WPA - Bacon Cemetery, South Otter Township, Macoupin County IL

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


 South Otter Township
Macoupin County
Section 30-11-7

To reach the Bacon Cemetery one travels-about 6 miles North from Carlinville on Route 4, then 3 miles West on a gravel road, then 1/4 mile North to the farm of Virgil Clark. There, one gains permission to cross his lands to get to the cemetery.

Name of Cemetery:    Bacon
Location:    S.W. 1A of the NE 1/4 of Sec. 30 T.11.N South Otter R. &. W.
Oldest Grave:    Elnathan H. D. Dorman; Died Sept 3, 1849
    Age 1 yr 11 mos & 17 da.
Number of lots    28
Number of graves    152
Number of graves to be filled    26
Number of graves to be leveled    33
Number of Veterans graves that need stones None
Number of stones in cemetery mat need resetting  32
Number of stones that need recutting    10
Rods of fence around cemetery    40
Condition of fence    Fair
Rods of fence to be repaired    all
Rods of fence to be replaced    none
Number of people interviewed    6

ROBERT BACON, the donor of the land for the Bacon Cemetery was born in Norfolk, England on June 10, 1825.

In 1835, the Bacon family emigrated to American, coming across in a sailing vessel, the voyage taking about a months time. From New York they went to the city of Troy where the family remained until the fall of 1837 and then moved to the west. Upon reaching St. Louis the family decided to come to Carlinville settling there through the friendship of Dr. Gideon Blackburn whom they met in Troy. They rented the Blackburn farm near Carlinville. After one year the family moved to Chesterfield township and rented a farm. While living there Robert Bacon's father died and the family then moved north of Carlinville where the mother entered 40 acres of land in Section 19 of Palmyra township. Robert Bacon went to school regularly in England and America and took every advantage of an education possible. He lived with his mother until he was 24 years of age.

In 1849, Robert Bacon was married to Miss Mary Ann Miller and the young couple settled on Section 30 of South Otter Township. There Mr. Bacon erected a handsome residence which became a favorite resort of the best people in the township. This farm comprised of 240 acres of fine land. Mr. and Mrs. Bacon became the proud parents of 4 children.

Robert Bacon became one of the most prominent men of the county. He had been honored by appointments to several offices in the township. He filled the office of Supervisor of Otter Township for several years and had served as township Assessor and Collector. He was one of the board of supervisors during the period when the trouble became most prominent regarding the levy of a tax with which to pay the indebtedness incurred by

the County in building the Court House. He took a determined stand against paying anything of what he believed to be an unjust claim until the matters had been compromised on a just and equitable basis. As a member of the board he voted against the levy of a tax in compliance with the Mandamus of the United States Circuit Court and was one of the 17 who were fined $1000.00 each for refusing to comply with the mandamus and levy of a tax. He was a member of the School Board for 20 years and for 4 years had the title of Justice of Peach (as is). He was appointed by Governor Oglesby, Public Administrator and had filled that office for four years. He also took active part in the local affairs of the township and cast his votes for the Republican party.

He retired from active public life long before he died. What he had was the result of hard labor and cumulative proceeds of the earnings of a poor boy.

Mary Bacon was the first teacher to teach in a log school-house which was built on Section 30.

In 1839, Mary Bacon organized a Sunday-school class at her house and which was the first in the township.

Bacon Cemetery

The Bacon Cemetery is a very old cemetery. It was laid out by Mr. Bacon in the late years of 1840 and derives its name from the Bacon family for whose benefit this burial grounds was laid out. Virgil Clark is the owner of the land at the present time.

Deed Record 241 P - 292. The grantor Robert Bacon a widower of the town of South Otter in the County of Macoupin and State of Illinois for & in consideration of one dollars in hand paid convey and quit claims to the county of Macoupin.

