WPA - Bluegrass Cemetery, North Palmyra Township, Macoupin County IL


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



Bluegrass Cemetery Description
North Palmyra Township, Macoupin County IL
Section 14
1 ½ Mile East of Modesto, IL


Name of Cemetery
Bluegrass
Location
1 mi East of Modesto, on Moss Tie Co. Land
Oldest Grave
Geo. W. Davidson, Died Aug. 11, 1845  17 yr. 3 mo., 17 days
Number of graves
112
Number of graves to be filled
7
Number of graves to be leveled
21
Number of veterans raves that need stones
none
Number of stones in cemetery that need resetting
none
Number of stones in cemetery that need recutting
none
Condition of fence
good
Rods of fence to be repaired
none
Rods of fence to be replaced
none
Number of people interviewed
6
Notes:
Roadway through the cemetery needs repairing


A small scrap of paper in this cemetery file had the following information on it: Blue Grass Cem. (N. Palmyra Twp., Palmyra, Ill.   E. O. Cox, Prentice Cox, Isaac Grove, Wm Anderson, Dale Anderson, Russell Gordon, Lawrence Turner. 
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The Bluegrass Cemetery is situated on a “Farm to Market” road and lies about 1 ½ mile due East of Modesto on the Moss Tie Company land.  Its origin seems to have been along about 1845, but no deed was made until 1873.  It was originally known as “Public Cemetery” and is a public burial grounds.

In 1873 a deed was made for “Public Cemetery” which reads as follows:  THE GRANTORS:- Robert Horton and Rebecca Horton, his wife, of the County of Macoupin, State of Illinois for and in consideration of $1.00 paid, CONVEYS AND WARRANTS, (excepting as to incumbrance of public highways) to J. A. McPherson, Henry Davidson, D.R.C. Mead, Elias Nevins and John Wrightsman and their successors in office as trustees for the use of a public cemetery the following described real-estate:

Beginning 15 rods North of the SW. corner of the E. ½ of the SW. ¼ of Section 14, T. 12 N. R. 8 west of the Third Prime Meridian; thence running East 18 rods; thence North 14 rods; thence West 16 rods; thence South 15 rods to the place of beginning, situated in the County of Macoupin, State of Illinois Provided always that this conveyance is made on this express condition, and that the same shall be used as a public cemetery and whenever the same shall cease to be used as such then this indenture and everything contained therein shall be void, otherwise to remain in full force and effect.  (This deed is dated July 7, 1873 and was filed for record in the office of the Recorder of Deeds for Macoupin County, Illinois on March 20, 1874 in Book BU, Page 57.)

On October 3, 1873 a meeting was held by the people in the vicinity for the purpose of organizing a cemetery association.  The following instrument was drawn up and signed by those present, incorporating the and creating the name of the cemetery.

State of Illinois:
Macoupin County

Be it remembered that we the undersigned, residents of North Palmyra Township, County and State aforesaid, hereby associate ourselves together for the purpose of forming a Cemetery association to be known and called the “Bluegrass Cemetery Association, that at a meeting held at No. 10 Schoolhouse on the 3rd day of October 1873 be agreed to form said association and named same named persons as officers of the said corporation to-wit:

J. E (?) McPherson, President; John Wrightsman, Treasurer & Secretary; Henry Davidson, Director; Elias Nevins, Director; D. R. C. Nead, Director.

The following instrument was signed by J. A. McPherson, John Wrightsman, Henry Davidson, D. R. C. Nead, Elias Nevins and Robert Horton.  (Filed for record in the office of the Recorder of Deeds for Macoupin County, Illinois on June 8, 1874 in Book BW, Page 321.

The Bluegrass Cemetery was surveyed by E. C. Winshester, County Surveyor of Macoupin County in 1874.  This map was recorded in Book A, of Land Plats at Page 24.  Along the side of the map reads the following deed and certification:  Commencing at a point 15 rods North of the SW. corner of the SE ¼ of the SW ¼ of Section 14, T. 12. N. R. 8, and running thence North 15 rods; thence East 1 rods; thence South 15 rods; Thence West 15 rods.

The Waverly and Carlinville road occupies 20 feet on the West.  Street on the West is 14 ½ feet wide.  Street on the East 9 ½ feet, Street on the North and on the South 9 ¾ feet wide.  The two central  streets, 9 feet.  66 lots; each 10 feet wide by 70 feet long.  Surveyed on December 6, 1873 by C. Capps.
I certify said survey and map to be correct. 
Signed:  E. C. Winchester, County Surveyor

This Cemetery Association has no trust fund.  The only means they have of caring for the cemetery is by solicitations and work done by the trustees and relatives of the dead.

