this cemetery is the grave of William Willard, father of Mary McCord. William was a veteran of the Revolutionary War. He enlisted in Leesburg, Virginia in 1778. He died in Emmet Township in 1846 at age 97. The last burial was in 1878. There are 19 recorded names known to be buried in the Atkinson Cemetery. The cemetery sign project is sponsored by the McDonough County Historical Society and the Community Quality of Life Advisory Committee.


David Ridge, Annette Hall Morgan, and Debbie John


David Ridge, Annette Hall Morgan, and Debbie John recently accepted a new sign at the Bailey Cemetery donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. David, Annette, and Debbie represent their families and extended family members who rest in this beautifully maintain cemetery just south of Macomb. Although the northern and oldest part of the cemetery has markers that date to 1841 (Robert Sloan), it was not deeded as an official cemetery until 1857. There is one Civil War veteran buried among over 100 graves in this still active cemetery. An American flag flies high above every day. The cemetery sign project is sponsored by the McDonough County Historical Society, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the Community Quality of Life Advisory Committee.


Norma Banks Runner David Ridge, Annette


Hire Township - Norma Banks Runner, descendant of relatives in the Banks Cemetery, recently accepted a new sign to mark the site donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. The cemetery sign project is supported by Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home, the McDonough County Genealogical Society, the McDonough County Highway Department, Richard and Marilyn Jackson, and the McDonough County Historical Society. The Banks Family Cemetery by Norma Banks Runner This inactive family cemetery is located in the southwest quarter of section 30 in Hire Township four miles southwest of the Village of Blandinsville in McDonough County. There are 12 markers remaining for the 13 people buried between 1844 and 1887. My great, great grandfather Vandiver Banks (1804-1876) came to McDonough County in 1835 among the early settlers of Hire Township. He and his wife, Loraner Sharpe Banks, moved to Illinois from Kentucky. He purchased land and built a house in section 30 of Hire Township. He was a successful carpenter and farmer, acquiring considerable property. Vandiver and Loraner had 11 children, five of whom died at early ages and rest in the family cemetery. The first burial was their five year old son George Banks, who died in 1844. The grave markers for Vandiver and Loraner Banks, while worn, are still legible. He died in 1876. Loraner was the last person buried in the Banks cemetery in March 1887. There are seven stones with the name Banks on them. The land once farmed by Vandiver Banks, as well as the cemetery, is still in the family. This cemetery is maintained by the family.


Three AmeriCorps volunteers who have been working this year for Mississippi Valley Big Brother, Big Sister, added another service project to their resumes. On an unseasonably cold and windy Saturday morning they attacked the Barber Cemetery with loppers, hedge shears, shovels, and rakes. Sarah Medina of Macomb, a military wife about to relocate to Ft. Hood, Texas to join her husband returning from Afghanistan, Jennifer Cook, a newly minted Masters graduate from the Recreation, Park, and Tourism Administration department at Western Illinois University, and Stephanie Bieschke, a May graduate from Monmouth College, offered to help the McDonough County Historical Society with its cemetery cleanup projects. Barber Cemetery is located on a bulge in road 700 East on the border of Colchester and Chalmers Townships south of the new highway in McDonough County. It is an inactive and neglected cemetery with approximately 20 family graves. The original cemetery, established by the Barber family in 1835, covered about an acre of land. Only a few markers were visible when this crew arrived. But by the time their hands were numb from the cold, 14 headstones and about 10 footstones could be seen and counted. Some of the larger monuments were too heavy to lift up and restore to their original position. But these volunteers did uncover the marker for William Lucas, a Civil War veteran. The three then moved to the more protected Lower Cemetery to trim back some of the fast growing brush around markers in this much larger family plot. Medina, Cook, and Bieschke gained much satisfaction and knowledge from a productive and rewarding project.


George Sewell and Gil Belles


Bardolph, IL- The Bardolph Cemetery, established in 1856, has a new sign identifying this beautiful family, community and historic site. On Sunday, August 26, George Sewell, treasurer of the cemetery board, accepted the sign from the McDonough County Historical Society, represented by Gil Belles, president. “This sign is a welcome addition to our cemetery,” Sewell said. “We are proud of our history and heritage. We appreciate the recognition by the Historical Society.” According to Belles, this is the third sign donated to a county cemetery that was unmarked. Camp Creek and Old Macomb were the first two in this continuing project of the society. “Much local history can be found in cemeteries,” said Belles. They are worth preserving and identifying.” Belles pointed out that veterans of the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War can be found in McDonough County cemeteries. Some of the headstones in the Bardolph Cemetery are dated before 1856. That is the date the current land was officially deeded to the cemetery. Some of the older stones and graves were moved from a smaller plot north of the current site. The current Bardolph Cemetery is administered by Thermon Kepple, president, Marge Lynn, secretary, and Sewell, treasurer.


Keith Moore


Colchester, IL -Keith Moore, adjacent land owner and volunteer caretaker, accepts a new sign for the Bean Cemetery east of Colchester. This new sign is part of a project marking cemeteries sponsored by the McDonough County Historical Society. Historical records indicate that approximately 110 people were buried in this family cemetery between 1838 and 1922. In this attractive cemetery lies Captain Joseph Barnes Bacon, a veteran of the War of 1812. He died in 1858 or 1860, both dates recorded on official documents. At least one veteran of the Civil War, Francis Clayton, still has a visible veteran’s marker. The cemetery sign project is supported by the Community Quality of Life Advisory Committee, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Dave Ruebush


Sciota Township - Dave Ruebush, owner of property that includes the Beckelshymer Gravesite, recently accepted a new sign to mark the site donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. This single monument cemetery is located in a cow pasture in the southeast quarter of Section 15 in Sciota Township in McDonough County. The once tall and majestic monument has been toppled and broken. The monument records the death of Sarah A. Beckelshymer (1831-1873), wife of A. Beckelshymer. Genealogical records list an Alexander Beckelhymer as owner of 320 acres in 1870. The headstone includes the “s” in Beckelshymer but is not found in the spelling in county records. Local legend suggests that Sarah died in childbirth while on a wagon train voyage. Her husband went to his destination, bought land, and settled. Alexander returned to the gravesite and negotiated for this large and artistically carved marker. For many years, this was thought to be the only grave in Sciota Township. However, another headstone has been identified, but requires more research for the person’s first name and date of death. The cemetery sign project is supported by the Clugston Tibbitts Funeral Home (Blandinsville and Macomb), and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Craig L’Hommedieu


Chalmers Township - Craig L’Hommedieu, volunteer with the McDonough County Historical Society, recently installed a new sign for the Bowlin-Wayland Cemetery donated by the society. The Bowlin-Wayland Cemetery is located along N700 in south central Chalmers Township 2.5 miles east of Fandon in McDonough County. It is an inactive and neglected cemetery with approximately four family graves. The original cemetery, established by the Bowlin and Wayland families in 1870, covered about a quarter acre of land. Only a few markers remain on this much smaller plot. The families were related through marriages. Wesley Wayland was the last person buried there in 1874. The cemetery sign project is supported by Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home in Macomb, the McDonough County Genealogical Society, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Fred and Baleigh Harn


Bushnell Township - Fred Harn, sexton of the Bushnell Township Cemetery, recently accepted a new sign donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. Bushnell Township Cemetery is in the city of Bushnell in McDonough County. There are three veterans of the War of 1812, 132 veterans of the Civil War, and one veteran of the Spanish-American war buried among

approximately 9,600 graves. One of the oldest headstones marks a grave from 1863 when the cemetery was established and incorporated. The original six acres were platted on May 12, 1863, just after the interment of Providence Wells, wife of Joseph Wells. Additional land was added sporadically from 1881 to 1981 to reach today’s total of 73 acres. The Bushnell Cemetery Association has been free of debt since 1904. Bushnell Township Cemetery is still active and beautifully maintained by the township since 1951. Fred Harn is the current sexton. Members of the board are elected at a town meeting. Township taxes are levied for its operation, along with charges for grave sites. The cemetery sign project is supported by Clugston-Tibbitts Funeral Home in Macomb and Blandinsville, the Community Quality of Life Advisory Committee, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


This photo of the Camp Creek Cemetery sign was taken during a mystery tour, September 30, 2007. Members of the McDonough County Historical Society left Macomb, not knowing where their leader was taking them. On the way to their destination, they stopped at Camp Creek Cemetery so folks could see the first sign installed for the cemetery sign project. The group continued on to Vermont Lake and the Sears Sawmill.


Hire Township - Neal Null, member of the Hire Township board, recently accepted a new sign for the Central Cemetery donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. Central Cemetery is in the southeast corner of section 19 in Hire Township three miles southwest of the village of Blandinsville in McDonough County. The Central Christian (Disciples of Christ) church was dedicated across the road in 1888. The church sold the building in 1950. The first burials were Francis (September) and her husband Jessie White (October) in 1890. Rock Creek Methodist Episcopal church (1850-1971), located two miles east, also used the Central Cemetery. Central Cemetery is occasionally active and beautifully maintained by Hire Township. The cemetery sign project is supported by Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home in Macomb, the McDonough County Genealogical Society, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Eldorado Township - David Hynek, secretary-treasurer of the Chockley Cemetery trustees, and Penny Lawyer, cemetery supporter, recently accepted a new sign donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. Chockley Cemetery is in southeast Eldorado Township in McDonough County. There is one veteran of the War of 1812, one veteran of the Black Hawk War (1832), and eight veterans of the Civil War buried among approximately 300 graves. Two unusual stone pillars commemorate and honor the veterans from World War I and WW II. One of the oldest headstones marks a grave from 1837, but the land was not deeded as a cemetery until 1857. Chockley Cemetery is still active and beautifully maintained by a private cemetery trust fund. The cemetery sign project is supported by Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home in Macomb, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


New Salem Township - Craig L’Hommedieu, volunteer with the McDonough County Historical Society, recently installed a new sign for the Clark-Evans-Woods Cemetery donated by the society. Clark-Evans-Woods Cemetery is located along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks in north central New Salem Township south of the new grain depot in McDonough County. It is an inactive and neglected cemetery with approximately 10 family graves. The original cemetery, established by the Clark family for an infant daughter in 1843, covered about a quarter acre of land. Only a few markers remain on this much smaller plot. The three families were related through marriages. Sarah Clark was the last person buried there in 1909. The cemetery sign project is supported by Clugston-Tibbitts Funeral Home in Macomb and Blandinsville, the Community Quality of Life Advisory Committee, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Lisa and Steve Hood


Industry Township - Steve and Lisa Hood, owners of property that includes the Clayton Cemetery, recently accepted a new sign to mark the site donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. This small family cemetery is located in a cow pasture in the northwest quarter of Section 28 in Industry Township in McDonough County. The 15’ x 15’ memorial area is still protected by some wire fencing attached to old round wooden fence posts. The first of the five burials was Zebulon Clayton, 16 year old son of William and Margaret Clayton, in February 1847. His brother, William Clayton, Jr., was killed while serving in the Mexican War (1846-48). He was 19 when he died in July 1847. His government headstone indicates that he served in McConnel’s Co., 1st Illinois Infantry. Two months later, their mother Margaret (1806-1847) was buried. The last two headstones mark the graves of David F. Clayton, who died at the age of three in 1864, and his brother Alva who died in 1877, six days short of his ninth birthday. David and Alva were sons of Samuel and Jane Clayton. Samuel was the brother of Zebulon and William Jr. William Clayton’s family came to McDonough County from Pennsylvania in the 1830s, appearing on the census lists as landowners in Industry Township. The cemetery sign project is supported by the McDonough County Genealogical Society and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Wes Henness and Maurice Litchfield


