Madison County History and Genealogy

History and Genealogy

History of Madison County

Pleasant Township Cemeteries and Burying-Grounds

From History of Madison County, W. H. Beers & Co, Chicago, 1883

There are many old burying-grounds located here and there throughout this township; places, many of which were mere family depositories of the first settlers who died before any churches or permanent cemeteries were established, and many of which are now entirely obliterated, lying in the open pasture field, with not a stone or vestige of anything left to mark the spot which was once so sacred to the memory of the departed. Others are preserved by a fence carefully surrounding the grounds, which are kept in repair by owners of the lands, descendants of those buried there, yet they are mere forests of weeds, grass and shrubs which, from inattention, have taken possession of the grounds, while some others are carefully preserved and cared for by friends of the deceased, or by the Trustees of the township, who have been placed in charge of the property, and which are still used as burying-places.

One of the oldest burying-grounds we gain any knowledge of is located near the Methodist Church, at Mt. Sterling, in which the old pioneers of this neighborhood were mostly interred. It embraces about one acre of ground, and was used for many years as a general burying-place for this neighborhood, until it became literally full of the dead, containing probably several hundred bodies. It si preserved by a fence around it, and probably will be for years to come, but it has long since ceased to be used. On A. R. Alkire's farm is the family burying-ground of the Alkire family, where several of their ancestors foudn their last resting-place; it is still preserved by a fence, but is not used. Another old family ground is on the J. W. Douglass farm; this is fenced, but no more are interred there. There were several in an eraly day buried at a spot on Deer Creek, just below Wood's Mill, but htere is no trace left of the place now, as it is all in an open field.

Soon after 1860, H. G. C. Alkire donated five acres of ground on the west bank of Deer Creek, about one and a half miles above Mt. Sterling, and deeded it to the Trustees of the township, Milton Thomas, Adam Young and Elijah Bragg, and to their successors hereafter, for the consideration of $1, reserving himself to a family lot in the center of the ground, in circular form, about twenty-five feet in diameter, which he nicely inclosed with a good iron fence. This cemetery the Trustees fenced in and laid off in lots, all numbered in order, and made good gravel roads and walks through the grounds and ornamented it with evergreens and other trees and shrubbery of various species. The ground is a gravel and sandy soil, lying high and dry on the banks of the creek, and is one of the most beautiful rural cemeteries of Madison County, and a very befitting depository and resting-place for the dead.

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