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Powell Graveyard, Old Muzzy Farm

(Source CCGS Newsletter Spring 2009 Vol 25 No 1 Pg16)

Champaign Democrat February 20, 1925

 Old Cemetery is Uncovered

Greenville Gravel Co. Unearths Bones of Bodies - The Powell Burying Ground -J.H. Muzzy States Cemetery Must Have Been  Abandoned 100 Years Ago

A relic of the past, the burying ground of a past generation was partially uncovered by the workers at the Greenville Gravel company just west of Urbana Wednesday morning. The company's opening up some new area and the shovels, in removing the surface soil came upon a number of bones of approximately thirteen bodies, both children and adults. The management and the workers were totally unaware of the existence of the bones before the shovel struck some and scattered them. Following this more care was exercised and it was estimate that in all about ten persons bones were removed and assembled. Plans are being made to re-inter them in Oak Dale Cemetery.

From information given by John H. Muzzy, owner of the farm in which the bones were discovered, the cemetery is the old Elijah Powell cemetery and must be at least 100 years old. Mr Muzzy had no knowledge of its location until the bones were found. Its abandonment years ago caused records and land marks to disappear and Mr Muzzy stated that when he moved onto the place in 1885 there were no signs of it in existence. The bones are those of the members of the Powell family. A number of the children of Mr. Powell having died young would account for the number of children's bodies.

According to Paul F Klyne, manager of the gravel company branch, all encaseménts that might have encompassed the bodies had rotted entirely away and there was nothing to show except the bones themselves.

According to report there were seven children's or youth*s bodies. and six adults unearthed, at a depth varying from 434 to 6 feet. It is thought that this includes the entire number of those who were buried at this location.

Feb 24, 1925 Champaign Democrat

Finding of Grave Yard Ends Long Search for Grave of Soldier of the Revolution

Discovery of the long forgotten Powell cemetery on the Muzzy farm early this week when workmen of the Greenville Gravel company unearthed eleven skeletons, solves a problem that Mrs. E. P. Middleton has been trying to sold for years.

Mrs. Middleton's problem was to located and mark the last resting place of Abraham P. Powell, a soldier in the patriot army during the Revolution who died January 3, 1817, at his home on what is now the Muzzy farm and was buried in the private cemetery on the same farm.

Mrs. Middleton is chairman of the committee of the Daughters of the American Revolution appointed to locate and mark the graves of revolutionary soldiers in this county. She had little difficulty until it came

to locating Abraham Powell*s grave which was impossible because of the fact that all trace of the Powell graveyard had disappeared more than 40 years ago, and the fact that there ever was such a grave years ago, was then only a memory.

Abraham Powell was born in Virginia in 1755. After his service in the Revolution he moved in Kentucky about the year 1800 and in 1812 moved to Ohio, where he located on a tract of land one mile west of Urbana, secured from the government.

He was married to Ann Smith, who died in 1845 and is thought to have been buried in the same grave yard which was found by workmen this week. The five males and six children*s skeletons found in the grave yard are thought to have been members of the Powell family, although there was absolutely nothing left to identify them,

The bones will be re-interred in Oak Dale cemetery and since it is impossible to tell which are the remains of Abraham Powell, Mrs. Middleton will place a marker over the grave simply stating that the remains of a revolutionary soldier thought to be Abraham Powell are interred there.

It was upon the revolutionary record of Mr. Powell that at least one member of the local D.A.R. was permitted to join.


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