Scotland Township - Maurice Litchfield, property owner (right), and Wes Henness, Craig Cemetery locator and guide (left), recently accepted a new sign donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. Craig Cemetery is in south-central Scotland Township in McDonough County. There is one veteran of the War of 1812, Richard Craig (1795-1886), and one from the Civil War, Daniel Miller, buried among approximately 25 family graves. One of the oldest headstones marks a grave from 1847. The Craig family lived in Industry and owned farmland north of that city. Craig Cemetery is not active and needs a cleanup. The cemetery sign project is supported by Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home in Macomb, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Tom Green


Eldorado Township - WIU Professor Tom Green of Macomb, agronomist and cemetery historian, recently cleared weeds and brush for a new sign donated by the McDonough County Historical Society for the Dailey Cemetery. The Dailey Cemetery is located in northwest Eldorado Township in McDonough County. It is an inactive and abandoned cemetery founded in 1844 containing approximately 10 graves interred from then to 1867. Thomas Dailey (1783-1854), born in West Virginia, moved to Eldorado Township in 1836. He owned and farmed 160 acres. When his wife Sarah died at age 72 (1862), she had buried two daughters and her 71 year old husband in this family cemetery. Their daughter Rebecca married George Greenup. He and his mother Catherine also rest in this plot. The cemetery sign project is supported by the McDonough County Genealogical Society, the McDonough County Highway Department, Niemann’s County Market and Pepsi, Gene and David Raymond, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Bob France


Industry, IL - Bob France, trustee of Industry township and Doddsville Cemetery, accepts a new sign donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. The Doddsville Cemetery is on the southern edge of the county. There are two veterans of the War of 1812 and 16 veterans of the Civil War buried among approximately 400 graves. One of the oldest headstones marks a grave from 1839. Samuel Dodds buried two of his daughters in 1849 and 1850. According to Elsie Archer, he deeded the land as a cemetery in 1866. Dodds was buried there in 1874. One corner of the Doddsville Cemetery contains the graves from the Irish Cemetery, relocated by the Amax Coal Company in 1981 when it had an active mine in Bethel Township. The Doddsville Cemetery is beautifully maintained.


Blandinsville Township - - Martin Diestler, local historian and genealogist in Blandinsville, accepted a new sign for the Duncan Cemetery provided by the McDonough County Historical Society. Diestler found some interesting stories while researching this rural cemetery west of Blandinsville. Duncan Cemetery is inactive but beautifully maintained by the Blandinsville Township cemetery committee headed by Laura Melvin. The cemetery sign project is supported by ClugstonTibbitts Funeral Home in Macomb and Blandinsville, the Community Quality of Life Advisory Committee, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society. Duncan Cemetery by Martin Diestler In 1840, President Martin Van Buren raised revenue by selling government land in Illinois. Two halves of the SW quarter of Section 31 in what later became Blandinsville Township were purchased by two settlers from White County, Tennessee: Joseph Duncan and his father- in-law, Isaac Harris. Perhaps because of limited choice in the sparse population, the Duncan children, of whom there were 10, often married into the same families as their brothers, sisters, and cousins. Thomas and James married Susan and Melvina Marlow. Cosby, Sarah, and William Duncan married Mary, Thomas, and Lurena Atwater. The Marlows and Atwaters, like the Duncans, came up from White County. The SE corner of Joseph Duncan's farm was not well suited to agriculture. It sloped with dense woods. In that quiet, green acre, however, Joseph provided the final resting place for many of his children and grandchildren. Beginning in 1851, when two grandchildren, Cosby and Laura, were buried there, until 1900 when his nephew, James, followed his wife Melvina to his grave, at least 14 Duncans, three Atwaters, three Chapins, a Steele, and a Marlow (all of them related) found their final resting place in what became known as the Duncan Cemetery. Although there is no headstone surviving, it appears likely that Joseph himself was buried in the Duncan Cemetery around 1880. There are stories of tragedy and comedy to be found among the gravestones. Elijah Marlow left his wife, Nancy Smiddy and eight children (the youngest not yet walking) to fight for the Confederate Missouri 11th Infantry. In 1863, at age 42, he was killed. He now lies beneath a small flag in the Duncan Cemetery. His daughter, Melvina, married James Duncan, and his son, Jasper, worked on James Duncan's farm. On a much lighter note, Elias, son of Joseph Duncan, returned from the Civil War and, at age 28, he eloped with Nancy Woodside from LaHarpe. They were married on a Mississippi riverboat on her 16th birthday. Her father's efforts to reach the river and stop the boat from sailing were thwarted when Mr. Woodside “nearly run an old mule to death trying to get to the dock to head them off, but was too late.� Elias and Nancy, nonetheless, stayed married through the rest of their lives and raised eight children. Since 1900 the cemetery has had no known burials and few visitors. Truly those buried there have been allowed to rest in peace.


Arlin Fentem and Merle Parks


Bethel Township - - Arlin Fentem and Merle Parks, cemetery association trustees, accepted a new sign for the Dunkard cemetery provided by the McDonough County Historical Society. Fentem and Parks (on the right) both have grandparents in the cemetery. Parks recalls some interesting facts and stories while reminiscing about this rural cemetery south of Colchester. Dunkard Cemetery is still active and beautifully maintained by the cemetery trustees. The cemetery sign project is supported by MidAmerica National Bank, the McDonough County Highway Department and the McDonough County Historical Society. ====================================================== Dunkard Cemetery by Merle Parks A group of families emigrated from Virginia to McDonough County in the latter part of the 1800s. I’ve been told that this group organized the German Baptist Church of the Brethren in September 1879 with 35 members. They built a church building in Section 18 of Bethel Township in 1882 at a cost of $1075.68. There were burials there west of the church building beginning in 1882. On August 19, 1901, William M. Harbacher and his wife Susan deeded the cemetery ground to the church for the sum of one dollar. There are probably more descendants from the Reed Family buried in Dunkard than from any other family. Some other prominent family names are Carson, Dulaney, King, Parks, Stump, Wetzel, and others. Perhaps the name Dunkard emerged as a slang term in the community for the cemetery because of the belief of the German Baptists for total immersion baptism. The cemetery is still active and well maintained. It was not always well maintained as it is now. I remember in the 1930s a day was set aside when many descendants of the families came with scythes, axes, and other tools to clean up the cemetery. Sometime in the 1940s I believe, Grace Fentem, a descendant of the Reed family, raised money for regular mowing by sending post cards to descendants of those buried requesting donations. When Arlin Fentem was a boy, he rode his bike from Colchester and mowed the entire church and cemetery grounds. It took two days to mow before power mowers. Eventually a monetary fund was collected so that the interest generated was enough to pay for mowing. The last church meeting was held July 16, 1961 and the property was transferred to the cemetery association May 2, 1962. The building was razed shortly after that.


Eric Zimmerman


Tennessee Township - Eric and Honey Zimmerman, the owners of property that includes the Dye/Pope Cemetery, recently accepted a new sign to mark the site donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. This cemetery is located in the far west quarter of Section 6 of Tennessee Township in McDonough County. The headstones are all fallen and partially buried under sod and weeds. It is difficult to estimate how many remain of the 17 original burials. James Dye buried his first wife Barbara, here in 1846. He buried one of his young grandchildren, Caroline, in this place in 1845. James was murdered in 1854, allegedly by his much younger second wife. In the mid-1960s, out-of-state descendants of the Dye family removed the four Dye monuments from this location and embedded them in a family plot in Missouri. A sophisticated “poking� at this site might reveal more headstones marking burials between 1845 and 1881, the date of the last burial. The Pope family later owned the surrounding property and five members of that family rest at this site with at least two of their headstones visible. The cemetery sign project is supported by Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home, Assets Protection, Inc. (Robert Fischer, President), and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Eldorado Township - Linda Windsor recently accepted a new sign for the Foster’s Point Cemetery donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. Foster’s Point Cemetery is located in the northeast corner of Eldorado Township in McDonough County. It is an inactive cemetery founded in 1830 with approximately 65 graves interred from then to 1934. Linda Windsor, living nearby, learned of this neglected cemetery and purchased it from the county and became its historian and caretaker. There is one veteran of the Revolutionary War buried here, Jonas Hobart who fought for independence. There is one veteran of the War of 1812 and six who fought in the Civil War, including Adam Immig, a Prussian who came over to fight (unclear for which side) and settled near Foster’s Point. Moses Foster (1811-1887) fought beside Captain Abraham Lincoln when they were driving out the Native Americans from southern Illinois. He married three times and all of his wives rest near him. Windsor has restored a beautiful cemetery with a rich and fascinating history. The cemetery sign project is supported by Table Grove State Bank, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Tennessee Township - Charles and Walter Lewis and Charles Irish (left to right), trustees and caretakers of Friendship Cemetery, recently accepted a new sign donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. Friendship Cemetery is in the northwest corner of Tennessee Township in McDonough County. There is one veteran of the War of 1812 and seven veterans of the Civil War buried among approximately 80 graves. Three majestic cedar trees commemorate the veterans from World War I, and three pines were planted to honor WW II veterans. One of the oldest headstones, from the Mourning family section, marks a grave from 1840. Friendship Cemetery is still active and beautifully maintained by the Lewis brothers using a small private cemetery trust. The cemetery sign project is supported by Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home in Macomb, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Betty Shoopman and Pat Cordell


Fandon, IL -- Several dozen volunteers were pleasantly surprised while they were cleaning up and clearing the Gibson Cemetery west of Fandon. Roger Frowein, president of the McDonough County Historical Society brought them a new sign for the cemetery. Pat Cordell (right), a member of the cemetery board, invited Betty Shoopman (left), a person with a lot of family in the cemetery, to accept the sign with him. This well-kept cemetery has almost 300 graves. It was deeded as a cemetery in 1843. Several markers date to 1840. The marker of Sally Griswold commemorates an eye witness to the Revolutionary War period.


Blandinsville - - Laura Melvin, Blandinsville Township Supervisor, accepted a new sign for the Glade City Cemetery donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. The Glade City Cemetery has 54 veterans of the Civil War and one from the Spanish American War. It is a large and active cemetery deeded in 1887. Blandinsville Township maintains seven cemeteries through a cemetery tax. The cemetery sign project of the McDonough County Historical Society depends upon the cooperation of Jerry Hughes of the McDonough County Highway Department. The project is partially funded by a grant from the Community Quality of Life Advisory Committee.


Tim Bradford


Village of Good Hope - - Tim Bradford, sexton for the Good Hope Cemetery, proudly accepts the newest sign in the cemetery marking project sponsored by the McDonough County Historical Society. The Good Hope Cemetery is on the east side of highway 67 just north of town at 1950N. It has grave markers dating back to 1846 and was deeded as a cemetery in 1878. There are two veterans of the Spanish American War and 28 veterans from the Civil War among over 1700 graves in this beautiful and still active cemetery. The cemetery is maintained by the Village of Good Hope. The cemetery sign project is supported by the Community Quality of Life Advisory Committee, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Macomb, ILBernard Lewis (left) and Bob Moore, members of the Guy-Pleasant View Cemetery board, accepted the newest sign in the cemetery marking project sponsored by the McDonough County Historical Society. This beautiful and well kempt cemetery sits on a high bluff two miles west of the Spring Lake Park entrance. It was established in 1849 one mile east of Pleasant View church in Emmet township. Some of the earliest markers memorialize members of the Guy family, hence it’s more familiar name, Guy Cemetery. “The 1928 certificate which created the cemetery trust documents the more official name, Guy-Pleasant View,” commented Lewis when the sign was commissioned by the historical society. The historical society has enlisted the volunteer help of Jerry Hughes of the McDonough County Highway Department who has the expertise and equipment to install the sign posts. The Quality of Life Advisory Committee awarded a cost sharing grant to the historical society for the new signs.


