The Old McLeansboro Cemetery

WHEN A CEMETERY BLOCKS THE TRAFFIC on a street it seems most unusual.  However, this happened in McLeansboro.  The streets bordering the original town of McLeansborough (sp), were, and are narrow--just thirty three feet in width.  These narrow borders streets, like those in other old towns, are historically significant.  In McLeansboro, one part of Northern Border is particularly so. 

A part of the same act authorizing the planting of stones establishing permanent corners, and for making future surveys in McLeansboro, approved February 15, 1855, has a section relative to our old cemetery.  SECTION 3of that act is transcribed as follows:

"Be it further enacted, That all portion of what is known on the original plat of said town as the northern border thereof, which lies east of Jackson Street, be and the same is hereby vacated; and the corporation of said town may at any time hereafter, by an order duly made, set apart and appropriate said portion of the said border hereby vacated to burial or other public purposes designated in such order." (Laws)

Subsequent to the passage of the above mentioned act, the town trustees evidently did make an order as provided for in the act, for a cemetery was established and located across Northern Border Street.  This old cemetery also included parts of lots one and two of the original town and other adjoining land.

On the third ay of February, 1860, Samuel S. Marshall, Daniel Marshall and Charles H. Heard, conveyed and dedicated a parcel of ground, as a burying ground for the use of the citizens of McLeansboro.  This parcel of land for a cemetery was conveyed "in conformity with the provisions of the statutes in such case provided" to the County of Hamilton, in trust for the purpose aforesaid.

For measuring its meets and bounds, the starting point was reached by measuring thirty feet south from the northwest corn of lot number two of the original plat of the town of McLeansboro, thence east one hundred feet thereby reaching the southwest corner of the burying ground.  The cemetery was a block of land 198 feet east and west by 165 feet north and south.

Evidently, this plot, or a part of it, was being used for a burial ground long before the deed was executed conveying it to Hamilton County--and, before the State Legislature passed the act vacating part of Northern Border Street for that purpose.  Dates inscribed on the headstones show this.

Today, 1974, there are but few headstones remaining in the old cemetery marking the burial sites of early pioneer citizens.  One of them stands like a sentinel near the center of the burial ground and has the following inscription: "Sarah, wife of J. H. Blacker, died August 10, 1863, aged 70 yrs., 7 mos., 8 dys."

Sarah Blacker was the daughter of pioneers John and Mary (Duff) Moore, who are buried in the Ten Mile Cemetery.  Sarah was first married to Charles McDonald Heard, and is the mother of Charles Harvey, James Mulhiron, John Henry, and Elizabeth Heard.  Charles M. Heard, a Pvt. in Captain Cantrill's Company, Tenn. Vol., War of 1812, died and was buried on his farm in Flannigan Township.

Sarah Moore Heard, married second to James Allen and two of their children were Joseph and Marium.  Mr. Allen died in 1846 and Sarah then married John H. Blacker, a native of Dublin, Ireland.  Thus the Sarah Blacker monument.  Heard family history states that Sarah (Moore) Blacker was interred in the Odd Fellows Cemetery.

By correlating old listings of headstone inscriptions with more recent ones, and combining them with data from other sources, we have a list, although incomplete, of burials in the old cemetery. The list of names follows:

Charity, wife of James Mullen (Mullin), died February 1, 1847
Aged 20 years, 11 months & 21 days

William, son of J. C. and C. W. Mullen, died August 21, 1847

John W. Barnett, born May 15, 1790, died September 25, 1852

Joshua Shoemaker, died April 1835
Aged 52 years

INFANT SON of C. H. and I. Heard, died February 27, 1837

Sarah, wife of J. H. Blacker, died August 10, 1863
Aged 70 years, 7 months & 8 days

Dorothy E. West, died May 10, 1863
w/o Charles West

Lazarus P. Frye, died 1865
Co. K, 71st Ill. Inft.

Sarah Gooden, died July 20, 1868
Aged 39 years, 2 months, 18 days
w/o W. L. Gooden

In Memory of
Henretta, d/o James and Sarah Allen, died August 13, 1839

Theodore F. Sharp, died November 10, 1848
s/o T. and E. Sharp

Howell Heard, born March 15, 1845, died December 10, 1849

In Memory of
John Blacker, Esq.
who was born in Dublin, Ireland, A. D. 1809, emigrated to Canada 1829, 
removed thence to U.S.A. in 1840, died July 19, 1849
Aged 40 years

W. C. Barnett, died November 30, 1851,
Aged 30 years, 2 months & 5 days

Sarah, d/o C. H. and I. (?) Heard, died September 7, 1848

M. Emmerson, died February 13, 1850
Aged 69 years, 2 months, 11 days

William Emmerson, (?)
*info. not clear

Fielding Woodruff, died March 26, 1855
Aged 55 years

Hubbard Shain, died October 22, 1856
Aged 22 years, 2 months & 12 days 

Thomas Wheeler, Sr., died March 4, 1860, 
Aged 62 years, 11 months & 0 days

James Allen (Alden?), died August 1860
Aged 52 years

James M. Heard, born April 8, 1810, died March 7, 1871

Irena Heard, died August 24, 1884
Aged 74

Hulda Tate, w/o O. A. Tate, died April 1, 1858

Capt. J. J. Ritchey, born November 6, 1822, died February 1875
Co. H, 6th Ill. Cav.

Willie Howard, died October 10, 1865

James Kinnear

Wife of James Kinnear

John Cooney

W. O. Tate, died April 1, 1858

Melinda Camden

Eliza W., w/o J. W. Henson, died July 16, 1860
Aged 45 years

W. Williams, died August 16, 1860

Mollie, d/o W. J. and A. A. Dobyns, died April 13, 1860
Aged 0 days, 10 months & 3 days

(no other info. legible.)

From: Goshen Trail's, Vol. 12, No. 2, April, 1976
[by Ralph S. Harrelson]
Printed by permission

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