Welcome To Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Illinois
Stories in Stone
The audio tour of Oak Ridge Cemetery includes:
- Introduction and Overview
- Frank Sayre Cowgill Mausoleum
- Rees-Clendenin Families
- William Allen Northcott
- Bell Tower
- William Henry Harrison Bissell
- Patrick Dowling
- The family of Samuel Alden
- The Home for the Friendless
- Phoebe Florville
- Thomas & Mary Strawbridge
- Ridgely/Hay & Ferguson
- Mattie Rayburn
- Hamer-Brant Treestone
Below is a list of other important individuals and sites in Oak Ridge Cemetery that have significance to the community, state and nation. A map and written program are available in the Oak Ridge Cemetery office for $2.00.
1. Oak Ridge Cemetery Office
Samuel A. Bullard designed the Romanesque revival stone office in 1900. It received an addition in 1949 and was modernized in 1989
2. Louis MitchellSeptember 9, 1878 – October 23, 1912 - Abbey, Center Corridor, Row I, Crypt 6
5”Associated with the Wright Brothers in the early days of the aeroplane. Mitchell was a Springfield boy and was killed at the age of 38 at Montgomery, Alabama. The Illinois State Journal of October 25, 1912 reports: “Mitchell was one of the most daring aviators and met his death when his machine collapsed in a spiral glide.”
3. Gov. John Riley TannerApril 4, 1844 – May 23, 1901 -Block 31, Lot 1 Tomb
John Tanner was born in Indiana and grew up near Carbondale, Illinois. He enlisted as volunteer in the 98th Illinois Infantry in 1863 and returned to farming after the war. From 1880 to 1883, he served as an Illinois State Senator. He then became State Treasurer in 1886. He was a Republican; and in 1882, he was elected Assistant U.S. Treasurer. In 1896, He became the twenty third Governor of Illinois.
4. The Lincoln Tomb
President Abraham Lincoln -
February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865
Mary (Todd) Lincoln - December 13, 1818 – July 16, 1882
Edward “Eddie” Baker Lincoln - March 10, 1846 – February 1, 1850
Thomas “Tad” Lincoln -April 4, 1853 – July 15, 1871
William Wallace “Willie” Lincoln (named after William S. Wallace, MD #30) - December 21, 1850 – February 20, 1862
The ground was broken for the Tomb in 1869, but it was not dedicated until 1874. The care of the Tomb was placed in the hands of the State of Illinois in 1895. The Tomb was rebuilt in 1899; and the interior was changed in 1930. At rest are the bodies of Abraham Lincoln, his wife Mary, and three of their four sons. Robert, their only child to reach adulthood, is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
5. Old East (Third Street) Cemetery Entrance
The Oak Ridge and Lincoln streetcar lead to the cemetery. Visitors entered on Third Street and walked up a long flight of wooden steps to the foot of the hill then crossed a wooden bridge over the creek, which wound its way through the cemetery. The ornamental arch, over the gate, was added in later years. Although no longer in use, it was through this entrance that Lincoln’s Funeral Cortege entered Oak Ridge Cemetery.
The Bell Tower was built in 1900. In the early years of Oak Ridge Cemetery, it was a small office and chapel, which was used for funerals. The bell tolled as each funeral procession entered through the gates. Located on the side of the bell tower is a plaque. This is the original piece of granite (from the first burial vault) on which the coffin of Abraham Lincoln was placed.
7. Old Receiving Vault
This is the original receiving vault of Oak Ridge Cemetery. It was in this vault, on May 4, 1865, that the bodies of Abraham Lincoln and his son Willie were placed. They rested in this vault until December of 1865. As you look up the hill, behind and to the left of the old receiving vault, you will notice a lone marker on the hill. Although completely covered over, this is the location of the second vault in which Lincoln’s body and that of his son, rested until they were placed in the Tomb.
8. GAR Mound – Army of the Republic Monument
This lot was set aside by the Oak Ridge Cemetery Board of Managers for the burial of Union Army Veterans who did not have family plots elsewhere. The first burial was that of Matthew Henry in 1891 and the last was that of Cinley Diehl in 1930. Buried on this lot, are ninety-seven Union soldiers.
9. David L. Phillips
October 8, 1823 – June 9, 1880 - Block 10, Lot 220
Due to his zealous stand against the Missouri Compromise, David Phillips was forced to leave his Baptist Ministry. President Lincoln appointed him U.S. Marshal for southern Illinois in 1861; and following the Civil War, he became the managing editor of the Illinois State Journal newspaper.
10. Orson N. Stafford
September 11, 1816 – June 9, 1891 - Block 10, Lot 359
7 “…born Sept. 11, 1816, in Willsboro, Essex county, N.Y. In 1829, he went to sea and lived a life of a sailor until 1835, when he was disabled by a shipwreck, making him a cripple for life. In 1837 he was attached to a government surveying party, on the northern lakes, charged with the duty of selection sites for light-houses. At Chicago-in his own words-not finding that terrible monopoly, the railroad, to bring him here in eight hours, for six or seven dollars, he had the privilege of paying twenty-five dollars in gold for a stage ticket, enjoyed the luxury of eight days jolting, and arrived at Springfield, Nov. 29, 1937. He was married in Rochester, IL, August 29, 1841, to Eliza A. Sherman, a native of Addison, Vermont. She is a direct descendant of Roger Sherman, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. They had one child, Emma E., born May 23, 1854, and died March 30, 1855.”
Orson Stafford was a dry goods merchant, a builder, and editor of the Illinois State Journal. From 1854 to 1855, he was a member of the city council. In later years, he moved to St. Augustine, Florida, where he had large citrus groves.
11. Nellie (Grant) Satoris Jones
July 4, 1855 – August 30, 1922 - Block 10, Lot 334
Nellie was the only daughter of General Ulysses S. Grant. She was married in the White House to Algernon Sartoris, Jr., an English Army officer and lived in England until her husband died in 1894. Nellie then returned to America where she later married Frank Hatch Jones, a Chicago banker, whose family was from Springfield. Her prized possession was a letter from her father written during the siege of Richmond.
