WPA - Chapman Cemetery, Mt Olive Township,Macoupin County IL

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

The Macoupin County Archives has in its files, indexes/listings of many veterans buried in numerous Macoupin County cemeteries.  WPA workers compiled the indexes during the Depression Era (about 1939-1940).  The cemeteries below were checked for veterans and although not all of these cemeteries had veterans listed, there was a wealth of other information that a genealogist might find useful.   I generally didn’t copy the legal descriptions of the property if they were very long and drawn out.  If you want that information, contact the Archives.

In previous issues of the Macoupin County Searcher I listed veterans’ information from both typed sheets and work sheets. The work sheets are typed in bold and the typed sheets are typed in a normal font. At times the work sheet had additional or conflicting information from the typed sheets..  The work sheets with soldier information stated to check these sources: burial plot, cemetery record, death certificate or burial permit, patriotic organization (name), official U. S. records or other.  These sources would probably be good sources to check still, today as we have no way of knowing how thorough the WPA workers were.  In these listings, as always, I tried to keep the spelling “as is”, even if it appeared incorrect.

Chapman Cemetery

Mount Olive, Township 10-7-7
Macoupin County, Illinois
2 Miles Southwest of Mt. Olive


The Chapman Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Mount Olive Township.  This cemetery, then known as “Gods Acre”, was deeded for burial purposes in 1853 although there were already a few graves on the plot of ground before the deed was made.  Prior to 1872, Mount Olive Township was not known but was all a part of Staunton Township.

In 1853, Richard Chapman deeded an acre of his land for a burial place for the people of that community.  The deed transferring the title to land to the trustees reads as follows:  THIS INDENTURE, made this 26th day of July 1853, between Richard Chapman of the County of Macoupin and State of Illinois of the first part and John R. Chapman and Ambrose Mitchell, trustees, and their successors in the office of the aforesaid county and state, of the second part.  WITNESSETH that the said party of the first part for and in consideration of $20.00 to him paid by the said party of the second art, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, has granted, bargained, sold released and conveyed and by these presets does grant, bargain, sell, release and convey to the said party of the second part forever, all those certain pieces or parcels of land situated, lying and being in the County of Macoupin and State of Illinois, and known, designated and described as follows, to-wit:  (here is listed the long legal description which I am not giving here.  Contact the Macoupin County Archives for a complete copy of it).   Signed:  Richard Chapman.

This deed is dated July 26, 1853 and was recorded in the office of the Recorder of Deeds for Macoupin County, Illinois in Book “HH” at pages 243-244 and 245 on May 1, 1856.)  (The ditch that runs along the side the cem. accounts for the cemetery being 3 feet shorter than the description of the deed.)

This cemetery became very much neglected and the patrons decided that it be given some attention.  In _______ the cemetery became a part of Mount Olive Township through a grant and has been under its supervision ever since.  Each year the Town Board levies an amount for the expense incurred for the upkeep of the cemetery grounds.

In 1834, Mount Olive Township bought an additional 4 acres for the Chapman Cemetery.  The deed conveying the title to the land over to the Township reads as follows:  Edward L. Hagen and Pauline Engleman Hazen, his wife, of the Township of Mount Olive, in the County of Macoupin and State of Illinois, for and in consideration of $200.00 in hand paid, CONVEY and WARRANT to Mount Olive Township, County of Macoupin and State of Illinois, the following described real-estate, to-wit:   (a long legal description which can be found at the Macoupin County Archives.)

This deed is dated September 13, 1934 and was recorded in the office of the Recorder of Deeds for Macoupin County, Illinois in Volume 370, of Miscellaneous Records, at page 357 on December 4, 1934.)

The fenced in land is about 7 ft, shorter than the deed reads but that is due to the large ditch which runs on the north side and the fence was not put to its edge.
The Chapman Cemetery is not incorporated at the present time.  The trustees for the Chapman Cemetery are elected each year at the Town Board meeting and they take care and are in charge of the cemetery grounds.
Fred King
Dempsey Voyles
Wm. Phillips

It had been a custom to gather each year for a memorial service in the Chapman Cemetery, but it was soon forgotten.  In 1935 it was suggested by the Township Clerk, Henry Buskhol that this custom be renewed and that the 4th Sunday of July of each year be set aside for a Memorial and Dedication service in The Chapman Cemetery, as the original one acre plot was deeded by Richard Chapman on July 26, 1853 for a free burying ground.  Upon motion by Jacob Boyd, Township Road commissioner and a second by Curt Truetzschler this motion was passed and put on record.

