Forsythe Cemetery
Forsythe Family Cemetery, Chili Township, Hancock County, Illinois

This Forsythe Family Cemetery burial list was compiled by Warren L. Van Dine in this introduction was written by him March 6, 1972.  He made a trip to the cemetery that day.

To get to this burying ground where one-man who passed from this mundane existence and 1871, worn out by its Multitudinous details no doubt, write for the Trump of God to call him back to the world of the living rests beneath marble (to marble monuments in fact) the motorist takes Illinois state hard road No. 96 south out of Carthage (the county seat).  After traveling at such speeds as would be deemed to say from that rundown old concrete slab for about 12 miles he will than come to what is referred to as the West Point Y.  The hard road turns off both south and west but there is the blacktop continuance of the straight south drive. There is about 2 1/2 miles of that and then the the road but from that point on this loose gravel goes on south into Adams County.  About a quarter of a mile above the Adams County line on this loose gravel is the Forsythe Family Cemetery.  On the east side of the road perched at this very edge of the ditch.  Here the motorist parks on as best he can on such an narrow road for here is where the Forsythe name is chiseled on marble designating were God is given them the peace that falls  like like a mantel over sleeper and couch when "the fever called living" is over at last.

There is a new quite large steel pipe bridge on the road just south of the site.  Illinois used to be called "an empire of mud" when this deceased man of the Forsythe family walked God's earth at this point in this area where the gentleman delay this Waits the resurrection as has been indicated looks like what is left of that shrunken realm of mud in this state.  It is a muddy dripping wet mile of Prairie fields here in other words.

The cemetery is about the size of a housewife's living room, say 8 by 12, the long side facing the road.  It is enclosed with a yard high or ornamental type of fence, but one very substantial.  The posts are common farm field but straight, not the crooked kind.

There are two marble monuments, very old, upward of this century standing there on the Western Illinois landscape turning gray and finally black, no longer shining white from the dealers flook.  Probably the dealer himself whoever he was has been with earth's multitudes whose sleep, at least three quarters of the century.  Both stones are for this same man.  Sometimes are loved ones who survives us a few short seasons decided we rate more imposing marble and make cash money on the counter for a bigger monument in later times but neglect to take the first one from the grave.  Anyway there are two more separated by a distance of about four feet.  Both these stones can be seen quite a distance from either side of the road.

There is no brush, weeds or tall grass inside the enclosure.  In fact there are none outside.  The grass area extends from an east west side road that feeds in from the east close in on the north almost to the bridge on the road to the south.

There is some brush and undergrowth along the creek which is bridged with a pipe one on the road as stated, this on this side of the road.  This creek goes off to the northeast.  There is a triangular cultivated field between it and the strip of turf on which the cemetery is located.

People say their used to be a rural school house here, probably north some and set deeper east on the ground, called the Forsythe school.  If so the Forsythe man who is interred here may have learned to read, write, and cipher in a shack of a building on these grounds where he laid down his bones when his Christian warfare was over and he was escorted to the throne of God by Angels.

But down the road north on the southwest corner on the other side of the road is an abandoned, concrete block foundation about the size for a country school house.  Quite likely this is where the school house actually was.

Who was the Forsythe family?  According to Mr. Donald Parker the Chili Township farmer who wrote the Township chapter in the 1968 Hancock County history, the Forsythe school (the district No. 221) was founded by the Alpha Forsythe family and it was closed in 1924.  He gives section 32 of Chili Township as the location of the school and also of the cemetery.  This was page 270 about the school.

Back on page 261 he states the Forsythe family came to Illinois and to this part of the state from Kentucky.  The Forsythe family after coming here, met and intermarried with the Worrell family.  They were a family according to the 1874 Andreas County Atlas, subscriber's section, page 25, who came from New Jersey.  But Mr. Parker on page 259 says from Pennsylvania.  They could have come from both states.

There were three Southern families here in the Chili Township who are generally grouped together, the Owen and Dickerson families who intermarried from Maryland (the 1921 Charles J. Schofield County history, volume to page 1187, states that that Mr. Parker gives it hasn't Virginia) and the Forsythe family.  The Forsythe's as stated intermarried with a northern family called Worrell.

These three Southern families for people of property, in most cases "heavy landowners" in places from which they came and slave owners too.  They were that here in Illinois to, in Chili Township, also in St. Albans Township, also across the County line in Adams County.

One of the Dickerson family women went back in Maryland he married to the Honorable Ephraim Wilson who was a United States Senator from Maryland in those days.

Each of the families brought and Negro women and slave with them to Illinois.

Mr. Parker states about this, page 261:

"The Civil War meant many things to the people of the area.  A number had come from Southern states, particularly Kentucky and Virginia.  Some even brought in April Nanny's.  One came with the Owen Family.  She is buried in an unmarked burial spot in the S.W. quarter of Section 31.  Another was a gift to the Forsythe
family when they left their Kentucky home. She was buried in the family plot.  Another belonged to the Alfred Dickerson Family and was buried in the Chili Cemetery.  The last two mentioned live long after the Civil War ended and both remained with their "families" as long as they lived. "

The above what seem to indicated more than one person is interred in this cemetery, two at least.  It is quite often the case as many as a dozen are buried in a family plot, maybe with the one or two having monuments.  This may well be the case here.

The Negro slave woman with the Forsythe family mentioned above was buried in the Forsythe burying ground of this list and not in the Owen family plot which is located in section 31 about a mile west of Forsythe as one might get the impression from the above.

Quoting now from the Warren L. Van dine cemetery burial list for Owen family Cemetery in section 31

"One gets the impression after scanning the pages of our county history and focusing the light on the Owen Family Orders states Section of the south to participate in the founding of Western Illinois that they were representative of a noble founding past which they felt a deep urge to keep going longer, this on our Hancock County prairies.  That they were in spirit and actually a noble generation dedicated to establishing a nation and a civilization beneath the new world skies which almighty God was moving them to do.  Children of destiny they might be labeled inheritors or a stately and inspired past, who would hand down to us there Twentieth Century heirs a future so big we will never be able to grasp its magnificence and beauty.  This was the breed of the people who launched Illinois as a commonwealth whose like we will never see again here in the pioneers."

Forsythe, William H. -- b: September 26, 1844  d: March 11,1871  aged 26 years 5 months 13 days