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Lee County Cemeteries

Melugin-Robinson Cemetery
Also Known as "The Old West Burial Ground"
Compton - Not Accessible

"This cemetery has been restored, and the graves can be visited. When Mike Hosler set out to find the headstone of Zechariah Melugin in March of 2004 he was barely able to find the cemetery, much less his headstone. The headstone was lying flat on the ground and almost unreadable. The first burial in the cemetery appears to be George W. Melugin, who died in 1838, the young son of Zechariah Melugin. The latest burial to be found is William Atkinson who died in 1888. The following article details the rediscovery and restoration of the cemetery."

Additional information received today (September 24, 2014) comes from David Flenner, Scoutmaster of Troop 85:
It does have an access easement that is blocked by the guardrail of a now elevated road passing over a culvert in ditch which passes the cemetery. Access is possible by walking along the grass beside a farmers field (farmer is a descendant of someone buried in the cemetery) off the North side of Shaw Road (maybe a 1/4 mile East of Hutchinson Road) that I have always estimated the address as 2650 Shaw Road.

As the same Scoutmaster in 2002 of Troop 85, and still leading this same troop, the cemetery is mowed and cared for by the Troop members 4 or more times every year. Over the years we have uncovered maybe 4 additional (see attached photo in 2008) grave stones. We have taken responsibility for the cemetery the past 12 years. I hope the Troop, as long as it exists, will continue in its service to this cemetery that was long ago forgotten by its owners Lee County.

December 15, 2002 Sauk Valley Sunday (Greg Smith)
Boy Scouts uncover history while volunteering at old cemetery

Not many people know about Zacariah Melugin, who founded Melugins Grove in southeastern Lee County. It took an Eagle Scout project to uncover this important piece of the county's history "I think the biggest surprise I had about the project was that it took a month to get permission to clean up the cemetery" said Riley Flowers of Dixon, the Boy Scout who organized the proiect. I had to write a letter to the (Lee County) states attorneys office and get waivers for volunteers who helped with the project in case anyone was injured. About 40 Boy Scouts and adult leaders worked on the project, though noteveryone worked at the same time. The actual work took about four days. Riley was looking for a project that would help him earn the rank of Eagle Scout early this fall His father, John, accidentally learned about the old cemetery that sets on land that once was owned by Melugin. I found out about the cenietery one day while returning from a work site on (Interstate) 39 when a co-worker casually mentioned as we drove past the site that there was an abandoned cemetery "over in those trees." said John Flowers. I immediately thought that this would make a great Eagle Scout project, and I asked her to stop so I could try and find the grounds.''

After searching for a few minutes, Jon Flowers found the only two remaining stones that stood up erect. Chest-high grass and small trees obscured them. When I found them they mere like something out of the "Blair Witch Project," said John Flowers. "Overgrown weeds and saplings prevented me from seeing much more than the two stones during my first visit, but I was convinced Riley mould be excited about the possibility of using this as his project. The cemetery known as ` Robinson's Cemetery" or `The Old West Burying Ground` sets on land that belonged to Zacariah Melugin. Melugins grandfather, John Melugin fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill and witnessed the British surrender at Yorktown. Zacariah Melugin came to Dixon's Ferry from Tennessee in the early 183Os to participate in the Black Hawk War, He was a sergeant in one of thecompanies in which Abraham Lincoln served The war ended in 1832. After the war, Melugin was encouraged by his friend. Father John Dixon, to establish an inn about one day's travel from Dixon's Ferry on the Chicago-to-Galena Stage Coach Road. Melugin, with the help of his sister Mary, settled in what is now Brooklyn Township. Melugin was the first white settler in Lee County besides those who lived near Dixon's Ferry.

The project received a lucky break when it was discovered that Deb Sutton of the Lee County Genealogical Society, Stella Grobe of the Lee County Historical Society and Carol Bally recently had spent some time at the cemetery trying to locate some graves, but were unable to do so due to the dense growth. Sutton was the one who learned that Lee County most likely owned the cemetery. Riley met with Sutton and Bob Boward, the president of the Lee County Genealogical Society. Sutton, had done a title search on the property recently and discovered the Robinson deed turning the property over to Lee County. She already was working on gaining formal permission to enter the property and record the visible graves. "I noticed that as the project progressed, Riley became more excited about what was going on." said Sutton. "It was real exciting when a grave marker that had never been recorded before, was found buried under the ground. Zachariah Melugin died in 1842 at the age of 36 years old. He was the first person to be buried in the Old West Burying Ground. The cemetery was active until 1885 After Zachariah's death, his wife married John Robinson, and is 1847 John and Mary Robinson deeded the cemnetery property to the trustees of Lee County. "I'm glad the project is done because I need to get my Eagle before I turn 18," said Riley. His birthday is later this month. A Boy Scout needs to turn in all his work for Eagle prior to turning 18. Despite the work on the historic cemetery, the volunteers involved in the project are reluctant to reveal the exact location to keep vandals from finding the site.

History: The oldest cemetery in Brooklyn Township, except for individual family graveyards. It is also known as, "West Cemetery" or "Old Burial Ground." William Atkinson was probably the last person buried here in 1888. Most grave markers are broken in half, are lying on the ground, and are difficult to read.

Grave Transfers: Whether or not any graves were ever transferred from Melugin-Robinson Cemetery to Melugin Grove Cemetery is highly uncertain. At least 15 graves that are supposed to have been transferred to Melugin Grove Cemetery have been verified to still be at Melugin-Robinson Cemetery. There may be confusion in historical records because of the similar names. A full cemetery census of all grave markers at Melugin-Robinson was conducted in April 2014 and all grave markers are expected to be online by June 2014.

