Breneman Farm Cemetery
Breneman Farm Cemetery (Sanderson), St. Albans Township, Hancock County, Illinois

This cemetery burial list was compiled by Warren L. Van Dine May 6, 1971.  He went to this burying ground which is located on a farm now owned and operated by Donald Parker.  It was called the Breneman farm at one time.

Early burials in this place would seem to indicate it was founded at a very early date.  Dates on stones such as 1854 Samuel Caldwell, 1852 for the Harris boy.

This Cemetery list had  been founded quite a number of years before the Breneman family acquired the farm.  The 1859 County  does not show ownership by them.  Nor does the well known 1874 Andreas County Atlas.

The 1891 County Atlas shows James Breneman a farm owner at this point as this also the 1904 and 1908 ones. These last two show additional land for the family.

This farm is located in section 36 in the southeast corner of St. Albans Township. It and the cemetery are not more than a half mile above the Adams County line.

The cemetery is now completely abandoned with all monuments down and partly covered with trash, with brush grown up everywhere.

It is in the woods which apparently has been used for pasturing  livestock and past years if not today.  To get to at one has to walk back a quarter of a mile at least from the Parker residence which is on a north south gravel road.  It is a new house just recently built and moved into by the Parker family.  It no doubt replaces the old frame farm house where the James Breneman family lived in the turn-of-the-century (1900) era.

Or one can take aside road aged a little closer to this Cemetery, but one has to walk over fields after leaving the road here also.  The side road is a dirt one like the antebellum ones were all over Illinois (before the Civil War).

The writer of this (Warren L. Van Dine), visited this Cemetery in the early spring of 1958 for the purpose of making a report to the Revolutionary Graves Registry committees of the National Society Sons of the American Revolution of which he was a member at large at the time.  Samuel Caldwell, one of the nine Revolutionary War Veterans now known to be interred in  Hancock County rest in death here in Breneman farm (Sanderson).

(Quoting now from a letter dated March 26, 1958 said to Mr. Rehinald H. Runge of Huntington, L. I., New York, chairman of the committee):

"This cemetery here is in extremely poor condition.  There are trees down and lying on the ground, brush underfoot, and many of the stones are off their bases and lying on the ground.

I never was in this part of Hancock County before in my life.  It is in the south part of the county near the Adams County line.  There is one kept up cemetery down there which is on a road.  It is owned by a cemetery association made up of citizens owning it in joint ownership and they employ a laboring man to look after it.

Mr. Parker said this group of people was unwilling to accept ownership and care of another cemetery, that he would gladly give them this one on his farm and making a deed without a cent of charge to them but they would not take it.  It is back a half mile from the road in a field which would make it hard to get to if anyone wants to try to care for it.

I have notified the Shadrach Bond chapter of the D.A.R. in a written report, advising them to place a fence around Caldwell's graves into have a monument man put their marker back on its base".

The reference to the daughters of the American Revolution chapter isn't about the one in Carthage, Illinois of the first division of Illinois.  This chapter which is one of the oldest and promised in the nation putting Marble head stone (not government issue) at the graves of three of the Hancock County Revolutionary War Veterans, this into opening years of our century probably sixty-five years back.  One was for Samuel Caldwell here in Breneman farm (Sanderson) Cemetery.

It was at that time undoubtedly that the name Breneman farm for this cemetery came into use.  It may well be no members of that family actually ever were interred here.

(Quoting now from this written report made from Warren L. Van Dine for the committee in 1958):

"About a half mile back from the road, in a wooded section of the Township being used as a pasture, Mr. Parker who is a former American Legion commander of a local post, stated he believed fifty people were buried in this Cemetery.  There are no fences of any kind around the cemetery or around lots.  The place is cluttered with fallen trees and grown up in the brush but one can still walk across it.  Practically all monuments have been pushed over by livestock.

Caldwell's monument is a D. A. R. White American marble head stone teeth, pushed off its base and lying on the ground half covered with grass and dirt.  It is an oldest type such as was used by the The D. A. R. about 60 years ago but the inscription is still readable though the head stone is quite grayed by time.

The inscription is as follows:

Samuel Caldwell
A soldier of the Revolution
Died in 1850
Aged 100 years
Daughters of the American Revolution."