Dick Hainline


Emmet Township - Dick Hainline, descendant of relatives in the Hainline Cemetery, recently accepted a new sign to mark the site donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. Ten days after the sign was installed, someone has removed it. Please help us locate the Hainline Cemetery sign. This family cemetery was once located in the southwest corner of Sciota Township in McDonough County. In about 1913, 37 graves were moved to the western part of the Spring Creek Cemetery in Emmet Township. Today, no one knows why they were moved. There are 37 markers for the people buried between 1839 and 1901 in the original cemetery. The first burial was Jacob Ennis Hainline in 1839, infant son of George and Flora. Three veterans of the Civil War rest in the Hainline Cemetery, two of whom died in uniform: George L. Hainline (d. 1865), and David T. Hainline (d. 1865). There are many branches of the Hainline family tree in McDonough County. And many members of this prominent family are resting in other cemeteries throughout the county. Perhaps one of those left a legacy more familiar to local historians. William T. Hainline, born in 1841, farmed until he enlisted in the Civil War in 1861. He was taken prisoner in 1864 and spent two months at Andersonville. After returning home, he owned and became editor of the original Macomb Journal in 1881. The current maintenance of these combined and attractive two cemeteries is supported by volunteers Fred and Steve Kitch. The cemetery sign project is supported by Assets Protection, Inc., West Side Lumber, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Janice Hamilton King


Walnut Grove Township - Janice Hamilton King, descendant of relatives in the Hamilton Cemetery, recently accepted a new sign to mark the site donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. This abandoned family cemetery is located 1.75 miles east of Highway 67 on N1800 southeast of the Village of Good Hope in McDonough County. There are approximately 56 remaining markers for the 75 people buried between 1844 and 1870. Levi Hamilton (1802-1882) came to McDonough County in 1835 and helped found the Walnut Grove Cumberland Presbyterian Church in 1838 in his home. That church, before it burned down in 1854, had this adjacent cemetery. The grave marker for Harrison Hamilton (1826-1867), Levi’s son, while damaged is still legible. He died in 1867. There are five stones with the name Hamilton on them. Janice Hamilton King lives on land once farmed by the Hamilton family. She is a direct descendant of Levi and Harrison, and Harrison’s son Joseph. One of the monuments memorializes Civil War veteran Albert Bennet, Company I, 78 Illinois Infantry. His body may have been moved to the Good Hope Cemetery. All of the cemeteries in Walnut Grove Township are maintained by the township. The cemetery sign project is supported by Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home, the McDonough County Genealogical Society, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Q. Douglas Baily


Eldorado Township - Q. Douglas Baily, president of the Harris Cemetery Association, recently accepted a new sign donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. Harris Cemetery is in northeast Eldorado Township in McDonough County. There are four veterans of the War of 1812, and fourteen veterans of the Civil War buried among approximately 950 graves. One of the oldest headstones marks a grave from 1847, but the land was not deeded as a cemetery until 1848. Harris Cemetery is still active and beautifully maintained by a private cemetery association trust fund. The cemetery sign project is supported by Table Grove State Bank, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Gerald Thrapp, current owner of the land on which the Hays Cemetery lies, accepted two new signs installed by the McDonough County Historical Society. The Hays Cemetery is on the northern edge of Hire Township, 1.5 miles east of Blandinsville, deep in the dense woods south of Route 9. The Thrapp family found the Hays Cemetery after they purchased the wooded property. Their discovery set off a chain of events that has culminated in the restoration of this abandoned and neglected family cemetery. The Hays family cemetery has been inactive since 1868, with the attendant neglect taking its toll in fallen trees, limbs, and aggressive weeds. An ornamental iron fence still surrounds this small family plot with eleven known burials. Erect stones mark the resting places of six members of the William H. Hays family, the earliest marker for Elizabeth, who died in 1842, just before her 17th birthday. Jefferson Hays was born in Kentucky in 1808. In 1832, he moved to Hire Township with two brothers, William and Thomas. When he died in 1857, Jefferson was buried in the family cemetery (but his headstone is missing or covered with mud and weeds). The markers for his brother William (died 1845) and William’s wife Susan (died 1857) are erect. Two other family names are represented on these headstones: Boyles and York. While clearing the area around the cemetery plot the Thrapps believe that they have found evidence of other graves outside of the fence. The cemetery sign project is supported by the McDonough County Genealogical Society, the McDonough County Highway Department, Niemann’s County Market and Pepsi, the Gerald Thrapp family, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Emmet Township - Descendant Douglas R. Head of Overland Park, Kansas, recently visited several county cemeteries and arranged for a new sign at the Head Cemetery donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. The Head Cemetery is located in northwest Emmet Township in McDonough County. It is an inactive and abandoned family and community cemetery. It was founded in 1836 and contains approximately 16 graves interred from then to 1876. There is an old wooden gate and arch which still holds up the deteriorating wire fence surrounding the plot. James Head (1780-1863), born in Virginia, moved to Emmet Township on Christmas day in 1832. He farmed until 1855 when he moved to Macomb. James and his wife Isabella (1790-1876) raised 12 children. They both rest in the Head Cemetery. Their son Thomas W. Head sold two acres of his land for use as a public cemetery (Spring Creek) where he and his wife Isabel are buried. There are seven infant graves among the 16 headstones still visible in the Head Cemetery. In 1973, a few markers were located just outside the fenced area. The cemetery sign project is supported by the McDonough County Genealogical Society, the McDonough County Highway Department, Niemann’s County Market and Pepsi, an anonymous donor, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Marlin Pendell and Brent Payne


Walnut Grove Township - Marlin Pendell and Brent Payne, Trustees of the Hickory Grove Cemetery, recently accepted a new sign donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. Hickory Grove Cemetery is northeast of Good Hope in northern Walnut Grove Township in McDonough County. There are six veterans of the Civil War buried among approximately 200 graves. One of the oldest headstones marks a grave from 1847, although the accepted date when the cemetery was officially founded is 1874. There are many markers between those two dates. This beautiful and well maintained cemetery has been inactive since 1978. In 1839, at the junction of N2200 and E1400, pioneer farmers established the Shiloh Presbyterian Church. The church eventually dissolved in 1863, merging with the Walnut Grove Presbyterian Church. The Hickory Grove Cemetery is one-half mile north of this location. This corner has also been called Sorghum City, drawing attention to the Sorghum Mill erected in 1860 by C.C. Whittlesey in Section 16. The cemetery sign project is supported by Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home, the McDonough County Genealogical Society, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


John Cuba and Gerald Waddill


Tennessee Township - - Accepting the McDonough County Historical Society sign for Hills Grove Cemetery are two of the longestserving trustees of the Hills Grove Cemetery Association board. John Cuba, left, served as a trustee on the board for 57 years. Cuba served as secretary-treasurer of the board from 1951 until 1992, retiring as trustee in 2006. Gerald Waddill continues to serve as a trustee on the board, serving since about 1985. The current president is Marlin Duncan with Mary Jane White as secretary/treasurer. Mary Jane White recounts some of the history of this rural cemetery southwest of the Village of Tennessee. Hills Grove Cemetery is still active and beautifully maintained by the cemetery association. The cemetery sign project is supported by Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home, the McDonough County Genealogical Society, the McDonough County Highway Department, Richard and Marilyn Jackson, and the McDonough County Historical Society. Hills Grove Cemetery by Mary Jane White Secretary/Treasurer Isaac Holton graduated from the University of Vermont in 1814. He read law with his brother John in Massachusetts and taught school in Vermont and Maine. He traded a church pew in Bangor, Maine for 160 acres in McDonough County. He came to McDonough County in 1835. Holton started the Hills Grove Seminary, the first school in the area. He platted the village of Hills Grove. Hills Grove was awarded a post office in 1839. Hills Grove Cemetery was on land which was owned by Isaac Holton but was separate from the village of Hills Grove. The first recorded burial at Hills Grove Cemetery was that of Isabel H. Conant in 1841. Isaac Holton was buried at Hills Grove Cemetery in 1850 as the fifth burial. In 1863 Isaac Holton’s widow, Phoebe A. Holton, deeded the land for the cemetery to Samuel A. Knott and Ambros/Ambers Owen, Trustees of Hills Grove Cemetery and their successors of McDonough County. The deed was recorded in 1864. There were 20 burials between 1841 and 1864 which indicates it was an established cemetery well before the land was deeded to cemetery trustees. Roswell Tyrrell, who is known as the first settler of Tennessee Township, is buried in Hills Grove Cemetery. Tyrrell was born in 1798 in Connecticut and came to live in what is now Tennessee Township in 1831, having purchased the land in 1826 while living in Fulton County. Tyrrell was a veteran of the War of 1812. Charles Fulkerson served in the Navy during the War of 1812. Several veterans of the Mexican War, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War rest in Hills Grove Cemetery. Flags of the United States are placed on each grave for Memorial Day by members of the Hills Grove Cemetery Association board of trustees. Hills Grove United Methodist Church holds a service each year at the cemetery on the Sunday morning of Memorial Day weekend to honor the veterans buried at Hills Grove. Hills Grove Cemetery is a private cemetery managed by the volunteer board of trustees of the Hills Grove Cemetery Association. Maintenance and improvements are provided by private funds held by Hills Grove Cemetery Association. There are about 300 burials at Hills Grove Cemetery.


Jerry Hughes


Jerry Hughes accepted the newest sign in the cemetery marking project sponsored by the McDonough County Historical Society. The Hillsborough Cemetery north of Blandinsville is in the far northwest corner of McDonough County. This small and well-kept cemetery sits atop a green grassy slope. Although some markers indicate earlier burials, the land was deeded as a cemetery in 1849. Hughes has many relatives in this cemetery, and his expertise with the county highway department assists installation of the signs. Hillsborough is still an active cemetery, mixing the very old markers with some newer ones. The Quality of Life Advisory Committee awarded a cost sharing grant to the historical society for the new signs.


Diana Kreps and Don Logan


Tennessee Township - Diana Kreps and her uncle Don Logan accepted a new sign for the Hutchinson Cemetery in the southeast corner of Tennessee Township. Logan, secretary/treasurer of the cemetery board, has served on the board for fifty years. He and Diana have many relatives in this active cemetery maintained by Don’s son, Deron. There are five veterans of the Civil War among the almost 300 grave stones. Some of the markers date back to the 1840s. The land was deeded as a cemetery in 1875. The new sign was installed by Jerry Hughes, sign specialist with the county highway department. The cemetery sign project is sponsored by the McDonough County Historical Society, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the Community Quality of Life Advisory Committee.


