Richardson Hill Cemetery

A BRIEF HISTORY OF RICHARDSON HILL
by Vivian Cross 
(Secretary/treasurer of Richardson Hill Cemetery)
Contributed by Phyllis Collins.

      Owing to the increased interest being manifested in the chapel and cemetery on the crest of RICHARDSON HILL, located two and one-half miles south of Dahlgren, Illinois, and having heard different conjectures as to just how it came about, I offer the following information:

      Many years ago I wrote down the names and dates of the earliest grave markers which are now almost impossible to read.

      Here is the story - MARY ANNE MCCLURE RICHARDSON, daughter of  AUSTIN  McCLURE,  and  her  young  husband,  AARON  HARVEY RICHARDSON, son of AARON HARVEY RICHARDSON 1st, lived at the foot of the "HILL" on the north side.   Their home faced the old "ANGLING ROAD" which ran between McLeansboro and Mt. Vernon.  In the year 1858, MARY ANNE McCLURE RICHARDSON died, leaving a little three-week old son, AUSTIN HARVEY RICHARDSON.  She was buried at the crest of the "HILL."  This was the first grave in the cemetery

      This baby boy was taken into the home of the grandparents, AARON HARVEY RICHARDSON, 1st.  After a time the grandparents both died and were buried on the "HILL" near their daughter-in-law.

      The boy was taken in the home of his aunt, MRS. HARRIET RICHARDSON COKER, and her husband, CAPTAIN JOE COKER, where he grew to manhood.

      The late VOL RICHARDSON of Mt. Vernon, Illinois, was the grandson of AUSTIN HARVEY RICHARDSON, who grew up in the home of CAPTAIN JOE COKER.

      The Cokers lived down the "ANGLING ROAD" to the east some ten miles on "COKER HILL."

      The young widower, AARON HARVEY RICHARDSON II, enlisted in the Union Army, Co. G 40th Illinois Infantry, dying in an army ambulance just outside of Scottsboro, Alabama, of typhoid fever. His body was brought back and buried near his wife on RICHARDSON HILL.  His father, AARON HARVEY RICHARDSON 1st, was still living at that time, and he gave this part of the 'HILL' to be used as a cemetery.  This is the north side of the present large cemetery.

      PHILIP  MORGAN  gave  more  joining  land to enlarge  the cemetery.   JOHN P. STELLE purchased and gave to the cemetery a parcel of land of some two acres to the north.  This was about the year 1914.  Otber small parcels of Land were probably added in the period prior to 1914.

 

    In 1863, VIRGINIA CRAIG,  a relative of the Richardson family, was buried near the Richardson graves.

    In 1864, a little four-year-old girl, daughter of CAPTAIN JOE COKER and HARRIET RICHARDSON COKER, was buried near the other graves. These six graves were the beginning of the cemetery.

      In 1887,  the WHITE SCHOOL HOUSE,  located about a mile southeast of Dahlgren, which had not been in use after the building of a new school in Dahlgren, was donated to RICHARDSON HILL by JOHN P. STELLE on whose land it was located.   The building was taken apart and moved to the cemetery and rebuilt to serve as a chapel.

     The men who gave their time and effort in this rather large project were as follows:

   JOHN BOWER

   FRANCIS M. COOK

   CHESTER JUDD - Chief Carpenter

   EDWIN HARDY LEARNED

   PHILIP MORGAN

   EDWARD NEWBY

   ALEC SHIPLEY

   JOHN P. STELLE

   VINCENT MCCOWAN WINKLER

   JOHN WOOD

      Sometime later, JOHN P. STELLE had erected the bell tower and vestibule entrance.   The ladies of the community organized and conducted a number of ice cream socials to raise money for the purchase and installation of a bell.

      Mr. Stelle took a great interest in the chapel and cemetery, and he with Mrs. Stelle and a number of other family members are buried at the "HILL."

      The following was added at the end of the article and was very faint, almost to the point of being unreadable.

     This article was written by Elsie Stelle Winkler several years before her death.    -   illegible   --       by Mr. and Mrs. Vol Richardson of Mt. Vernon, Illinois.   Mr. Richardson being the grandson of the three week old boy left motherless by the death of the first person buried at Richardson Hill.   (Mrs. Winkler probably wrote this article about 1950.)

Note: Elsie Stelle Winkler was born 2 January 1879 and died 25 November 1961.   She was the wife of A. Roscoe Winkler and the daughter of John Patterson Stelle and Eliza Evaline Coker.

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