Most if not all of Shadrach Bond of the turn-of-the-century days are not themselves at rest beneath stones in the county's cemeteries.  But today's membership means those who put up this Caldwell monument in Breneman Farm (Sanderson) based the above inscription on the following six typed lines is a biographical sketch of Caldwell from the Harriet  J. Walker book, "Soldiers of the Revolution Buried in Illinois".

"Samuel Caldwell was a native Virginia, born near waiting in 1749.  He served in the Virginia line of troops, being chief of scouts.  He came to Illinois after the close of the war, settling in Hancock County, where he died in 1850 at the advanced age of 101 years.  He is buried on the Breneman farm between Chili and Stillwell, Hancock County.  He was pensioned."

But it is more likely Miss Walker got this from Shadrach Bond.  Her book was published in 1917 almost 10 years after the chapter put up this stone at Caldwell's grave.

It may be Shadrach Bond still backed this inscription.  But there are points about it their workers at the state level do not accept today.

One is a statement made by Mr. Caldwell himself in a sworn affidavit by him for the Washington Pension Bureau in June of 1833 in Jacksonville, Morgan County, Illinois to the effect he was born in March of 1765 in Baltimore County, Maryland and that he was 15 or 16 years old when he joined the American Army in 1781.  This most certainly does not correspond with the Shadrach Bond date about him being born in 1749 in or near Wheeling, Virginia.  And, being 100 years old when he died here in 1850.  The state workers have photocopies of this and other sworn statements by Mr. Caldwell with his signature attached.

Affidavits made by the veteran between 1833 in 1850 show a very rough signature but he could at least Wright.  Apparently he was not a very highly educated man.  He was to old at the time, 70 anyway by the latest figure for his birth, to do very good writing.

This is certainly the Samuel Caldwell interred here at Breneman farm (Sanderson) Cemetery.  The state D. A. R. also have photocopies of sworn statements by the same made, some made as late as the opening months of 1850 just before his death given here in Hancock County.  The same signature.  One was made in the presence of William age Owen, a justice of the peace who described in the 1880 Gregg County History, page 526.

The above about the State D. A. R. is based on material researched in 1961 by Mrs. Virginia M. Meyer, chairman of the Lineage Research Committee of the Illinois Society Daughters of the American Revolution.  Her address is 434 Arlington Place, Chicago 14, Illinois.

But whatever the dates of Mr. Caldwell's life all agree he deserved honored at rest here in Breneman farm (Sanderson).  He tells anyone affidavit county was in a company in the American Army commanded by Capt. John McCullough in a regiment commanded by Col. Moses Chaplain.  In one engagement with the enemy which he describes he took part in the defense of a frontier outpost on the Ohio River which had been set up to defend Pennsylvania frontier.  A force of about 500 British and Indians besieged the Fort.  "It was with the hardest kind of fighting, in which even the women and children engaged, that we succeeded in compelling them to retire and abandon their plan of storming the place."  His name and deeds on the battlefield will ever be associated with this burying ground where he is now slapped on the soil of St. Albans Township in Hancock County, Illinois for almost one hundred twenty-five years.

American Revolution man like him faced British rifle and artillery fire on the historic fields of that long war and they suffered the hell of hunger and cold in Army camps like Valley Forge, spending the best years of their lives close to fields and death to give us our boasted American freedom and way of life.  I feel sure all citizens of St. Albans Township will concur with me in this expression which is that we here are proud to be able to furnish this noble man his final resting place.  He must have felt solemn pride when looked into Illinois skys and beyond the banner of our Confederated Republic, Old Glory, the stars and stripes flung to the breezes, in the knowledge he was one of the man who put it there.

Breneman farm (Sanderson) cemetery seemed to the writer of this to be considerably more rundown on the occasion of this 1971 visit down at his 1958 one 13 years before but this may not be correct.

There have probably been no burials there since the 1880s and it is extremely unlikely there ever will be anymore.

(1968 Hancock County, Illinois History, page 525).