12. John G. Krous
1847 – March 17, 1894 - Block 14, Lot 19 E. ½
8 “At the top of the stone is a glass encased photo of Mr. Krous, while on the front of the stone is an engraving of a wooded park. This was Krous Park, a beer garden in Springfield, during the gay nineties and just before. The park stood just west of Amos Avenue between Governor and Edwards Streets. The park stood at the end of the line for the horse drawn street cars to the west edge of the city. The park ceased to exist about 1900, but its memory is perpetuated on the gravestone of its founder.”
13. Robert Irwin
November 7, 1808 – March 8, 1865 - Removed from Hutchinson Cemetery – December 1866
Re-interment at Oak Ridge Cemetery - Block 10, Lot 2
9 “Born in Monongahela City, Pennsylvania, Robert Irwin came with his wife to Springfield in 1834 where he was a merchant and later banker. He was first associated with John Williams in the dry goods business and later was Secretary and then Cashier of the Fire and Marine Insurance Co., Bank. He died in 1865 at his home at 1825 South 5th Street. Mr. Irwin was buried in Hutchinson Cemetery and in December of 1866, re-interred at Oak Ridge.”
14. Rev. Charles W. Dresser, D.D.
February 24, 1800 – March 25, 1865 - Removed from Hutchinson Cemetery
Re-interment at Oak Ridge Cemetery – May 1884 - Block 9, Lot 66
10 “Born in Connecticut, Dresser graduated from Brown College, Providence, Rhode Island in 1823. He was ordained to the ministry of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Virginia and came to Springfield as Rector of the Episcopal Parish in 1838. He continued in this position until 1855 and during this time, married Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd. The Dresser family lived at *430 South 8th Street until Rev. Dresser sold the house to Abraham Lincoln in 1844. In 1855, Dresser was elected Professor of Divinity and Belles Letters at Jubilee College near Peoria, which position he held for several years, returning to Springfield shortly before his death.”
*This is the only home the Lincoln’s ever owned.
It stands at South Eighth and Jackson Streets and is under the auspices of the National Park Service.
15. George Pasfield
October 1792 – November 9, 1869 - Block 10, Lot 244
11 “Born in London, England, he came to Philadelphia as a child where his parents died of yellow fever. Cast on his own at a very early age, he became a most enterprising and successful merchant and moved to Springfield in 1821. He was of the first merchants to commence business on the State House square. Pasfield was a member of the town board before the city was organized, was one of the signers of the $50,000 note to secure location of the capital at Springfield, and did much to improve the city.”
16. Rep. Benjamin Franklin Caldwell
August 2, 1848 – December 29, 1924 - Block 10, Lot 119
12 “A Representative from Illinois; born near Carrollton, Greene County, IL, August 2, 1848; moved to Illinois in April 1853 with his parents, who settled neat Chatham, IL; attended the public schools; engaged in agricultural pursuits; member of the Board of Supervisors of Sangamon County in 1877 and 1878; member of the State House of Representatives 1882-1886; served in the State Senate 1890-1894; upon his election to Congress in 1898 he resigned the presidency of the Farmer’s National Bank of Springfield, which office he had held since 1885; president of the Caldwell State Bank of Chatham; elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-sixth, Fifty-seventh, and Fifty-eighth Congresses (March 4, 1899 – March 3, 1909); was not a candidate for re-nomination in 1908; again engaged in banking in Chatham, IL…”
Rep. Caldwell was a member of the Masonic and Odd Fellows societies, the Knights of Pythias, the Improved Order of Red Men and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.
17. Benjamin S. Edwards
June 3, 1818 – February 4, 1886 - Block 10, Lot 120
Benjamin was the youngest son of Governor Ninian Edwards and graduated from Yale School of Law in 1838. He was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1862 and again in 1868. He was elected Circuit Judge of Springfield in 1869 and became President of the Illinois Bar Association in 1886. His home, the Edwards Place, is at *700 North Fourth Street.
*Today, the home is a museum and owned by the Springfield Art Association. It is the oldest house in Springfield, still standing on its original site.
18. Gov. Ninian Edwards
March 17, 1775 – July 20, 1833 - Removed from Belleville, Illinois
Re-interment at Oak Ridge Cemetery - Block 10, Lot 107-108
13 “…(son of Benjamin Edwards), a Senator from Illinois; born at ‘Mount Pleasant,’ Montgomery County, MD., March 17, 1775; attended private schools; was graduated from Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA, in 1792; studied law; moved to Beardstown, KY, in 1795; member, State House of Representatives 1796-1797; admitted to the bar in 1798 and commenced practice in Russellville, KY; judge of the General Court of Kentucky 1803; judge of the circuit court 1804; judge of the court of appeals 1806; chief justice of the state 1808; Governor of the Territory of Illinois 1809-1818; upon the admission of Illinois as a State into the Union was elected as a Republican to the United States Senate and served from December 3, 1818 to March 4, 1824, when he resigned; and appointed Minister to Mexico in 1824, but while en route was recalled to testify before a select committee of the House of Representatives appointed to investigate charges made by him against William H. Crawford, Secretary of the Treasury; resumed the practice of law; interested in saw and grist mills and engaged in mercantile pursuits; Governor of Illinois 1826-1831; died (while assisting others during a cholera epidemic) in Belleville, IL, on July 20, 1833…”
19. Ninian W. Edwards
April 15, 1809 – August 11, 1889 - Block 10, Lot 108
The son of Governor Ninian Edwards was born in Frankfort, Kentucky and married Elizabeth Todd, eldest sister of Mary (Todd) Lincoln. He became Attorney General of Illinois in 1834 and was later made a State Representative. Edwards was one of the *”Long Nine” who were responsible for moving the State Capitol from Vandalia to Springfield.
*14 “In the State Legislature of Illinois, that assembled at Vandalia, in December, 1836, and continued until March, 1837, the delegation from Sangamon county was composed of two Senators and seven members of the House of Representatives. They were the most remarkable body of men from any one county, for the reason that they were much taller than the average of human stature. Some of them were a little less and some were a little more than six feet, but their combined height was exactly fifty-four feet. They were then, and are yet, spoken of as the “Long Nine.”
