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This article was apparently published in the The Republican, Carthage, Illinois.  The exact print date is unknown, but we can estimate it based on the age stated for Thomas Lincoln, mentioned herein.  He was born in 1823 and would have been 88 in 1911.

The author appears to have been C. C. Tyler.  He was the father of G. C. Tyler, who excerpted from this document in a column written for The News of Fountain Green in April of 1925.

This is a verbatim transcription, except for paragraph breaks added for ease of reading and [bracketed] text, especially the [bracketed] semi-colons added for clarity.

Shared by Nancy Johnson


"When Wilderness Was King"

(Note -- The movement to reclaim this old cemetery was inaugurated by Maj. R. W. McClaughry and Mr. C. C. Tyler, who regarded the spot of too much historic value to permit it to be lost in the oblivions of neglect and decay.  We are indebted to Mr. Tyler for this historical sketch. --Ed. Rep.)

"The turf shall be my fragrant shrine;
My temple, Lord: that arch of thine;
My Censor's breath the mountain airs,
And silent thoughts my only prayers."

As a result of a movement recently inaugurated the old Catholic Cemetery of Fountain Green Illinois has been cleared and steps taken to preserve this historic piece of ground.  This is of historic interest from the fact that here lie the remains of the first pioneers of this section among whom lie "At Rest" the remains of the Aunt, and first Cousin of President Lincoln, and, by the way, another movement should be inaugurated, to restore to its original boundaries another Pioneer Cemetery, sadly in need of attention just north of town and known as the old Hadley burying ground.

The first migration from Kentucky to this section of Hancock County was Ute Perkins in 1826, John Brewer in 1827, John Day in 1829, James B. Lincoln in 1829, Ben Mudd in 1830, Mordecai Lincoln Sen., Abraham and Mordecai Lincoln Jr.(1) in 1830, followed a little later by the Cambrons, Yagers, Rileys, Hardies, Branhams, Kellys, Gittings, Fagans, Joness [sic], McDonoughs, and others all of whom with the exception of the first three, were of the Catholic Faith. These Lincoln's being the uncle and aunt and first cousins of President Lincoln, all of whom with the exception of Mordecai Lincoln Sen. who died and was buried on section 29 before the establishment of a Catholic Cemetery, and Hesekiah and Nicholas Lincoln (sons of Abraham) who are buried in LaHarpe[,] all some ten or twelve in number lie buried in this little cemetery containing now one acre of ground.

Title to the south east quarter of the north east quarter of section 34 township No. six north of range No. 5 west of the fourth principle meridian Hancock County, Illinois, forty acres was acquired by the Catholic Church in the early 30's out of land in the military tract set apart to the veteran survivors of the war of 1812, the title of which was vested in The Most Reverend Peter Richard Kenrick, Arch Bishop of St. Louis County, Missouri.  On the 15th of August 1849 conveyance was made of the south east of the north east quarter of section 34 six north of range five west, forty acres to The Right Reverand James Vandeveld Bishop of Chicago.  In 1866 thirty acres was sold by the Church administrator of the Estate of The Right Reverend James Vandeveld Bishop of Chicago to John Lancaster Spaulding,
Cathol[ic] Bishop of Peoria.  Recently nine acres were conveyed to Martin W. Burrow leaving one acre of ground in the present cemetery.  About 1832 a piece of ground on the forty acres about 250 yards south of the present cemetery was selected for a Catholic burying ground and after the building of the Chapel a new burial place was selected and fourteen persons were taken up and reburied in the present cemetery.

The first death and burial after the establishment of the cemetery was Richard Riley in 1835, James Riley in 1836 and James B. Lincoln in 1837.

Work was commenced on the Chapel in 1832 by Henry Riley assisted by Thomas Lincoln (son of James B. Lincoln) who although, then but a boy, had worked at the carpenter trade with Riley and is still living at the advanced age of 88 years; it was finished on time in 1834 and the first priest was a French priest [illegible text] also the second, [illegible text] used from 1834 to 1857.  Soon after the building of the C. B. & Q. R. R. from Galesburg to Quincy the congregation moved to Tennessee McDonough County, the building sold and removed to Carthage and some of the dead also were removed to Tennessee.

In this Cemetery lie at present time, Elizabeth Lincoln(2) , wife of Mordecai Lincoln, Sen. an aunt [by marriage] of President Lincoln, her sons James B. Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln and Mordecai Lincoln, Jr.[;] with Francis Day Lincoln, wife of James B. Lincoln[;] Elisabeth Mudd Lincoln, wife of Abraham Lincoln[;] Charles, Amanda and Elizabeth, son and daughters of James B. Lincoln[;] Robert Lincoln of the Lincoln family as well as members of the families mentioned in the beginning of this writing.

The writer well remembers the old Chapel as it appeared in the early 50's.  Two fair sized ponds of water were in close proximity on which Peter and Sylvester Branham, who live(3) close at hand, Major McLaughry and the writer used to shoot ducks.  These ponds of water have not entirely disappeared in consequence of the tiling and draining of the lands adjoining.  The Chapel stood a little south and east of these ponds of water three sides of which was a growth of white oak and hickory timber.  Unless protected by incorporation or a sum of money set aside for their maintanance [sic] these last resting places of the dead are in the course of time neglected and in some cases disappear. This should not be even if there be no descendants of the dead and the land in the possession of strangers an appeal to our better nature, as in the present case, will result in restoring, preserving and protecting the last resting places of the dead.

(1)From The Lineage of Lincoln, William E. Barton, copyright 1929 by the Bobbs-Merrill Company, first edition, page 103: "In 1836, the younger Mordecai left Grayson County, Kentucky, and thereafter lived in Illinois."

(2) Mary Mudd, daughter of Luke Mudd, was the wife of Mordecai Lincoln, Sr.

(3) The original document may have said "lived close at hand".  By 1870 Peter Branham and his parents were living in Hamilton County, Iowa, located in approximately the center of the state.  We have not yet located Thomas Sylvester Branham after the 1860 Federal Census.

To clarify some of the names and relationships described in the above article, the following chart displays the children of Mordecai and Mary Mudd Lincoln.  The underlined names are those of the individuals believed to be interred in this cemetery.

Mordecai Lincoln (Sr)
Mary Mudd
Abraham Lincoln
Elizabeth Lucretia Mudd
(sister of Benjamin*)
Their children were:
Mary Jane
James B. Lincoln
Frances Day
Their children were:
Thomas Jefferson
Mary Rowena
Emily Susan
Martha E.
James Riley
Charles P.
Amanda J.

Mordecai Lincoln (Jr)
(never married)
Elizabeth Anne Lincoln
Benjamin Edelen Mudd
(brother of Elizabeth*)
 Their children were:
Mary Rowena Lincoln
George Knisley
Their children were:
Jeanette Knisley
John Knisley
James Knisley
Martha Lincoln
George Neighbors
Their child was:
Ellen C. Neighbors

Mordecai (Sr) was a brother of Thomas Lincoln, father of President Abraham Lincoln, so all of Mordecai's children were first cousins to the President.


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