Jere and Paula Greuel Diana Kreps and Don Logan


Industry Township - Paula and Jere Greuel, members of the Industry Cemetery Board, recently accepted a new sign donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. Industry Cemetery is on the north edge of the township of Industry in McDonough County. There are 27 veterans of the Civil War and one veteran of the Spanish American War buried among approximately 2000 graves. One of the oldest headstones marks a grave from 1880, but the land was not deeded as a cemetery until 1893. Industry Cemetery is still active and beautifully maintained by Industry Township. The cemetery sign project is supported by Table Grove State Bank, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Darrell Roberts and Carol Gooden Jere and Paula Greuel


Lamoine Township - Carol Gooden and Darrell Roberts accepted a new sign donated by the McDonough County Historical Society to mark the King Cemetery. This family and later public cemetery is located in the center of section four of Lamoine Township in McDonough County. There are approximately 130 markers for the people buried between 1836 and 1954 in this abandoned and inactive cemetery. The first burial was James Waddill who died in 1836. There are 26 markers with the name Waddill on them, the last died in 1918. Waddill daughters and their new family names are also marked. The last burial in King Cemetery was James Owen in 1954. The cemetery is on private property recently sold by Carol Gooden to Darrell Roberts. The large area is fenced, but overgrowth of weeds and brush from below, fallen trees from above, and tornado damage detract from the condition of this once impressive cemetery. Edmund Badger, a veteran of the War of 1812, rests here with four veterans of the Civil War, one of whom, Daniel Badger, was his son. The cemetery sign project is supported by Clugston Tibbitts Funeral Home (Macomb and Blandinsville) and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Ralph Wolf Darrell Roberts and


Walnut Grove Township- Ralph Wolf, owner of property that includes the Larkins Cemetery, recently accepted a new sign to mark the site donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. This inactive cemetery is located in the NW quarter of Section Three, Walnut Grove Township in McDonough County, 3.25 miles east of Highway 67 on road N2400. The Wolf home is directly across the road. The quarter acre memorial area still retains some wire fencing most likely set in 1991 when Jay Payne, township road commissioner, and the Good Hope 4-H, under the supervision of Steve and Eileen Worthington and Penny Young, cleaned up the cemetery. John W. Larkins and his wife Lydia, bought the NW quarter of Section 3 in 1854, and hence the cemetery name (although recent locals have dropped the “s�). There are nine Larkins resting in this cemetery, where only seven of the 20 markers record adults and 13 mark the graves of infants and children. The last burial was in 1886. The cemetery sign project is supported by Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home, the McDonough County Genealogical Society, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Blandinsville--Dave Wilson, sexton for all seven cemeteries in Blandinsville Township, accepted a new sign for the Liberty Cemetery 1.5 miles north of the city of Blandinsville. The cemetery was started in 1832 next to the Liberty Christian or Disciples of Christ church. The church was abandoned in 1849, but the cemetery was active until 1951. There are four Civil War veterans and one Spanish-American War veteran among the 240 grave sites. The sign was donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. It was installed by Jerry Hughes of the McDonough County Highway Department. The cemetery sign project is partially funded by the Community Quality of Life Advisory Committee.


Macomb -- Earlier this spring, 34 students from four universities devoted the first morning of their weekend conference at WIU restoring the neglected Lower (pronounced Lah-wer) Cemetery in southern Colchester Township. This week, the McDonough County Historical Society installed two signs, one near a rough roadway access, and one at the cemetery entrance. Margaret Foster, on whose farm the cemetery is located, accepted the sign near the highway. She suggested the second sign as a tribute to her late friend and neighbor Vera Cordell. Both were long time members of the historical society. Vera Cordell, a rural resident who lived close to the Lower Cemetery, cared for the cemetery until it deteriorated beyond her control. Her great grandparents, Benjamin and Mary Boyd, rest in the Lower Cemetery. Vera’s son Pat accepted the sign at the cemetery entrance deep in the woods southwest of Colchester. The Lower Cemetery was established in 1841 with the burial of Lucy Horrell, whose majestic tall monument was raised from the mud in April. Government headstones mark the graves of four veterans of the Civil War, William Blanchard, William Hill, S.P. Martin, and Alvin Martin. Many of the 40 markers in this large plot were covered with decades of mud and grass. Many were knocked over by falling trees, tree limbs, deer, and scratching cattle. Dan Oliver, resident manager of the Foster Farm, used his chain saw to help the students clear off many layers of accumulated debris. Roger Frowein, past president of the historical society, brought shears, shovels, loppers, and hoes for the students to use. Many student volunteers were touched by the death dates of very young infants, sometimes more than one to a family. Others were struck by the intricate and artistic designs engraved in the stone. Some were frustrated by the inability to read the weathered names or dates inscribed in often soft stone. There are five members of the Lower family in this cemetery. The last burial was Ella Pittman Lower in 1936. The cemetery sign project is supported by Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home, the McDonough County Genealogical Society, the McDonough County Highway Department, Richard and Marilyn Jackson, and the McDonough County Historical Society. In addition, Pat Cordell (son of Vera), Margaret Foster, and the Foster Farm sponsored the second sign to commemorate the dedication of Vera Cordell who honored this final resting place of early pioneers in our county.


Walnut Grove Township - - Jack Zimmerman, supervisor of Walnut Grove Township and administrator of Lynn-Hageman Cemetery, proudly accepts the newest sign in the cemetery marking project sponsored by the McDonough County Historical Society. The Lynn-Hageman Cemetery is on the south side of highway 2100N atop a hill looking over Crooked Creek. It has grave markers dating back to 1856. There is one veteran from the Civil War among the two dozen family graves in this beautiful cemetery. This cemetery along with four others, is maintained by Walnut Grove Township. The cemetery sign project is supported by the Community Quality of Life Advisory Committee, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Colchester and Chalmers Townships - Garold Parkins and his twin sister Sheryl Parkins Voorhis, caretakers of Stevens Cemetery, accepted on their birthdays a new sign donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. Dan Voorhis, Sheryl’s husband, also helps tend the cemetery grounds. Stevens Cemetery is in east central Colchester Township in McDonough County. There is one veteran, Aaron Peck, of the War of 1812 buried among approximately 20 graves in this old family cemetery. One of the oldest headstones marks a grave from 1870. Stevens Cemetery is not active but beautifully maintained by relatives of those buried there. William and brother Charles Stevens, buried here on their family farm in the 1880s, were prominent businessmen in Colchester. Their grandsons owned the exclusive Stevens Hotel in Chicago and an upscale haberdashery on State Street. William Stevens’ mother-in-law, Martha Miler, followed her daughter Mary from Indiana to Illinois. She died in 1840 and was buried alone on a private grave site just north of Fandon. The cemetery sign project is supported by Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home in Macomb, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Howard Daniels and George Swartzbaugh


The Mound Chapel Cemetery board of trustees proudly accepted the newest sign in the cemetery marking project sponsored by the McDonough County Historical Society. This well kempt cemetery at the corner of highways 41 and 95 has grave stones dating back to 1855 when it was a Methodist church cemetery. The land was deeded as a cemetery in 1874. "We are very proud of our rural and family cemetery," said Howard Daniels (left), one of the trustees on the board. George Swartzbaugh (right), president of the board, thanked Jerry Hughes of the McDonough County Highway Department, for putting the sign in the ground. Locie Pensinger is the third member of the board. The Quality of Life Advisory Committee awarded a cost sharing grant to the historical society for the new signs.


Milt Sullivan


Colchester, IL - Milt Sullivan, supervisor of Colchester Township, which now has responsibilities for Mt. Auburn Cemetery, accepted a new sign donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. The Mt. Auburn Cemetery is in the northern part of the city. There are a few veterans of the War of 1812, 62 veterans of the Civil War, and one from the Spanish American War buried among the approximately 3,520 graves. Some of the oldest headstones mark graves from the 1860s. The land was deeded as a cemetery in 1881. The Mt. Auburn Cemetery is still active and beautifully maintained by the Colchester Township. The cemetery sign project is supported by the Community Quality of Life Advisory Committee, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Joan and Steve Biswell


Chalmers Township - Steve and Joan Biswell, owners of property that includes the Murray Gravesite, recently accepted a new sign to mark the site donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. This single monument cemetery is located in a farm field in the northwest quarter of Section 16 in Chalmers Township in McDonough County. The 8’ x 8’ memorial area is carefully landscaped to protect the huge marble monument. The front side of the monument records the deaths of Elizabeth and John Murray, with inscriptions. Elizabeth Murray, 1840-1894, is remembered thusly: “She was a kind and affectionate wife and friend to all.” John F. Murray, 1832-1896, has this epitaph: “Sleep on brother, thy work is done, Jesus has come and borne thee to him.” The cemetery sign project is supported by Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Homes, West Side Lumber, Assets Protection, Inc. (Bob Fischer, President), and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Matthew, Valerie, Eli, Kathy, Megan and Emily Butler


Blandinsville Township - Matthew and Valerie Butler, owners of property that includes the Mustain Gravesite, recently accepted a new sign to mark the site donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. This single monument cemetery is located in a cow pasture in the northwest quarter of Section 16 in Blandinsville Township in McDonough County. The 15’ x 15’ memorial area is still protected by some wire fencing attached to old but solid tree-trunk posts. Three sides of the tall monument record the deaths of Jane Mustain Howard (1821-1845), her mother Elizabeth Mustain (1792-1863), and Elizabeth’s husband John Mustain (17831869). John married Elizabeth Glenn in 1812. They had ten children. John Mustain’s family came to McDonough County from Virginia in 1832, appearing on the tax lists as a large landowning farmer in Section 16 of Blandinsville Township. This area was once called Job’s Settlement. The cemetery sign project is supported by the McDonough County Genealogical Society, McDonough County Retire Teachers Association, Clugston Tibbitts Funeral Home (Blandinsville and Macomb), and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Howard Kreps


Colchester Township - Howard Kreps recently accepted a new sign for the Neece Cemetery donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. Neece Cemetery is located in south central Colchester Township in McDonough County. It is an inactive family cemetery founded in 1838 with approximately 20 graves interred from then to 1928. When Howard Kreps purchased his rural home he discovered this abandoned and neglected cemetery on his land. The headstones are in good condition and can be read, although the area is full of trees and brush. In 1992, Macomb police officer Gary Tilden, with his wife Vivian, and friends Tom Carey, Randy Allison, Joe Richbark and Steve Richbark, cleaned up this cemetery. They found the marker of Civil War veteran Oscar Florey, husband of Ada Neece. The earliest known burial in 1838 was Mary D. Neece, first wife of Jesse Neece who moved into McDonough County in 1821. Andrew Jackson McCown's parents are in the Barber Cemetery. Jack and his wife, Fidelia Neece, rest in the Neece Cemetery. The cemetery sign project is supported by Clugston-Tibbitts Funeral Home in Macomb and Blandinsville, the Community Quality of Life Advisory Committee, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Hire Township - - Neal Null, a member of the Hire Township Board, accepts a new sign for the New Hope/Old South Cemetery in northern Hire Township south of Blandinsville. This large cemetery deeded in 1838 has over 600 graves and is maintained by a township cemetery maintenance tax. The sign was donated by the McDonough County Historical Society and was partially supported by a grant from the Community Quality of Life Advisory Committee. The sign was installed by Jerry Hughes of the McDonough County Highway Department.


Gary Rhodes


Macomb - Gary Rhodes, sexton of Oakwood Cemetery, recently accepted a new sign donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. One of the oldest headstones marks a grave from 1857 when the cemetery was established and incorporated by William H. Randolph (1813-1864), a prominent businessman and political leader in nineteenth century Macomb (who is buried there). The original eleven acres had been an orchard on the farm of Randolph’s father-in-law, Thomas A. Brooking. Additional land was added sporadically from 1880 to reach its current size. Many historically significant Macomb citizens rest in Oakwood including William “Uncle Billy” Allison, Sarah Allison, and Harmon Allison, conductors in the Underground Railroad. Carter Van Vleck, C.V. Chandler, and William L. Broaddus, were officers in the Civil War. Sanford Daniels, a former slave who, after freedom, lived in Macomb until 101 years old, and Alfred Bayliss and Samuel B. Hursh, leaders at Western Illinois State Normal School (now WIU) are also in Oakwood. There is even a pauper’s corner. Oakwood Cemetery is still active and beautifully maintained by the city. Rhodes is the current sexton. City taxes are levied for its operation, along with charges for grave sites. Macomb Public Works maintains Oakwood and the Old Macomb Cemetery on Wigwam Hollow Road. The cemetery sign project is supported by Mid-America National Bank, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Blandinsville Township- Gil Belles, director of the cemetery sign project of the McDonough County Historical Society, used a late fall day to mark Old Bedford Cemetery in the far northwest corner of Blandinsville Township. Jerry Hughes, sign specialist for the McDonough County Highway Department, installed the sign on this attractive cemetery, begun in 1839 by the Bedford Christian Church, and deeded as a cemetery in 1877. There is one Civil War veteran among over 250 artistic and unusual grave markers made of many materials. The cemetery sign project is possible through the cooperation of the McDonough County Historical Society, the McDonough County Highway Department, and a grant from the Community Quality of Life Advisory Committee.


