Macoupin County

Cormack-Powers Cemetery

Partial Burial Listing

Cormack, David ~ born 10 Jun 1818 in Tennessee; died June 1864 near Staunton; (son of Lewis & Esther)
Cormack, Esther ~ born 01 Aug 1773 in North Carolina; died 25 Dec 1846 near Staunton; Wife of Lewis
Cormack, Esther Ann ~ born 24 Jan 1863; died 17 Apr 1864 near Staunton; (daughter of David & Elizabeth Cormack)
Cormack, Lewis ~ born 25 Jun 1769 in North Carolina; died 21 Jun 1842 near Staunton

Powers, Benjamin ~ born 21 Nov 1833 in Macoupin Co IL; died 1856; (son of Daniel & Lucy Powers)
Powers, Christopher Elet ~ born 01 Nov 1835 in Macoupin Co IL; (son of Daniel & Lucy Powers)
Powers, Daniel ~ born 12 Jul 12 1814 in North Carolina; died 10 Dec 1874 near Staunton; (son of Ephraim Powers & Christina Calhoun)
Powers, Esther Christina ~ born 11 Jul 1840 in Macoupin Co IL; (daughter of Daniel & Lucy Powers)
Powers, John Riley ~ born 27 May 1853 in Macoupin Co IL; (son of Daniel & Lucy Powers)
Powers, Lucy B. ~ born 04 Oct 1814 in Tennessee; died 21 May 1857 near Staunton; Wife of Daniel Powers (daughter of Lewis & Esther Cormack)

Note: William G. Cormack is in the Staunton City Cemetery. His grave is marked.

Contributed by Kathleen Cormack

History of McCormack-Powers Cemetery

The person who knew of this small cemetery brought home a couple of the stones with the intent to repair them and return them to the site. In the meantime, he & his wife suffered health problems and the project was never completed. We do know where a few of the stones are & hope to find a temporary home for them. The reason we can't return them to their original resting place is because the current owner of the property has forbidden a descendant of the Cormack family from doing so. This person is down in Texas trying to find help here in Macoupin county to preserve the final resting place of some of Staunton's earliest settlers. An excerpt from her letter in March of this year: "I must have spent two hours on the phone to various folks from Staunton to Carlinville, to Chicago and Springfield. Basically what I was told, contact the owner and hope they do the right thing." Unfortunately, when she contacted the owner, her letter was forwarded to a relative of the owner who sent a terse note telling her to stay away from the property. Just less than a month ago, I received an e-mail from her and she was about ready to give up. She felt like she was the only one who cared what happened to this little cemetery (which by the way, still shows up on topographical maps provided by the state of Illinois); it was just downright depressing. What a heartbreak for this descendant of the early settlers of Staunton.

Lewis Cormack was born in North Carolina 25 June 1769. He moved to Stewart County TN in 1803 and raised his family there until 1819, when he moved to Madison County, Illinois (near present day Troy, Illinois). According to the information in History of Macoupin County, in 1820, John Cormack (son of Lewis) came to what is now known as Staunton Township, followed by Lewis and William Cormack and they settled on Section 30. On 18 April 1829, Lewis Cormack was appointed judge of the election for justice of the peace and constables in Macoupin Co. In May 16, 1829, he is listed as a voter to elect three magistrates and two constables in and for said district. It is Cormacks and members of the Powers family, who are buried in this little cemetery.

Each of the three Cormacks bought land in our township in the 1830s but no information about their descendants was available until recently when the family in Texas began their search in earnest and connected with the man who sent her pages of information about the cemetery and the stones and the family. And Staunton lost a lot of history when he and his wife passed away. They were vital members of our genealogical society until their health failed them and they could no longer actively participate in our group. They shared much of the history they had accumulated with anyone who was interested.

Contributed by Cindy Leonard, excerpted from "They Were in Macoupin," an article written in 1999 by Cindy Leonard for the Staunton Star Times

2019 Cemetery Re-Dedication

On Tuesday, April 2, 2019, a gathering was held at the property of Dustin and Tracy Favre in Staunton. The gathering was a dedication of the Cormak/Powers Cemetery after a 20-year search for the long lost cemetery that was established in 1839. These early families came to settle in the Staunton area.

Kathleen Weber Cormack was the leader of the search for this cemetery and after 20 years, the project has come to fruition. Kathleen spent endless hours compiling family information and I was always as excited as she was when another piece of the puzzle was put in place. Among those who helped with the research and restoration of the cemetery:

The late Lewis "Sallie" Jacobs who worked finding lost stones and forgotten Macoupin County cemeteries. He would take the pieces of stones he found to his home in an effort to put them together. He always hoped to return the stones to their original resting place.

After Sallie passed away, the torch was passed to the late Jarid Ott – nephew of Sallie who took over the stones.

Barry Deist – local historian, took Kathleen to the Cormack cemetery plot that he remembered as a boy. That was in 1999. He has been instrumental in the quest to re-establish the cemetery.

Kurt Neuhaus – owner of adjacent land recovered many of the stone fragments from the stream where they had been discarded.

The Dees family, especially William Dees, who is a great, great, great grandson of Lewis and Esther Cormack. His great, great grandparents were Levi Dees and Margery Cormack, who owned several pieces of land in the Staunton area. The Staunton Country Club now occupies the property where they are buried. During the 20 years of searching, this past year Bill assumed the responsibility of contacting landowners, obtaining permission to re-mark the cemetery and doing all the manual labor at the site.

Members of the Macoupin County Genealogical Society in Staunton worked with Kathleen to research the stories of the settlers listed on the dedicated stone:

Lewis Cormack 1769-1842; Esther (Wright) Cormack 1773-1846; Nancy (Wright) Cormack 1795-1850; Esther Ann (Cormack) Vanhooser 1812-1876; Valentine Vanhooser 1811-1859; Lucy Belle (Cormack) Powers 1814-1857; Daniel Powers CPL U.S. Army 1814-1874; John Riley Powers 1853-1853; Benjamin Perry Powers 1833-1856; Christopher Elet Powers 1835-1856; Esther Christina Powers 1840-1856; David Lilley Cormack 1818-1864; Esther Ann Cormack 1863-1863; Ephraim Powers 1768-1839; Christina (Cahoon) Powers 1773-1850; Other burials possible.

Reverend James Smitherman of New Douglas Baptist Church officiated with the following prayer:

Joshua 4:9 "And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the Ark of the Covenant stood: and they are there unto this day." Twelve people attended just like the twelve tribes of Israel and the 12 stones.

More comprehensive information on these families can be found in the book Cormack Ancestors, Descendants and Allied Families at the Macoupin County Genealogical Society room in the Staunton Public Library.

Contributed 11 May 2018 by Cindy Leonard

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