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Category: mt. pulaski

Old Clark Stones

Old Clark Stones


This is the stone of Rev. David and Sarah “Sallie” Winans Clark in Mt. Pulaski Cemetery. No, I can’t read it either anymore but back when you could it was read and it says:

Sally Wife of Rev. David Clark and Daugh. of Samuel and Hannah Woodruff died Dec 3, 1843 by the 54th year of her age
Also Rev. David Clark Born Aug 28, 1776 Died Jan 6, 1847 In the 72d year of his age

Nice of them to include the genealogy on the stone.

This stone is standing thanks to the work of Eagle Scouts from the area who, as a project, righted and stabilized stones in that old area of the cemetery.


There are other Clark stones in the area including this one for their son Rev. Richard Clark. It is only a seven years younger but it has survived better than the other stone.

I took these pictures but if you have an ancestor buried in the Mt. Pulaski Cemetery it is likely you can get Jane DeWitt of the Mt. Pulaski Township Historical Society to take a picture of their stone for you.

An Airplane!

An Airplane!

On September 29, 1910, my grandmother, Ethel Ryan Downing, hitched up the buggy and took her month old son Orville [I never asked why he was named Orville. I don’t think he was named for Orville Wright but the plane was being hyped when he was born.] to town where she picked up her sister Cora Ryan Lipp, seven months pregnant. They stopped by their mother’s house but Lillie Margaret Wood Ryan absolutely refused to accompany them. She thought the plane might somehow harm her seven week old daughter, Ethel and Cora’s youngest sibling. Lillie didn’t think her daughters should go either. They weren’t afraid though and drove the buggy out to the big field on the south edge of town to see a real airplane.

There was a big race that day. The Wright Brothers bi-plane piloted by Walter Brookins, raced the Illinois Central train from Chicago to Springfield, a distance of 187 miles. Wilbur Wright was on the train. $10,000 was at stake.

The plane stopped twice to refuel, the second time in Mt. Pulaski, Illinois. Brookins lost a wheel on takeoff but he won the race.

The New York Times of September 30, 1910, proclaimed the news: Longest American Flight by Brookins; With Two Stops He Goes in Wright Biplane from Chicago to Springfield, 187 Miles. Loses Wheel, But Goes On. Declares It Was a Trying Experience. Believes Chicago to New York Race Is Practicable.

Later a pilot named Lindbergh would fly the mail over about the same the route as he flew the mail from St. Louis to Chicago with stops in Springfield and Peoria.

Ethel was one of Lida’s daughter-in-laws.

More pictures of the plane-train race here.

South Logan Cemetery Database

South Logan Cemetery Database

The most exciting thing going on in the cemeteries of South Logan County is the cemetery database which Jane DeWitt has been working on for years. She compiled it from a variety of sources, using the names from the tombstone transcriptions posted on the Logan County ILGenWeb site. There are nearly 10,000 names. If a person is buried in the area they are likely listed.

Jane used the county history books, an old coffin maker’s records, the “Green Book,” the records of the cemetery district and other sources in compiling the information. It contains burial information, including location of the stone when available, as well social information using information on the stone and the books and everything else available.

It was years in the making and is now in editing, a slow and painful process as we check information and attempt to make everything consistent. Yours truly is handling that in her “spare” time. It helps that I am related to a very large chunk of those listed. Members of the Logan County mailing list were given a sneak peek and several corrections and additions have come forth from that. Visitors to the Mt. Pulaski Historical Society may also get a peek. Jane may be using it to answer a question.

The project is currently in spreadsheet format. We would like to eventually convert that to something where one could search for, say, all the War of 1812 vets buried at Steenbergen. Suggestions are welcome!