Marion and Ken Keudell


Macomb - Marion and Ken Keudell, members of the McDonough County Historical Society, draw attention to the newest sign in the cemetery marking project of the MCHS. Old Macomb Cemetery lies on the west side of Wigwam Hollow Road. Like many cities with deep roots in early nineteenth century United States history, Macomb has an outdoor archive full of fascinating information. Our Old Macomb Cemetery has the potential of drawing descendants, students, and visitors interested in family and community genealogy, local history, prominent citizens, immigration trends, impact of disease, and artistic sculpting. Sadly, much of this potential is being lost to neglect and weather. Headstones once erect and connecting the past with the present, lay flat, damaged and gradually disappearing under soil, grass, and weeds. Genealogist Marge Harris once documented at least 315 burials on the basis of incomplete records. There were probably more. The first burial in the Old Macomb Cemetery, in 1830, was the young daughter of Peter Hale, who owned the land and a log cabin on it. She fell into a fire and burned to death. Hale sold the two acres to a merchant William Bailey and Dr. Charles Hays. They in turn sold the property to Robert Garrett in 1835. One year later, Garrett sold the land to the county to be used as a public cemetery. Scattered among the visible headstones are several with distinctive artistic sculpting and inscriptions as well as bearing the initials “JL” near the base. Theses stones with elaborate borders and short poems were created by pioneer stone carver John Long. In one of his essays about the Old Macomb Cemetery, John Hallwas reminds us that Long’s “hand-carved headstones are the oldest historical artifacts in McDonough County that can be connected with the person who produced them, and they lend a quaint character to the long unused pioneer burial ground.” The MCHS, by drawing attention to the 110 cemeteries in McDonough County, hopes to raise the collective consciousness of our community to its obligation to these resting places of our ancestors. It seems a bit peculiar that we go to such lengths and expense to honor our deceased parents, children, and siblings, but with such cavalier abandon neglect the resting places of our earlier forebears who were once the objects of similar love, compassion, respect, and honor. Before more stones are damaged or buried, some volunteers need to restore this historical landmark cemetery to a more acceptable condition. Markers need to be reset, many need to be repaired, and countless need to be unearthed. The Old Macomb Cemetery has two veterans of the War of 1812, two from the Mormon War, 11 Civil War, and one who served in the Black Hawk war. The cemetery sign project is supported by Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home, the McDonough County Genealogical Society, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society. Ken Keudell, secretary of the MCHS, and his wife Marion encouraged this new sign at the Old Macomb Cemetery.


John Oakman


Village of Prairie City - John Oakman, mayor of Prairie City, recently accepted a new sign for the Old Prairie City Cemetery donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. Old Prairie City Cemetery is northeast of Prairie City, along the Warren County line. Although the cemetery land is in Warren County, the graves are of Prairie City, McDonough County residents. In the 1980s, a group of Prairie City citizens devoted many hours of difficult labor rescuing this once abandoned and neglected cemetery. From that time on, the Village of Prairie City has maintained this resting place of about 65 graves. Approximately 32 of the 65 headstones mark the graves of children under nine years of age. The first burial was Elizabeth Metcalf in 1856. The last recorded funeral was for W.G. Patten, who died January 15, 1899. When the newer and current Prairie City Cemetery was established in 1866, many graves were moved from the old to the new cemetery. But the Old Prairie City Cemetery remained active until 1899. Ephriam Tipton (1794-1869) fought in the War of 1812. Two veterans of the Civil War are buried here: Joseph Baumgartner and Mathew McComb. The cemetery sign project is supported by the McDonough County Genealogical Society and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Helen Lewis


Helen Lewis accepted the newest sign in the cemetery marking project sponsored by the McDonough County Historical Society. The Old St. Paul Cemetery on Quail Walk Road, was given to the catholic church by Patrick McGinnis in 1860. Helen Lewis of Macomb is his great granddaughter. This small and well-kept cemetery sits atop a hill one-half mile north of highway 136. Only a few grave stones remain, all dating back over 100 years. Most of the original graves were moved to the newer St. Paul Cemetery off North Lafayette Street in the 1880s. This spring an effort will be made to uncover and reposition other fallen and half buried stone markers Bernard Lewis, Helen’s brother, volunteers his time to keep the weeds and brush under control. The Quality of Life Advisory Committee awarded a cost sharing grant to the historical society for the new signs.


Dick Jackson


Industry Township - Dick Jackson, genealogist, cemetery historian, and descendant of relatives buried in the Osborn Cemetery, recently accepted a new sign to mark the site donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. This small family cemetery is located in a wooded area in the northwest quarter of Section 22 in Industry Township in McDonough County. The memorial area was once protected by some wire fencing attached to old round fence posts, but only fragments remain. The first burial with an extant marker, was Nancy Lane, 15 month old daughter of William and Sarah Osborn, who died April 22, 1857. William Osborn’s mother, Dicy Smith Osborn, wife of Solomon, was also buried here, in 1861. The other two visible headstones mark the graves of Sarah Osborn, who died at the age of thirty, and the grave of an infant family friend, Charles Frisbie (1872). The Osborn’s came to Illinois in the 1820s from North Carolina and to McDonough County from eastern Illinois in the 1830s, appearing on the census lists as landowners in Industry Township. The cemetery sign project is supported by Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home, West Side Lumber, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Dick Jackson


Industry Township - Richard Jackson, genealogist, cemetery historian, and descendant of relatives buried in the Peak Cemetery, recently accepted a new sign to mark the site donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. This small family cemetery is located in a dense wooded area in the northwest quarter of Section 23 in Industry Township in McDonough County. This memorial area was once protected by some wire fencing attached to old round fence posts, but only fragments remain. A period of hogs running wild did extensive damage to this burial site. The first burial with an extant marker (1863), was Margaret Springer, 46 year old wife of William Springer. It appears that the last burial was in 1873. Other visible headstones mark the graves of Cordells, Osborns, and Peaks, all of whom seem to have been related by marriages. Joseph Osborn (1781-1870) and his wife Nancy came to McDonough County from Virginia in the 1820s, appearing on the 1830 census lists as landowners in Industry Township. Joseph was a veteran of the War of 1812. According to veterans’ records in Illinois, Hugh Smith, another veteran of the War of 1812, is also buried in the Peak Cemetery; but no headstone for Smith is visible today. There is a well preserved headstone for William Peak, who served in the Civil War. The cemetery sign project is supported by Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home, Assets Protection, Inc. (Robert Fischer, President), West Side Lumber, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Industry Township - Scott Knicl, Macomb High senior, recently directed the cleanup of the Peak Cemetery as his Eagle Scout project. Knicl discovered this challenge through the on-going cemetery project of the McDonough County Historical Society. This small family cemetery is located in a dense wooded area in the northwest quarter of Section 23 in Industry Township in McDonough County. Wire fencing attached to old round fence posts once protected this memorial area, but only fragments remain. The Peak Cemetery typified an abandoned and neglected historical site. Fallen trees, broken and partially buried headstones, and rampant overgrowth of weeds and bushes engulfed the area in deep woods. The first burial with an extant marker was Hannah Springer, who died in 1861. She was the 23 year-old wife of Collen Cordell. It appears that the last burial was in 1873. Other visible headstones mark the graves of Chamber, Cordells, Osborn, and Peaks, all of whom seem to have been related by marriages. Joseph Osborn and his wife Nancy came to McDonough County from Virginia in the 1820s, appearing on the 1830 census lists as landowners in Industry Township. Joseph was a veteran of the War of 1812. According to veterans’ records in Illinois, Hugh Smith, another veteran of the War of 1812, is also buried in the Peak Cemetery; but no headstone for Smith is visible today. The Scouts hope to find that someday. There is a well-preserved headstone for William Peak, who served in the Civil War, as well as tombstones for his grandparents, William and Anna Peak. The Scouts, under the direction of Knicl, cleared the floor of the plot. As the debris was moved away, corners of headstones appeared, revealing long buried markers of other pioneers who settled, lived, and worked here in the 1800s. Knicl had seen the story of the Peak Cemetery last year when the McDonough County Historical Society installed a sign there. The cemetery sign project is supported by Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home, Assets Protection, Inc. (Robert Fischer, President), and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Dr. Jon Dively and Peggy Pennington Foster


Industry Township - Peggy Pennington Foster and Dr. Jon Dively, accepted a new sign for the Pennington Cemetery donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. Pennington Cemetery, not to be confused with Pennington Point Cemetery, is on the Dively farm in the center of Industry Township in McDonough County. Peggy’s great-great grandparents, Thomas J. and Mary J. Pennington are buried in this family cemetery. Thomas was a veteran of the Black Hawk War and a friend of Abraham Lincoln. The first burial in 1869 was Morris Pennington, the nine year old son of Thomas and Mary. Peter Smith, a veteran of the Civil War, is buried among approximately 25 graves. The last known burial was in 1919. In 1980, Jon Dively Jr. restored the cemetery for his Eagle Scout project under the supervision of Peggy’s husband, Dick Foster. The cemetery sign project is supported by Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home in Macomb, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


New Salem Township - Jim Smith, sexton of Pennington Point Cemetery, recently accepted a new sign donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. Pennington Point Cemetery is in west central New Salem Township in McDonough County. There are seven veterans of the War of 1812, three from the Black Hawk War (1832), and 28 veterans of the Civil War (three from the Confederate Army) buried among approximately 1200 graves. One of the oldest headstones marks a grave from 1834. It was deeded as a cemetery in 1836. Pennington Point Cemetery is still active and beautifully maintained, recently becoming a responsibility of New Salem Township. The cemetery sign project is supported by Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home in Macomb, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Bernadine Gustafson and Ann Hiland


Colchester Township - Ann Hiland, owner of a property that includes the Peterson grave site, recently accepted a new sign to mark the site donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. Ann’s mother, Bernadine Gustafson, alerted the historical society about this grave. This single monument cemetery is located on Hiland’s front yard in the southwest quarter of Section 6 in Colchester Township in McDonough County. The single pink marble memorial was discovered when Ann and her husband were installing a new fence. The gravestone had sunken and been buried by flood waters and soil for over a century. The monument, about three feet long, two feet wide, and 18 inches high, marks the grave of Amanda Freel Peterson, born December 22, 1861, died December 11, 1910. Only local legend offers some insight into this person and her death. Hiland said the story had Peterson on a wagon ride across Illinois. She got sick and died where she was buried. Her relatives returned later to mark her grave. The cemetery sign project is supported by Assets Protection (President Robert Fischer) and the McDonough County Historical Society.


