Belknap Cemetery
Belknap Cemetery, Hancock Township, Hancock County Illinois

This cemetery, which is located about the center of the south half of section 14 of Hancock Township, was visited by Warren L. Van Dine, who is in charge of the burial list project, the afternoon of September 18, 1970.  This introduction is also being prepared by hand that day.

To reach it the motorist takes hard road No. 136 east out of Carthage possibly as far out as 10 miles, to the Joetta blacktop running off to the northeast.  About a half mile north on this blacktop is a good gravel road lane running off from it to the west bank to house in a field.

About halfway back to this house one comes to a point where there is a pasture land carpeted with substantial blue grass on the right.  One walks across the north to a wooded area.

Just inside this area is a fast pockets sized enclosure fenced by a recently built heavy steel wire ornamental fence.  It is not common lightweight farm field fencing but heavy non resting steel.

It is not kept mote inside was Belknap and others rest in death.  But it is fenced so well livestock will not get in if the gate is kept closed for 50 years, maybe for a century to come.

There is a big ditch about creek proportions running east and west just before one gets to the cemetery.  People in charge of Cameron cemetery have built a long footbridge of poles and with plank floor across this.  This adds to the beauty of the place and in case of further burials there this might be of substantial worth to the community.  There was the burial here as late as 1967 as will be noted by the list.

Reader, if you are an old-fashioned Christian believer you'll like to think of these deceased here as being with God.  This is an isolated place about like the isolated back country part of Palestine where the people of God were settled when the good Lord a lot of them and inheritance in the holy land.  This would be a client place anyway were people could if they would spend their lives ruminating about religion.

The Belknap family after whom this place is named are about all gone from the Township now, interred here the after life's fitful fever as Poe called it and his verse no doubt.

But whether or not there are any of them living in the Township their name in spirit has fastened itself on the place here so it seems to the tourists who walks back here to read inscriptions on stones as if a Belknap might step up to him anytime and began talking corn crops or the price of hogs.

Such is life, owner of everything from horizon to horizon one day and lying beneath marble the next just names for them living to wonder about.  Probably few in the county now remember any of them.

(1968 Hancock County, Illinois history, page 324).

"Belknap cemetery is located on the old Belknap farm near the center of the south half of section 14.  This farm is presently owned by Orie Clausen of Tennessee, Illinois.  It is necessary to hike across a field to reach this cemetery.  Many Belknaps are buried here and this cemetery might be called the Dill Cemetery, as the older Mrs. Belknap was a Dill.

The oldest monuments standing have the inscription "Mary, wife of Joseph Fawver, Senior born in Virginia and died April 16, 1863" there was the burial as recently as 1948 that of Melinda Belknap, and in 1967, a Lewis Carroll was buried there.  This small cemetery is fenced.

(Hancock Township historic sites list drawn up by the Township sites chairman Joe Johnson and the committee made up of John Siple, Vesta Holloway, and Mildred Nelson).

9-5.  Belknap Cemetery is some distance from the Joetta road to do west.  It is also known as the Dill Cemetery since the two families were related.  Burials are as recently as 1967.  This cemetery is fenced but very poorly tended.

Austin, Lewis - b: 1906   d: 1919
Austin, Ray - b: 1910   d: April 29, 1919
Austin, Will - b: 1889   d: 1914
Belknap, Dena - b: 1899   d: 1939
Belknap, John L. - b: February 23, 1887   d: June 28, 1908
Belknap, Lewis - b: October 18, 1928  d: January 8, 1937  aged 8 years 2 months 21 days
Belknap, Melinda - b: 1859   d: 1948
Belknap, Willis - b: 1857   d: 1911
Carroll, Lewis "Boss" - b: 1877   d: 1967
Carroll, May (Austin) - b: 1883   d: 1925
Dill, William - b: November 23, 1868  d: November 30, 1880  aged 12 years 7 months
Fawver,  Joseph E. - b: September 17, 1827   d: February 3, 1900
Fawver,  Leah - b:   d: November 1866  (w/o Joseph E. Fawver)
Fawver,  Mary - b: July 16, 1794  in Vermont   d: April 16, 1863 aged 68 years 9 months  (w/o Joseph Fawver)
Palager, Catherine A. - b: 1829  d: December 14, 1892 aged 63 years