There is no early deed made to the cemetery. This cemetery was always in the Bacon Estate until 1909 when it was deeded to the County for a burial grounds. The deed conveying the title to the land over to the County reads as follows:
Beginning at a point 661 feet east and 373 feet south of the stone at the North quarter-corner of Section 30, T.11 N. R.7. West of the Third Principal Meridian) running thence South 135 feet to a stone; thence North 15 degrees and 30 minutes West thencce North 74 degrees 20 minutes East 29 feet; thence South 58 degrees 10 minutes East 320 feet to the place of beginning and containing 1 acre more or less. The above described land is conveyed to said county of Macoupin for cemetery purposes only and shall be called the Bacon Cemetery, situated in the County of Macoupin, State of Illinois hereby releasing and waiving all rights under and by virtue of the Homestead Exemption Laws of this state. (This deed is dated June 5, 1909 and was recorded in the office of the Recorder of Deeds for Macoupin County, Illinois on June 8, 1909 in Volume 241 of Deed Records at page 292.)

The Bacon Cemetery sets on top of a hill with a slope in all directions. At the present time, the Bacon Cemetery as measured by the fieldmen is octagon shaped and very irregular. The plat as drawn is fenced in and the cemetery was carefully measured from all angles as shown on plat and reads as follows: (Another land description, please see the Archive's records). The deed does not correspond with the dimensions of the cemetery.
MCGS Editor's Note: A copy of the plat for Bacon Cemetery was found in the book Miscellaneous Record on page 296. A copy of this cemetery plat map was printed in the MCGS Searcher, April 2006, page 96 (Vol. XXVI No. 4)

The Bacon Cemetery is not incorporated.

There are two trustees to the Bacon Cemetery at the present time. Those serving at the present time are the following: Joseph Levora & Elijah Clark.

For a number of years Mr. Chris Klogues was the caretaker of the Bacon Cemetery but for the last 20 years there had been no one taking care of it except occasionally friends and relatives of the deceased would come out and clear the grounds.

There is no fund for the upkeep of the cemetery. Lots in this cemetery are not sold but are acquired by a custom deed whereby an individual selects a lot, stakes it off and it automatically becomes his.

There are some nice large tombstones in the Bacon Cemetery and some of the outstanding inscriptions read:

William H. Johnson
Born - January 24,1825
Died - July 30, 1896
There is a loved one gone
A voice that is stilled
A vacant chair in the home
That never can be filled
James B. Johnson
Born - November 19, 1836  
Fannie M. His Wife 1870 - 1900
Willie A.   Their son 1899 - 1900
"Not Lost But Gone Before"

Rebecca J. 1836 - 1902
Richard J. 1832 - 1901
"In Life Devoted
In Death Not Separated"
Aamy E. Dorman
Born Near Woodbury N. J.
January 28, 1792
Died at Carlinville, Ill.
April 2, 1863

Thomas Bacon
Died August 28, 1897
Aged 73 yrs. 1 mo. 16 da.
Mary, wife of T. Bacon
Died September 28, 1876
51 yrs. 2 mo. 21 da.
Eatherine - Dau. Died
Sophia A. - Dau. Died
William S. - Son. Died
Children of T. and M. Bacon

At the present time the Bacon Cemetery is in very poor condition. 152 graves have been counted in this cemetery. About 59 of that number needs filling or leveling. 32 stones are broken and need resetting. 10 stones are all worn off and the inscriptions need recutting. The weeds and grass has grown very high. There is quite a lot of brush in parts of the grounds. The cemetery grounds is infested with ground hogs which leave the graves in a morbid condition. A woven wire fence encloses this burial grounds and it is in good condition. This cemetery sets on a hill top and has good drainage. There is no roadway to the cemetery. When the cemetery was first laid out it was situated along the main road; but since that time the road was rebuilt and laid out about 1/4 mile from the cemetery.

There is one veteran buried in the Bacon Cemetery.

Name:   Preston, John      Civil War, Rank - Pvt; Co. C 1 Missouri Cav; Died 4/18/1875; Grave 2 Lot 24 Block 1
Name:   Preston, John
Field Check:       Grave No. 2 Lot No. 24 Block No. 1; Upright marker
Information on Marker: Hier ruhit in Gott Meine geliebter Gatte, John Preston (Pvt. Stone)
Geb. 1 Sept 1819 - Gest 18 Apri 1875

Cemetery Record Data: Grave No. 2 Lot No. 24 Block No. 1
Death Certificate Data: Died 4/18/1875
Service Record: Mo Cav.; Rank - Pvt; Co. C. 1st Mo. Cav. (Civil War)
Inspection of burial plot: Fair. Stone Leaning

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