David Raymond, Gene Raymond , Judy Raymond Brooks, Gary Raymond


Bethel Township - Members of the Gene Raymond family recently accepted a new sign for the Pioneer Cemetery donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. Pioneer Cemetery is located in the center of Bethel Township in McDonough County. It is an inactive cemetery founded in 1838 with approximately 45 graves interred from then to 1906. Gene Raymond (behind sign) has his great grandfather G.F. Raymond and great grandmother Sara Raymond buried next to his grandfather James Raymond in this cemetery. Gene’s sons David (far left) and Gary (far right) help clean up the fenced in acre with about 45 grave sites. Gene’s daughter Judy Raymond Brooks (second from right) encourages their work. When the members of the Raymond family first cleaned up this cemetery about ten years ago, they found the marker of Civil War veteran Talmon Husted. A bronze plaque imbedded in the concrete gate post pays tribute to those resting here: “Erected in honor of the pioneers who cleared away the forests and destroyed the abiding places of the wild beasts so that civilization might occupy the land” The cemetery sign project is supported by Clugston-Tibbitts Funeral Home in Macomb and Blandinsville, the Community Quality of Life Advisory Committee, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Ann and Kendall Knowles


Emmet Township - Kendall and Ann Runner Knowles, owners of property that includes the PostShippey-Dew Cemetery, recently accepted a new sign to mark the site donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. Ann’s family has farmed this property for many years, and she recalls seeing the headstones when she was a young girl. But there is little historical record of the folks resting there. This cemetery is located in the southwest quarter of Section 32 in Emmet Township in McDonough County. The headstones are all fallen and partially buried under sod and weeds. They are in two groups separated by about 15 yards, and memorialized over a 20 year period (1839-1859). David Shippey and his wife Lydia both died in September 1839. A nearby headstone marks the grave of Margaret Post, 1840. Approximately 15 yards east are headstones for Elizabeth Dew (March 1859) and her infant daughter (October 1859). Nothing could be found about any of these early settlers. A sophisticated “poking” between these two groups might reveal more headstones marking burials between 1839 and 1859. The cemetery sign project is supported by Assets Protection Inc. (President Robert Fischer), West Side Lumber, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


David Havens, Kenny Garrett, and Kevin Walter Ann and Kendall Knowles


Prairie City, IL - David Havens, Kenny Garrett, and Kevin Walter (left to right), trustees of the Prairie City Cemetery, accept a new sign donated by the McDonough County Historical Society on September 7. The new Prairie City Cemetery is in the northeastern corner of the county. There are two veterans of the War of 1812, 54 veterans of the Civil War, and one from the Spanish American War buried among the approximately 5,520 graves. Some of the oldest headstones mark graves from the 1850s. The land was deeded as a cemetery in 1866. The Prairie City Cemetery is still active and beautifully maintained.


Bethel Township - A.J. Bourn of Macomb, church and cemetery historian recently accepted a new sign for the Primitive Baptist Cemetery donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. Primitive Baptist Cemetery is located in north central Bethel Township in McDonough County. It is an inactive cemetery founded in 1847 with approximately 15 graves interred from then to 1889. Primitive Baptist Church was organized in 1831 by John Logan, who, according to church historian Robert Webb of Carthage, preached one of the first church sermons in McDonough County. Benjamin Matthews deeded this property for a church and cemetery in 1847. He and his son Jacob are buried here. Jacob’s great great great grandson Charles K. Matthews currently lives in Bonner Springs, KS. One of the fenced family plots memorializes several infants with a statue of a small girl, circled by stone carved roses, with the inscription “Bloom in Heaven.” The cemetery sign project is supported by Clugston-Tibbitts Funeral Home in Macomb and Blandinsville, the Community Quality of Life Advisory Committee, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Bethel Township - Terry Carnahan, property owner, recently authorized a new sign to mark the Pruett Cemetery donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. This small family cemetery is located in the dense woods of section 27 of Bethel Township in McDonough County. There are six markers for the Pruetts buried between 1846 and 1855 in this abandoned and inactive cemetery. The first burial was David Pruett who died in 1846. All of the headstones have the family name Pruett on them. The cemetery is on private property owned by Carnahan. The small area is fairly clear of weeds, but is difficult to find in the woods. The cemetery sign project is supported by Ginny Boynton (chair, WIU department of history) and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Rural Macomb - Craig Rigg recently accepted a new sign for the Rigg Family Cemetery located seven miles south of Macomb in Bethel Township. Craig and his brother Curt maintain this cemetery that was established in 1840 by Nancy and Samuel Rigg for their family. A family plat of the cemetery shows 35 Riggs buried into the 1950s. The map shows a “Mrs. Jones” and a “Jones Baby” creating a mystery to the Rigg brothers today. Many of the original marker stones are difficult to read. The cemetery sign project is sponsored by the McDonough County Historical Society, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the Community Quality of Life Advisory Committee.


The Reverend Monsignor Richard Pricco


Tennessee, IL - - The Rev. Richard Pricco, parish priest at St. Paul Catholic Church in Macomb, accepts the newest sign in a project marking cemeteries sponsored by the McDonough County Historical Society. The Sacred Heart Cemetery, north of Tennessee, has grave markers dating back to 1850 and was deeded as a cemetery in 1865. The last burial was in 1962. Father Pricco serves as administrator of the cemetery. The first church connected to the cemetery was St. Mary’s Catholic Church, a part of the congregation that came from St. Simon Church in Fountain Green. Later the name was changed to Sacred Heart Catholic Church. During that early period, Abraham Lincoln’s uncle Mordecai had family in Fountain Green. Two of Mordecai’s granddaughters, Emily Lincoln and Rowena Lincoln Bowan, worshiped in Tennessee and both are buried in Sacred Heart Cemetery. Their stones are among over 175 graves in this beautiful cemetery cared for by volunteer Bernard Lewis. The cemetery sign project is supported by the Community Quality of Life Advisory Committee, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Jerry Billeter


Jerry Billeter, board member of the Cemetery Association of St. Paul Catholic Church in Macomb, accepted the newest sign in the cemetery marking project sponsored by the McDonough County Historical Society. The Old St. Paul Cemetery on Quail Walk Road, was given to the catholic church by Patrick McGinnis in 1860. Most remains from that first St. Paul cemetery were moved to the current site in 1869 when Peter Crawford and other parishioners bought six acres (for $480) from Joseph Burton closer to the north end of Macomb. The burial dates on the headstones show that many were moved from the Quail Walk Road site to this new cemetery, which blends its date of establishment with the original cemetery site (1860). The Rev. Richard Pricco, parish priest at St. Paul Catholic Church, serves as administrator of three cemeteries, Sacred Heart near Tennessee, Old St. Paul on Quail Walk Road, and this still active and well maintained cemetery on North Lafayette Street. Father Pricco continues a cemetery tradition initiated by Monsignor Michael Haddigan (pastor at St. Paul 1948-1973) by celebrating a Memorial Mass in the cemetery on Memorial Day. This custom honors all of the deceased of the parish as well as those who served in the armed forces. St. Paul Cemetery has seven veterans of the Civil War and two from the Spanish-American War resting among approximately 1300 graves. The cemetery sign project is supported by MidAmerica National Bank, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Bethel Township - Ralph Wickert, president of the Scott’s Cemetery Trustees, accepts a new sign donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. Scott’s Cemetery is in the southwest corner of Bethel Township in McDonough County. There are two veterans of the War of 1812 (John Foster and Hugh Wear) and 22 veterans of the Civil War buried among approximately 800 graves. One of the oldest headstones marks a grave from 1836. John Scott donated the land for the cemetery in 1836. Scott’s Cemetery is still active and beautifully maintained, funded by a perpetual trust. The cemetery sign project is supported by Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home in Macomb, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Joe Howard


Macomb - Macomb High School senior Joe Howard learned about the cemetery restoration project of the McDonough County Historical Society early this spring. He consulted with some leaders of his Scout troop which set off a chain of events that culminated in completion of his major project to reach Eagle Scout. The Simmons family cemetery has been inactive since 1922, when Spring Lake was created. The lake project flooded the county road used to access this cemetery. The isolation and consequent abandonment and neglect took its toll in fallen trees, limbs, and aggressive weeds. Howard learned that members of the Historical Society would be enthusiastic supporters of his proposal to reclaim and restore this old family cemetery which is on property owned by the city and administered by Spring Lake Park. After several Saturdays of chain saws, weed whackers, loppers, stoop labor, and the cooperation of a few fellow Scouts and friends, the Simmons Cemetery has emerged as an expansive and restored cemetery. Most headstones are standing erect surrounded by dense woods. The McDonough County Historical Society recognized the work of Howard by erecting its most recent sign at the edge of the newly cleared plot in the middle of a forest a half mile north of Spring Lake shore. The earliest burial was Joseph E. Landsdown in 1855, at age 54 years old. The last interment was John Joshua Simmons in 1922. An older Rowan L. Simmons was a veteran of the Civil War who died in 1906. Ten of the 31 headstones mark the graves of young children or infants. Twelve members of the Simmons family rest in this deeply wooded and secluded plot. Howard is president of Scout Venturing Crew 5203. Dr. Shea Trost serves as Crew Advisor and Tom Green supervised this Eagle project. The cemetery sign project is supported by Niemann’s County Market and Pepsi, the McDonough County Genealogical Society, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Tucker Hays


Macomb - In August, Tucker Hays completed cleaning up and reclaiming the Simpson cemetery, a project that will be submitted as his major requirement to reach Eagle Scout. The Simpson family cemetery has been inactive since 1918, with the attendant neglect taking its toll in fallen trees, limbs, and aggressive weeds. After several Saturdays of chain saws, weed whackers, loppers, stoop labor, and the cooperation of a dozen fellow Scouts and friends, the Simpson Cemetery emerged as a beautifully restored cemetery. The headstones are standing erect surrounded by an ancient wire fence supported by original concrete posts. In August, the McDonough County Historical Society recognized the work of Tucker Hays by erecting a new sign at the edge of the newly cleared plot in the middle of a forest a half mile north of the Animal Shelter. The earliest burial was an infant in 1842. The last was William M. Simpson, a veteran who died in World War I in 1918. An older William T. Simpson was a veteran of the Civil War who died in 1878. Seven of the 16 headstones mark the graves of young children or infants. Ten members of the Simpson family rest in this deeply wooded and secluded plot. Tucker felt that the remoteness of this historical site required a second sign at the edge of the forest near a newly created footpath leading to the resting place. The members of First Presbyterian Church agreed and sponsored a second sign for the Simpson Cemetery, erected last week. Tucker is a member of Scout Venture Crew #1. Mitch Standard serves as Scoutmaster and Mike Burdick supervised this Eagle project. The cemetery sign project is sponsored by the McDonough County Historical Society.


Emmet Township, IL -- - Fred Kitch accepts a new sign for the Spring Creek Cemetery donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. Fred and his brother Steve are volunteer sextons of the cemetery on the northern edge of Emmet Township. There is one veteran of the War of 1812 and eight veterans of the Civil War buried among the approximately 400 graves. Some of the oldest headstones mark graves from the 1830s. The land was deeded as a cemetery in 1867. Spring Creek Cemetery is inactive but beautifully maintained by the Kitch brothers.