Bluegrass Cemetery is situated on a fine spot.  The land slopes on the North and East giving it a good drain.  A wire fence surrounds this burial ground.  There are a number of vacant lots left and no doubt, it will continue to be used for many years to come.  The grass and weeds are kept out and the general condition of the cemetery shows care.

It is understood that several bodies have been moved Town (?) and Norvell cemeteries (which are within ½ mile of Bluegrass) and buried in Bluegrass Cemetery is due to the fact  that it is a more desirable burial plot.   

History

Oswell Horton, the original owner of the land on which the Bluegrass Cemetery is located was born in Virginia.  When he was only two years old his parents moved to Kentucky where they continued to live.  When Oswell Horton was about twenty-two years old he came to Illinois where he found employment in Morgan County
for several years as an agent for a stage company, although he resided in Springfield.  Later he took charge of the
Springfield and Peoria, and Springfield and Terre Haute State Lines.  His duties being those of general superintendent.  On account of his illness and failing health he resigned his position and decided to devote himself to farming.  In 1842 he came to Macoupin County and bought 125 acres of land in North Palmyra Township, where he lived until his death.  Oswell Horton was united in marriage to Miss Matilde Norvell and to this union four children were born, two of whom died in infancy.  Those surviving were Robert and Mary.

Robert Horton, the donor of the land for the Bluegrass Cemetery was born in Jacksonville, Illinois on December 26, 1836.  He passed the first six years of his life outside of Macoupin County and then came to North Palmyra Township with his parents.  Most of his education had been gained in the common schools in North Palmyra Township.  After his fathers death, Robert Horton continued to live on the old homestead.  In 1860, Robert Horton was married to Miss Rebecca J. Rice.  Four children were born to them, namely, Edward L., William H., John L., and Luther O. Horton.

Mr. Horton was a prominent agriculturist and became one of the most energetic and successful farmers in the county.  He devoted buying and selling live stock .  He made Chicago his market place for the large shipments of stock which he was able to care for well upon his splendid farm.  His splendid farm consisted of 900 acres and was supplied with the very best of farm buildings.  His home was fitted with every convenience and luxury.  Mr. Horton filled the office of Highway Commissioner and also that of School Trustee for many years.  He was also a director of the Macoupin County Fair Association.  In his political views he was a Democrat.  He was a member of the Order of Odd Fellows.  For many years he was a member of the Grange No 1629 and also of the Macoupin County Grange.

Name:    Cox, Phillip R.    Civil War, Pvt.  Co. A  32 Ill. Inf.; Died - 6/25/1913; Lot No. 26
Name:    Cox, Phillip R.
Field Check:    Grave No. 1  Lot No. 16; Upright marker
Information on Marker:  Sergt. Phillip R. Cox; Co. A. 32 Ill. Inf.  Gov. Marker
Cox, Philip R.  1840 – 1913  tomb stone
Cemetery Record Data:  Grave No. 1  Lot No. 26;  Burial -  5/27/1913
Death Certificate Data:    Died 5/25/1913 at Modesto, Ill.; Cause – Natural;
            Born 5/7/1840 at Anderson Co., Ky;
            Next of Kin – Ernest Cox and W. D. Cox of Modesto, Ill.
Service Record:    Inf. Sergt. Co. 32 Ill. Inf.
Inspection of burial plot:  Good

Name:    Davidson, Henry    Civil War, Pvt. Co. A  32 Ill. Inf.; Died 9/12/1895; Lot No. 25
Name:    Davidson, Henry
Field Check:    Grave No. 2  Lot No. 24; Upright marker; Very nice in good repair           
Information on Marker:    Henry Davidson; Died Sept. 12, 1885; aged 68 yrs. 11 mo. 27 days
Cemetery Record Data:    Grave No. 2  Lot No. 24; Burial – Sept. 14
Death Certificate Data:    Died – Sept 12, 1885 at Modesto; Natural cause
            Born - Sept 15, 1885 (as is) in Alabama;
            Next of Kin – Mrs. J. M. Allyn of Modesto, Ill.
Service Record:        Enlisted Aug. 27, 1861; Discharged Last of War; Inf. Pvt. and was promoted to                 Captain; Co. A 32nd Ill. Inf.
Inspection of burial plot:    Good