20. Edward Lewis Baker
April 3, 1829 – July 8, 1889 - Block 10, Lot 108
15 “Edward Baker married Julia Edwards, daughter of Ninian W. Edwards; and after attending Harvard Law School, was admitted to the bar in Springfield. He was for a time part owner and editor of the Illinois State Journal but spent the last twenty years of his life as Consul to the Argentine Republic at Buenos Aires. On his gravestone is a large plaque inscribed by his friends in the Argentine Republic and bearing a small bust of Mr. Baker.”
21. Joseph Wallace
September 30, 1834 – August 10, 1904 - Block 10, Lot 180
16 “Born in Kentucky, Wallace spent his youth and attended law school in Indiana. He was admitted to the bar in Illinois in 1858 and served as Justice of the Peace and member of the City Council of Springfield. He was best known as an author and published many biographical and historical articles. Best known among his works are, “Historical Outline of Illinois,” “The Past and Present of the City of Springfield and Sangamon County” and “The History of Illinois and Louisiana under the French Rule.” “On January 14, 1864, he was married to Mary E. Hoagland.
22. Jacob Bunn
March 18, 1814 – October 16, 1897 - Block 10, Lot 19
Born in New Jersey, Jacob Bunn came to Springfield in 1836. His first occupation was that of a grocer. He then became a banker. After banking, Jacob became President of the Springfield Watch Factory. In early Springfield, the Bunn Bank Building on the southwest corner of Fifth and Adams Streets was a famous landmark.
23. Charles Henry Lanphier, Sr.
April 14, 1820 – March 19, 1903 - Block 10, Lot 23
He was born in Alexandria, Virginia and on August 6, 1839, arrived in Springfield as an apprentice in the Illinois Register office. On the death of his brother-in-law, William Walters (#24) in 1846, he and George Walker purchased the Register. From that time, and until 1863, when it was sold, he published and was part of entire owner of the Illinois State Register. During the time Mr. Lanphier was publishing the Register, he was once elected State Printer, being the last one elected under the Constitution of 1818. In 1847 and 1861, he was elected Printer to the Constitutional Conventions. In 1864, and again in 1868, he was elected Clerk of the Sangamon County Circuit Court. He also served several terms as City Council Alderman. Mr. Lanphier was instrumental in the establishment of Oak Ridge Cemetery; and in 1865, he served on the Board of Managers of Oak Ridge Cemetery, in the preparation of the Public Vault, (see page 2) for the Burial of President Abraham Lincoln.
24. William Walters
DOD 1846 - Block 10, Lot 23
William Walters was born in Delaware. He was a printer with the Old National Intelligencer of Washington, D.C. and a Jacksonian Democrat. In 1836, he established the Illinois State Register at Vandalia and moved the Register to Springfield in 1839, he established the Illinois State Register at Vandalia and moved the Register to Springfield in 1839. In 1846, he volunteered for service in the Mexican War, but died en route to the battlefront.
25. Todd Stuart
November 10, 1807 – November 28, 1885 - Block 10, Lot 24
John Todd Stuart was born in Fayette County, Kentucky – seven miles east of Lexington to Robert and Hannah (Todd) Stuart. He graduated from Centre College in 1826 and studied law with Judge Breck in Richmond, Kentucky. Traveling on horseback and ten days on the road, he arrived October 25th, 1828 in Springfield, Illinois. He immediately began the practice of his profession. When the Black Hawk War began, he became a Major of the battalion in which Abraham Lincoln commanded a company. In 1832, Mr. Stuart was elected one of the Representatives of Sangamon County in the State Legislature. In 1834, he was re-elected and roomed with Abraham Lincoln. It was during that year that Mr. Stuart encouraged Abraham Lincoln to study law. He loaned Lincoln the necessary books and was his preceptor. When Lincoln was qualified for practice, he accepted the offer of partnership with John Todd Stuart. From 1849 to 1853 Stuart served as a Senator before being elected to Congress again in 1862.
26. John A. Todd, M.D.
April 27, 1787 – January 7, 1865 - Block 10, Lot 29
John Todd was one of the earliest graduates of Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. During the War of 1812, he was appointed Surgeon General of Kentucky. On July 1, 1813, Dr. Todd married Elizabeth Smith, daughter of the Reverend Dr. John Blair Smith. In 1827, President John Quincy Adams appointed him Register of the Land Office in Springfield. Dr. and Mrs. Todd had six children. John Todd was Mary (Todd) Lincoln’s uncle.
27. Gen. John Cook
June 12, 1825 – October 12, 1910 - Block 10, Lot 171 & 184
17 “The son of Daniel P. Cook, second congressman from Illinois, and the man for whom Cook County was named. In 1855, John was elected Mayor of Springfield and the following year, Sheriff of Sangamon County. After Fort Sumter, he raised a company of troops and was commissioned Colonel of the Seventh Illinois Volunteers. Cook was promoted to Brigadier General for gallantry at Fort Donelson in 1862 and to Major General in 1864. Following the war, he served in the State Legislature.”
28. James L. Lamb
November 7, 1800 – December 4, 1873 - Block 10, Lot 187
18 “Born in Pennsylvania, he took the job of clerk of a store in Kaskaskia at the age of twelve. He later moved to Chester where he set up store and began shipping pork to New Orleans. Lamb came to Springfield in 1831 where he established a large firm for merchandising and pork packing. He also established an iron foundry in Springfield. Lamb was one of those early pioneer merchants who changed Springfield from a drowsy little rustic hamlet to a thriving progressive city in just a few years time.” On November 10, 1831, 19 “Thomas Mather and James Lamb opened a new general store, located in Pascal Enos’ storehouse on Main Street.”
29. Clark Moulton Smith
May 10, 1820 – July 28, 1885 - Block 10, Lot 33
20 “A native of Tennessee, Smith moved to Carrollton, Illinois at the age of fifteen and began clerking in a store. He married Ann Todd, sister of Mary Todd Lincoln, in 1846 and they moved to Springfield in 1852 where he established a large store and was a very successful merchant. For many years, Mr. and Mrs. Smith lived in the home at 603 South Fifth Street, where some years later Vachel Lindsay (#57) was born and died.”
