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Photo submitted by Allen L. Austin, [email protected]
Let me begin by introducing myself. My name is Allen L. Austin. I began researching my mothers family in late 1990s. I began by writing down in a notebook the information I knew. Like the names of my mothers parents and siblings and cousins and so forth. After some time had past my research took me to the County Clerks office where I started gathering documents to aid in my research. I also visited a couple of the local funeral homes. While an uncle of mine was in town visiting. He told me of a cemetery in Otterville where he and his brother and their Uncle Bill Carlton would drive up to from Godfrey to mow because several Balcom relatives were buried there. He referred to it as the Balcom Cemetery. We drove up to Otterville to find it. Upon finding it we learned it was called Ferguson Cemetery. We walked through it; looking to find the headstones of our family with no luck. My uncle recalled being told by his uncle that two Balcom babies were buried near the entrance and that a cousin said that John and Fannie Lane Balcom were buried in a wrought iron fence area of the cemetery. Of course this turned out to be false.
Over the years we have visited the cemetery several times. In my research I have discovered that the cemetery has been called by many different names. Here are few: McDow, Otterville, and McDow-Otterville, McDowell. Of course this is a misspelling, the pronunciation of the name. Here are few more names: Methodist, Old Methodist Evangelical (old M. E. for short), Gowin, Hagen, Picket because of who owned the land in which the cemetery is located on or near. Ferguson due to large headstone at the front of cemetery. If you talk to Gladys Drainer she will be quick to tell you the correct name of the cemetery is McDow and that her son recently donated the Drainer Addition to the cemetery. She currently has records for McDow. She also is cemetery trustee for Noble Cemetery.
During those visits I make it a point to check on a headstone of a John Rummerfield, who served in Company E of the 144 Illinois Infantry. Most recently during a visit to the Jerseyville library I was looking through the books they have in their Illinois and found a Jersey County Veterans Burial Index. As I was looking through it I came across a listing for John Rummerfield buried at Old M. E. Cemetery in Otter Creek Township. He was listed as serving in the Civil War in Company E of the 144 Illinois Infantry and died May 27, 1867. That is when I remembered seeing his headstone at McDow Cemetery. I mentioned this to Marsha Buis at the County Clerk’s office and she told me that was the Methodist Cemetery and depending on who had the most influence in town was who the cemetery was named after. So as you can tell with various names for McDow Cemetery, a person can get confused as to where a deceased ancestor is buried if there is no headstone and they are listed in another cemetery.
In our search, my uncle and his grandson and I only found the headstone for our ancestor William Balcom at Salem Cemetery in Otter Creek Township. Most of the family members at Oak Grove Cemetery in Jerseyville have headstones, but not all of them. But that is a story for another time.
Since all I have is the death certificates and funeral records of my ancestors who are stated to be buried at McDow Cemetery, I have not included them in headstone reading. As for the rest of the McDow cemetery burials, I will use the headstones in the cemetery and funerals records if possible. Since I could not find any records for an Infant Balcom, born in 1921 and dying April 25, 1922 (This baby was 8 months old was the time of death and parents unknown), I looked in an April 1922 newspaper and could not find anything. I left the infant off also. I believe also that an Annie Balcom Osburn and her infant child are also buried at McDow. No headstone or records have been found to date. Annies husband was Dellie J. Osburn. Now on to the headstone reading . . .
McDow Cemetery, headstone readings
Done by Allen L. Austin, September 3, 2005
The following listings are from the driveway right to the edge of the cemetery near the dry creek bed:
There are three missing stones to right of the driveway and the left back corner of the wrought iron fence.
The following headstones are near the edge of the back of the cemetery:
Broken & missing headstone
John Rummerfield Co. E 144th ILL INF (For more information see the Jersey County Veterans page or Cemetery Index here on this website.)
Broken & missing headstone
Nancy Utt, July 25, ????, age ? yrs. Is hard to read & was lying on the ground to the left of the infant headstone when I first saw it. Someone has leaned it up against the infant headstone. Writing faces front of cemetery.
Infant Utt, Son of ? & ? Utt, Jan 23 or 25, 18??. Writing faces wooded area.
To right of the infant headstone is broken headstone. No writing on it to determine whom it is. It is likely it one of the other Utt family members that is listed in McDow Cemetery a.k.a. Ferguson.
