Root Cemetery,  of Peoria County, IL

Abandoned Cemetery..... is lost and needed to be found....

created July 15, 2005 10:52pm

Monday, May 28, 2007 08:12:48 PM last update

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Date: 20/29/00
Update: August 2, 2001

Cemetery: Root Cemetery
Other Names: Root Cemetery Nature Preserve
Street: North Hampton

City: Northampton
County: Peoria
State: Illinois
Nation: U.S.A.
Zip: 61523
Nearby: North Hampton Road
Land Type: Public
Status: Abandoned
Accessible: Yes
Unmarked graves: Yes
Graves within: 100
Oldest grave: cant tell
Newest grave: cant tell
Records: Unsure
Inventory: Yes
Records location: It's name is Root Cemetery and Nature preserve.  The state has made it a "nature preserve", other wise it is 5foot weeds, knocked down stones, missing stone .  It is all about 1800 to 1900 stones,
Owner: State of Illinois
Condition: Cemetery destroyed
Overgrown-ground cover
Broken Headstones
Buried Headstones
Disintegrating Headstones
Fallen Headstones
Previous contacts: No one so far. Really would appreciate help.  My daughter is 12 years old and is ready to take the State on.  She is very, very upset when she saw that our history to pioneer days has been trashed, there are a lot of babies and children buried there.
Work Status: No work started as of yet

Update -2

Date: August 2, 2001

This posting contains many errors, from the name of the site and ownership to the dates of the graves. The site has been regularly managed for the past dozen years, first by the Illinois Native Plant Society and then by the Volunteer Stewardship Network. It is owned by Hallock Township and a dedicated Nature Preserve. The only person in the area who has relatives buried there is one of our volunteers. There are no graves there from the 1700s; the first settlers in this part of Illinois arrived around 1820. The first persons buried there were Jerial Root's wife and daughter, and he later set aside the 2.5 acre plot for a public burying ground. The missing stones were apparently sold by some enterprising local person to a Peoria building contractor. The stones that are stacked were place so by a group who wanted to "clean up" the cemetery -- and then forgot where they had found them. I have left them in that manner; since most of them belong to children from the same family, this does not seem inappropriate. Vandalism occurs, although it is less since we (following our management plan) have allowed more overgrowth. Most occurs following an environmental burn, when the graves are easily accessible. Signs have been posted on the site explaining its status; a Natural Area sign was first posted about 10 years ago. This is not an abandoned cemetery in any manner. The last burial there was in the 1950s. The native plants that abound in the cemetery are those that the persons interred there knew. Nor have we removed any of the alien plants added by survivors: iris, graveyard spurge, sedum, peonies, and day lilies. We respect the persons interred in the cemetery, and feel that putting little paths to their stones so that the curious can tromp on their graves is disrespectful. Those who wish to volunteer time at the cemetery may contact me. We will have several workdays this fall. Ann Frye VSN Steward, Root Cemetery Nature Preserve

Update Submitted by / Contact for additional Information:

name: Ann Frye


I am updating the section regarding the 6 foot weeds. Between last week and today, they have had a controlled burn. They left a walking path, but the cemetery looks even worse than last week. There are so many broken stones, and sunken graves. The dates are in the 1800s, but I did find one that the date of death was 1824 and he was 74 when he died. My daughter who is 12 years old, has really taken this as a cause for her. We took many pictures today. Could you please tell us how and what to do next?

We have now found one civil war stone. We have also been informed by local "historians" 
that there are Indians also buried there. We have found one stone as the date of death as 

Original Report and Update Submitted by / Contact for additional Information:

name: Laurie Heneger

Photos:    Below is a box I've put here is  any photos of this cemeteries condition. If you happen to have any. Click on my,  Attach to an email .jpg file and send it to me.  It will be put here.  Thanks... Need some help here.


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