30. William S. Wallace, M.D.
August 10, 1802 – May 23, 1867 - Block 10, Lot 33
Known as the Lincoln family doctor, William Wallace was born in Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania. He arrived in Springfield in 1836, after graduating from the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. On May 21, 1839, he married Francis J. Todd, sister of Mary Todd Lincoln. In 1861, Dr. Wallace accompanied the Lincoln’s to Washington, D.C. There he was appointed Paymaster for the United States Army. His duties were split between Springfield and Missouri and later, at the front on the lower Mississippi river. It was during his tour in Mississippi that he contracted dysentery from which he never fully recovered. Dr. & Mrs. Wallace had six children.
31. Jesse Kilgore Dubois
January 11, 1811 – November 22, 1876 - Block 10, Lot 220
Jesse DuBois served in the General Assembly with Abraham Lincoln in 1834, 1836, 1838, and 1842. Dubois was a Delegate to the first Republican State Convention at Bloomington in 1856; and on the recommendation of Abraham Lincoln, he was nominated for Auditor of Public Accounts. He was elected for two terms. Jesse DuBois was a candidate for Governor but was defeated by General Oglesby. In 1868, he was a delegate to the National Convention.
32. Gershom Jayne, M.D.
October 15, 1791 – April 19, 1867 - Block 10, Lot 138
Dr. Jayne was born in Orange County, New York and received his diploma from the New York Medical authorities. He served as a surgeon in the War of 1812, and afterward practiced his profession in Cayuga County, New York. In 1820, he moved west and became Springfield’s first practicing physician. He was one of the first Commissioners of the Illinois and Michigan canal. Dr. Jayne was married in Sangamon County on December 22, 1822, to Sybil Slater, a native of Massachusetts. They had six children.
33. Charles Reynolds Matheny
March 6, 1786 – October 10, 1839 - Removed from Old City Cemetery
Re-interment at Oak Ridge Cemetery - Block 10, Lot 113
Born in Loudon County, Virginia, he was licensed as a Methodist preacher in Kentucky; and in 1804, came to the Illinois Territory as a missionary. He studied law and was admitted to the bar. In 1817, he was elected representative in the Territorial Legislature and was Clerk of the House in the winters of 1820 and 1821. In 1821, he moved to Springfield where he was appointed the first County Clerk, holding this position for eighteen years. He also served as a County Auditor and Circuit Clerk. On the incorporation of Springfield as a town, in 1832, he was chosen president of the board of trustees and filled this position almost continuously until his death. Charles Matheny organized the first Methodist Church in Springfield and for several years, services were held in his home. He was a strong advocate of higher education at the time when popular sentiment was strongly opposed to it, and was one of the Trustees of McKendree College in its early years. His brother was Judge James H. Matheny (#40).
34. Gen. Isham Nicolas Haynie
November 18, 1824 – May 22, 1868 - Block 10, Lot 232
General Haynie was licensed to practice law in 1846 and served as a lieutenant in the 6th Illinois Volunteers during the Mexican War. Following the war, he was elected to the State Legislature. In 1861, he entered the Army as Colonel of the 48th Illinois Infantry and fought in the battles of Fort Donelson and Shiloh. At the Battle of Shiloh, he was severely wounded. In 1862, Isham Haynie was commissioned Brigadier General of Volunteers; and in 1865, Governor Oglesby appointed him Adjunct General. Three years after his appointment to that office, General Haynie died.
35. Gen. Emory Brooks Harlan
December 16, 1837 – November 20, 1875 - Block 9, Lot 102
General Harlan was born in Wilmington, Adams Township, Ohio of Quaker parents. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he was residing in Salem, Illinois and enlisted in the 49th Illinois Infantry. He rose in rank from Private to Lieutenant, Captain, Major, and Lieutenant Colonel. At the age of 26, Emory B. Harlan attained the rank of Brigadier General. Following the war, he served as Private Secretary to Governor John M. Palmer; and before his death, was the Springfield correspondent of the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Evening Journal.
February 8, 1798 – June 8, 1880 - Block 6, Lot 9
Thomas was born in County Donegal, Ireland. After the death of his mother in 1809, Thomas’ father and seven children immigrated to America. They first settled in Pennsylvania and then Ohio where Thomas learned the saddle and harness trade. In 1828, Thomas, along with his father, came to Sangamon County and settled in Fancy Creek Township. During the Civil War, Thomas regularly donated fresh food for Union soldiers and Confederate prisoners at Camp Butler. After the death of his father, Thomas bought land in Woodside Township, and built a home five miles south of Springfield, where his widowed sister Mary also made her home. After her death, Thomas left most of his property to the Home For The Friendless (#38) and bequeathed a sum of money to several churches in Springfield. The bequest was for an annual sermon on the gospels, and the Strawbridge Sermon continues to be an annual event. His father is buried in rural Brittin Cemetery, Cantrall, Illinois.
February 4, 1804 – October 13, 1897 - Block 5, Lot 30 N.1/2
Symbolizing a life cut short, the Florville monument is carved as a tree trunk with broken limbs. The following names are inscribed on the monument: “Phoebe C. Florville – Feb. 4, 1804 – Oct. 13, 1897, At Rest”
The monument also names: Alcene D. Wright; Dec. 12, 1833 – May 16, 1888 and Mrs. Wm. (Sinette) Richardson, 1869 – 1937”. They are the wife and daughters of William Florville – Abraham Lincoln’s barber and friend. Phoebe was a freed slave and her husband; William (“Billy the Barber”) arrived in Springfield in 1831 after having met Lincoln in New Salem. William Florville was an honorary pallbearer at Lincoln’s funeral. He died April 13, 1868 and is buried in Calvary Cemetery. Phoebe remarried on May 10, 1873, to Reuben Coleman.
21 “In Loving Memory of the Little Ones, Loved and Cared For in the Home For The FriendlessFounded – 1863”
Founded in 1863, by the special act of the Illinois State Legislature, the Home For The Friendless orphanage accommodated two hundred children. Over its span of Operation, it cared for thousands of homeless and needy children. The building was located at South Grand between Seventh and Eighth Streets, on land donated by Elijah Iles (#44). In this lot are buried six hundred forty-three children who died between 1863 and 1904.
