Thursday, June 3, 2010

Where is the Pioneer Cemetery?

Section 22, Bethel Township, McDonough County, IL:  SW of NW of Sec. 22, T4N R3W

GPS Coordinates: Latitude: 40.31890, Longitude: -90.73250
I just used Google Earth to narrow it down further and come up with these coordinates:  latitude:  40.3189243631, longitude: 90.73249963.
For the best map, check out this link to an interactive Google Map located on the FindaGrave webpage:  Map to the Pioneer Cemetery on FindaGrave.  (Note that FindaGrave calls this "Cost" Cemetery, but they acknowledge its more commonly known names, i.e. McClure and Pioneer Cemetery).   

My own directions: 
  •  Head east on East Jackson Street in Macomb 
  • Pass Farm King and then Pella Window Manufacturer (both are on the left)
  •  It's already rural as you approach the Pella place
  • Be ready to turn right onto Highway 67
  • Turn right on to Highway 67 (heading South, towards Industry, Rushville, Beardstown)
  • It's at least 10 miles to Industry
  • As you are just about out of Industry you will see a school on the right (turn right)
  • This is County Road 300--still have a ways to go, but it's a straight shot
  • You will continue through a 4 way intersection as you go
  • The road you are travelling on becomes Bellingham Road
  • You are way out in the country with cows and crops on both sides
  • Just when you think "I must be lost," you will see that Beaver Road to the right
  • Keep going but slow way down--you are approaching the farm.
  • When you see a dilapidated, unpainted out building on the left, --look at the pasture to your right--you'll see another dilapidated, unpainted outbuilding there in the field.  
  • The farmers home is a large white one just a ways ahead to the right. I like to let them know I'm going to the cemetery as a courtesy.  (Please be considerate and close all gates securely.)
  • When you enter the field--you have to go through several gates that are secured with wire to keep the cows in.
  • I recommend walking down the fence line to the right of the out building.
  • To your left you will see what looks like nothing more than a bit of woods.
  • As you get closer you will see the old brown gate and the new large sign.
  • Hopefully the cows will be out of the cemetery when you visit.
  • Watch out, there was at least one young bull in May 2010.
  • There have been occasions when I've been able to drive in through the gate                                       to approach the cemetery more directly.  Crops in the field can prevent that.
An Antique Plot Map from an Old McDonough County History Book:
Old Bethel Township map: see the circled note pointing to the cemetery location?   Double click the image to make it larger and increase your page size (lower right hand corner of your screen to 200% or more to really explore this township map.  You will see the same surnames as those interred in the Pioneer Cemetery.  Theodore Montee was the owner of Section 22 when this map was printed, Greenup McClure having died and many of his children had moved away.


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