LOSTLAND'S CHURCH AND CEMETERY
By Mary Solon, Dist. 36
The cemetery known as Lostlands is located in Eagle township about five
miles west and two miles north of Streator. It is known as the Lostlands
because when the plans were made for this territory it seems they were lost
and this section was left off the map and became known as Lostlands. Today
it is still called that.
The land first belonged to a man named Golliher. The people bought the land for a cemetery and a church. They though the land there suitable for the purpose because it was high and rolling. In those days tile was unknown.
The first person to be buried there was one of Frank Kennedy's children, from near Grand Ridge.
Gradually the cemetery filled up and more land had to be purchased in order to enlarge the cemetery.
Many settlers moved away, but their bodies were brought back here for burial. People from Streator, Chicago, Spring Valley and Lostant were interred here. Many people living around here have friends or relatives buried there.
One will find many very splendid monuments in the cemetery. The neighborhood is about sixty years old.
Land was purchased from the same man, named Golliher, for a church, to be built. A few years later half of the church was moved to Kangley. The rest was left to Patrick Whalen to be used as a crib and granary. The bishop gave them permission to move the church.
Most of the people who settled here were Catholics, and a missionary would come to say mass. Before the church was built mass was said in the homes of the settlers. Father Callegan was one of the first priests to say mass here. Mass was said at Belford's, also at my great-grand-uncle's, whose name was Michael Prendergast.
While Father Callegan was on his missions he often received kind receptions at Belford's, Conness', Kane's, Coffey's, Berry's, Finn's and most all the other settlers. The mass was generally said at Belford's. The Belfords never felt prouder than when Father John O'Reily or Father Quigley or Father Joseph Alizeri designed to make their log house a church.
In about 1860 they built a building, which is now the property of Frank Whalen, on the south side of the road across from the cemetery. This building was used for a church, school and granary.
A funny incident I have heard about was when one of the teachers, whose name was Mr. Corcoran, would leave the room to have a smoke, the children would hide their books in the oats.
About five years later, or around 1865, they built a church in the west end 'of the cemetery. The priest came from Ottawa with a horse and buggy. The priest who came was either Rev. Father Terry or Rev. Father McDunna. People often came here who lived fifteen miles away to hear the holy sacrifice of the mass.
At first the priest came once a month. Then later he came every two weeks. Finally they started coming every Sunday. Soon Father Egan was sent to the mission to be pastor of the church.
All the people soon learned what wonderful work Father Egan was doing. Very soon enough money had been saved to build a church, which is now at the present location, five miles west of Streator on the hard road. The church is known as the Annunciation church of Eagle.
Father Egan was pastor of the Eagle church for forty-one years. He was born in Cambridge, Mass., in 1851. He was ordained in 1882. After that he came to Eagle, where he was pastor until he died, in 1923.
The part of the church that was moved to Kangley still remains there, where holy mass is said every Sunday.