39. Civil War Soldiers Monument
Island near Block A
Erected in 1847 by the Stevenson Post of the Grand Army of the Republic, the monument lists the names of forty officers and enlisted Civil War soldiers. Most of these men were killed of died in service. Fourteen of these soldiers are buried around the monument and the rest are buried in family lots throughout Oak Ridge Cemetery.
40. Judge James H. Matheny
October 30, 1818 – September 7, 1890 - Block 7, Lot 202
Commissioned Lieutenant Colonel of the 130th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, he served as Judge Advocate during the Civil War and County Judge of Sangamon County in later years. Judge Matheny was a close friend of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln and served as groomsman at their wedding. His brother was Charles Reynolds Matheny (#33)
1836 – October 12, 1891 - Block 7, Lawn Hill
22 “Mrs. Mattie Rayburn and her husband, in company with Rev. C.A. Obenshain of Rushville, returned from a trip to the Holy Land about two months ago and spent two weeks in this city, which was formerly their home. They returned to their home in New York City about two weeks ago, when Mrs. Rayburn was taken ill and died last Tuesday.”
In the 1869 records of the Methodist Illinois Conference, it is stated that Rev. Rayburn was “deposed but not expelled” over a matter regarding his conduct. Church records state he was charged with having advocated the doctrine of “free love”. After Rayburn left his wife and children for his “spiritual wife”, Mrs. Redfield, his legal wife Sara, divorced him. Although over the years, other “wives” were mentioned and his death certificate states he was married, no records have been found to prove he was ever legally married more than once. William Rayburn died and is buried in Belfast, Ireland.
Today, it remains a mystery as to exactly which of the “wives” is actually represented on the Rayburn monument. The Illinois Certificate of Death #5130 states: “Hannah” Rayburn, place of death: - Sangamon County, married, age 62, born in Illinois. The tombstone states “Mattie” Rayburn.
Inquire at the Oak Ridge Cemetery office for the book on Bishop and Mrs. Rayburn…
“Lusts of the Prairie Preachers”
By Jerry Klein & Jack L. Bradley
42. John Williams
March 11, 1808 – May 29, 1980 - Block 7, Lot 110
John was born in Bath County, Kentucky of Welsh descent. On October 11, 1824, for $10.00 per month, he entered into an agreement to clerk for one year in the store of Elijah Iles (#44). At the end of the year, he was given $150, thirty dollars more than the contract. His salary was raised to $200 plus board, which was continued without change for five years. When Iles determined it was time to retire, he entered into an agreement with Mr. Williams to sell his stock. Williams was given one year’s time without interest and the large mercantile firm of John Williams & Co., was formed. Mr. Williams was involved in many other business ventures; and in 1863, was instrumental in organizing the First National Bank of Springfield.
43. Rev. John G. Bergen, D.D.
November 27, 1790 – January 16, 1872 - Block 7, Lot 137
Born in Middlesex County, New Jersey to George I. and Rebecca [Combs] Bergen, John became a member of the Presbyterian Church at age thirteen. He attended Baskinridge Academy, entered the junior class of Princeton University graduating at the age of seventeen. He began theological study under Rev. Dr. John Woodhull and was licensed to preach the gospel at the age of twenty. In 1828, he came to Springfield and with a call, “Come, let us rise up and build a house for God”, to those of his faith, was instrumental in building the first church in Springfield – and the only Presbyterian church in the country. The brick edifice for the First Presbyterian Church was located on the east side of Third Street between Washington and Adams. Its charter congregation consisted of nineteen faithful. Rev. Bergen served as pastor of this church until his retirement in 1848. 23 “The desolating evils of intemperance” were described by the by the Rev. J.G. Bergen (on February 26, 1833) at the anniversary meeting of the Springfield Temperance Society in the Presbyterian chapel. Condemning the use of “ardent spirits,” the society advocated total abstinence “as the most efficient means of arresting the monstrous evils of intemperance.”
After his retirement, Rev. Bergen devoted much of his time to writing for the religious press under the pen name of “Old Man of the Prairies.” In 1854, Centre College at Danville, Kentucky conferred the Degree of D.D. on Reverend Bergen.
44. Elijah Iles
March 28, 1796 – September 4, 1883 - Block 7, Lot 121
Born in Kentucky and one of five children born of Thomas and Elizabeth (Crockett) Iles. In June of 1821, he came to the settlement of Springfield and roomed for one year, in the log cabin home of John Kelley (#50). He built the first log cabin store on the corner of Second and Jefferson Streets. In 1824, Mr. Iles married Melinda Benjamin of Lima, Livingston County, New York, and two children were born from this union. He was elected Major of a regiment in the Winnebago War in 1827, serving again in the Black Hawk War. In 1832, Iles built his home, now the oldest house in Springfield (located on the corner of South Seventh & Cook Streets). In 1839, he built the American House, the largest hotel in Illinois, at the time. Mr. Iles invested extensively in Springfield land; and along with Pascal Enos (#67), Thomas Cox and Daniel Pope Cook (see #27), laid out Springfield’s town plat.
45. The Hon. James Cook Conkling–October 16, 1816–March 1, 1899
Mrs. Mercy Ann (Levering) Conkling-November 1817-October 17, 1893 - Block 7, Lot 184
Born in New York City, he entered the Academy in New Jersey at the age of thirteen. In 1833, he entered Princeton University, graduating in 1835. Personal friends of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, it was in 1841, that Mary Todd wrote Mercy Levering the following: 24 “Lincoln deems me unworthy of notice, as I have not met him in the gay world for months.” Rev. Dr. Charles W. Dresser (#14) performed the marriage of Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln in 1842; and no doubt, James and Mercy Conkling were in attendance In 1845, James became Mayor of Springfield and then a member of the State Legislature. It was James C. Conkling, who gave the exquisite oration (see page 1) at the dedication of Oak Ridge Cemetery in 1860. At a large meeting in Springfield in September of 1863, James C. Conkling read the famous “Conkling Letter”, from Lincoln, in which Lincoln’s policies in war and the Emancipation Proclamation were defended.
