WPA - Blevins Cemetery, Cahokia 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.

Blevins Cemetery

   W half of SE qtr of 9-8-Range 6 west of the third meridian
Cahokia Township, Macoupin County Illinois
3 Miles Northeast of Gillespie

The Blevins Cemetery is located on the Milf Johnson farm 3 miles northeast of Gillespie.  This cemetery was first laid out by Mr. Blevins in 1856 for the benefit of the Blevins family but later it was open to the public.  There has not been any burials made there for the past several years as the people chose lots in larger and better cemeteries.  This cemetery was in use for 20 years before it was deeded to the trustees for burial purposes.

In 1873 Mr. Blevins deeded an acre of land on his farm for a burial grounds.  The deed conveying the title to the land over to the trustees reads as follows:  THE GRANTOR: Tarlton Blevins for and in consideration of $1.00 in hand paid, CONVEY and GRANT to James C. Blevins, Franklin Duncan and Antone Bedaker, trustees, grantees and their successors in office forever the Blevins Cemetery 1 acre and 9/100 off of the W. ½ of the SE. ¼ of Section 9, T. 8 N. R. 6, West of the Third Principal Meridian.  Commencing 19 rods North from the SE corner of the said W ½ thence running 13 rods to a stake; thence 13 rods to a stake; thence 13 rods to a stake; thence 13 rods to a stake the place of beginning, 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 the State.  The said trustees are impowered to lay off said cemetery into lots and to dispose of them to persons that are interested at this date, at such reasonable sums as will defray the expenses of said cemetery.  (This deed is dated April 17, 1873 and was recorded in the office of the Recorder of Deeds for Macoupin County, Illinois on September 27, 1873 in Book “BU” of Deed Records at page 34.)

About ¼ of an acre, originally deeded for the cemetery, was fenced in.  The present burial grounds measures 214 feet square.

This cemetery is not incorporated.

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

The Blevins Cemetery has practically been abandoned.  It sets in a timber pasture.  The cattle graze over the land.  There is no driveway in or to the cemetery.  Sixty graves have been counted and about 23 of them need filling or leveling.  There are about 5 stones left standing, the others are all down or broken.  About half of the stones are very old and cannot be read due to their being worn from the weather.  A woven-wire fence once enclosed this burial grounds but this fence is down on the south end west side and the fence that is still standing is in poor condition.

To reach the Blevins Cemetery one must travel 1 mile east, 1 mile north and 1 mile east again on a graded road from Gillespie, commencing on Walnut St.  At the corner of the road one must leave the vehicle and walk about ¼ mile north east across a pasture to the cemetery.

There are 3 veterans buried in the Blevins Cemetery that can be located.

The oldest grave that we can locate in the cemetery by the dates on the markers is that of Harriett Tyler, born August 11, 1833, who died on November 6, 1856.

History

Tarlton Blevins and John Blevins were amongst the first settlers in Cahokia Township.  These early settlers came to Cahokia, which at that time was practically all timberland and settled in that timber where they commenced at once to make a clearing and build their homes.  Another reason for settling near the timber was that the ground in the timber was not as hard as that of the prairie and it was much easier for the pioneer to cultivate the land with their crude implements.

The first entry of land made in Cahokia Township was that made by John Blevins on April 22, 1831 just after the “Deep Snow”.  During the winter of 1830 and ’31 it began raining and sleeting the latter part of December and changed to snow which continued at intervals until January.  This snow was 3 feet deep on the level.  It drifted to the top of the fence and the ravines were full and almost level with the surrounding land.  This snow continued on the ground until about the first of March cutting off communication between the settlers and making it impossible for people to go to the mill.  They had to pound corn to get meal for bread and this with hominy was about all they had to live on.

John Blevins also built the first blacksmith shop in 1833.  This shop which accommodated the farmers for many miles around was located about ½ mile south west of Clyde.

H. B. Blevins was the first Assessor of Cahokia Township.  He was elected in 1871 and re-elected each succeeding year up to 1879.


Name of Cemetery:            Blevins
Oldest Grave:                Harriet Tyler, Born Aug 11, 1833 – Died Nov. 6, 1856
Number of Graves:            60
Number of graves to be  filled:        8
Number of graves to be leveled:        25
Number of Veterans graves that need stones:   One
Number of stones in cemetery that need resetting:    30
Number of stones that need recutting:        25
Condition of fence:                Poor
Number of people interviewed:            3

Note:  Fence all down – woven wire


There are 3 veterans buried in Blevins Cemetery that can be located.

*Boosinger, Charles, Civil War, Pvt.  Company B, 123 Illinois Inf.; Grave 1  Lot 3
Name:  Charles Boosinger
Field Check:  Grave No. 1 Lot No. 3
Information on Marker:  Charles Boosinger, Co. B 123 Ill. Inf.
Note: Hhas govt. Marker; No information as to death

Boosinger, John W., Civil War, Sgt.  Company H, 28 Illinois Inf.
Name:  Boosinger, John W.,
Notes:  No information on death.  Served in the 28 & 133 Illinois Infantry as a Sergeant & Corporal is listed on Garrity list, but we cannot locate grave; therefore no marker and inquiries have been made as to where his grave might be.   

*Boosinger, Wesley, Civil War, Pvt.  Company G, 133 Illinois Inf.; Died 12-6-1880; Grave 2 Lot 4
Name:  Boosinger, Wesley
Field Check:  Grave No. 2  Lot No. 4, upright marker
Information on Marker:  Wesley Boosinger, Co. G 133 Ill. Inf.
Death Certificate Data:  Date of Death is 12-06-1880
Notes:  Not recorded; Has govt. marker

*English, Hiram, Civil War, Pvt. Company G, 133 Illinois Inf.; Grave 3  Lot 14
English, Hiram, Field Chedk:   Grave No. 3  Lot No. 14
Information on Marker:  Hiram English Co. G. 133 Ill. Inf.
Notes:  No information

*Have Government Markers
( ) John Boosinger, listed on Garrity List and on the Roster of soldiers of Macoupin County cannot be located in the cemetery.



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