Tombstone Index
(aka, Wards Grove Township Cemetery)

Collected by Dan Hoy

Jo Daviess County, Book 22 Deeds, p.455

Directions to Graves Cemetery: From Stockton, go east on Hwy. 20 for 2.5 miles to what is now Ag Tech Inc., then turn left into the parking lot and go to the office building. Walk behind that office to the north about 200 yards past the abandoned stone-house to the top of the gentle rise to the 1.74 acre (about 275 foot square) Cemetery. Some of the towering Spruce trees may still exist. The eastern boundary of the Cemetery is very close to Graves Road which still exists going south off Howardsville Road but was permanently closed in the area of the Cemetery in about 1950. The road past the Cemetery was formerly known as the Kellogg or Sucker Trail (1832-1860) which was an important early dirt-road for heavy wagons from Peoria to Galena before the railroads were built.

1. William Graves, d.1879 @ 63 yrs.
      W.G. (footstone)
2. Charles H. Graves, son of Wm.,  d.1865 @ 6yrs.
      C.H.G. (footstone)
3. Consider Graves, son of  Wm. & Charlotte, d.1867 @ 5 months
      C.G. (footstone)

4. Eliza Dillin,  mother of Charlotte Graves, d. 1881 @ 86 yrs.

5. Charlotte M. Dillin Graves, wife of Wm. Graves, d. 1884  @ 51 yrs.
6. Hattie Reber, d. 1889
7. Wm. Wolhce (?) (barely readable)
8. Unreadable
9. Fordice M. Rogers, b.1806, d.1895
      * W2: Emily Graves Rogers, 1816-95
      * unreadable (W1, Chloe Fiske, d.1859 ?)
      * unreadable (dau. Hattie L. Rogers, d. 1867, 11 years ?)
10. Abram Cookson, b.1807, d.1879  (2d husband of Luryann Searles Graves Cookson) 
11. A.W.H. (Holmes ?)

12. Fredrick Rogers

13. Benjamin W. Holmes, 1809-61
        * Mary L.  d.1855
        * Merrick
        * Edward

14. John W. Rogers
       J.W.R. (footstone)

15. H.E.B. (?)
16. M.L.H. (Holmes ?)

17. Mary A.M. Rogers, d.1849 @ 4 months

18. M.R. (Rogers ?)

19. Anne Holmes, d. 1862 @ 3 months
20. M.W.H. (Holmes ?)

21. Infant  McAdoo
22. Austin C. Rogers, d.1875 @ 3 years 
 +  George L. Graves, d. 1908 @ 43 yrs.

     Son of Wm. & Charlotte Graves

     No headstone
         a. Emily Graves Rogers ( see # 9 above)
         b. Submit Waite Graves Moore, b. 1782, d. 1874 @ 92 yrs.
         c. Homer J. Graves 1811-1899

  *w. Almira Macomber 1822-1865

  *Mary V. Graves 1853-1870

  *Infant Daughter, 1857

1. A preliminary inventory of this Cemetery was made by this writer ( Dan Hoy, g.g.g. grandson of ‘Mitty’ Graves, 1782-1874) on 23 June 1981 when the cemetery was overgrown in weeds and brush. The writer returned to get more complete information in early 1986 before anything was yet growing, but, he found that all the headstones had been bulldozed into a pile at the Cemetery’s east boundary by some idiot who had no business on Township property. Most of the towering Spruce trees planted by Homer Graves in the 1860’s yet remained to mark the Cemetery. Much of the historical information herein comes from the extensive 1920’s & 1930’s writings of Mary C. Blair, PhD in Botany (1877-1955) who spent her long retirement living in Nora, Illinois. Blair was the g.grand daughter of Mitty Graves Moore and knew many these pioneers personally.

2. All or most of the headstones numbered 12 thru 22 were moved into the Homer Graves Cemetery from the Rogers Cemetery located in Section 33, Nora Township near the defunct village of Howardsville in 1895. This was a move of about one mile to the southwest. It is believed that the Rogers cemetery was located very near and just east of the grand farmstead of Fordice M. Rogers. The modern address of the Rogers pioneer farmstead is 14264 E. Howardsville Road, Lena, Illinois, 61048.

3. Directions to Rogers Cemetery: From Stockton go 3 miles east on US 20, then turn left onto Tiger Whip Road an go 1.5 miles north, then turn right onto Howardsville Road and go about 0.5 miles east just past the newer brick ranch style home on the left to the former site of the Rogers cemetery on the left.

4. With the establishment of Ladies Union Cemetery at the northeast corner of Stockton along what is now US Hwy. 20, Calista Moore and Jefferson Graves had the headstones and/or remains of those designated as ‘a’, ‘b’, & ‘c’ above moved from the Homer Graves Cemetery to the Ladies Union Cemetery. Emily Graves was given a new headstone. Calista Moore also moved her late husband Joseph from the M.E. Church Cemetery at Morseville to the new cemetery and also placed an exquisite headstone for him and her. Calista died in 1905.

Stockton was founded in 1890 along the then new Chicago & Great Western RR. The pioneer farmers of Stockton and Wards Grove Townships had already been in residence for some 3 generations. At the insistence of a woman’s club, of which Calista Byrum Meisner Moore (1832-1905) was a leader, the Ladies Union Cemetery was finally established in 1901. Calista was the widow of Joseph Moore (1822-1882, married 1860) who was the youngest son of ‘Mitty’ Submit Waite Graves Moore (1782-1874). The C&GWRR used the route of the Kellogg Trail from a point due south of Freeport, then westerly to Bolton, then northwesterly to Pearl City to Kent to Wards Grove where the RR turned west towards Stockton about 2 miles south of the Homer Graves Cemetery.

5. Upon the untimely death of Homer’s wife (Almira Macomber) at age 43 in 1865, Homer buried her on the same land he and his brothers tilled for the first time in 1837 so as to perfect Homer’s 1836 claim. They married in 1842 and had 11 children between 1843 and 1860 of which only one died as an infant. The Cemetery was to be located about 200 yards north of Homer’s then incomplete new stone-house which took four years to build (1864-67).

6. Homer established 1.74 acres of his land in Sec. 5 as a public cemetery for the residents of Wards Grove with a Deed to the TRUSTEES of SCHOOLS. This deed restricted the use of this land as follows:

"- - - It being expressly understood that the premises (1.74 acres) above described are conveyed to the said Trustees of Schools (and their successors) for use of inhabitants - - - for a burial ground and for NO OTHER PURPOSE." [DATED / RECORDED 6/29/1866]

JoDaviess County, Illinois, Book 22 of Deeds, page 455

7. After all is done, the inventory of the Cemetery in 1981 includes, (6) from the William Graves family, (8) from the Rogers family, (8) from the Holmes family and (6) others for a total of (28) after (5) were removed to Ladies Union. Some of the footstones are unidentified. Those guessed as "Rogers" could be the brothers of Fordice M. Rogers, the children of his brothers or of his sons.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Return to Cemetery of Jo Daviess County

Return to JoDaviess County Homepage

Send comments & suggestions to our County Coordinator

Page last updated 11 August 2005