46. Rep. William McKendree Springer
May 30, 1836 – December 4, 1903 - Block 7, Lot 192
25 “…a Representative from Illinois; born near New Lebanon, Sullivan County, Ind., May 30, 1836; moved to Jacksonville, IL, with his parents in 1848; attended the public schools in New Lebanon and Jacksonville and the Illinois College at Jacksonville; was graduated from the University of Indiana at Bloomington in 1858; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1859 and practiced in Lincoln and Springfield, IL; secretary of the State constitutional convention in 1862; traveled in Europe 1868-1871; member of the State House of Representatives in 1871 and 1872; elected as a Democrat to the Forty-fourth and to the nine succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1875 – March 3, 1895); chairman, committee on Expenditures in the Department of State (Forty-fourth and Forty-fifth Congresses), Committee on Elections (Forty-sixth Congress), Committee on Expenditures in the Department of Justice (Forty-eighth Congress), Committee on Claims (Forty-ninth), Committee on Territories (Fiftieth-Congress), Committee on Ways and Means (Fifty-second Congress), Committee on Banking and Currency (Fifty-third Congress; was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1894 to the Fifty-fourth Congress’, again resumed the practice of law in Washington, D.C., in 1895; United States judge for the northern district of Indian Territory and chief justice of the United States Court of Appeals of the Indian Territory by appointment of President Cleveland 1895-1900; again engaged in the practice of his profession in Washington, D.C., where he died…”
47. The Hon. William Butler
December 15, 1797 – January 12, 1876 - Block 7, Lot 115
During the War of 1812, at the age of fifteen, William Butler was selected to carry important dispatches from the Governor of Kentucky to General Harrison, in the field. He was appointed Clerk of the Circuit Court in 1836. When Lincoln arrived in Springfield in 1837, he boarded at William Butler’s home. On August 29, 1859, Governor William Bissell appointed Butler State Treasurer and in 1860, he was reelected for two more years. William Butler was one of Lincoln’s seconds in the duel (which was prevented by friends) with General John Shields.
48. Stephen Trigg Logan
February 24, 1800 – July 17, 1880 - Block 7, Lot 83
Born Franklin County, Kentucky; he moved, along with his parents, to Lincoln County in 1802. During General Shelby’s campaign to the northern frontier in the War of 1812, Stephen Logan, in the discharge of his duties, issued all the commissions to the officers. He was thirteen years old. In 1817, he studied law in Glasgow, Kentucky; and there, in June of 1832, married America T. Bush. He was elected Judge of a circuit, resigned in 1837 and reelected again in 1839 – resigning a few short weeks afterward. From 1841 to 1844, he was Abraham Lincoln’s law partner and in 1847, served as a member of the State Constitutional Convention.
49. Henry Wohlgemuth, M.D.
May 22, 1822 – November 11, 1905 - Block 8, Lot 7
Henry Wohlgemuth was born in Hanover, Germany and there, attended medical school. He arrived in Springfield in November of 1845 and began practice. In Cincinnati, he studied at the Eclectic Medical Institute and became the first president of the State Eclectic Medical Association of Illinois. Dr. Wohlgemuth was city physician of Springfield, a member of the City Council, Board of Education and County Board of Supervisors. In 1866, under Dr. Wohlgemuth, the Springfield water works was established. He served on the Oak Ridge Cemetery Board of Managers longer than any other member and 26 “the beauty of this cemetery is in large part due to the untiring efforts of this man.”
50. John Kelley
Ca 1783 – October 20, 1823
12 unknown bodies from Kelley Cemetery, located at Madison Street north of old Busher’s Brewery - Re-interment at Oak Ridge Cemetery - Block 2, Range 26, Grave 15
27Born ca 1873, in Rutherford Co., North Carolina, the son of Revolutionary War Patriot Col. Henry and Mary (Whiteside) Kelley. In the spring of 1819, John, along with his parents, siblings and other family members, walked from Rutherford County to Macoupin County, Illinois. Within the year, John, his wife and five children moved on, settling on the banks of Spring Creek. There, John built the first log cabin in what is known today as Springfield, Illinois. At the entrance of the Illinois Revenue Building, on Jefferson Street, the Daughter’s of the American Revolution placed a marker commemorating the location. At the northwest corner of Second and Jefferson Streets, another marker stands in recognition of John Kelley’s further contribution to the beginning of Springfield – the marker states: “On This Corner Was Built in 1821 The First Sangamon County Court House. A log House One Story High and Twenty Feet Long Costing $72.50. This Tablet Erected by Springfield Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution April 2, 1921.” In the fall of 1821, John’s wife, Mary, died. She was buried on the land they had settled. When John died, he was buried along side Mary. The small graveyard became known as “Kelley Cemetery” and was the first cemetery in the area. It was located a few yards west of the intersection of Madison and Rutledge Streets. When Madison Street was excavated further west, the remains of twelve bodies were discovered; and in 1865, they were moved to Oak Ridge Cemetery where they were buried in a single grave. In August of 1967, through the encouragement of Floyd S. Barringer M.D. and with the consent of the Oak Ridge Cemetery Board of Managers, a marker recognizing Springfield’s first settler was placed at the grave of John Kelley.
51. Eliza Helmle
28DOD 1858 - Block 14, Lot 43
Oak Ridge Cemetery’s first recorded interment was that of nine-month-old Eliza Helmle. The cause of her death, accorded to the Oak Ridge Cemetery record, was “teething”. Eliza was originally buried in Block 1, Range 30, Grave 1. Several years after her death, her remains were removed to Block 14, Lot 43, where she now rests next to her parents, Carl A. and Marie (Flesche) Helmle.
