Bethel Cemetery
Bethel Cemetery, Bear Creek Township, Hancock County, Illinois
To view Tombstones click on the name (in blue) and it will take you to the tombstone project

This Bethel cemetery burial list was made in July, 1968 by to women workers in the Lee County Genealogical Society of Iowa Live in Keokuk, Iowa.  Mrs. Mary Slutts and Mrs. Francis Calvert.  There is also another list for this cemetery made by Warren L. Van Dine in March, 1968.

Location of it is described in this list in section 25, Bear Creek Township, south-west of Bentley, Illinois, in Hancock County.

It is a Township owned cemetery according to the 1968 Hancock County history's, page 192 (Bear Creek Township chapter).  The other three (the Township owns four) are: Graham, section 36; west Basco, section 16; and south Basco, section 21.

As there is quite and lengthy description of this burying ground and the Van Dine list the introduction here will not be fully descriptive.  This was a Church cemetery.  According to the county history same page, Bethel Church as it was called was organized in 1852 and continued till 1912.  This no doubt refers to the congregation.  Just when the building was built and how long instead in the now they confront parts of these grounds by the road is not stated.  Also the denomination represented here is not stated.

(Quoting from the Van Dine list):

"There was a Church, probably Baptist (primitive for old school) on the front of the lot in pioneer times.  The burials are all and the back half of the lot.  But this has long since been torn down and no trace of it may be seen today."

The county history definitely states in Harmony Township chapter, page 343 this Bethel Church off to the west of Harmony was Primitive Baptist.

The Bethel cemetery is not a well-known County cemetery.  It is not large or outstanding in appearance-not a fashionable burying place in other words.

(Quoting the Van Dine introduction again):

"In the century and a quarter it has been in use any handful of people have been interred here.  Seventy-five maybe, certainly not more than that.

The majority of monuments are the marble slab and shaft kind of the middle years of the last century.  For a generation do the 1960s till after World War I there were very few interments here.  Now and and and 20th-century era there is an occasional burial in this place."

It is of interest to County people chiefly in our day because of the dust of one of the nine American Revolution veterans known to be interred in the county is mingled with the dust of Bear Creek Township here.  Under a gray granite monument in this drab place Charles Bettisworth of the Virginia Continental line lines at rest were he will never again be awakened by the roar of artillery fire or the rattle of small arms fire calling him to rise from his couch to engage the enemies of the republic in battle.

(Quoting from the Van Dine introduction again):

"He would be entitled to burial in some fashionable national cemetery such as Arlington where generals and statesman wait the resurrection mourning.  It's been here he is in the Bethel were not even the echoes of the pomp and pageantry of wars' ends have been faintly heard."

Charles Bettisworth
Native Virginia
Died June 12, 1842
Aged 80 years 7 months 23 days
Soldier of the War of the Revolution.

(Quoting the Van Dine introduction again):

In addition to the American Revolution veterans interred here there's a well-known War of 1812 veteran listed here-Absalom Burnett.  He is one of the best-known War of the 1812 men buried in Hancock County.  He like Bettisworth after almost 70 years of pioneering following his soldiering in an English War found his journey's end here in this quiet place."

It is a practically abandoned rural burying ground which would no doubt become overgrown with brush, vines, and weeds if it were not Township owned.  When Warren L. Van Dine made inquiries about this cemetery March 27, 1966 when he made his burial list he was told no one took enough interest in it anymore to raise any objections.  That those who had one time taken interest in it were themselves now enjoying eternal rest with these dead.

(1968 Hancock County history, page 130)

One veteran of the Revolution-Charles Bettisworth-is buried in Bethel cemetery in Bear Creek Township.  There is an imposing gray granite monument over his grave.  The inscription on this reads: "Charles Bettisworth, native Virginia, died June 12, 1842, aged 80 years 7 months 23 days, Soldier of the War of the Revolution"

According to the "Honor Roll" book issued by the Illinois veterans' commission in 1956, Bettisworth served in the Virginia Continental Line Regiment.

(Page 192):

Bethel Church, located in section 25, was organized in 1852 and continued until 1912.

In parentheses page 343):

Just outside the border on every side were churches.  The Bethel Primitive Baptist to the west.

Note: by Robert Webb- BETHEL CEMETERY
Bethel Primitive Baptist Church (at that time the Primitive Baptists were known as "Regular Baptists") was organized on Saturday before the third Sunday in April 1854, at the home of Brother John H. Symmonds. Charter members included A. H. Adair, Joseph Harter, Elizabeth Harter, Elder David Layman, Rachel Layman, John H. Symmonds, Margaret Symmonds, John Poland, John M. Wetzel, John Pavey, Wiley King, Thomas Wristen, Nancy Wristen, and probably others. The presbytery included Elder Jacob Castlebury from Providence Church, and others.
In August 1857 Bethel Church selected a site to build a meeting house, near the graveyard on William Symmonds land. The new building was completed by September 1858. The deed for one acre of land was recorded in June 1861, giving title of the property to the trustees of Bethel Church, from William Symmonds and his wife Margaret. Bro. John H. Symmonds provided most of the building materials for the meeting house, which was near his home.
The cemetery is located in the SE 1/4 of Sec. 25 of Bear Creek township (southeast of Basco).  The cemetery existed for over twenty years before the above church building was erected at the site, as proven by the tombstone of Charles Bettisworth who died in 1842 (a soldier of the Revolution).
Bethel Primitive Baptist Church continued to meet until about 1912. The building stood for another generation. A photo of the building shows the proximity of some of the stones in the cemetery.