Breneman is the only known cemetery around Stillwell's and is now known as Sanderson Cemetery.  The land was dedicated and set apart from his farm by William Sanderson in 1892.  The Civil War veterans are buried there -- Thomas J. Oucsman?, 1868 and Eli Short, 1927.  The oldest stone is that of Aurella C. Breneman, who died in 1850 at the aged 27 days.  It is interesting to note on the nine veterans from the revolutionary war who are buried in Hancock County one is buried in St. Albans on the farm now owned by Donald Parker.  He was Samuel Caldwell, born in 1752 and died in 1850.  He was chief of scouts have the Virginia Line troop.

(1968 Hancock County, Illinois History, page 130

Our Revolution veteran, Samuel Caldwell, is buried in the Breneman Cemetery in St. Albans Township.  This is an abandoned Cemetery, a quarter of a mile or so back in a farm field, been pastured by livestock in our time, with no road into it.

Shadrach Bond chapter D. A. R. put up the white marble monuments over Caldwell's grave in the opening years of this century.  The monument was off its base and on the ground when the writer visited the cemetery in the spring of 1958.  It is weathered gray after passing of more than a half century, but the inscription on it is still readable.  It follows "Samuel Caldwell, a soldier of the Revolution".  The entry about him in the 1956 "Honor Roll, Illinois Veterans" commission book reads as follows "Samuel Caldwell, Rev. War Army, Chief of Scouts, Va.  Line Troops.  Date of Death 1850."

(1921 History of Hancock County, Illinois, Charles J. Schofield, Volume 2 Page 1041).

Marble markers have been placed at the graves of the following Revolutionary Soldiers buried this County: David Baldwin, 1761-1847, Buried in Moss Ridge Cemetery.  Samuel Caldwell, 1749-1850, buried at the Breneman Farm between Chili and Stillwell.  John Lipsie, 1732-1835, Buried in Belknap Cemetery, Hancock Township, this county.

A bronze tablet in memory of the soldiers and sailors of the Revolutionary War Buried in Hancock County was placed in a corridor of the Courthouse between the offices of the County's and Circuit Clerks and and was unveiled on July 2, 1910.  The tablet bears the name of David Baldwin, Charles Bettisworth, Samuel Caldwell, John Lipsie, Alexander K. Patterson, David Rose, and Asa Worth.  The address was made by Hon. Charles S. DeHart and the services is unveiling was preformed by Miss Phoebe Ferris.

Samuel Caldwell
A Soldier of the Revolution
Died in 1850
Aged 100 years
Daughters of the American Revolution

Cox, Marzi - b: December 23, 1865   d: March 8, 1890  (d/o M.I and H. Cox)
Hardin, John - b:  d: February 28, 1854  aged 13 years
Harding, Ida - b:   d: June 6, 18??  Aged 3 months  (d/o C.and N. M.Harding)
Harding, Matilda - b:   d: November 12, 1860  aged 17 years 3 months 22 days (d/o C. and Sarah Ann Harding)
Harding, Nancy - b:   d: February 9, 18??  Aged 6 months  (d/o C.and N. M.Harding)
Harding, Nancy M. - b:   d: 1871 aged 8 and years 6 months 23 days  (w/o C.and N. M.Harding)
Harding, Sarah Ann - b: January 30, 1824  d: October 30, 1862  aged 38 years 8 months 30 days
Harmon, Susannah - b: October 5, 1852   d: 1870 aged 18 years
Harris, Eliza - b: no dates
Harris, Mary B.- b: no dates
Harris, William - b: May 2, 1840  d: January 17, 1852  aged 11 years 8 months 15 days  (s/o C. and S. A. Harris)
Heston, Charles P - b: July 9, 1848  d: February 28, 1850  aged 1 year 7 months 19 days
Jones, Ruth A. - b: May 31, 1817  d: April 16, 1888  aged 70 years 10 months 16 days
Nelson, James T. - b: January 23, 1864  d: March 23, 1865  aged 1 year 1 month 28 days  (s/o C.W. and S. Nelson)
Nelson, Jefferson - b: September 18, 1872  d: July 30, 1873  aged 10 months 12 days  (s/o C.W. and S. Nelson)
Nelson, William - b: February 27, 1860  d: March 23, 1865  aged 5 years 24 days  (s/o C.W. and S. Nelson)
Stokes, Mary - b: 1798   d: August 22, 1870  aged 71 years  (w/o Noah Stokes)him
Stokes, Noah - b: 1798   d: July 7, 1882   (h/o Mary Stokes)