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Livingston County, Illinois
Genealogy and History


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Poor Farm Cemetery
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1400 North Road (approximately ¼ mile West of Rt 66)
Livingston County, Illinois

(Photos & Transcription by: Teri Moncelle Colglazier © 2009)


Poor Farm Cemetery

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Poor Farm Cemetery Now At Peace

By: Karen Walters
The Pantagraph
Monday, October 23, 2006
Transcribed by Teri Colglazier

PONTIAC -- Livingston County residents who left the world with nothing have been given a peaceful resting place. For years, the county’s Poor Farm Cemetery had been forgotten – overgrown with weeds, brush and even poison ivy.

Now, thanks to a group of dedicated volunteers, the cemetery, which is located behind the county’s nursing home, is a respectful burial ground.

“We believe the souls who rest here would be pleased,” said Germaine Knudsen, who along with her husband, George, led the effort to restore the cemetery. “The workload was tremendous and appeared at times to be never ending, but to see it today makes it all worth the effort.”

The Livingston County Poor Farm Cemetery was officially dedicated on Saturday. Volunteers have been working on the restoration efforts for more than two years.

George Knudsen said the efforts will now focus on making the cemetery a state historic site.

The cemetery dates back to 1860 and records show burials took place on the site from 1877 to 1934. People of all ages, including infants, are buried at the site.

The site was part of the Almshouse, which was built by the county around 1859 to provide a home for people who were poor, mentally or physically ill. The home was also a place where people in the county could receive medical care.

Many years later, the home and the land were transformed into Livingston Manor, the county’s nursing home.

George Knudsen, a member of the county board, learned of the cemetery several years ago when he started serving on the board’s nursing home committee. After seeing the dilapidated condition of the cemetery, he felt like something needed to be done.

So, he gathered a long list of volunteers and businesses to help, among them several county board members and members of the county’s highway department, and started the work.

“This cemetery is not only dedicated to the souls who lie here, but to all of those who over many generations have contributed thought their labors to build the wonderful place to live that we call home – Livingston County,” said George Knudsen.

Volunteers labored removing brush, a gravel road was added and fencing was put around the cemetery. The cemetery also received a marker along Old Route 66.

The county also gave some money for the project and will pay for its mowing.

The Knudsens then spent several days and weeks searching county records to find out who actually was buried on the site. Those names, about 120, have been placed on a monument that marks the site.

The cemetery is divided into three parts. The oldest and newest sections have unmarked graves, but the graves in the middle section have markers that bear numbers and no names.

The group's efforts and information about the cemetery have all been logged and the Knudsens hope to have a copy made and placed at the Pontiac Public Library.

Livingston County Poor Farm Cemetery

    • First burial in 1877
    • Last burial in 1934
    • Records of 123 people buried, only 2 remain unidentified
    • Restoration efforts began in 2004
    • County investing about $7,500 to refurbish the area
 

Poor Farm Monument

Poor Farm Monument

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Interments

  • Anderson, Nels (1915)
  • Armbuster, F (1879)
  • Benedict, Frank Peter (1877)
  • Benner, William (1928)
  • Bergin, Infant (1896)
  • Bradford, Hannah (1909)
  • Brainor, Ed (1902)
  • Brisch, John (1913)
  • Briscoe, James (1912)
  • Caldwell, Frank (1891)
  • Carlson, August (1924)
  • Cave, Hattie (1927)
  • Cole, John (1918)
  • Corey, Louis (1923)
  • Cozad, Thomas (1919)
  • Crim, James F (1927)
  • Croll, Peter (1924)
  • Crubaugh, Leonard W (1913)
  • Cuhoez, Harr (1888)
  • Cushman, Hellen M (1878)
  • Custer, Julie E (1904)
  • Dane, Fred (1909)
  • Davis, Frank J (1916)
  • Davis, George (1904)
  • Davis, Jennie (1924)
  • Degan, Frank (1901)
  • Dickey, John (1927)
  • Doe, John (1920)
  • Dore, Andrea (1920)
  • Dore Andy (1896)
  • Eberle, Hattie (1909)
  • Ernest, John (1924)
  • Ewing, Alexander (1909)
  • Farmer, Luis J (1916)
  • Ferguson, Arl (1879)
  • Fitzgerald, James (1904)
  • Foss, Henry (1855)
  • Friedman, George (1899)
  • Funk, John (1883)
  • Glansen, Michael (1926)
  • Glauser, Nicholis (1931)
  • Gourley, William (1903)
  • Hackel, John (1898)
  • Hagen, Charles (1882)
  • Hannah, Lephold (1897)
  • Harritzhoy, Julius (1908)
  • Hatton, Harry (1929)
  • Hill, R B (1882)
  • Hoffman, Matthew (1911)
  • Huber, John (1911)
  • Huber, John (1916)
  • Hunter, Alexander (1914)
  • Hutson, Elijah (1884)
  • Istok, Adam (1879)
  • Johnson, Noah (1909)
  • Johnson, Augustus W (1901)
  • Jolly, George W (1914)
  • Kavachoch, Adam (1925)
  • Kemachack, Adam (1934)
  • Kennedy, Anna (1915)
  • Kliner, Fred (1930)
  • Kipfer, John (1922)
  • Kirkland, William (1911)
  • Kline, Mike (1881)
  • Knoblock, Gotlieb (1879)
  • Lamb, William (1913)
  • Lane, W S (1915)
  • Lehman, Charles (1905)
  • Little, Ransom (1888)
  • Long, Noah (1910)
  • Macheimer, James William (1926)
  • Mackinson, J W (1887)
  • McCawley, Frank (1904)
  • McFall, Daniel (1904)
  • McGovern, Charles (1903)
  • McInearney, Michael (1904)
  • McLoflin, Barney (1896)
  • McMillan, Lewis (1919)
  • Meigs, Fred J (1904)
  • Melvin, Charles (1909)
  • Monahan, John (1902)
  • Munz, Otto (1909)
  • Newman, Charles (1918)
  • O'Hair, William (1919)
  • O'Leary, Stephen (1880)
  • Oberchaim, Thomas (1927)
  • Olier, Andrew (1887)
  • Patton, Mike (1909)
  • Peterson, Martin (1888)
  • Pike, Grace Baron (1925)
  • Pruesner, Anton (1908)
  • Racos, John (1895)
  • Rapp, Jacob (1928)
  • Redman, Thomas J (1918)
  • Reed, George (1887)
  • Reed, Jacob (1878)
  • Reeder, Bennett (1919)
  • Ritzthaller, George (1925)
  • Sanem, Peter (1929)
  • Schumaker, Peter (1905)
  • Seemark, James (1904)
  • Shane, John (1878)
  • Simmons, Mary (1887)
  • Spencer, Mary (1878)
  • Spooner, Mrs. (1887)
  • Stiafie, Charles (1887)
  • Swatts, Henry (1881)
  • Sylvester, Milt (1891)
  • Thorp, Zebadee (1897)
  • Tores, Mary Elizabeth (1914)
  • Ubarton, W H (1890)
  • Wagner, Elsie (1897)
  • Wanderman, Firtz (1907)
  • Watson, Bert (1907)
  • Weber, Fred (1879)
  • Wellington, William (1903)
  • Wells, Elianor L (1909)
  • White, John Hoy (1930)
  • Wilson, Joseph (1879)
  • Wright, M K (1895)
  • Yentz, John Nicholas (1926)



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