WPA - Abandoned Cemetery, North Otter Township, Macoupin County IL

A Transcription of the WPA Record in Macoupin County Archives, Carlinville, Illinois
by Linda R.F. Arnold, October 2007

Wilbur Cherry Farm

North Otter Township  31-12-7           Macoupin County
3 ½ miles East of Palmyra                           Illinois

There is an abandoned cemetery on the Wilbur Cherry farm in North Otter Township.  This small  cemetery is about ½ mile east of the Cherry Cemetery and back in a timber.  Just who started this burial plot is not known and the dates on the markers are not very old.  The owner of the land and some of the residents of the vicinity have been interviewed in regard to this burial grounds but no one knows anything about it.  Some of the graves from this burial grounds have been moved into the Cherry Cemetery.

Land records of Macoupin County have been searched for a deed to the cemetery but none has been found.  We have also checked the transfers of the land on which the cemetery is located for a possible exception to the burial grounds but no mention is made.

The only description that we can give of this abandoned cemetery is that made by the fieldmen of the cemetery to just include 9 graves (as there is no fence) and could read as follows:
A small plot of ground, about 30 feet square, near the SE. corner of the NE.1/4 of the SW.1/4 of Section 31, T.12 N. R. 7, West of the Third Principal Meridian and measures:  Commencing at the SW. corner of the cemetery and running thence north 30 feet; thence East 30 feet; thence South 30 feet; thence 30 feet West to the place of beginning, containing .109 of an acre more or less, situated in the County of Macoupin and State of Illinois.

This cemetery is not incorporated.

There are no trustees to the cemetery.

No one takes care of the burial grounds.  Seems as though all the relatives and friends of the deceased are gone. The abandoned cemetery on the Cherry farm contains about 9 graves and has 5 tombstones in it which are broken and lying on the ground.  There are cavities in the ground showing where a grave had been dug up and the body removed to Cherry Cemetery.  The tombstone of Joshua P. Clevenger is still in this cemetery but the body and the government marker has been removed to Cherry Cemetery

(Page 2)

The ground is covered with brush, sprouts and limbs from the adjoining timber.

Some of the markers in the cemetery have the following inscriptions.

Dau. of Wm & S. Vance
Died - Oct. 22, 1861
15 yrs 3 mo. 3 days
Wife of G. W. Harford
Died-Feb 5, 1873
25 yrs. 8 mo. 11 days
Dau. of G.W. & E.A.
Died-Feb 20, 1867
Aged 18 years
Dau. of G.W. & E.A. Harford
Died-Feb. 1, 1872

To reach the abandoned cemetery on the Cherry farm, one travels 3 ½ miles east of Palmyra on the Emmerson Airline Road, then ¼ mile north to the Cherry farm, there one gains permission from Mr. Cherry to cross his pasture to the cemetery.  This cemetery is about ½ mile northeast of the Cherry Cemetery.

There are no veterans buried in this cemetery.

The oldest grave in this abandoned cemetery that we can locate by the dates on the markers is  that of “Lucinda E., daughter of Wm. and S. Vance” who died on October 22, 1861 at the age of 15 years 3 months and 3 days.

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