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

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


 North Otter Township
Macoupin County
Section 33-12-7

5 Miles West of Girard Macoupin County, Illinois
Name of Cemetery Close Family Cem.
Location SW 1/4 of the NE 1/4 of sec 33-12-7-North
Oldest Grave Louisa, Wife of Gabriel Close; died 10-20-1857; age 19yrs 3ms & 1 d
Number of lots 2
Number of graves about 25
Number of graves to be leveled all
Nomber of Veterans graves that need stones none
Number of stones in cemetery that need resetting 12
Number of stones that need recutting 2
Rods of fence around cemetery no Fence Hedge rowe on E of timber on N & W
Condition of fence none
Rods of fence to be repaired all
Rods of fence to be replaced all
Number of people interviewed 2
                                                            '         ,
The Close Family Cemetery is a small burial grounds on the J. W. Walden Estate, now occupied by Arthur Walden. This cemetery was laid out during the early years of 1850 when the epidemic of cholera swept this part of the country and several of the Close family were victims of the disease. As there were no cemeteries in the vicinity, the Close family chose this small plot of ground on their farm as the final resting place of the deceased members.

Land records of Macoupin County have been searched for a deed to the cemetery but none can be found. We have also searched for an exception to the cemetery in the transfer of the land on which the cemetery is located but no mention is made of the burial grounds.

The only description that we can give of the Close Cemetery is that made by the fieldmen of the cemetery which had originally been fenced in. Mr. Arthur Waldon told the fieldmen how far the cemetery extended.

A small plot of ground (1/13 of an acre) out of the center of the W. 1/4 of the SW. 1/4 of the NE. 1/4 of Section 33, T. 12 N. R. 7, West of the Third Principal Meridian and measures as follows: Commencing at the SE. comer of the cemetery, which has a hedge fence for a starting point, and running thence West 45 feet; thence North 75 feet; thence East

45 feet; thence South 75 feet to the place of beginning, situated in the County of Macoupin and State of Illinois.

The Close Cemetery is not incorporated.

There are no trustees to the Close Cemetery at the present time.

No one takes care of the burial grounds. Originally the relatives of the deceased cleared the graves. Mr. Walden states that he would do everything possible to belp clear and see the cemetery taken care of.

The Close Cemetery is an abandoned condition. Sprouts, weeds and branches from the trees of the nearby timber cover the grounds. There are supposed to be about 25 graves in the cemetery but only a few can distinguished by mounds, the others are sunken or level with the round. Almost all of the tombstones are broken or lying on the ground. The sod must be cleared away to the stones. Few of the stones are weather-worn and the inscriptions need recutting. There is no fence around the burial grounds. There is however a hedge along the east and part of the south side. The sides that are along the timber are unfenced. There is no driveway in or to the cemetery. The land slopes, giving to good drainage.

To reach the Close Cemetery one travels 5 miles West of Girard on the Emmerson airline Road, then 1 mile north on a private road to the Arthur Walden farm. There one gains permission from Mr. Walden to cross his land for 1/2 mile east to the burial grounds.

No one knows of any veterans being buried in the Close Cemetery.

The oldest grave in the Close Cemetery that we can locate by the dates on the markers is that of "Louisa, Wife of Gabriel Close" who died on October 20, 1857 at the age of 19 years 3 months and 1 day.

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