Peoria County, Illinois Genealogy Trails



First Know as Public Graveyard

Plat of Public Graveyard
Village of Peoria

Located on N.E. cor. of N.W. 1/4 sect. 17 T8N R8E of the 4th PM
Year 1842
Last Known as City Cemetery

The only name on this plat is No. 3  Giles C. Dana


April 1999- The residence of  an 85 year old house at 611 Caroline St. was digging in the front of the house uncovered the
 headstone of Elizabeth J. HAMILTON, w/o Joseph Hamilton, died Nov. 9, 1884 age 63.
This is thought to one of many headstones removed from the City Cemetery.- 2008

Taken from "HISTORY OF SOME OF PEORIA COUNTIES CEMETERIES", written for a college thesis in 1936 by person unknown.
Copied by "Marqaret Herberger in 1956 from a copy loaned her by Harry Spooner. Her copy now remains with the Historical Society.
Submitted by Steve Slaughter and Transcribed by: Missi Thompson

ABNER EADS- one of Peoria's Pioneers, on August 23, 1821 purchased a quarter section of land for a home site from M. DUNCAN, who had acquired it as a government grant. Part of it was sold April 3, 1833 to O. HAMLIN who on January 25, 1835 sold to G. C. DANA, Administrator for the estate of D.P. DANA, five acres of the property, now bounded by Lincoln, Helen and Lincoln Place, the present site of Lincoln Park and Peoria Branch Library. For the sum of $350.00. G. C. DANA sold the five acres Nov. 5, 1839 to the trustees of the town of Peoria for the purpose of "Public Graveyard". However, a small tract retained by G. C. DANA was located on the Lincoln Street side about the location where Pope Street begins. This G.C. DANA tract , according to the deed filed is rectangular and measured three and one-half rods on Lincoln Avenue, then south five rods. The northeast corner of this small section is thirteen and one-half rods from the northeast corner of the cemetery.

The cemetery site as shown in the recorder's office, Book M-367, was platted Feb. 24, 1842, has 368 lots, the area measuring 499 feet by 445 feet with the exception of the lot previously described retained by G. C. DANA, who by court decree, a few years later, transferred all his holding to GRISWALD, but in making the deed, no legal description of this lot is shown, nor is there one in subsequent deeds, which seems to show the city has no legal ownership of the rectangular lot.

The Peoria Democratic Press, Feb. 16, 1842, published a copy of a city ordinance which authorized the sale of lots in the "Public Graveyard" by public auction. It further states all lots unsold at the time of the auction will be available at the appraised price, same to be uncontestable and ownership to be forever.

Another article published by the same paper, Nov 19, 1845 reads as follows; "By order of the city council all persons who have purchased or taken lots in the city burying ground and not paid for same, that unless said lots are paid for within 60 days from this date, they will be sold again after that time.

The public Burying ground having no fence around it, the following was published Nov. 26, 1845, in the Peoria Democratic Press, "Sealed proposals will be received by the clerk of city council, J. L. KNOWTON, until the fourth day of Jan, 1846, for the building of a fence around the City Cemetery grounds." The fence was subsequently built around the burial grounds.

Ex -Governor, THOMAS FORD was buried in this cemetery in 1850. Later his remains were moved to Springdale Cemetery as described in another place in this chapter. The last interment was made in 1875 the name having previously been changed from Public Graveyard to City Cemetery. After the closing of the cemetery for burial purposes in 1868, an order issued by the city called for the removal of all remains in the sacred ground. {Now a Public Library is on this land- Candi H.}

Many removals were made, but injunction proceedings by kin of M. DUNCAN, original owners of the land, prohibited further removals. 
In 1937, there are only two marked graves in the entire plat.

One located according to surveyors plat, on lot 16 of block 4 and contains the remains of the wife of a German minister. 
The grave stone lying flat over the grave near the northwest corner is inscribed as follows:

37 yrs. 6 mo.

Near the southwest corner of the grounds, locate din lot 23, block 11, rest the remains of MRS. BESEMAN and her four children, all of whom were drowned at the same time in the Illinois River while on a fishing trip, when a cyclone passed through the city, May 13, 1858. Her husband GEORGE AUGUSTUS, a German, returned to his native land, after the tragedy and married again. The daughter, HELE, EMILY, born in Germany later became principal of the Lee School, a position she held at the time of her death, Dec. 14, 1922. From reliable sources, information is available that the second MRS. BESEMAN refused to allow her husband to move the remains of the drowned family from their resting place in the old cemetery, the monument having been previously removed.