The Chapman Cemetery is a public burying grounds.  The lots are not sold but are given freely to any one from Mount Olive Township who wishes to have the deceased members of his family buried in the cemetery.  It is not a potters field.

Chapman Cemetery is a neat, clean cemetery.  It is located about two miles Southwest of Mount Olive and has a good public road leading to it.  The burying grounds sets on a hill with a slope to the north, east and west which gives the land a good drainage.  There is a good “U” shaped drive leading in and out of the cemetery.  Between the drives is a large concrete block measuring 3 feet by 40 feet imbedded on an embankment at the front of the grounds, bearing the name “CHAPMAN” in large letters.  The cemetery as a whole is in good condition and shows care.  Several graves need filling and leveling.  About 14 tombstones need recutting.  A woven wire fence surrounds the cemetery on three sides.  The East side which is the entrance is not fenced.


JOSEPH CHAPMAN was a Virginian by birth and moved to North Carolina prior to the Revolutionary War.  He settled in Tyrell County, of which he was a pioneer and where he took up farming.  There he met and married Miss Betsy Caswell who was also thought to be a native of Tyrell County.  Joseph Chapman served in the Revolution under General Green’s command at the Battle of Guilford Court House.  He also served in the war against the Indians.  He passed his last years quietly working at his farm.

RICHARD CHAPMAN, son of Joseph Chapman and donor of the land for the Chapman Cemetery was born in North Carolina and was reared in his native state.  He was a natural mechanic and was equally skillful as a carpenter, wagon maker, cooper, tanner and a shoemaker; all of which trades he followed at different times.

In 1818, Mr. Chapman and his wife and 5 children came to Illinois, making the journey overland and bringing with him his household goods.  He had two horses and a cart on which he packed his possessions.  They started their journey westward in May and in August they landed in St. Clair County.  He rented a tract of land, raised a crop and in December of 1819 moved northward seeking another location.  He came to Macoupin County, which then was a part of Madison County and settled in what is now Dorchester Township.  He was one of the earliest pioneers of this section of the state.  This territory was then practically uninhabited and was in its primitive condition with numerous deer, bears, wolves and panthers that often were troublesome to the few settlers that had ventured within their haunts.  There were no railways for years and St. Louis which was some 40 miles distant was the principal market.  St. Louis was then only a small city of a few thousand people.  At the time that the Chapman family settled in the county, the families of Telemacus Camp, Richard Wilhelm, Whitmill Harrington and Richard and John Chapman came also.

Richard Chapman settled on a tract of land from the government lying in Section 24 of Dorchester Township, built a log cabin for the shelter of his family and at once began his hard pioneer task of clearing and developing a farm from the wilderness.  He resided on this farm for 5 or 6 years and then traded his claim with a Mrs. Piper for a claim to a tract of prairie land on Section 29 of Staunton Township and later entered another tract in the same township on Sections 4, 10 and 15 and built his home on Section 10.  He improved a part of the land and resided on it for several years.

Richard was married to Celia Davenport and became the proud parents of 7 sons and 5 daughters all of whom grew to maturity and married.

After Mrs. Chapman’s death, which occurred in 1852, he went to live with a daughter in Montgomery County and there his death occurred in February 1872 in his ninetieth year.

Mr. and Mrs. Richard Chapman were both true Christians and ardent Methodists.  The first meetings of that denomination in this county were held at their house and for many years divine services were conducted in their home which was always a welcome abiding place for the traveling preachers on their rounds.  The first minister who preached in the Staunton Township was Parham Randle of the Methodist Denomination at the residence of Richard Chapman in the autumn of 1820.

Mrs. Richard Chapman is buried in the Chapman Cemetery.

MAJOR FLETCHER H. CHAPMAN was the youngest of the sons in the family of Richard Chapman.  He had spent his entire life in this county with the exception of the years devoted to his country as a loyal and patriotic soldier.  He gained the preliminaries of his education in the pioneer schools of his early years.  The first school in the neighborhood in which he born was taught in a log house with no floor.  This particular school was built by Abram Wyatt for a smoke house and it was located on Section 30 of Staunton Township.  As soon as he was large enough, Fletcher Chapman, began to assist his father in carrying on the farm.  At the age of 20 he began to teach school in Cahokia Township and after teaching there for 2 years he entered the school at Hillsboro as he was ambitious to extend his education.  In 1853 he was elected County Surveyor and served in that office for the ensuing six years.  In 1858 he began to study law.