Mike Woodside


Industry Township - Mike Woodside, owner of property that includes the Mordecai Springer Gravesite, recently accepted a new sign to mark the site donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. This single monument cemetery is located two miles south of the Village of Industry in McDonough County, near the former site of the Cross Roads or Pleasant Grove school, church, and lost cemetery. Springer was buried in November 1887 at age 76. The 12’ x 12’ memorial area still retains some of the original wire fencing attached to old but solid concrete square fence posts. Mordecai Springer’s family came to McDonough County in the 1840s, appearing on the tax lists as large landowning farmers in Section 26 of Industry Township. This area was once called Carter’s Settlement. Pioneer families came to this area in the 1820s and built a log fort for protection against the Native Americans. No trace of the fort exist, but concrete steps remain for the Cross Roads Methodist Episcopal Church which was due south of the Springer grave. Mordecai married Parmelia Vail in 1863. Their son Charles Springer lived in the Industry area until his death in 1932. The cemetery sign project is supported by Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home, the McDonough County Genealogical Society, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Mike Black


Mike Black, cemetery historian from Industry, recently accepted a new sign for the Standard Cemetery donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. The Standard Cemetery is located in dense woods in the southwest quarter of section 24 in Industry Township. The Standard Cemetery was established in 1840 with the burial of Joshua David, whose son John (d. 1906) and daughter-in-law Cassinda (d. 1904) appear to be the last burials in this cemetery. Government headstones mark the graves of two veterans of the Civil War, Captain John Wyatt (minister) and his son Daniel Wyatt, who died in service from disease in 1864. Many of the approximately 75 markers in this large plot are covered with decades of mud and weeds. Many were knocked over by falling trees, tree limbs, deer, and scratching cattle. A casual observer sees monuments of prominent McDonough County names of the late 19th century: Flack, Pennington, Pittman, and Seaward. One also is touched by the death dates of very young infants, sometimes more than one to a family. And any visitor is frustrated by the inability to read the weathered names, dates, or epitaphs inscribed in often soft stone. But this abandoned, neglected cemetery is still a rich history laboratory, and is worth restoration and preservation. The cemetery sign project is supported by Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home, Assets Protection, Inc. (Robert Fischer, President), and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Colchester and Chalmers Townships - Garold Parkins and his twin sister Sheryl Parkins Voorhis, caretakers of Stevens Cemetery, accepted on their birthdays a new sign donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. Dan Voorhis, Sheryl’s husband, also helps tend the cemetery grounds. Stevens Cemetery is in east central Colchester Township in McDonough County. There is one veteran, Aaron Peck, of the War of 1812 buried among approximately 20 graves in this old family cemetery. One of the oldest headstones marks a grave from 1870. Stevens Cemetery is not active but beautifully maintained by relatives of those buried there. William and brother Charles Stevens, buried here on their family farm in the 1880s, were prominent businessmen in Colchester. Their grandsons owned the exclusive Stevens Hotel in Chicago and an upscale haberdashery on State Street. William Stevens’ mother-in-law, Martha Miler, followed her daughter Mary from Indiana to Illinois. She died in 1840 and was buried alone on a private grave site just north of Fandon. The cemetery sign project is supported by Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home in Macomb, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Ben Burdick with Larry and Mary Graves


When Ben Burdick first saw the Stickle cemetery last winter, a trigger in his mind set off a chain of events that has culminated in his major project to reach Eagle Scout. The cemetery has been inactive since 1958, with the attendant neglect taking its toll in falling trees, limbs, and aggressive weeds. Ben asked property owner Larry Graves if he would object to a cleanup project at the cemetery site. Larry and his wife Mary were enthusiastic supporters of this proposal. After four Saturdays of chain saws, weed whackers, stoop labor, and the cooperation of two dozen Scouts and friends, the Stickle Cemetery has emerged as a beautiful and restored center of local history. The McDonough County Historical Society recognized the work of Ben Burdick and the cooperation of Larry and Mary Graves by erecting its most recent sign at Graves’ driveway, about a tenth mile from the site. The Stickle Cemetery has one veteran from the War of 1812 and one Civil War veteran. The Stickle family built a home on the land where there was once a roadside inn used by Abraham Lincoln in 1832 and 1858.


Sue Frakes and Daylynn Alexander


Bethel Township - Sue Frakes, trustee of the Stoneking Cemetery, recently accepted a new sign to mark the site donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. This family cemetery is located in the southwest quarter of section 28 of Bethel Township in McDonough County. There are approximately 150 markers for the people buried since 1862 in this well-kept and active cemetery. The first burial was Joseph Stoneking in 1862. The Stonekings, along with the Frakes, Willeys, Hendricksons, Wormacks (Waymacks), Masons, and Clarks immigrated to McDonough County in the 1830s from Tennessee, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. They settled in southern Bethel Township and became known as the Gin Ridge Clans. In the 1850s, there was a smaller Stoneking Cemetery in Bethel Township. In 1993, a coal company moved those 12 graves to the southwest corner of the current Stoneking cemetery. And to the south, just across the Schuyler County line, there is a third Pruett-Stoneking Cemetery with descendants from many of these early families. Three veterans of the Civil War rest in the Stoneking Cemetery: Samuel Babb, Joseph Pestel, and B. H. Swayze. There are at least 50 headstones with the name Stoneking engraved on them, dating from 1862-1963, and perhaps even more obscured by nature. Genealogical records show that the families of many Stoneking daughters rest here under their married names. The current maintenance of this active and attractive cemetery is supported by voluntary donations to a small trust fund. The cemetery sign project is supported by Clugston Tibbitts Funeral Home (Macomb and Blandinsville) and the McDonough County Historical Society.


George Burton


Chalmers Township - - George Burton, a cousin in Good Hope of the Burton brothers, accepted a new sign for the StraderNankivel Cemetery provided by the McDonough County Historical Society. Tom Burton tells an interesting story while researching his family tree and finding this rural cemetery east of Fandon. Strader-Nankivel Cemetery is inactive and recently maintained by the Burton relatives, Tom and Steve from Washington state and brother Bob from Idaho, and cousin George from Good Hope. The earliest head stone is from 1838. There are about 60 markers from then until 1902, the date of the last burial. The cemetery sign project is supported by Table Grove State Bank, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society. Strader-Nankivel Cemetery by Tom Burton Colbert, Washington In May 2006, my two brothers, Steve and Bob, and I began an Internet search for the resting place of our grandfather’s birth mother, Laura Alice Nankivel, we thought from Macomb, Illinois. We knew nothing of her life or circumstances. As it turned out, Laura died five days after giving birth to her fifth child who died at birth. Laura was 25 years old. The year was 1878 and our grandfather was three years old. Using the Internet, I was able to locate great grandmother Laura and our Nankivel relatives in the Strader-Nankivel Cemetery. I contacted George Burton, our newly found cousin in Good Hope. He gladly did the scouting, contacting, locating, and verification of the abandoned and neglected cemetery. We are indebted to George for his persistence and then gracious invitation to his semi-annual Burton Reunion in June 2006. Five members of our family attended this reunion hosted by George and his wife Liz. They took us to the cemetery deep in the woods behind the home of Becky Cramer, who graciously allowed us access. We did some modest clearing and discovery of head stone identification of many of our relatives. Steve, Bob, and I decided that another trip was necessary. The June 2009 Burton Reunion brought us back to enjoy our extended family and work on the cemetery, which had been a victim of the local winter ice and wind storms. George, our local host in Good Hope, organized some friends, Jack and Susan Pace, Mary Vogler, and Becky Cramer who gathered tools and enthusiasm to make the project work. We spent three days sawing fallen trees, clearing brush, raking debris, and discovering the perimeters of this isolated graveyard. We left our ancestors with a much better looking resting place and have a stronger connection to their lives in rural Macomb. And thanks to the McDonough County Historical Society, the cemetery has a new sign!


Russell Hamm and Heather McIlaine-Newsad


Heather L. McIlvaine-Newsad, president of the board of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Macomb, and Russell Hamm, treasurer, accepted the newest sign in the cemetery marking project sponsored by the McDonough County Historical Society. The Unitarian Cemetery, just south of the Unitarian Fellowship building on Wigwam Hollow Road, was established in 1991, when the cremains of Clifford Julstrom were interred. Alongside his urn were the cremains of a grandson, Keith Julstrom-Agoyo, who died at childbirth in 1988. Cliff and his wife Rosa were among the founders of the Unitarian Fellowship in Macomb in the 1960s. Rosa now resides in the Skokie area where she continues to perform on the piano. In 1999, the cremains of Maya Gronstrand were added to the small cemetery area near the church. Maya had worked as a radiological technologist for 34 years at both St. Francis and McDonough District hospitals. The cemetery sign project is supported by Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home, West Side Lumber, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Leona Waller


Mound Township - Leona Waller recently celebrated the new sign at the Upper Mound United Brethren Cemetery in west central Mound Township. Waller is a local historian and member of the McDonough County Historical Society and the McDonough County Genealogical Society. The cemetery was deeded in 1853 although headstones have earlier dates. In the 1860s, it was associated with the Upper Mound United Brethren Church, once located nearby. There is one veteran of the Civil War and one from the Spanish-American War buried among the 250 graves in this beautiful hilltop and carefully maintained cemetery. Howard Daniels, George Swartzbaugh, and Locie Pensinger serve on a board of trustees caring for the cemetery. The cemetery sign project is supported by Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home in Macomb, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Tim Eifert Tim Eifert


Industry Township - Before our snow storms, Tim Eifert accepted a new sign for the Vail Cemetery donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. Vail Cemetery is located on the eastern edge of the village of Industry in McDonough County. It is an inactive family cemetery founded in 1839 with approximately 75 graves interred from then to 1916. After Tim Eifert purchased his home, he discovered this abandoned and neglected cemetery across the street. The headstones are in good condition and can be read, although he had to clear the cemetery of tree limbs and brush. Over the years, Eifert became the unofficial sexton mowing for the distant relatives of the Vail family. Currently, the village assumes this responsibility. But Eifert remains an interested historian of the cemetery. The earliest known burial in 1839 was Thomas B. Vail. A relative, Samuel Vail was a veteran of the War of 1812. Thomas J. Vail and Ira Arnold were veterans of the Civil War. The cemetery sign project is supported by Table Grove State Bank, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Vera Wheeler and Richard Russell


Industry Township - Vera Wheeler and Richard Russell, members of the cemetery board of trustees, recently accepted a new sign for the Vance Cemetery donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. Vance Cemetery is located a mile east of the Village of Industry in McDonough County. It is an active cemetery founded in 1835 with approximately 180 graves interred from then to the present. There are four veterans of the Civil War and one from the Spanish American War resting in the beautiful and well maintained Vance Cemetery. James Vance, Sr., came to McDonough County in 1826, and was the third white man to settle in the county. He was one of the first commissioners of McDonough County when it was organized in 1831. He was also a Justice of the Peace. Vance died in his home in 1835 and was buried on his farm in what is now known as Vance Cemetery. His daughter Martha, one of 12 children, married John Wilson in 1828, the first couple to be married in McDonough County. Both Martha (d. 1881) and John (d. 1886) rest in Vance Cemetery. The cemetery sign project is supported by Table Grove State Bank, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Dan Curtis


Dan Curtis recently installed and accepted a new sign for the Vawter Cemetery which is adjacent to their family property. The sign was donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. The Vawter Cemetery was a private family burial ground in Bethel Township with Earley H. Vawter being the first interred in 1835. The last burial was in 1920. Alvin Curtis attended that funeral as a young lad. The headstone of Sebastian Hoover (1789-1839) notes that he served in the War of 1812 in the Virginia Regiment. The cemetery, about an acre with most of its fence intact, is badly overgrown with brush, weeds, and small trees from the floor, and covered with fallen trees and limbs of many sizes from above. One year ago it was reported that all of the headstones had been removed or stolen. This week, Dan Curtis led a more deliberate search, probing under the earth, weeds, tree trunks, and debris to reveal about 15 of the known 26 head and foot stones. A thorough cleaning of the cemetery floor might expose even more of the markers. Most are broken and lying flat from farm animals breaking through the fence. But Curtis was delighted to find over a dozen in a random and casual search. The cemetery sign project is sponsored by the McDonough County Genealogical Society and the McDonough County Historical Society. The Vawter Cemetery sign is the 81st installed since 2007.


