The Old Quincy Cemetery

Located at Southeast corner of 24th and Maine St.

Biography: The second cemetery in Quincy. Ground was bought in 1835 to make a cemetery. Bodies were taken from Jefferson Square, the first cemetery in Quincy. If the bodies couldn't be identified they were left there. In 1867 the Quincy Boulevard and Park Association bought the cemetery to make it into a Public Square or park. As of 1877, ten years later, there were still people buried there.

The Quincy Daily Herald
Sunday, March 24, 1867
Page 4

     MADISON SQUARE - Madison is the appropriate name of the new square lately established by The City Council at the corner of Maine and Twenty-Fourth streets. This property has been heretofore known as the old Quincy Cemetery, having been deeded by E. B. Kimball and wife to the town trustees of Quincy for that purpose in the year 1837, and was subsequently laid out into burial lots, of which about one-third was disposed of. It proved unsuitable for the purpose on account of being wet, water filling into the graves before burying, and was rarely resorted to, and after a few years, upon the opening of Woodland Cemetery by Gov. Wood, was entirely abandoned, many of our citizens causing the remains of their friends therein buried to be removed to the Woodland. The grounds having been neglected for so many years and presenting an unsightly and dilapidated appearance, the idea was suggested this winter of converting it into a public park. A petition was drawn up which obtained the signatures of all, or nearly all, as far as known, of the parties owning lots and having an interest in the grounds, and presented to the City Council, asking that the same be converted into a public square or park and that a proper deed be obtained for that purpose from the original owner, to whom it had reverted on being disused as a cemetery. According to the proceedings heretofore published, this petition was favorably acted on by the Council, and a short time since Mayor Boon completed the negotiation with Mr. Kimball, receiving a quit-claim deed for the premises in consideration of the sum of $750, cash paid, and the property, which contains eight and a half acres, has thereupon been converted by ordinance to the public use, under the name of Madison Square. It is desirable that the remains of all those yet buried in these grounds should be removed to other cemeteries as soon as possible, and parties interested in their removals are hereby requested to give attention to the matter at their earliest convenience, as arrangements have already been made for setting out trees and otherwise actively improving the grounds this spring. This action of the Council will meet with general favor, and as the proposed horse railway will run by this property, its change from an unsightliness and a reproach into a highly-improved and pleasant place of resort, will be particularly appropriate and acceptable.

     The Quincy Daily Herald
April 10, 1967
Page 3

     Resolved, That lots owners and parties interested in what was formerly known as the "Old Quincy Cemetery," at the south-east corner of Maine and Twenty-Fourth streets, now "Madison Square," who are favorably disposed toward the conversion of said grounds into a Public Square for the use of the public, are respectfully requested to cause the removal of the remains of persons buried on their respective lots to some other cemetery at their earliest convenience.

The Quincy Daily Herald
April 7, 1869
Page 2

Council Proceedings
     The petition of H. S. Davis and others, asking that Madison Square be improved, was referred to the Aldermen of the Fifth ward.

The Quincy Daily Herald
May 7, 1872
Page 4

     The Mayor, to whom was referred a petition asking for the improvement of Madison Square, formerly Quincy cemetery, submitted a report of the condition of the square, and recommended that a new fence be erected on the north side thereof. The report was placed on file. On motion the improvement of the park was referred to a special committee of three, including the Mayor, with instructions to cause, the remains buried in the park to be removed and to take such steps as may be necessary to improve and beautify the grounds. The Mayor appointed Ald. Binkert and Vandenboom upon the committee.

The Quincy Herald
May 23, 1877
Page 3

     WHEREAS, Action has heretofore been taken by the City Council on various occasions for the removal of the remains of parties buried in the old cemetery at the corner of Maine and Twenty-Fourth streets, now known as Madison Square, and nothing decisive has resulted from such  action, therefore be it
     RESOLVED,  That the Board of Public Works be and are hereby instructed to give public notice to all interested that said cemetery will hereafter be used as a public square or park, said that tombstones, monuments and the remains of all persons buried therein must be removed on or before the 1st day of November, 1877, or the Board will cause such removal to be made at public expense.

The Quincy Herald
June 6, 1877
Page 3

     From George A. Miller, protesting against the removal of the remains of his relatives buried on a lot owned by him in the old grave yard at Maine and Twenty-Fourth streets, now called Madison Square.
     The communication was accompanied by an official notice from Mr. Miller to the Board of Public Works not to remove any of the bodies of his family buried in Madison Square.
     Referred to the Board of Public Works to consult Mr. Miller and report,

The Quincy Daily Herald
Thursday, April 10, 1890
Page 1

     Madison Square is capable of being made one of the most attractive parks in the city. There is a great variety of well grown trees upon the grounds, some of them stately and beautiful; in the autumn it is perhaps the most brilliant square in the city. In this connection the conveyances, the petition of the lot owners and other citizens, and the action of the city council will be of interest.
     On July 22, 1837, Edward B. Kimball and wife deeded the property for burial purposes to Joseph T. Holmes, president; John Wood, I. O. Woodruff, Joel Rice, Wm. P. Reeder, trustees of the Town of Quincy and to their successors in office.