May 24, 1856 – August 22, 1896 - Block 8, Lot 120 E. ½
A saloonkeeper and cigar-maker, Patrick Dowling, died at the age of forty-one, his home above his saloon at 223 North Sixth Street. He left a widow and two children. His monument 29 “is in the form of an ornately carved chair beneath which is the caption, “Thou Shalt Be Missed Because Thy Seat Will be Empty”. The carving is exquisite even to the reproduction of the wormholes in the legs of the chair of which one arm is a harp. On the back of the chair are tasseled drapes and around the chair twine vines and ferns and doves. This is another of the stones carved by Mr. Edward Levanius of Springfield. Mr. Levanius died February 4, 1970 at the age of ninety-two. He was the last of the fine old hand stonecutters of a bygone era.
53. Charles W. Miller
1886 – August 10, 1913 - Age at death: 26 yr 11 mo 9 days - Block 1, Range K, Grave 19
An etching of a railway engine and coal car No. 652 is on the front of the small round stone marking his burial site. On the end of the stone is inscribed: Lodge No. 819 B of L F and E (Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Engineers). The Monday, August 11, 1913, the Illinois State Journal had this to say:
“Charles W. Miller, Wabash fireman, 1818 East Spruce, killed
jumping from an engine at Alexander. Fireman Miller was killed
at 3 o’clock in the morning at Alexander, thirty miles west of
Springfield. The crown sheet of Wabash engine 652 gave, and
When the steam began to escape from the firebox he is believed
to have jumped. His body was found later near the right of way.
Engineer William Logan, 1719 South 7th Street, in charge of the
Special train carrying delegations of Knights Templars from
Detroit to the annual enclave at Denver, escaped injury.”
April 25, 1811 – March 13, 1860
Removed from Hutchinson Cemetery – May 1871
Re-interment at Oak Ridge Cemetery - Block 12, Lot 29, 30, 42 & 43
30 “Bissell was born near Cooperstown, New York in 1811, graduated in medicine at Philadelphia, practiced medicine for a short time and then studied law. He was a representative in the state legislature of 1840. Bissell served as Colonel of the Second Illinois Volunteers in the Mexican War and gained distinction at Buena Vista. He served in Congress from 1849 to 1855 and while there was challenged to a duel by Jefferson Davis and accepted the challenge, though friends prevented the duel from taking place. On passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, Bissell left the Democratic party and then in 1856 became the first Republican Governor of Illinois.”
55. Thomas Owsley – DOD – November 1, 1796
Mary (Middleton) Owsley – DOD – September 16, 1808 - Block 12, Lot 8, 9 & 10
31 “Thomas and Mary Owsley were married in Virginia and migrated to Crab Orchard, Kentucky. Here they had a large plantation and raised twelve children. In 1890, the plantation was sold and one of the descendents of Thomas and Mary had their bodies and gravestones brought here and re-interred at Oak Ridge. The markers were carved by a slave who worked as a blacksmith on the old plantation.”
“In Memory of Thomas Owsley who deceased November 1st, 1796 in the 65th year of his age”
“M. Owsley – who deceased September 16, 1808, in the 78th year of her age, who had at the time of her death: 191 children & grandchildren & 35 of adoption – total 226”
56. Infant Children of John E. Rosette
ca 1860 - Block 11, Lot 18
A small stone carved in the form of a canopy bed in which lie the figures of two children; and another small stone with the figure of a sleeping dog, at the foot of the grave, are poignant memorials to the gentleness and love that can only come from the hearts of grieving parents. The father of these children, John E. Rosette, was U.S. District Attorney for Southern Illinois, a City Council member and member of the Board of Education. He died October 31, 1881 (Block 11, Lot 18) leaving a wife and four grown children.
57. Nicholas Vachel Lindsay
November 10, 1764 – December 5, 1931 - Block 13, Lot 6 E. ½
In conjunction with Vachel Lindsay, Springfield is often described as “the city of his discontent”. Nonetheless, he remains known as Springfield’s greatest poet and singing troubadour. Lindsay traveled extensively, writing and sharing his poetry and music. At the age of 52 years, 25 days, he passed away in the home of his birth at 603 South Fifth Street. Today, people from around the world visit this home built in 1850 by C.M. Smith (see page 2), and it continues to serve as a fitting tribute to his passionate talent.
58. Rev. War Patriot, Moses Broadwell, 3rd New Jersey Regiment
November 14, 1764 – April 10, 1827 - Block 13, Lot 14
Moses was born near Elizabethtown, New Jersey in 1764. On November 5, 1788, he married Jane Broadwell, his second cousin and they removed to Hamilton County, Ohio. In 1804, they removed to Clermont County, Ohio. Traveling by keelboat, in the spring of 1819, they arrived in St. Louis along with their twelve children. In June of 1820, traveling up the Illinois River in a steamboat, the family arrived at Beardstown. That same summer, they moved to Pleasant Plains settling on the south side of Richland creek. There, they built the first brick home in Sangamon County. Moses died in 1827 and was buried in Pleasant Plains Cemetery; and in September of 1862, his remains were re-interred at Oak Ridge. Moses is the only Revolutionary War Patriot buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery and a small government stone marks his grave.
59. William Henry Herndon
December 25, 1818 – March 18, 1891 - Block 14, Lot 41
William was the eldest of four children of Archer G. and Mrs. Rebecca (Day) Johnson. Born in Green County, Kentucky; he arrived in Sangamon County along with his parents, in 1820. He first clerked in a store and then studied law at the Lincoln & Logan law firm. In 1844, Abraham Lincoln and William H. Herndon became law partners. The partnership remained intact throughout Lincoln’s Presidency and Herndon maintained their *office in the building they occupied. William H. Herndon also served as City Attorney, Mayor and Bank Commissioner.
*Visitors will find the Lincoln – Herndon Law office at Sixth & Adams Streets, directly across the plaza from the Old State Capitol.
60. Erastus Wright
January 21, 1779 – November 21, 1870 - Block 14, Lot 28
Born in Bernardstown, Massachusetts, into an English family, whose Springfield, Massachusetts roots dated back to 1641 and that of Deacon Samuel Wright. On November 21, 1821, Erastus and his brother Charles arrived in Springfield, Illinois. Erastus recorded his first impression of the little hamlet where a log courthouse had just been built (see John Kelley #50). “Elijah Iles had about five hundred dollars’ worth of goods in a log cabin, ten by fourteen; Charles R. Matheney and Jonathan Kelly (sic) (son of John Kelley #50) lived in log cabins not a quarter of a mile distance. The Indians – Kickapoos and Potawatamies – often came along in squads, and when others had built cabins near, called the place “log town”. Erastus Wright became the first teacher in what is known today as Springfield. He was also School Commissioner of Sangamon County and on April 11, 1833, he was appointed town tax assessor 32“Erastus Wright was a most colorful figure and old citizens remembered that he drove a tame elk to harness and put the fear of God in his many young pupils.”