The breaking out of the Civil War found Fletcher H. Chapman, well equipped for the profession that he was about to enter.  He cheerfully laid aside his plans to help fight his country’s’ battles.  In May, 1861 he enlisted in Company “C” of the 14th Illinois Infantry, but was transferred in September of that same year to Light Artillery.  He had the honor of being commissioned Captain of his company and commanded it until February 1862 when it was consolidated with Company “D”, First Regiment Light Artillery.  The company then became Company “B” of the Second Illinois Light Artillery.  F. H. Chapman was commissioned as Senior First Lieutenant, which position he held until March 1863 when he was promoted to be Captain; his commission dating back to December 1862.  He retained that rank until the end of the war.  In the month of June, 1864 he was appointed Provost Marshall and was stationed at Columbus, Kentucky.  He acted in that capacity until July, 1865 and then was honorably discharged with his company.

After his return to Carlinville from the South, Major Chapman was admitted to the bar and practiced law there continuously.  His professional life has been varied by the cares of public office as he had been called from time to time to fill responsible positions.  He was Police Magistrate from 1866 until 1869; County Superintendent of Schools for 4 years and was also appointed City Attorney.  In his early life he was a Democrat but he left the army a confirmed Republican.  In 1890 he was a candidate of his party for Congress.  Socially he was a valued member of the “Dan Messick Post #339 G.A.R.”  He was a man of strong character, unblemished reputation, wise and safe counselor and was liberal and progressive in his views.  He had been an honor to the citizenship of his native country and to such as he it owes its present high standing among its sister countries.

Major Chapman had been married twice.  In 1854 he was married to Miss Sarah McCreery, a native of Orange County, New York.  This marriage was but of brief duration as the young mother died in 1857 leaving two children.  In 1862, Major Chapman married Miss Cecilia Burns, a native of Dublin, Ireland.  Their wedded life had been blessed by one child, Charlotte E.

Mr. and Mrs. Chapman are buried in the Chapman Cemetery.

The first mill in Staunton Township was the one purchased in the fall of 1820 by Richard Chapman.  It consisted of a pair of small millstones and fitted up a band mill where all the bread stuffs and grain was ground for the people of the settlement.  Later others built more improved mills.

The first marriage, of the parties living in the township in the early days was that of Jesse Chapman and Comfort Alexander on the 29th day of May 1820.

The first white child born in the township was Benjamin Chapman, son of John D. and Sarah Chapman in the spring of 1820.

Name of Cemetery:                Chapman
Oldest Grave:                    Harriet A. Mitchell, Sept. 15, 1844, 1 yr. 9 mo.  8 ds.
Number of lots:
Number of graves: 188
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:

Inquire to find if any veterans graves in the cemetery has no marker:    6 veterans have no Gov. marker.  One has no marker of any kind.    Older graves no markers.

There are 11 Veterans Buried in Chapman Cemetery

*Have Government markers

Name:  Allfeld, C. W.    Company C;  Died – 6/26/1914;  Grave 1  Lot 15 
Name:  Allfeld, C. W.   
Field Check:    Grave No. 1  Lot No. 15; Upright marker
Information on Marker:  C. W. Allfeld, Born -  June 4, 1885  Died June 26, 1914
Death Certificate Data:  Died - 6/26/1914; Born  - 6/4/1885
Service Record:  War W  (Editor’s note:  this usually indicates WW I, however the US didn’t enter WW I until
        later than 1914, so…..?)
Inspection of burial plot:  No Govt. Marker

Name: *Boyd, Rila Lyle        Civil War, Pvt. Company I, 14 Missouri Cav.;  Died 2/22/1900;  Grave 2  Lot 51
Name:   Boyd, Rila Lyle   
Field Check:        Grave No. 1  Lot. No. 52; Upright marker
Information on Marker:  Rila Lyle Boyd, Co. 1  14th Mo. Cav.
Cemetery Record Data:   Lot. No. 52
Death Certificate Data:    Died – 2/22/1900
Service Record:        World War

Name:   Chapman, Fletcher H.    Civil War, Major, Company B  2 Illinois Lt. Art.;  Died – 12/  /1907; Lot 32
Name:   Chapman, Fletcher H.   
Field Check:  Lot No. 32; Upright marker
Information on Marker:  Fletcher Chapman  Born April 1828  Died – Dec/  /1907
Death Certificate Data:    Died 12/  /1907  Born  04/1828
Service Record:        Civil War
Inspection of burial plot:  No Govt. Marker

