LaSalle County

Wenona Community Cemetery

The Wenona Cemetery is located in La Salle County, a few miles northeast of Wenona but most of its burials and lot owners were or are residents of Marshall County. Burials date back to the 1800's. A deed dated May 15, 1865, Rawley E. Dent, grantor, conveyed land in the "town of Osage, county of LaSalle and State of Illinois ... containing, in road and cemetery lot, eight and one-fourth acres," to Bentley Gill, Thomas M. Gill, and Samuel I. Taylor, Esquires, Trustees of the Wenona Cemetery and to their successors in office. In 1925 more land was bought, south of the cemetery fence for parking space, and north for roadway. In 1927 four acres to the east were added and part of this has been landscaped and lots are being sold there as very few remain unsold in the older part.

On Sept. 25, 1920, a petition asking permission to form The Wenona Cemetery Association, Incorporated, was signed by the following prominent citizens: Chas. Burgess, Sr.; Geo. O. Hodge, Otis Montgomery, Ralph W. Vaughn, Flora J. Woolf, A. L. Turner, Mrs. M. McGill, Geo. S. Monser, Harry M. Taggart, Alfred Helander, Chas. A. Crone, D. H. Gregg, and Ella P. Stateler. It was approved by the State of Illinois and on Oct. 20, 1920 officers of the Board of Trustees were: President, Chas. Burgess, Sr.; vice president, Chas. Crone; secretary Geo. O. Hodge, and treasurer, Harry M. Taggart. Interested persons subscribed amounts up to $1000 each to get a fund started.

It is interesting to compare the present maintenance equipment including power mowers, trimmers, etc., with the inventory of tools Oct. 31, 1921: One ax $2.75, one hand saw $1.25; two hatchets $2.50, one mattock $2, two scythes and swaths complete $5, two sickles $2, one new lawn mower $12, one long handled shovel $2, two rakes $1.50, two spades $4.50, one fork $1.50, one wrench $1, one screw driver 25 cents, two wheelbarrows $12, one heating stove $5, and one grindstone $5; all totaling $60.25 value.

Many improvements have been made since the acquisition of the original land. The devastating elm disease, widespread throughout the land, caused removal of many beautiful trees which have been replaced by hardwoods. Evergreens add to the beauty of the landscape. These new trees were a gift from a trustee.

A long list of respected citizens gave money and time to put the cemetery on a sound financial basis and the grounds in good condition. Most of them are gone but Louis Colehower, who served as secretary-treasurer for 30 years and has been a trustee since 1929, still devotes much time and effort to overseeing the business and maintenance of the cemetery. He is now president of the Board of Trustees, Alphonso Barrett is vice-president and other members are Cliff Stateler, Fred Kuehn, Neal Gregg, Harry Axline and Geo. C. Ball.

Extracted 18 Feb 2019 by Norma Hass from Old Sandy Remembers, published 1968 by Marshall County Historical Society, page 120.

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