College Cemetery, Jacksonville Township Morgan County Illinois

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College Cemetery
aka College Hill aka Willson's Grove
Morgan County Illinois
Jacksonville Township T15N R10W 3rdPM
Jacksonville City Section 20

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Cemetery transcription by members of the Jacksonville Area Genealogical and Historical Society

Words in brackets [ ] or parenthesis ( )are not on stone.

No visible trace remains of this cemetery, which was formerly on what is now the 600 block of Lincoln Avenue in Jacksonville. Jonathan Baldwin Turner High School now occupies the site. The Jacksonville Journal of Sunday, May 4, 1902 carried this news item about College Cemetery:

"The so-called College cemetery on Lincoln avenue was platted in the early days of Illinois College, the purpose of the trustees being to supply a want keenly felt and at the same time to derive some revenue from the sale of lots. The college at that time owned a good deal of land which stretched out to the south from the college campus and a few acres were fenced off for cemetery purposes. Lots were offered for sale and enough were sold to pay the cost of the ground allotted to this purpose. The old New England idea of cemetery making was carried out in that space was economized and the graves were placed very close together, the head stone of one being next to the foot stone of another. Before the other cemeteries came into general use many old families held lots in this cemetery and buried their dead there. Among those who were interred there were Governor Duncan and Augustin Jean Frederick provost, stepson of Aaron Burr, these being two of a long list which might be mentioned. Long since they were moved to other burying grounds and the same is true of nearly all who were ever laid to rest in the "College cemetery."

An earlier story, in the Jacksonville Journal of May 30, 1870, listed two soldiers known to have been buried in College Cemetery: William Alexander and Thomas A. Smith. This cemetery was on land formerly owned by judge Aaron Willson. In 1824 the site was known as "Willson's Grove".

The Jacksonville Journal of June 26, 1925, carried a letter written by Katherine Hamilton Boyd in which she mentioned a relative, Martin Robertson, who was buried in the old deserted burying ground to the left of the road on the way to Diamond Grove and the Catholic Cemetery. College Cemetery was a cornfield when she was a child. When the site was bulldozed in preparation for the construction of Jonathan Baldwin Turner Junior High School, a number of tombstones and burials were allegedly uncovered and smashed by the operation, being covered over by the landscaping. But two cast iron coffins were moved to the Potters Field section of Diamond Grove Cemetery. One of the men who helped move the two coffins told this writer that each coffin had a small window in the top, and that the bodies of an unidentified man and woman were in excellent condition. He described the color of their skins as being of a dull gold. This was in August of 1955.

From the burial book of Diamond Grove Cemetery and news stories in microfilm records of old Jacksonville Journals, the compilers have copied the names of persons who were formerly buried here.

Name Birth Death Other or Notes Veteran? Donated By Obit?
Alexander, William     (Ex - Soldier)      
Barnes, Eugene M.
    Died of paralysis
Reinterred 6 Apr 1874 Age 58
Broadwell, Baxter     Reinterred 23 May 1872      
Broadwell, George W.     Reinterred 23 May 1872      
Broadwell, Lucy L.     Reinterred 23 May 1872      
Catlin, Belinda     Reinterred 23 May 1872      
Catlin, Mary     Reinterred 23 May 1872      
Duncan, Joseph, Governor of Illinois     Gov. Duncan probably was never buried
in College Cemetery. He was, in fact,
buried in what is now known as Duncan
Park on West State Street.
In May of 1873 the Duncan family was
Reinterred in Diamond Grove Cemetery.
Fairbank, Edward     Age 22 Yrs      
Fairbank, Ephraigo     Age 67 Yrs      
Fairbank, Hannah     Age 36 Yrs      
Fairbank, J. M.     Age 2 Da      
Fairbank, Mary     Age 5 Da      
Fairbank, Sarah C.     Age 68 Yrs      
Freeman, D.     Age 38
Reinterred 29 July 1873
Freeman, Martha     Age 22
Reinterred 19 July 1873
Hammad, (Illegible)     Reinterred 8 Aug 1872      
Hook, Cornelius     Reinterred 7 Nov 1871      
Hook, Elizabeth     Reinterred 7 Nov 1871      
Hook, Infant of Cornelius     Reinterred 7 Nov 1871      
Hughes, Mrs. John     Reinterred 7 Nov 1871      
Lax, Hattie     Age 2, died of dysentery
Reinterred 6 Apr 1874
Lindley, Mary     Reinterred 23 May 1872      
Marshall, Maggie     Age 25, died of brain fever
Reinterred 6 Apr 1874
McMackin, Dennis     Age 58
Reinterred 25 Apr 1873
McMackin, Margaret     Age 80
Reinterred 25 Apr 1873
McMackin, Nelson     Age 9 Yr 4 Mo 3 Da,
Reinterred 25 Apr 1873
Pearson, Mary L.     Reinterred 23 May 1872      
Peek, ??     Reinterred 8 Aug 1872      
Provost, Augustin Jean Frederick     Stepson of Aaron Burr      
Robertson, Martin            
Smith, Thomas A.     (Ex-Soldier)      
Spencer, Frances     Reinterred 7 Nov 1871      
Spencer, William     Reinterred 7 Nov 1871      
Tichenor, Rachel     Killed on train
Reinterred 23 May 1872
Wiswell, Three members of family     Reinterred 12      

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