There is no doubt but what there were many graves left in the cemetery. E.W. BROWNING, who was Superintendent of Peoria Public Library, states that nearly every time workmen do any digging around the branch library, located in the center of the site, they find human bones. MR. CHARLES APINDLER or 2706 Seventh Street, Peoria, who has been connected with sewer construction in 1903, which extended from Lincoln Avenue southeasterly through Lincoln Park to George Street, then down to South Street, the ditch diggers cut through a tier of some eight or ten graves from which human bones were thrown out. 

When bodies were being removed, in accordance to City Council edict, a large number of marble slabs, formerly used as grave stones were piled near a house then under construction at 207 Helen Street. The owner of the house CHARLES J. ANGLESEA who was a contactor and brick mason, prevailed on his Alderman, JOHN FINLEY of the ninth ward to get permission from the City Council in June 1887, to use these old grave markers for such purposes as he saw fit. He accordingly used them as a floor in the furnace room of his house where he intended to begin life as a Benedict. The markers were place with the chiseled side down so no inscriptions may be seen. An inspection of this cellar floor reveals there were some 70 stones used, varying from size from 8 inches square to some 16 by 36 inches.

MRS. SOPHIA ANGLESEA of 1414 Peoria Avenue, the widow of the deceased contractor, was the bride who began married life in the above home and was also an informant, Dec. 15,1936, regarding the procedure used by her husband to obtain the marble grave markers.

A memorial marker erected by the D.A.R. stands northwest of the library building on lot 5, in block 7, of the cemetery plat. 
The following inscription is on the bronze plate attached to the granite marker:


Probably one of the most outstanding burials in this old cemetery was that of the seventh governor of Illinois, THOMAS FORD.

A beautiful tombstone was erected by the common wealth of Illinois. A reproduction of this monument which was 18 feet high, is shown in the Peoria Weekly Democratic Press of Sept. 7, 1858 which states J. JEWELL was the sculptor. The stone was blown down and broken during the cyclone which visited Peoria May 13, 1858. 



Removals from 1857 - 1864
Submitted by Steve Slaughter, reformatted by Candi -2009