Bettisworth, Amanda C. - b: January 11, 1864   d: November 11, 1881  (d/o C. and Agnes Bettisworth)
Bettisworth, Charles - b: February 12, 1816   d: January 24, 1882
Bettisworth, Charles - b: January 7, 1870  d: August 27, 1871   aged 1 year 7 months 20 days  (s/o W. and M.J. Bettisworth)
Bettisworth, Charles - b: October 20, 1761  d: June 12, 1842  aged 80 years 7 months 23 days  Native of Virginia, Soldier of the War of the Revolution.  (Rather large grey stone)
Bettisworth, David - b: July 14, 1814   d: November 8, 1866
Bettisworth, Drucilla - b:   d: February 15, 1851  (w/o Evan Bettisworth)
Bettisworth, Evan - b:1787   d: January 5, 1840  in the 53rd year of his age  (h/o Drucilla Bettisworth)
Bettisworth, Evan - b:1835   d: November 4, 1858  in the 23rd year of his age  (s/o Evan and Drucilla Bettisworth)
Bettisworth, Evan - b: November 30, 1846  d: August 31, 1847  aged 9 months  (s/o Charles and M. E. Bettisworth)
Bettisworth, George W. - b: 1873   d: May 26, 1944 in West Point Village, Hancock County, Illinois
Bettisworth, John - b: 1817  d: February 3, 1840 in the 23rd year of his age
Bettisworth, Maggie M - b: January 4, 1863   d: 1894
Bettisworth, Marguerite - b: 1917   d: 1926
Bettisworth, Martha - b: November 22, 1833   d: November 24, 1915  (w/o William Bettisworth)
Bettisworth, May E. - b: November 4, 1856   d: September 2, 1873
Bettisworth, Neva - b: 1879   d: 1951
Bettisworth, William - b: October 12, 1826   d: May 8, 1895  (h/o Martha Jane (Rogers) Bettisworth)
Bettisworth, William - b: 1847  d: October 19, 1858 in the 11th year of his age (s/o Charles and M. E. Bettisworth)
Braksley, Sarah Ann - b: Dec. 29, 1843  d: July 3, 1867  aged 23 years 6 months 4 days  inscriptions; "Dearest Sarah, Thou has left us and the laws we deeply feel, tis God than hath bereft us, he can all our sorrows heal."
Burnett, Absalom - b: September 10, 1795 d: April 6, 1876   aged 80 years 6 months 27 days
Burnett, Eliza J. - b:    d: February 11, 1880  aged 41 years 4 months 3 days  (w/o Francis Marion Burnett)
Burnett, Francis Marion - b: October 7, 1837   d: March 21, 1916  (h/o Eliza J. Burnett)
Cecil, Mary M. - b: 1879   d: 1918
Cogburn, Abner - b: 1820   d: 1889
Cogburn, Beatrice L. - b: 1903   d: 1967
Cogburn, Frank - b: 1902   d: 1964
Cogburn, Frona - b: 1875   d: 1950
Cogburn, Harrel - b: 1859   d:  1926
Cogburn, John N. - b: 1867   d: 1934
Cogburn, Margaret A. - b: 1856  d: December 1, 1945 in Elvaston, Hancock County, Illinois
Gable, Elizabeth J. - b: July 27, 1837   d: July 27, 1910
Gable, Joseph - b: June 8, 1872   d: March 12, 1896
Gable, Phillip - b: January 19, 1830   d: February 28, 1913
Grove, Daniel - b: 1822   d: 1878  (h/o Sarah Grove)
Grove, Sarah - b: no dates  (w/o Daniel Grove)
Farmer, George - b:   d: October 27, 1878  (s/o A. L. and Mollie S. Farmer)
Farmer, Infant - b: no dates  (d/o A. L. and Mollie S. Farmer)
Farmer, Infant - b: no dates  (s/o A. L. and Mollie S. Farmer)
Farmer, Joseph - b: September 2, 1820 in Pulaski County, Virginia   d: January 17, 1879 in Hancock County, Illinois
Farmer, Mollie S. - b: January 4, 1847 in Carroll County Virginia  d: January 22, 1882 in Hancock County Illinois  (w/o A. L. Farmer)
Hatch, Belle - b: no dates
Howard, Zeruah -  b: 1862   d: 1913
Hughes, Arminda D. - b: July 21, 1837  d: March 6, 1862  aged 24 years 7 months 13 days
Leatherbury, Mary W. - b: May 14, 1864  d: September 18, 1864  aged 4 months 4 days
Miller, Moses - b:1770   d: November 10, 1857  in the 87th year of his age