Name:      *Cox, John C.    Civil War, Pvt. Company H  28 Illinois Inf.; Died 12/06/1915; Grave 1  Lot 46
Name:    Cox, John C.   
Field Check:  Grave 1  Lot No. 46; Upright Marker
Information on Marker:    John C. Cox, Co. H. 28th Ill. Inf.
Cemetery Record Data:   Date of Burial:  12/8/1915
Death Certificate Data:    Certificate No. 1794;  Died 12/6/1915 at Macoupin Co.,  Cause – Cancer;
Born 1844 in Ill.
Service Record:  Civil War
Name:    *Cox, Virgil T.    Civil War, Pvt., Company I  122 Illinois Inf.; Died  1865;  Grave 3  Lot 46
Name:    Cox, Virgil T.   
Field Check:    Grave No. 3  Lot No. 46; Upright marker
Information on Marker:    Virgil T. Cox, Co. I, 122 Ill. Inf.
Service Record:      Civil War

Name:    Dace, James    Company C; Grave 4  Lot 34  No Marker
Name:    Dace, James   
Field Check:    Grave No. 4  Lot No. 34    No marker
Inspection of burial plot:  This grave has no marker of any kind
Notes:    Unknown war, no info.

Name:    Eslaman, Mrs. Luella    World War, Red Cross; Died – 5/19/1919; Grave 1  Lot 28
Name:    Eslaman, Mrs. Luella
Field Check:    Grave No. 1  Lot No. 28; Upright marker
Information on Marker:  Mrs. Luella Eslamen, Born – July 14, 1856 Died – May 19, 1918
Cemetery Record Data:    Date of Burial:  May 21, 1918
Death Certificate Data:  Certificate No. 3750; Died – 5/19/1918 at Staunton; Cause Cerebral Haemorage;  Born July 14, 1856 in Illinois
Inspection of burial plot:    No Govt Marker

Name:    *Osborn, John    Civil War, Pvt; Company M  9 Illinois Cav;  Died 8/10/1908; Grave 2  Lot 5
Name:    Osborn, John
Field Check:    Grave No. 2  Lot No. 5; Upright marker
Information on Marker:  Co. M. 9th Ill. Cav.
Cemetery Record Data:    Date of Burial – Aug 12, 1908
Death Certificate Data:  Certificate No. 6921; Died 8/10/1908 at Mt. Olive; (Cause – Anasarca sp. ?)
Service Record:    Civil War

Reid, Joseph W.    Civil War, Pvt; Died – 9/8/1903; Grave 1  Lot 61
Reid, Joseph W.
Field Check:    Grave No. 1  Lot No. 61; Upright marker
Information on Marker:    Joseph Reid  Born Jan 6, 1843  Died Sept. 8, 1903; No Govt. Marker
Death Certificate Data:  Died 9/8/1903  Born – 1/6/1843
Service Record:    Civil War

Name:    Scheller, William        World War, Pvt. Company C  133 Engineers; Died – 9/1/1922; Grave 2  Lot 13
Name:    Scheller, William   
Field Check:    Grave No. 2  Lot No. 13; Upright marker
Information on Marker:    William F. Scheller, Born Oct. 7, 1894  Died Sept. 1, 1922
Death Certificate Data:    Died – 9/1/1922    Born – 10/7/1894
Inspection of burial plot:    No Govt Marker

Name:    Voyles, Richardson    Civil War, Pvt.; Company 1,  122 Illinois Inf.; Died – 7/9/1928; Grave 1  Lot 41
Name:    Voyles, Richardson
Field Check:    Grave No. 1  Lot No. 41; Upright marker
Information on Marker:    Richardson Voyles  Co. 1  122 Ill. Inf.
Cemetery Record Data:    Burial – 7/12/1928
Death Certificate Data:    Died – 7/9/1928 at Gillespie; Primary Cause – Bronco Pneumonia; Born – 9/16/1843
            at Mt. Olive, Ill.
Service Record:    Pvt.  Company I; Civil War

The oldest grave in the Chapman Cemetery that we can locate by the date on the markers is that of Harriet A. Mitchell, who died on September 15, 1844 at the age of 1 year, 9 months and 8 days.

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