Name Age Removal Lot Remarks
2 Unmarked Graves --- remains moved April 10, 1861 55
ADAMS, William A. Dec. 8, 1863 276
ALLISON, Lewis B. 0Y 11M 12D Dec. 8, 1863 276
ANDERSON, John R. 2Y 10M 15D June 3, 1857 8
ARMSTRONG, Annee Oct. 22, 1859 65
ARNOLD, Mrs. L.E. 23Y 8M 0D June 3, 1857 9
BALDWIN, Annis P. 16Y 3M 0D Jan. 8, 1858 53
BALDWIN, John T. 0Y 4M 5D Jan 8, 1858 53
BARTLETT, Dr. Peter 49Y March 9, 1860 150
BATTEN, E.J. 0Y 0M 17D Dec. 8, 1863 276
BATTEN, Mrs. Eliza 27Y 10M 0D Dec. 8, 1863 276
BAUER, Henry 1Y 6M 0D March 19, 1861 213
BLAKELEY, Dennis 64Y 5M 17D May 2, 1857 355
BLAKELEY, H.H. 18Y 4M 3D May 2, 1857 355
BLAKELEY, Infant son of G.T. Birth May 2, 1857 355
BLAKELEY, James 27Y 2M 3D May 2, 1857 355
BLAKELEY, Mrs. Susan T. 21Y 10M 0D May 2, 1857 355
BLAKELEY, William 31Y 10M 20D May 2, 1857 355
BRENIZER, David April 10, 1861 203
BROWN, April 20, 1861 227 NOTE: 2 bodies in the same grave. Not unusual for the time period.
BROWN, April 20, 1861 227 NOTE: 2 bodies in the same grave. Not unusual for the time period.
BROWN, John H. 21Y 0M 0D Dec. 5, 1863 335
BUNN, Mary E. 20Y Aug. 4, 1857 32
BURGIN, Infant Birth May 19, 1857 16
CALHOUN, Oct. 29, 1861 181
CAMBLIN, March 28, 1861 120
CARPENTER, Mrs. Jane A. 48Y April 27, 1857 2
COFFEE, Reverand Dec. 1, 1858 19
COOPER, Jane 69Y June 15, 1857 3
COOPER, John 72Y 10M 9D June 15, 1857 3
COOPER, John 0Y 1M 21D June 15, 1857 3
COOPER, John C. 1Y 10M 0D June 15, 1857 379
CROSS, children of Dr. - May 16, 1864 365
CULBERTSON, Dr. William 43Y June 26, 1857 28
CULTER, Rebecca Easton 16Y 6M 8D April 24, 1860 157
CURTENIUS, A.G. 50Y 0M 23D Oct 31, 1857 47
CURTENIUS, Louisa T. Oct 31, 1857 47
CURTIS, Edward J.G. 0Y 8M 0D May 21, 1858 61
CURTIS, Mary D. 0Y 9M 0D May 21, 1858 61
CURTIS, Charles P. 0Y 9M 0D April 29, 1858 61
CURTIS, Lavon R. 15Y 0M 0D April 29, 1858 61
DEWEIN, Matilda 1Y 9M 4D March 22, 1860 133
ELLIS, Joseph 60 Y 5M 18D Oct. 4, 1858 69
EVINS, Margaret 33Y 5M 13D June 8, 1858 58
FLANAGAN, Mrs. Jane Oct. 28, 1861 258
FORD, Frances June 5, 1860 170
FORD, Thomas June 5, 1860 170
FRISBEE, July 25, 1862
GALE, Anna B. 2Y 9M 27D March 9, 1860 151
GIBSON, Oct. 4, 1858 71
GIBSON, Thomas H. April 20, 1861 153
GOLDBECK, Frederick 0Y 5M 0D Aug. 25, 1860 185
GREGG, April 8, 1859 84
GREGG, Katie April 8, 1859 84
GREGG, Maria April 8, 1859 84
GREGG, Richard April 8, 1859 84
GRIER, Cornelia B. 5Y 6M 0D April 27, 1857 2
GRIER, Jane C. 0Y 8M 0D April 27, 1857 2
GRIMM, Catherine 22Y March 19, 1861 213
HALEY, Charles F. Oct. 21, 1863 280
HALL, Mrs. Prudense T. 49Y 1M 13D June 2, 1857 20
HARDING, Sarah E. 4Y 8M 17D Dec 30, 1857 52
HASKELL, Willie childbirth Oct. 4, 1858 69
HENRY, Laura J. 0Y 1M 23D July 19, 1857 31
HOTCHKISS, Joshua R. 41Y 5M 26D June 8, 1857 21 ** Mr. Hotchkiss was the first interment in the City Cemetery **
HOTCHKISS, Harriet N.B. 39Y 9M 1D June 8, 1857 21
HOUGHTON, Mrs. Charlotte G. 34Y 7M 27D Jan. 18, 1858 54
HOUSE, Willie 0Y 0M 9D Nov. 5, 1857 26
HOUSE, Mrs. Louise S. 24Y 9M 6D Nov 5, 1857 26
HUGHES, Altona C. 2Y 1M 23D July 14, 1859 105
HUGHES, Luella A. 3Y 4M 28D July 14, 1859 105
HUNTOON, Mrs. Susan 47Y May 16, 1864 365
INGLE, Frances Aug. 19, 1863 324
INGLE, Suesa Dec. 14, 1863 324
JEFFRIES, Mrs.Jan 60Y 3M 0D Dec. 8, 1863 276
JOHNSON, Charles A. 0Y 1M 11D Oct 5, 1857 48
KELLOGG, March 8, 1861 82
KOCH, Dorothea April 29, 1861 178 removed to Lot #3225
LIGHTNER, H.Herman 0Y 9M 19D April 30, 1857 14
LIGHTNER, Hervey Herman 1Y 2M 9D April 30, 1857 14
LOUCKS, April 30, 1857 15
LOUCKS, C. April 30, 1857 15
LOUCKS, A.P. April 30, 1857 15
LOUCKS, Mrs. April 30, 1857 15
MARSH, Mrs. Susan M. 22Y May 16, 1864 365
MAXWELL, T.I. April 24, 1860 148
MAYNE, Thomas 2Y 0M 0D Oct. 22, 1859 107
McCLALLEN, Charles R. 1Y 5M 8D April 27, 1857 11
McKINNEY, William R. 17Y 7M 0D July 26, 1857 5
McREYNOLDS, Mrs. Lucinda 62Y 5M 27D Aug. 18, 1857 25
MOFFITT, Sarah 33Y 9M 0D Dec 30, 1857 52
MOSIER, April 17, 1861 119 NOTE: 2 bodies in the same grave. Not unusual for the time period.
MOSIER, April 17, 1861 119 NOTE: 2 bodies in the same grave. Not unusual for the time period.
NIXON, Charles F. 3Y 11M 0D July 1, 1863 204
PETERS, Mrs. H.P. May 2, 1857 1
PETERS, Onslow May 2, 1857 1
PETTENGILL, children of Moses May 16, 1864 365
POWELL, Ben Frank 4Y 5 M 18D April 27, 1857 10
PROUDMAN, Mary 35Y 8M 3D March 22, 1858 57
RAMSEY, April 13, 1860 98
REECE, Alexander Oct 12, 1857 95
REED, G.W. Feb. 20, 1864 359
REED, Mrs. Joanna Feb. 20, 1864 359
RICHMOND, Rosinah 28Y March 30, 1861 213
ROBINSON, Infant 0Y 0M 1D July 14, 1859 105
ROBINSON, Mariette S. 25Y 5M 13D July 14, 1859 105
SANGER, E.G. April 29, 1858 61
SANGER, Mrs. April 29, 1858 61
SANGER, Neddy April 29, 1858 61
SCHULER, Gustav 7Y 0M 0D Nov 15, 1860 200
SCHULER, Elisa 0Y 11M 0D Nov. 15, 1860 200
SCHWAB, Emilia April 29, 1861 178 2 bodies in the same grave
SCHWAB, Julie April 29, 1861 178 2 bodies in the same grave
SHEPLAR, Margerey 55Y Dec 30, 1857 52
SHEPLAR, Newton 26Y 5M 0D Dec 30, 1857 52
SHEPLAR, Samuel 53Y 3M 0D Dec. 30, 1857 52
SMITH, Mary 40Y 0M 0D May 30, 1859 4
SPROAT, 15Y 0M 0D Nov. 18, 1862 301
THOMPSON, Hariet 48Y April 8, 1859 84
THOMPSON, Mr. 50Y 0M 0D April 8, 1859 84
THOMPSON, Mrs. 48Y 0M 0D April 8, 1859 84
THOMPSON, Sylvanus 50Y 0M 0D April 8, 1859 84
TODD, Robert Jones 3Y 4M 5D Sept 16, 1857 46
TYNG, Lucie McReynolds 0Y 4M 13D June 5, 1857 25
WALKER, Emma Irene 1Y 0M 28D Jan. 22, 1858 59
WALKER, Infant April 16, 1858 59
WALKER, William M. 0Y 7M 0D April 16, 1858 59
WESTON, Mrs. May 2, 1857 13
WHITTINGTON, May 25, 1861 130
WILLARD, Willie 1Y 3M 0D Feb. 28, 1858 62
WILSON, Alfred D.L. 1Y 7M 0D Sept. 8, 1857 45