The wrought iron fence has been taken down except for the left side.
Martha L. White, wife of John L. White, died Feb 14, 1851, age 24 yrs 1mth 4dys. (1st stone leaning against fence.)
Alexander F. Doughtery (could be Dougharty), son of S. & ?. A. Doughtery, age 4 yrs 8 mths 18 ds (2nd stone leaning against fence.)
James Doughtery (maybe John), Born A.D 1782, Died Nov 10, 1840 (held up with wrought stakes)
This small headstone is to the right front corner of the wrought iron fence and held up with wrought stakes.
Jane Augusta Nevins, Born Dec 5, 1842 or 47 (hard to read), Died Jan 5, 1853
Amanda Deborah Nevins, Born June 30, 1850, Died Aug 5, 1851
Daughters of ? V. & A. Nevins. Jane is listed on the backside and Amanda on the front side.
Mary Ann StaffordWife of B. Stafford, Died April 2, 1852 in the 42 year of her age.
Large headstone nearly centered in the middle of the cemetery.
Brower headstone (Could be spelled Bower)
James Brower -unreadable (writing faces driveway)
Sarah L. Brower – unreadable (writing faces driveway)
Sarah Brower – wife of J. D. Brower (writing faces street), Died March 13, 1873, Age 28 yrs 3mths 28days
Unreadable stone Feb. 13, 186
George T. Stafford, Son of G. or C. P. & C. Stafford, Died Jan 30, 1855
Charlotte Stafford, Wife of G. or C. P. Stafford, Died Jan 24, 1858, Age 26 yrs 3 mths (Bottom half of stone is propped up & top is lying on ground with Georges lying on top of it. Writing faces back of cemetery.)
From here forward these are in a row leading from the driveway to creek bed:
Lavina Gowin, dau of Paris & ? Gowin, Died Jan 9, 1863, Age 22 Days
Nathan Gowin, Died unreadable
Nathan F. Gowins, born Aug. 12, 1840, died June 9, 1889
Nancy A. Gowins, born Dec 13, 1844, died Oct 31, 1906, Wife of Nathan F. Gowins
Gowin. Libby, 1863-1933. George P., 1865-1935
Lela Russell, 1898-1974
Elmer N Gowin, 1894-1973
McCann, Nellie, John
Pickett. Margaret, 1872-1908, Edward E 1870-1938 (faces back of cemetery, near driveway)
These are not in order:
Ira D. Marshall, Aug. 16, 1911 Mar. 30, 1996
Darlene W. (Surratt) Marshall, Jan. 16, 1944 Sept. 5, 2004
Nina Marshall, Aug. 25, 1940 Sept. 11, 1998, Wife of Richard L. Marshall
Carolyn Jane “Caroline” Marshall, Mar. 13, 1949 Oct. 24, 1995
Ferguson. Oliver, 1888 – 1965. Margaret, 1891 – 1968
Muriel M. Marshall Hayes, May 29, 1918 Nov 29, 1985 (faces back of cemetery)
Vickie Woolsey Unverzagt, Nov. 24, 1948 Mar. 15, 2004, Wife of Stanley W. Unverzagt
Woolsey. Doris M., 1923 – 1992. Robert E., 1921 – 1993.
Oliver “Buddy” Ferguson, Dec. 29, 1925 Nov. 2, 2001
Tammy Dawn Marshall Velasquez, Aug. 14, 1969 July 15, 1995
G. U. (lying on the ground behind the headstones near the wrought iron fence.)
W. (best I recall this is near the back, I think also near the wrought iron fence.)
W. B. (best I recall this is near the back, I think also near the wrought iron fence.)
Drainer Addition to McDow Cemetery
At the back edge of the addition along the fence. Leading from the left side of the addition to the driveway:
Drainer, Marvin G., Jul. 11, 1926 Feb. 21, 2002, Hus. of Gladys M.
Renken, Patricia A., Jan 13, 1969 Oct. 13, 2002, Wife of Modell L.
About 12 feet in front of Drainer headstone and along the left side of the fence:
Hunt, Charles Douglas, Aug. 26, 1928 Jan 29, 2003, Hus. Of Mavis M. Cantrell. Charles also has a Military stone at the foot of his grave.
As you can tell some of the older headstones were hard to read. Corrections can be sent. Click here for email address.