Brown, John A.- Story of Cemetery.

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Brown, John A.- Story of Cemetery. - Old Cemetery Lies Amid Traffic Lanes By Charles...
Old Cemetery Lies Amid Traffic Lanes By Charles Bosworth Jr. Of the Post-Dispatch Post-Dispatch Post-Dispatch Staff Surrounded in the 1870s by quiet . farm fields and trees, the site near Granite City had probably seemed a fitting resting place for family members like Cpl. John A. Brown, who had served with the Union Army during the Civil War. But in 1984, it is doubtful that those buried in the small family graveyard are resting in peace. The cemetery now stands unnoticed In the median of a busy subdivision street The unlikely juxtaposition of 100-year-old 100-year-old 100-year-old 100-year-old 100-year-old graves and whizzing traffic Is between the lanes in the 2200 block of St Clair Avenue in Granite City. Few drivers are aware of the graves because they are noted only by three flat bronze markers. But descendants of the family say that there are 33 of their ancestors there, as well as the graves of two slaves. Before the area was developed into a subdivision in the 1950s, the cemetery was surrounded by a white picket fence and marked by a 33-foot 33-foot 33-foot column and a four-and-a-half-foot four-and-a-half-foot four-and-a-half-foot four-and-a-half-foot four-and-a-half-foot four-and-a-half-foot four-and-a-half-foot four-and-a-half-foot four-and-a-half-foot statue of a Civil War soldier. One Granite City resident who knows of the graveyard is Steve Conkovich, who noticed the markers several years ago while cutting grass In the median ior the city. Street Department "It really gave me the shivers when I realized what was there," he said. "I Just couldnt believe It I thought they ought to move those graves. That's no place for someone to be buried. The. The marker over the graves of the kids in the neighborhood play ball out there and use the markers for bases." The markers are nearly overgrown by grass and weeds, and the median is littered with beer bottles, soda cans and scraps of paper. Not far from the three markers are large wooden poles supporting utility cables. But one of the descendants, Mildred Burgess of Madison, said the cemetery should be left where it is family of Cpl. John A. and Ruth because It marks some of the earliest origins of the area. But she would like to see a historical marker put up by the city to explain who is buried there. "My ancestors arrived here from Ireland In 1807, two years after Lewis and Clark went down the Mississippi River," Mrs. Burgess said. "Not many people can say that I'm proud of it, and I want to see it preserved and recognized." i',f-it:w'H i',f-it:w'H i',f-it:w'H Kevin J. ManningPost-Dispatch ManningPost-Dispatch ManningPost-Dispatch Emmert Brown. She said some of the graves are actually under the road pavement and others are under the homes on the north side of St Clair Avenue. She said the man who developed the subdivision in 1955 asked her grandmother, Leiza Lewis, for permission to move the graves to Sunset Hill Cemetery in Edwardsyllle. But Mrs. Lewis refused, saying she did See CEMETERY, Page 2

Clipped from St. Louis Post-Dispatch25 Oct 1984, ThuMain EditionPage 61

St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, Missouri)25 Oct 1984, ThuMain EditionPage 61
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  • Brown, John A.- Story of Cemetery.

    byrnesclan – 02 Feb 2016

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