WPA - Arbuckle aka Cedar Cemetery, Shipman Township, Macoupin County IL

A Transcription of the WPA Record in Macoupin County Archives, Carlinville, Illinois
by Mary McKenzie, 2010

Arbuckle aka Cedar Cemetery Description
Shipman Township, Macoupin County I
L 30-8-9
  Section 30
3/4 Miles Southwest of Piasa

Name of Cemetery
Oldest Grave
Number of lots
Number of graves
Number of graves to be filled
Number of graves to be leveled
Number of Veterans graves that need stones
Number of stones in cemetery that need resetting
Number of stones that need recutting
Rods of fence around cemetery
Condition of fence
Rods of fence to be repaired
Rods of fence to be replaced
Number of people interviewed

Arbuckle Cemetery
Geo. Grower Farm 30-8-9
Turner P. J. Stewart Died 1819, age 38yrs
75 or 80
33.9 -- Wire

Notes: Poor cond.  Flat ground with slop to N.E.  Tall grass & weeds.  Once a year a man is hired to cut the grass.  Ground hogs infest the land,  about half the graves.  Very few tombstones in the cem.  Just mounds to show graves or an ordinary rock.  Driveway – none.  Used to be one.
Preston Arbuckle willing to furnish fence if someone would put it up.

The Arbuckle Cemetery is also known as the Cedar Cemetery and is a burial place for the colored people who settled in that township.  This cemetery is one of the first cemeteries to be laid out in the county, originating in 1819.  It derives is name from John Arbuckle who was one of the early colored settlers in the township and a patriarch amongst his people.  Preston Arbuckle, a colored citizen of Shipman township and a descendent of John Arbuckle states that the cemetery is the Arbuckle Cemetery.  We have not been able to find out where the name Cedar Cemetery may have come from except that there are a few Cedar trees in the cemetery grounds.  This cemetery had been under the direction of the Colored Baptist Church of Piasa, which stood near the cemetery at one time.  The church however had been torn down several years ago although it had not been used for many years.

In 1853, the trustees of the Colored Baptist Church purchased the land where there were alredy a few graves for a burial rounds.  The deed conveying the title to the land over to the trustees reads as follows:  THIS INDENTURE, made this 7th day of November, 1853 between John Samuels and Louisa Samuels, his wife, of Macoupin, State of Illinois of the first part and William Barton, Pleasant Breden and John Samuels, trustees of the Colored Baptist Church at Piasa in said county of the second part—WITNESSETH that the said party of the first part for and in consideration of the sum of $5.00 to them paid by the said party of the second part, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged have granted, bargained, sold, released and conveyed and by these presents doth grant, bargain, sell, release and convey to the said party of the second part and their successors in office FOREVER,
all that certain piece or parcel of land situate, lying and being in the County of Macoupin and State of Illinois as aforesaid and known, designated and described as follows, to-wit:

Beginning at a stone set at the SE. corner of the NW. ¼ of the SE. ¼ of Section 30, T. 8 N. R. 9, West of the Third principal Meridian, thence North 10 poles to a corner; thence West 8 poles to a corner; thence South 10 poles to a corner; thence East 8 poles to the place of beginning, containing ½ acre, together with all the privileges and appurtenances to the said land in anywise appertaining and belonging.  TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the above granted premise to the said party of the second part, their successors in office to their use and behoof forever.  And the said of the first part for themselves, their heirs, executors and administrators do covenant with the said party of the second part, their successors in office that they are lawfully seized in fee of the afore granted premises, that they are free from all incumbrance, that they the said party of the first part have good right to sell and convey the same to the said party of the second part as aforesaid and they will and their heirs, executors and administrators shall WARRANT and DEFEND the same to the said party of the second part and their successors in office.  IN TESTIMONY HEREOF the said party of the first part have hereunto set their hands and seal the day and year first above written.  (this deed is dated November 7, 1853 and was recorded in the office of the Recorder of Deeds for Macoupin County, Illinois on November 28, 1853 in Book “Z” of Deed Records at pages 255 and 256).