Location: The cemetery is located 100 yards North of Shaw Road almost directly across from a large wind turbine, between Hutchinson Road (on the West) and Carnahan Road (on the East). It is also located next to a creek that is almost unseen from the road. There are no roads leading to the cemetery so you must walk across an open field to view the graves. You can see several of the gravestones that are still standing from the road.

MORE PHOTOS         SOME MORE PHOTOS

NAME BIRTH DEATH SPOUSE PARENTS
ATKINSON, Francis J. 24 Jun 1851 25 Sep 1854    
ATKINSON, Hampton A. 13 Dec 1816 09 Jun 1847    
ATKINSON, Hampton 26 Jan 1853 19 Sep 1854    
ATKINSON, Mary (Ross) 04 Feb 1814 13 Apr 1880 William Atkinson  
ATKINSON, William 04 Dec 1806 31 Jun 1888 Mary Ross  
BIXBY, 14 Apr 1860 11 Feb 1869    
BIXBY, 18 Oct 1862 21 Jun 1869    
BOWERS, Jesse H. 16 Aug 1841 03 Jun 1873   31y-9m-18d
CARNAHAN, Allen Wilson 05 Mar 1807 11 Apr 1868 Elizabeth F. Clark David & Margaret (Mann) Carnahan
CARNAHAN, Clara 03 Jul 1836 23 Dec 1867   Allen Wilson & Elizabeth F. (Clark) Carnahan
CARNAHAN, David 22 Mar 1838 14 May 1866   Allen Wilson & Elizabeth F. (Clark) Carnahan
CARNAHAN, Elizabeth S. (Richard) 1795 10 Apr 1865 Samuel Carnahan 66y 5m 10d
CARNAHAN, Elizabeth F. (Clark) 18 Jul 1811 04 Mar 1885 Allen Wilson Carnahan
CARNAHAN, Elizabeth 03 May 1849 12 Jul 1867   d/o Allen & E. F. Carnahan 31y 9m 18d
CARNAHAN, Jasper 24 Jun 1862 26 Oct 1877   age 15y 4m 2d
Allen Wilson and Elizabeth F. (Clark) Carnahan
CARNAHAN, Perry 11 Mar 1831 23 Jul 1874   Our Brother
CARNAHAN, Wilson 30 Oct 1851 12 Aug 1872   20y-9m-13d
CHRISTEANCE, Mary Jane 25 Jan 1842 31 Jan 1864 William H. Christeance  
CHRISTEANCE, William H. 1831 09 May 1865 Mary Jane Civil War Death 34y (22y 6d) in Jeffersonville, IN Battery-Reg. IL Vol
DOCTOR, Harriet E. (Atkinson) 08 Jun 1845 28 Oct 1865 Valentine Doctor Wm. & Mary (Ross) Atkinson
FREEMAN, Ada L.   21 Aug 1855    
FREEMAN, John 28 Nov 1790 18 Sep 1855    
HILLS, Charlemaigne 14 Dec 1857 10 Sep 1859   J.N. and N.M. Hills
HILLS, Elizabeth Elmina 16 Feb 1833 11 Aug 1855   Ira H. and Dylana Hills
HILLS, Ira Henry 03 Nov 1852 09 Oct 1854   J.N. & N.M. Hills
HILLS, Ira H.   Jun 1864    
JOHNSON, Frankie C. 10 Apr 1876 11 Nov 1877   C.C. & A.M. Johnson
MADDEN, Elizabeth (Carnahan) 20 May 1799 17 Oct 1855 Joseph Madden David and Margaret (Mann) Carnahan
MADDEN, Joseph 10 Apr 1795 06 Mar 1855 Elizabeth Carnahan  
MADDEN, Mary Ann 06 Jul 1848 15 Jun 1850   1y 11m 9d
MELUGIN, George W. 22 May 1837 20 Sep 1838   Zachariah & Mary (Ross) Melugin
MELUGIN, J.M.        
MELUGIN, John N 13 May 1848 18 May 1849   Jonathan & Margaret (Madden) Melugin
MELUGIN, Margaret 15 Mar 1855 28 Dec 1855   Jonathan & Margaret (Madden) Melugin
MELUGIN, Margaret (Madden)   22 Jan 1855    
MELUGIN, Mary (Ross) 14 Feb 1814 13 Apr 1880 Zachariah Melugin Joseph & Rhoda Ross
MELUGIN, Nancy E. 15m 24 Apr 1859   Jonathan & Susan J. Melugin
MELUGIN, Susan J. 31 Oct 1833 14 Jan 1864 Jonathan Jefferson Melugin  
MELUGIN, W.E.        
MELUGIN, Zachariah 29 Aug 1806 19 Jan 1842 Mary Ross Jonathan & Sarah (Mitchell) Melugin
MOORE, James 1822 16 May 1851    
MOORE, Willie 25 Nov 1872 05 Dec 1872   J.S. and H.L. Moore
SCOTT, George H. 30 Sep 1866   W. and H. Scott
SCOTT, William   30 Dec 1863   W. and H. Scott
SWEET, Wilmot (Fairchild) 10 Feb 1845 30 Nov 1893 Amos Edwin Sweet Samuel & Wilmot (Ogden) Fairchild
VAN CAMPEN, Capt. James O. 13 Aug 1835 24 Oct 1865 Martha Jane Carnahan  
VAN CAMPEN, Martha Jane (Carnahan) 1843 Oct 1865 Capt. James O. Van Camppen Allen Wilson and Elizabeth F. (Clark) Carnahan

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