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Old Jerseyville City Cemetery

also known as Hickory Grove Cemetery

In the Spring of 1993, an article written by Jean Gorman appeared in the Jersey County Democrat News concerning the old City cemetery, designated as the “Hickory Grove” cemetery.

JERSEYVILLE – Two Memorial Day services were held in Jerseyville, one by veterans organizations at Oak Grove Cemetery, and one at a two-acre cemetery established in 1830 near Lions Club Park. Local genealogist Bob French said Cleo Holmes and other members of the Jersey County Genealogical Society have been researching the first Jerseyville cemetery for some time. It is located on a knoll at the north edge of Lions Club Park. The research was started after a number of inquiries were made about ancestors buried in the cmetery and the discovery of a number of headstones there. French has one small stone for an infant, Laura A. Biggs, who was born Aug. 17, 1862 and died Dec. 3, 1862. It was recovered from a neighbor. He has three other stones. “I think there are others on the north bank,” French said. “It is just getting to them. The two acres of land belonged to one of Jerseyville’s early settlers. And is the final resting place for the pioneers settling on these fertile prairies.”

A committee of select citizens met in 1834 to choose a name for their community, which was then called Hickory Grove. The Red House, which was the gathering place for early settlers, was located on the property now belonging to the Cheney family, which is just west of a grove of hickory trees, thus the name. Alfred Carpenter, who lived in the Red House, was among those attending that meeting. Carpenter, an old soldier, wanted the community name Liberty but Dr. J. W. Lott, a native of New Jerseyville (sic)(Jersey), proposed the name Jerseyville. Carpenter had set aside the acreage for the cemetery on the knoll just east of the grove of hickory trees. In 1841, when he deeded the property to Arintha Conover, he stipulated that two acres be reserved for a public graveyard. The property now belongs to the city of Jerseyville.

It was never laid out in blocks or lots and there was some confusion as to just where people were buried. Sometimes a grave digger would strike a coffin when digging for another grave. French said it is believed that there were up to 200 pioneers and family members buried in the cemetery. He knows that at least one soldier, Uriah Downey, a veteran of the Black Hawk War, was buried in the small cemetery along with his wife, Mary Griswold Downey. Downey died of wounds suffered in that war. One of the inquiries about the cemetery was from Herb Downey of Mount Vernon, a great grandson of Uriah Downey. Downey, who migrated to Illinois in the 1820s, purchased property in English Township. Today the property is owned and farmed by another great-grandson, Harold E. Downey and his wife, Marjorie Krueger Downey. Later, when Oak Grove Cemetery was established, some of the remains were moved to the new city cemetery, which was established in 1856. French said he had found a number of them at Oak Grove Cemetery.

The historical society had been collecting names of persons believed to still by(sic) buried on the site. The list contains 33 names. French said the cros was dedicated Memorial Day to reinforce the covenant of Arintha Conover. “This is where our pioneers were buried and I think they need recognition,” French said. “We are planning a fund-raising campaign to purchase and place a suitable monument on the site.” View Hickory Grove Monument

The alphabetical list on the left was submitted by Marty Crull in 2002. The longer list on the right, sorted by date, was submitted by Bob French in 2003.

ANDERSON, Mrs. Rev., 1844
BIGGS, Laura A. (?), 1862
BROWN, Jane, 1836
CARKUFF, Lena, 1852
COLBURN, Charlotte, 1847
COLEAN, Cora, 1855
COLEAN, Francis, 1846
COLEAN, Mary, 1855
COLEAN, May, 1849
COLLINS, Susan, 1837
COPE, John, 1852
COPE, Margaret Bostian
CORY, Hannah, 1849
CORY, Harriet, 1849
CORY, Jane, 1839
CORY, Parkis, 1839
CORY, Serdenia, 1839
DOWNEY, Mary Griswold, 1854
DOWNEY, Uriah, 1841
ELY, Amy, 1846
EVERTS, Luther, 1848
GAYLORD, Walter, 1837
GURNSEY, Clarisa, 1847
HAMILTON, William, 1844
HARRIOTT, D. I., 1849
HARTWICK, John, 1854
JARBOE, Catherine, 1850
KIMBALL, J., 1848
JEROME, Mrs. Rev., 1847
KIRBY, Mary, 1852
JEROME, Mrs. Rev., 1847
LANDON, Denman T., 14 Oct 1846
LANDON, Nancy Davis (Mrs. Alonzo H. Landon), 1847
PITTMAN, Mary, 1848
PITTMAN, Samuel, 1854
POTTS, Charles, 1835
POTTS, Franklin, 1835
POTTS, W. C., 1830
RIDGEWAY, Caleb, 1849
SHANK, John, 1850
SILLOWAY, Margaret, 1848
VAN LIEW, John, 1839
                     John Shanks, 1850
John Hartwick, 1854
Edward Vorhees 1853
Lena Carkuff 1852
Margaret Silloway1848
Mary Kirby1852
Luther Everts1848
Charlotte Colburn1847
Clarisa Collins1847
William Saddler Potts1839
W. C. Potts1830
Charles Potts1835
Franklin Potts1835
Phebe Hall Anderson1844
Jane Brown1836
Mary Cross1846
Serdenia Cory1839
Parkis Cory1839
Jane Cory1839
Harriet Cory1849
Hannah Cory1849
Amy Ely1846
John Van Liew1839
J. Kimball1848
D. Landon1846
Nancy Landon1847
Caleb Ridgeway1849
Cora Colean1855
Mary Colean1855
W. Hamilton1844
E. Christopher1846
Mary Pittman1846
Mrs. Rev. Jerome1847
Peter Beehman1846
George W. Bonnell1847
Mary C. Bonnell1849
Jane Cooper1849
Deborah A. Darby1854
Margaret F. Maclean1852
Elisha Mulford1854
Aachsah E. Perrine1854
Charles E. Wyckoff1846
Mary Alice ???1854
John Cope1852
Margaret Bostian Cope1852
Uriah Downey1841
Mary Griswold Downey1854
Buddy Potts1857
Lucy Potts1860
Jane Anderson1851
Joseph Bullard1839
Laura Biggs1862
Thomas Stanley1851
Mrs. Thomas Stanley1851
John D. Henry1855
Wm H. Ford
Mary Ann Roady Ford

Hickory Grove Monument

Hickory Grove Monument

Photo from Marty Crull.

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