Pike, Elizabeth- b:1831   d: July 13, 1859 in Hancock Co, Illinois   Age:  28y   (w/o William Pike)
Pike, Lydia- 65y  (w/o William Pike)
Pike, Martha- d: February 8, 1855 in Hancock Co, Illinois    Age 43y  (w/o Thomas Morgan Pike)
Pike Thomas J.- d: October 5, 1856 in Hancock Co, Illinois   Age 11m 28d   (s/o William and E.A.Pike)
Pike Thomas Morgan- d: November 29, 1854 in Hancock Co, Illinois   Age 47y
Pike, William G.- d: March 12, 1865 in Hancock Co, Illinois  (s/o William and E.A.Pike)
Pike William Cass- d: August 28, 1859 in Hancock Co, Illinois  Age 2y   (s/o William and E.A.Pike)
Poland, Anna - b: March 07, 1813   d: September 13, 1881 aged 68 years 6 months 6 days  (w/o John Poland)
Poland, Anna - b: 1877   d: 1952
Poland, Arvilla - b: 1867   d: 1949
Poland, Earl W. - b: 1887   d: 1960
Poland, John - b: 1875   d: 1951
Poland, John - b:   d: October 2, 1868  aged 74 years 7 months 29 days  (h/o Anna Poland)
Poland, Mable - b: 1895   d: no dates
Poland, Pearl A. - b: 1885  d: 1944
Poland, Sarah Jane (Cogburn) - b: 1854   d: July 24, 1930 in Prairie Township, Hancock County, Illinois
Poland, William -  b: February 6, 1844  d: December 2, 1885
Preston, Joel W. - b: June 15, 1862   d: January 28, 1863  (s/o W. J. and M. Preston)
Preston, Nancy Elizabeth J. - b: October 4, 1858   d: September 20, 1864  (d/o W. J. and M. Preston)
Reedor, Henrietta - b: 1873   d: 1941
Reedor, Jacob Sr. - b: 1872   d: 1936
Reedor, Leslie R.- b: July 9, 1904   d: September 7, 1956
Renshaw, Amanda J. - b: 1823  d: August 2, 1861  aged 38 years  (d/o E. and S. Renshaw)
Scott, Harvey N. - b: August 14, 1856   d: May 22, 1944  (h/o Hattie E. (Wedding) Scott)
Scott, Hattie E. (Wedding) - b: June 9, 1861   d: April 26, 1914  (w/o Harvey N. Scott)
Scott, Lela G - b: November 21, 1880  d: December 13, 1950
Spence, J. C. - b: April 4, 1839   d: July 9, 1910
Spence, Mary M. - b: September 18, 1843   d: February 14, 1914
Symmonds, Benjamin - b: (rest of stone is underground)  s/o  J. and M. Symmonds)
Symmonds, Charlotte - b: August 19, 1835   d: November 24, 1853
Symmonds, James H. - b: September 21, 1828   d: August 25, 1907
Symmonds, John - b: April 7, 1784  d: May 27, 1872   aged 88 years 1 month 20 days  (h/o Margaret Symmonds)
Symmonds, Margaret - b: May 6, 1789  d: June 9, 1866  aged 78 years 1 month 3 days  (w/o John Symmonds)
Symmonds, Mary Alice - b: 1855   d: January 30, 1856 aged 1 year
Symmonds, Sarah A. - b: September 23, 1826   d: May 1, 1855  aged 28 years 7 months 8 days  (w/o Isaac H. Symmonds)
Symmonds, Sophron A. - b: no dates  (d/o Isaac H. and Sarah A. Symmonds)
Warren, Bushrod R., Elder - b: January 10, 1816  d: April 6, 1900   Elder in the Primitive Baptist Church
Wedding, Amanda L. -b: dates unreadable (d/o C. and S. Wedding)
Wedding, Elizabeth - b: May 27, 1825   d: May 22, 1863
Wedding, Elizabeth (Bettisworth)  - b: November 27, 1822   d: September 15, 1892  (w/o Henry Wedding)
Wedding, Frankie - b: March 10, 1890   d: August 24, 1895
Wedding, Henry - b: September 24, 1818   d: September 21, 1893  (h/o Elizabeth (Bettisworth) Wedding)
Wedding, J. H. - b: October 27, 1846   d: No date
Wedding, Minnie - b: February 27, 1885   d: October 16, 1898  (d/o J. H. and M. E. Wedding)
Wedding, Nancy Ellen -  b: October 25, 1841   d: January 29, 1919 in Harmony Township, Hancock County, Illinois
Wedding, William H. - b: October 27, 1850   d: January 19, 1852
Wilson, Susannah - b: June 9, 1864   d: March 28, 1947