Other Known Removals
Candi Horton  2008

Name Removal Remarks
LOOMIS, Mary May 13, 1875
LOOMIS, Algernon L. May 13, 1875
LOOMIS, Charles L. October 13, 1875
LOOMIS, N. Ann October 13, 1875

WHITEMAN, C. Two children of Nov, 22, 1875 both in one grave.
BECKER, Alexander May 11, 1877
GUESS, Elizabeth B. (reburied all in one grave)
GUESS, Charles R. June 1, 1877 (reburied all in one grave)
GUESS, Emily C. (reburied all in one grave)
DETWEILLER, Andreas Sept. 10, 1877 separate grave
BOYD, Mary (reburied all in one grave)
BOYD, David (reburied all in one grave)
BOYD, John Oct. 18, 1877 (reburied all in one grave)
BOYD, Eliza (reburied all in one grave)
TRACY, Mary Jane
DAVIS, James (separate graves)
DAVIS, Rebecca Sept. 23, 1880 (separate graves)
WYATT, Richard
HALL, John Dec. 2, 1880 (separate graves)
SCHNEBLY, Joseph April 1, 1882
SPECK, Franceska
MANGOLD, Emila Apr 10, 1882 (reburied all seven in one grave) It's not a mistake. It reads seven
MANGOLD, John Mathius
HOWE, Anna
HOWE, Lydia Apr. 24, 1882 (reburied all seven in one grave) It's not a mistake. It reads seven
HOWE, Harry
RICE, Fredrick
RICE, Danial
RICE, Ella C. 



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