61. Gen. John Alexander McClernand
May 30, 1812 – September 20, 1900 - Block 14, Lot 77
33 “Born in Kentucky in 1812, McClernand moved to Illinois where he was admitted to the bar, and shortly thereafter served in the Black Hawk War. He served three terms in the state legislature and six terms in Congress, resigning to accept a commission as Brigadier General of Volunteers from President Lincoln. He was promoted to Major General in 1862 and participated and participated in the battles of Belmont, Fort Donelson, Shiloh, and Vicksburg. Here he was relieved of his command by General Grant, but was later restored to his command by Lincoln and served in the Campaign of Louisiana and Texas. General McClernand presided over the Democratic National Convention of 1876. He was elected Circuit Judge in 1870 in Springfield and lived here to the ripe old age of 90 years.”
January 18, 1854 – January 25, 1917 - Block 34, Lot 2 & 3
Born in Tennessee in 1854, William Northcott attended the United States Naval Academy and then studied law. He was Lieutenant-Governor of Illinois and U.S. District Attorney for Southern Illinois. His memorial was erected by the Modern Woodmen of American and is inscribed, “Statesman, Patriot, and Fraternalist.”
63. Gov. Shelby Moore Cullum
November 22, 1829 – January 25, 1917 - Block 31, Lot 1
Shelby M. Cullom was born in Wayne County, Kentucky. He was a Republican and was appointed a member of the War Claims Commission in 1862, by President Lincoln. In 1864, he was elected to Congress; and on November 7, 1876, he was elected the eighteenth Governor of Illinois. His inauguration was held on January 3, 1877. Following his term as Governor, he served five terms in the Senate. He was married to Hannah Fisher on December 12, 1855 and from this union, two children were born.
64. William Carpenter, Sr.
July 3, 1787 – 1859 - Block 34 – Carpenter Ground
One of five children of Samuel and Catherine Carpenter; William, born in Philadelphia, married Margaret Pence. William’s brother Samuel accompanied them to Illinois ca. 1820. When they arrived in what is now Springfield, they found that the “Kelley cabins” (#50) composed the entire settlement. The Carpenter family built a cabin about 2 miles north of the Sangamon River. When land sales began in November of 1823, William purchased the land upon which they had settled and built a two-story log home; and nearby, a mill. The home became an important point for the stage line on the State road leading from Springfield to Peoria. It became known as the “Six Mile House”. In 1828, William moved his family into Calhoun (Springfield) and occupied himself in merchandising. He built his family home at Seventh and Carpenter Streets.
65. Archer G. Herndon, Sr.
February 13, 1795 – January 4, 1867 - Block 32 – Herndon Ground
Archer Herndon was born in Culpepper County, Virginia and at age ten, went to Greensburg, Green County, Kentucky. In 1821, Archer settled in German Prairie, five miles northeast of Springfield; and from 1825 to 1836, he was involved in the mercantile business in Springfield. He was one of the “Long Nine” who were instrumental in having the capital of Illinois moved from Vandalia to Springfield. He was elected State Senator in 1836. Archer Herndon married Rebecca (Day) Johnson; and from this union, four children were born, one of which was William H. Herndon, Abraham Lincoln’s law partner.
66. Ozias Mather Hatch
April 11, 1814 – March 12, 1893 - Block 32 - Hatch – Enos Ground
Born in New Hampshire and as a young man, became a storekeeper in Pike County, Illinois. There, he was elected Circuit Court Clerk and was elected to the State Legislature. He was the first Republican Secretary of State in Illinois and served for many years as Secretary of the National Lincoln Monument Association. His wife Julia Enos, daughter of Pascal P. Enos
67. Pascal P. Enos, Sr.
1770 – 34April 29, 1832
Removed from Hutchinson Cemetery – July 1874
Re-interment at Oak Ridge Cemetery
Block 32 – Hatch – Enos Ground
In 1823, Pascal Enos, along with Daniel Pope Cook (see #27), John Taylor, Thomas Cox and Elijah Iles (#44), laid out the town of Calhoun; which today, is known as Springfield. In 1831, President James Monroe appointed Pascal Enos as Receiver in the Springfield District Land Office.
May 13, 1850 – September 9, 1933 - Block 32, Lot 114
The semi-circle of Grecian columns is a beautiful tribute to the memory of Thomas Rees; who, from 1881 to his death in 1933, was publisher of the Illinois State Register and was elected State Senator in 1902. He was the son of a newspaperman and born in 1850 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At his death, he left a bequest for a carillon. Today, the Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon, the 5th largest carillon in the world, stands on Springfield’s highest point in Washington Park.
69. Benjamin Platt Thomas
February 22, 1902 – November 29, 1956 - Block 32, Lot 49
Benjamin Thomas was born in New Jersey and graduated from Johns Hopkins University in Economics. He later returned for his Doctoral Degree in history. He was a history professor, the secretary of the Abraham Lincoln Association and a renowned author. The following represent a sampling of his work: “Lincoln’s New Salem”, “Three Years with Grant” and “Abraham Lincoln” –considered the best single volume life of Lincoln ever written.
70. Oliver R. Barrett
1873 – March 5, 1950 - Age at death: 76 yr. 4 mo. 19 days - Block 32 Lot 3 & 3A
Because of his devotion, many consider the Oliver Barrett Collection of Lincoln memorabilia, the largest and finest private collection in the world. For many years, Oliver Barrett was the President of the Board of Trustees of the Illinois State Historical Society. During his tenure, the collection of Lincoln manuscripts and other possessions of prominent Illinois citizens held at the Historical Library (now the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library) became one of the most important historical centers in the nation.