     Quincy, Ill., January 7, 1867. The petition of I. O. Woodruff and others asking the council to convert the cemetery at the southeast corner of Maine and Twenty-Fourth streets into a public park was on the motion of Alderman Hutton, referred to the mayor and aldermen of the Fifth ward, with directions to report at the next regular meeting of the council. January 18th, 1867
     H. S. Davis, Esq., appeared and requested the council to take action in the matter of converting the cemetery at the southeast corner of Maine and Twenty-Fourth streets into a public park, and stated that if the committee to whom the same was referred were empowered to act immediately the grounds could be purchased for a nominal sum. Alderman Redmond moved that action on the same be deferred until the next regular meeting of the city council in order to give said committee sufficient time to consider and prepare a written report.
         Quincy, Ill., Feb. 4th, 1867

     On motion the following petition of lot owners and parties interested in the old Quincy cemetery was referred to the mayor and aldermen of the Fifth ward with power to act.
     To the Honorable Mayor and Common Council of the City of Quincy, Illinois:
     The undersigned petitioners, in view of the fact that the public burying ground belonging to the city, situated at the southeast corner of Maine and Twenty-Fourth streets, in said city, has for many years been almost wholly abandoned by the public as a burying ground, or cemetery, the same having been found unfit for such purposes, and the same now being in a very bad condition for want of care and attendance, beg leave to represent unto your honorable body, that said grounds can in their opinion be converted and made into a public park or square; the remains of those buried removed to other public cemeteries at a small expense to the city, and thereby better serve the memory of both the living and the dead, while at the same time securing to the city and its inhabitants for all time a public park, in point of size and location second to none other in the city. The undersigned make this petition, believing that Mr. E. B. Kimball, the grantor thereof to the city for said cemetery purposes, as well as the lot owners, will consent thereto and give their approbation to the proposed change, on consultation with proper committee appointed by your honorable body, and therefore pray that proper action be taken in the premises on the part of your honorable body at an early day, and in duty bound your petitioners will ever pray, &c.
     [Signed] I. O. Woodruff, L. Kingman, Samuel Holmes, H. Dills, N. Pinkham, Chas. H. Morton, James M. Pittman, John H. Holton, Timothy Rogers, J. P. Bert, John Wheeler, Wm. L. King, Nath. Summers, S. P. Church, C. M. Pomroy, Michael McVay, Isaac N. Basse, J. K. Vandoorn, Alex. Stobie, Thadeus Munroe, Robert Long, J. N. Ralston, Robert Tillson, Jas. D. Morgan, J. K. Webster, Nath. Pease, David T. Jameson, George Bond, J. K. Bartlett, Walter Emery, John Wood, Mrs. J. B. Young, Willard Keyes, A. C. Root, Geo. Falkrod, Allen Comstock, J. A. Felt, Mrs. M. H. Skinner, Almeron Wheat, Henry L. Simmonds, Wm. Homan, Mrs. Margaret Corson, George Schultheis, Mrs. Anna Wells, P. C. Keller, W. C. Rood, F. O. Conner, F. C. Moore, Joel Rice.
     In the deed of Edward B. Kimball and wife to the city of Quincy, executed March 25, 1867, the "grantors convey for the purpose of a public square or park for the use of the inhabitants of said city of Quincy, to be known and called by the name of 'Madison Square,' that part of the northwest quarter of section six (6), township two (2), South Eight west (8) in Adams county, Illinois, the grounds situate at the southeast corner of Maine and Twenty-Fourth streets, particularly described in deed of record" containing eight and 56-100 acres of land, with the following clause added: "Hereby further intending to grant, give and direct the use of said grounds for the use and purposes aforesaid and none other."
     In the fall of 1888 the officers of this association petitioned the city council to discontinue leasing Madison Square as a pasture; the city complied with the request. Later we received from the city $40, proceeds as the sale of the fence, upon the condition that the money was to be used only for the improvement of the grounds.

The Quincy Daily Whig
Thursday, July 9, 1891
Page 8

The association is also anxious to improve Madison park, but is unable to do so because the city authorities are not taking the interest they should in the matter. Some time since the council adopted a resolution providing that the headstones still standing in the park be placed under ground over the graves, but the matter has not yet been attended to. The board of public works claims that the committee on public parks should have the work done, and that committee seems to have forgotten all about it. As soon as the headstones have been lowered the Boulevard association will improve the park. It is therefore hoped that the work will be done at once.

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