WPA - Karnes Cemetery, Cahokia Township, Macoupin County IL

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

Karnes Cemetery
Cahokia Township

Macoupin County
Section 11-8-6
NE 1/4 of NW 1/4

(2 ½ Miles Southeast of Hornsby)
1/2 mile E. of entrance of Kinder Cemetery.


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) and among these cemetery records we found the Karnes cemetery information.  The WPA workers didn’t find any veterans graves in the Karnes cemetery, but did compile other interesting information concerning this graveyard.  Spelling is kept “as is” in original record.

Karnes Cemetery

Name of Cemetery:
S. W. Corner N. End E ½ N. W. Sec. 11 T. 8. R. 8
Oldest Grave:
Sarah Ann Bates  3-17-1877
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:
Number of people interviewed:

The Karnes Cemetery is a small private cemetery located in the corner of a pasture on the Roy Davis farm.  This small burial grounds was laid out by Peter B. Karnes in 1877 for the benefit of the Karnes family.
    In March, 1877 a deed was made by Mr. Karnes, conveying the title to a half-acre of land over to the trustees for burial purposes.  The deed conveying the title to the land reads as follows:  THE GRANTOR: Peter B. Karnes for and in consideration of the sum of $1.00 in hand paid CONVEY and WARRANT to Catlet P. Karnes, Thomas J. Wilhite and George W. Duncan, trustees, the following described Real-Estate, to-wit:  

Commencing 20 feet East from the NW corner of the E. [email protected] of the NW. ¼ of Section 11, thence running East 13 rods; thence running South 6 ½ rods; thence West 13 rods; thence North 6 ½ rods to the place of beginning, containing ½ acre more or less for the purpose of burying the dead, by the name of the KARNES UNION CEMETERY, being in T. 8 N. R. 6, situated in the County of Macoupin, in the 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 March 20, 1877 and was recorded in the office of the Recorder of Deeds for Macoupin County, Illinois on April 25, 1882 in Book “DF” of Warranty Deeds, at page 273).

    The Karnes Cemetery as deeded is rectangular in shape.  At the present time just one corner of the cemetery, where the graves are located, is fenced away from the pasture land giving it a triangular shape.  This cemetery today measures 96 feet on the north, 75 feet on the west and 120 feet on the southeast side and contains about 1/12 of an acre.
    This cemetery is not incorporated.
    There are no known trustees to the Karnes Cemetery at present.
    The Karnes Cemetery is in poor condition.  It is located near the main road.  The weeds and brush have grown very high.  10 graves have been counted in the cemetery and they need attention.  Two of the stones need resetting.  There is a woven-wire fence, angling on the southeast side which keeps the stock off the burial grounds.  This little cemetery sets on a hill with the land sloping to the south giving it good drainage.  It could be made into a fine neat burial grounds.
    To reach the Karnes Cemetery one travels 1 mile south on a grated road from Hornsby, then ¼ mile east, then south again about 1/8 mile to the cemetery.  It sets near the road.

    The oldest grave in the Karnes Cemetery that we can locate by the dates on the markers is that of Sara Ann Bates who died on March 17, 1877.

History of Karnes Cemetery

Peter B. Karnes, the original owner and donor of the land on which the Karnes Cemetery is located was one of the earliest settlers of the county.  He and his family came to Cahokia Township in 1831 where he entered land and commenced farming.  These first settlers experienced great incontinences and hardships.  Their food depended entirely upon the game and products of the farm.  Their nearest market was 40 or 50 miles away.  Their clothing was made from the rough cloth which the women spun from the flax raised on the farm.  Their homes were rudely built cabins with very rough or no floors and only 1 window or a door to admit light.  The schools and churches were also only built of logs.
Mr. Karnes entered land in section 11 where he continued to live and tend his farm.  Later he built a blacksmith shop which he tended for a number of years.
Among the prominent older settlers of the county and Cahokia township were Pete B. Karnes, Nancy Snook, Larkin Craig, Nancy Keel, George Bayless, Benj. L. Dorsey, Jacob Kinder, Hugh Rice, William Anderson, Wm. Eickmeyer, E. S. Holme and J. M. Rhoads.
The first birth in Cahokia Township was that of William S. Karnes, son of Peter B. and Sarah Ann Karnes who was born in 1832.

Return to Cemetery Main Page

Return to Macoupin County, Illinois Homepage

County Coordinator
©1996-2018 ILGenWeb. All rights reserved.
Copyright of submitted items belongs to those responsible for their authorship or creation unless otherwise assigned.
Any commercial use or any use for which money is asked or paid for any reason is strictly prohibited.