Dobson Cemetery, Marshall County Illinois

Contributed by Nancy Sundra

Nancy writes " My mother grew up in Pattonsburg, and I have loved that area for all my life. She lived in the little house across from the church. I usually go out to visit the area once a year. I have long been fascinated with the Dobson and Hollenback cemeteries. Last week, I found the Dobson cemetery, (I had first found it 15 years ago), and it occurred to me you might like the photos/info for your research. They are on private property, somewhat hard to find. The property is posted No Trespassing. We used to know the owner of the property, but she has since died and it has passed on to relatives.

They are on E Pattonsburg Road, across the street from 2353 E. Pattonsburg. I don't think there was an address at the actual property. There used to be a house there, but when the owner died, it was torn down. It was in deplorable condition. The new owners of the property have really cleaned it up, the first time we found it, we almost walked right by it, it had gotten so overgrown. Its a little easier to find now."


Thomas Dobson
Died July 6, 1847
Aged 49 years 6 months

Mary, Wife of Thomas Dobson
Died April 30, 1864
Aged 73 years, 9 months and 10 days

"A Horse Plays Detective"

On the 26th of February, 1847, a man named Thos. Dobson, who lived near Hollenback's Grove, came to Lacon one afternoon, and probably became somewhat intoxicated. Dobson was noted as a fast driver. He had a splendid span of well-matched horses, and made it a point to race with or run past every team he encountered upon the road. He drove a spring wagon, one of the first used in the section. On the day referred to he was returning, and when near Colonel Strawn's residence he saw ahead of him Mr. Harrison Hollenback, a respectable young farmer, his neighbor, and with whom, so far as known, he was on the most friendly terms. Dobson, as was his custom when approaching a team, gave the rein to his horses when they had approached close to Hollenback's wagon, and tried to pass him. The result was that a collision ensued, his wheels catching Hollenback's wagon and overturning it, the doomed man falling under the box, the edge of which crushed his skull. Hollenback was carried back a short distance to Colonel Strawn's house, and in a short time expired.

Dobson was arrested and bound over to appear at court on a criminal charge. He gave as sureties Daniel Hollenback [Harrison's brother], Jackson Parker, and another person, and was released from custody. Some time after, the term of court approaching, Dobson's conduct did not please his bail, and he receiving word that they were about to deliver him up, concluded to escape and 'leave them in the lurch.' Taking one of his horses he fled across the prairie, but encountered a man who recognized him and informed his bondsmen of his flight.

They immediately started in pursuit, and in the vicinity of Bloomington were passing a dense thicket, when the neigh of a horse was heard, which was immediately replied to by the horse Dobson had left behind and upon which one of the party rode. By some unknown equine telegraphy it had recognized its mate, and in this manner betrayed its master, who was stopping at a house in the vicinity. Perceiving their approach he started for a slough close at hand and endeavored to escape, but seeing them gaining upon him, drew a razor and cut his throat, dying three days after."

Margaret was left a widow with five small children, the eldest was only ten years old and the youngest was seven months old.  - From History of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam counties, IL pg 429 - Contributed by Nancy Sundra


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