The Arbuckle Cemetery as measured by the fieldmen is 18 feet shorter than the deed reads,  It measures 147 feet on the North and South sides and the deed states 165 feet.  The 18 feet on the east side is included in the pasture land.

The Arbuckle or Cedar Cemetery is not incorporated.

There are no known trustees to the Arbuckle cemetery.

There is no care taker for this cemetery.  Once a year a man is hired to cut the grass and weeds.

    The Arbuckle Cemetery is in very poor condition at the present time.  The grass has grown very tall.  80 graves have been counted in this cemetery and about half of them need filling in or leveling.  The land is infested with groundhogs and about ½ of the graves have holes in them.  Very few graves in the cemetery have tombstones.  Some are marked by ordinary rocks and most of them are without markers.  There are several cedar trees in the cemetery.  There is no driveway to or in the cemetery.  A wire fence enclosed this burial grounds.  This fence all rusted and falling over.  The whole fence would have to be replaced.

Mr. Preston Arbuckle is willing to pay for a new fence.

To reach the Arbuckle cemetery one travels about 1 mile west of Piasa on Route 38, then about ½ mile South on Route 111 to the George Glower farm.  The cemetery sets to the east of the hardroad about ¼ mile inward.  Can be located by Cedar trees.

In the year 1844, a slaveholder in the State of Missouri manumitted his slaves and sent about 15 of them to Illinois.  They came to Alton on a boat but the citizens of Alton would not permit them to land.  The slaves were then taken up the river to the mouth of the Piasa Creek and there put ashore in the woods.  These slaves were in destitute circumstances, being in a new county where they knew no one and afraid to venture too far.  They made their way to the vicinity of the village of Piasa and secured a right to some land in some manner and there built several cabins and formed their own community.  Their cabins were crude log huts built on the edge of the timber.  The only light in the hut was that from the open fire-place and the sunlight through the door.  The cabins were built near the timberland to protect them against the wind and storm.  The soil near the timber was more easily cultivated with their crude implements.  They lived entirely upon the products of their small farm and the wild game which was then plentiful.  They organized their own church which was known as the Colored Baptist Church and at one time had 38 members.  These people lived there for many years.  After the Civil War some of them left and others had died until there were only two families left, one of which came out of bondage and that being JOHN ARBUCKLE, who was a patriarch amongst his people.

There are three veterans buried in the Arbuckle Cemetery.

* Has government marker.

The graves of Elias Arbuckle and Morgan A. Bills do not have any marker of any kind.  These graves were pointed out to the fieldmen by Preston Arbuckle.

The oldest grave that we can locate by the dates on the markers is that of “Turner P. J. Stewart” who died in 1819 at the age of 38 years.

Name: Arbuckle, Elias    Civil War, Pvt. Co. E  29 U.S. Colored Inf.; Died 4/1_(?)/1896; Grave 4  Lot 4  Block – No Marker

Name: *Arbuckle, John    Civil War, Pvt.  Co. E  29 U. S. Colored Inf.; Died 2/12/1928;  Grave 2  Lot 6

Name: Arbuckle, Elias
Field Check: Grave No. 4  Lot No. 4  Marker – none
Service Record: Civil War
Notes: Has no marker of any kind.  Mr. Arbuckle pointed grave out to us.
No Information

Name: Arbuckle, John
Field Check:    Grave No. 2  Lot No. 6  Upright marker
Information on Marker:  John C. Arbuckle, Co. 1 29 U. S. C. Inf.
Service Record:    Civil war
Notes:    Has Gov. marker

Name: Bills, Morgan A. Civil War, Corp.  Co. C  122 Illinois Inf.; Grave 1  Lot 1  No Marker

Name: Bills, Morgan A.
Field Check: Grave No. 1 Lot No. 1
Notes:    No marker of any kind, Mr. Arbuckle pointed graves out to us.
No Information

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