Name:    Reynolds, Thomas J.    Civil War, Pvt. Co. F  33 Ill. Inf.; Died 3/7/1934; Lot No. 32
Name:    Reynolds, Thomas J.   
Field Check:    Grave No. 1  Sec. 2  Lot No. 32  Block No. 2; Upright marker
Information on Marker:    T. J. Reynolds; 1847 – 19__; Co. F 33 R D (?) Ill.; (Tombstone) Emblem –
Cemetery Record Data:    Grave No. 3  Lot No. 32; Buried 3/10/1934; Remarks – No. ½: Grave No. 3
Death Certificate Data:    Died  -- 3/7/1934 at Modesto; Natural cause; Born – 4/7/1847 at Scott Co.                     Winchester , Ill.
             Next of Kin – Thomas C. (?) Reynolds of Modesto, Ill.
Service Record:        Enlisted 1865; Discharged 18__; Ill. Inf.  Pvt.;
            Company, Outfit – Cap. John Stillwell   Co. F  32 Ill. Inf.
Inspection of burial plot:    Good

Name:    Russel, T. C.    Civil War, Pvt. Co. A  32 Ill. Inf.; Lot 64
Name:    Russell, T. C.   
Field Check:    Grave No. 1  Lot No. 66
Service Record:    Inf.  Pvt.  32 Ill. Inf.
Inspection of burial plot:    Fair
No Record

Name:    Simmons, S. A.    Civil War, Pvt.  Co. G  44 Mass. Inf.; Died -  10/17/1913; Lot No. 25
Name:    Simmons, Samuel A.
Field Check:    Grave No. 3  Lot No. 4; Upright marker
Information on Marker:  S. A. Simmons(Gov Marker)  Co. G  44 Mass. Inf.
Cemetery Record Data:    Grave No. 3  Lot No. 4;  Buried 10/11/1913
Death Certificate Data:    Address – Modesto, Ill.; Died - 10/8/1913 at Modesto, Ill;  Natural Cause
            Born – 10/7/1843 at Boston, Mass;
                      Next of Kin – Elizabeth H. Simmons & Lucy W. Blawer, Modesto, Ill.
Service Record:    Date enlisted – 8/29/1862; Date Discharged – 6/18/1863;  Company G  44th;  Pvt. of Captain             Chas Hunts Mass Inf. Co. (G) 44th
Inspection of burial plot:  Fair.  Grave sunken

Name:    Talkington, J. W.  Civil War, Pvt. Co. I  14 Ill. Inf.; Died – 6/8/1896; Lot No. 9
Name:    Talkington, John W.
Field Check:    Grave No. North  Sec 2  Lot No. 9  Block No. 1
Information on Marker:    John W. Talkington; Tomb Stone – Mar. 29, 1834  June 8, 1898
            Gov. Marker – J. W. Talington (as is)  Co. 1  14 Ill. Inf.
Cemetery Record Data:    Grave No. 1  Lot No. 9; Remarks – North ½ of Lot Grave No. 1
Death Certificate Data:    Died – 6/8/1896 at Palmyra; Natural cause;  Born – 3/29/1834 in Kentucky
            Next of Kin:    Monroe Talkington, Palmyra, Ill.
Service Record:        Inf.  Pvt.  Co. 1  14 Ill. Inf.
Inspection of burial Plot:    Good

Name:    Young, J. W.    Civil War, Pvt.  Co. A  32 Ill. Inf.; Died – 1/7/1899;  Lot No. 22
Name:    Young, John W.   
Field Check:    Grave No. 1  Lot No. 32; Upright marker
Information on Marker:    Tomb Stone -John Young, Dec. 10, 1826 – Jan. 7, 1899;  Younf   
Cemetery Record Data:  Grave No. 1  Lot No. 32; Remarks- South ½ Grave No. 1
Death Certificate Data:    Died 1/7/1899; Born – Dec. 10, 1826
Service Record:    Co. A  Pvt.  32 Ill. Inf.
Inspection of burial plot:    Good   

A typed letter (dated May 15, 1945) is enclosed in the Blue Grass Cemetery file addressed to Fred Cooper, Palmyra, Illinois with regards to the Blue Grass Cemetery Association.  Extracted from this letter is the following paragraph:.

“Replying to your letter of May 1st you are advised the records of this office disclose the above Cemetery Association was incorporated under the laws of this State October 24, 1928 under the Cemetery Act effective May 14, 1903.”

The letter is signed by Clement L. Smith, County Judge Presiding.  There is no return address.




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