Marge Harris


Emmet Township - Marge Harris, descendant of relatives in, and trustee of, the Walker Cemetery, recently accepted a new sign to mark the site donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. This family cemetery is located in the west central quarter of section eight of Emmet Township in McDonough County. There are approximately 160 markers for the people buried between 1851 and 1969. The first burial was Jane McGraw in 1851 even though the Walker Cemetery was not officially established until March 1853 on land deeded as “west half for a school, east half for a cemetery� by James and Julia Walker. There are two veterans of the War of 1812, William Shryack (d. 1860) and William Wood, who died five days after his wife Mary. The Woods are memorialized on a common headstone from 1854. Six veterans of the Civil War rest in the Walker Cemetery, three of whom died in uniform: Benjamin Bugg (d. 1863), Flavius J. Sypherd (d. 1864), and Thomas F. McGraw (d. 1865). Cemetery historian Marge Harris recalls that in 1974, the Walker Cemetery, seven miles northwest of Macomb, was completely fenced (1200 feet of new materials) as the first county project of the American Bicentennial Administration. The current maintenance of this inactive but attractive cemetery is supported by voluntary donations to a small trust fund. Six deer were voluntarily trimming the grass on the day the sign was installed. The cemetery sign project is supported by Clugston Tibbitts Funeral Home (Macomb and Blandinsville) and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Bethel Township - - Carol and her brother Richard Hendrickson, family descendants, accepted a new sign for the Waymack Cemetery provided by the McDonough County Historical Society. Carol from Rock Island, Dick from Columbus, Indiana, and brother Robert from Colorado have great, great grandparents in the cemetery. Carol and Dick recall some interesting facts and stories while reminiscing about this rural cemetery south of Fandon in Bethel Township. Waymack Cemetery is inactive but maintained by the family through a local nursery. The cemetery sign project is supported by the McDonough County Genealogical Society, Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home, the McDonough County Highway Department and the McDonough County Historical Society. =============================== Waymack Cemetery by Carol and Dick Hendrickson A group of families emigrated from Tennessee to McDonough County in the 1840s. Two families, the Wormacks and the Masons, started farms in the area. Jacob Wormack, son of Buckner, and Nancy Mason, daughter of Adin and Mary Mason, married in McDonough County on March 5, 1840. They were both buried in the Waymack Cemetery in 1863 and 1893, respectively. Two of their eight children, Adan and Francis, rest beside them, both dying at an early young age. There are more descendants from the Wormack Family (also spelled Womack and Waymack), buried in cemeteries in and surrounding McDonough County. The cemetery is inactive and maintained. It was not always well maintained as it is now. We remember in 1997 a day was set aside to attempt to locate the cemetery. We asked a local farmer, Albert Mullett, who took us to the site. It is in the NW 1/4 of Section 9. We found only two stones on that trip but resolved to return and cleanup the area. In November 2001, we returned with many descendants of the family bringing scythes, axes, and other tools to clean up the cemetery. More corn crop now totally surrounded the plot we discovered in 1997. After locating the two stones found earlier, we cleared weeds and brush and probed the area with a steel rebar. We found more stones just beneath the ground surface. These newly reclaimed stones reflected the three spellings of the name: Wormack, Warmack, and Waymack. We got another surprise finding a grave marker for Jeremiah Barbon, hand chiseled on the flat side of an oval shaped rock (18431864). We cannot connect him to our family. With the help of original underground slabs, we organized the headstones in a way that we suspect accurately positions their original location. We installed a sturdy wooden fence to protect the grave site for future descendants of Jacob Waymack. Our family is proud to have the McDonough County Historical Society mark our family cemetery with a new sign.


The Wesley Chapel Cemetery in the far northwest corner of the county, is one of seven maintained by Blandinsville Township. It has grave markers dating back to 1847 and was deeded as cemetery in 1848. John Gilfrey, born in 1793 in Philadelphia, served in the War of 1812. After the war, he moved to Blandinsville where he died in 1873. His is among over 300 graves in this beautiful cemetery on the county line. The cemetery sign project is supported by the Community Quality of Life Advisory Committee, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Gerald White and Wayne White


Tennessee Township - Gerald and his uncle Wayne White recently accepted a new sign for the White Cemetery donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. White Cemetery is located in Tennessee Township in McDonough County. It is an inactive cemetery founded in 1843 with approximately 60 graves interred from then to 1925. There is one veteran of the Revolutionary War buried there, Thomas White who fought for independence. He was the first person buried in 1843. This private cemetery has been on property in the hands of White’s descendants from the 1840s up to today. In 1976, the McDonough County Bicentennial Commission, together with the local DAR, held a Revolutionary War Memorial service at the cemetery. A large medallion was set next to the government headstone for Thomas White. His is one of only four grave markers of veterans of the Revolutionary War in McDonough County. Attending that ceremony in 1976, were four generations of Whites standing above four generations of Whites buried beneath. Several days after the new sign was installed last month, members of Boy Scout Troop 315, chartered by the Wesley United Methodist Church of Macomb, attacked the weeds, brush, limbs, and branches and cleaned the cemetery down to its floor. In that process, they discovered quite a few headstones that had been totally covered with sod and grass. These young men restored a beautiful cemetery with a rich and fascinating history. The cemetery sign project is supported by the McDonough County Genealogical Society and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Macomb - Dick Jackson, local historian and genealogist, with his wife Marilyn cosponsored a new sign for the White Flock Cemetery installed by the McDonough County Historical Society. This well maintained cemetery is in the northeast corner of Lamoine Township. The first burials were in 1839, but the land was not deeded as a cemetery until 1871. There is still an occasional funeral at this beautiful site. There are two veterans of the Civil War resting here, Charles Turner and Joseph Bayles. Seven of Bayles’ 16 siblings served in the Civil War, one killed in action. Joseph also served in the Mexican War before enlisting in the Union Army from Illinois. He was taken prisoner and incarcerated at Andersonville, where a fire nearly blinded him. He escaped in 1864, and continued to serve even though being wounded several more times. The White Flock Church was built near the cemetery in about 1866. A fragment of an undated newspaper article attributes the name to Hannah Wilson Stookey, who, with her husband Benjamin, organized the church. “Mrs. Stookey suggested that since all in the community were white with no other color or nationality, and since the people seemed to flock together very well, they should call the church White Flock and . . . establish a Congregational Christian Church.” There are almost 100 pioneer citizens of McDonough County resting in this hilltop cemetery. The cemetery sign project is supported by the McDonough County Genealogical Society, the McDonough County Highway Department, Niemann’s County Market and Pepsi, Richard and Marilyn Jackson, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Danny Pittman, volunteer caretaker, accepts a new sign for the Widow Moore Cemetery west of Colchester. This new sign is part of a project marking county cemeteries sponsored by the McDonough County Historical Society. Historical records indicate that approximately 160 people were buried in this family cemetery between 1840 and 1911. Two veterans of the Civil War were once buried here, but their remains were moved to Arlington National Cemetery about 20 years ago. One marker still exists for the Civil War veteran Charles Dickerson. Another marker is of local interest. Lucy Smith Millikin (1821-1881) was the sister of Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Pittman, with his three sons, takes care of the cemetery out of respect for those buried there. The local cemetery sign project is supported by the Community Quality of Life Advisory Committee, the McDonough County Highway Department as well as the McDonough County Historical Society.


Mike Black


Industry Township - Mike Black recently located the Wilhelm Cemetery and accepted a new sign at the Wilhelm Cemetery donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. Black, a resident of Industry and local cemetery historian, recently assisted the MCHS in locating several cemeteries in Industry Township for its new sign project. The Wilhelm Cemetery is located in the northwest quarter of Section 23 in Industry Township in McDonough County. It is an inactive and abandoned cemetery founded in 1850 containing approximately 30 graves interred from then to 1887. The first burial was Mary Cockerham (1850), daughter of Joel and Elizabeth Pennington. There are 12 Pennington’s in the Wilhelm Cemetery. The last person buried in the cemetery was Ruth Pennington in 1887. There are 15 headstones for infants and children under five years old. The cemetery sign project is supported by the McDonough County Genealogical Society and the McDonough County Historical Society.


George Blome


Macomb - When George Blome first saw the Wilhelm Cemetery last fall, a trigger in his mind set off a chain of events that has culminated in completion of his major project to reach Eagle Scout. The cemetery has been abandoned and inactive since 1887, with the attendant neglect taking its toll in falling trees, limbs, and aggressive weeds. The Wilhelm Cemetery is in Section 23 of Industry Township, about one mile southeast of the Village of Industry in deep, thick forest land. Blome, a senior at Macomb High School, asked the McDonough County Historical Society if he could develop a cleanup project at the cemetery site. The society became an enthusiastic supporter of his proposal. He then sought permission from the leaders of his Scout Troop #4303 and began his application for Eagle Scout based on the successful completion of this project. Blome’s Scout troop is sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. After four afternoons of chain saws, weed whackers, loppers, stoop labor, and the cooperation of many Scouts and friends, the Wilhelm Cemetery has emerged as a beautiful and restored center of family and local history. Tom Green, WIU Emeritus Professor of Agriculture, was Blome’s project supervisor. The first burial at this site in 1850 was Mary C. Cockerham, a married 19 year old daughter of Joel and Elizabeth Pennington. Ruth Pennington, a nine-month old infant, was the last burial in 1887. Of the 28 graves, 14 memorialize infants under four years of age. The McDonough County Historical Society recognized the work of George Blome by erecting a new sign at the cemetery entrance. The cemetery sign project is supported by Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Homes, Assets Protection (Bob Fischer, President), and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Bethel Township - Charlie McDaniel, Mike McDaniel, and Janet McDaniel Blue (left to right) , caretakers of the Willey Cemetery, accepted a new sign donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. Willey Cemetery is in the far southeast corner of Bethel Township in McDonough County. Rachel Lemley Willey, daughter of Revolutionary War veteran George Lemley, and Steve Willey and Peter Owens, veterans of the Civil War, are buried among approximately 30 family graves. One of the oldest headstones marks Mary Willey’s grave from 1841. Willey Cemetery is sporadically active and maintained by relatives. The cemetery sign project is supported by Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home in Macomb, the McDonough County Highway Department, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


Richard Wilson, left, Ron Graham and Marilyn Wilson Graham


Blandinsville Township - Ron and Marilyn Wilson Graham, and her brother Richard Wilson, descendants of ancestors in the Wilson Cemetery, accepted a new sign donated by the McDonough County Historical Society. Wilson Cemetery was a private family cemetery (1836-1856) in the southwest corner of Blandinsville Township in McDonough County. The oldest headstone marks John Wilson’s grave (1813-1836). His father, James, is the great, great, great grandfather of Marilyn and Richard. James was born on July 4, 1776 in Virginia. He died in July 1847. A third headstone marks the grave of his wife, Nancy Wilson (1775-1856). After the installation of two signs marking the entry path and actual cemetery site, some current grandchildren of Marilyn and Ron’s explored the area surrounding the three visible headstones and discovered remnants of perhaps other previously unrecorded markers. Wilson Cemetery is inactive but maintained by Wilson relatives. The cemetery sign project is supported by Clugston Tibbitts Funeral Home in Blandinsville and Macomb, Ron and Marilyn Graham, and the McDonough County Historical Society.


The End  For more information about the McDonough County Historical Society www.mcdhistsociety.jimdo.com

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The McDonough County Historical Society Markers Project  

The McDonough County Historical Society of McDonough County, Illinois, locates cemeteries in the county and marks them so the cemeteries wil...

The McDonough County Historical Society Markers Project  

The McDonough County Historical Society of McDonough County, Illinois, locates cemeteries in the county and marks them so the cemeteries wil...

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