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Pioneer Cemetery

Grounds of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia, about 25 miles south of Barrington, just west of Route 59.

History and photos by Bonnie Duresa, Barrington Hills, IL

When Barrington historian Arnett C. Lines, transcribed this DuPage County cemetery in June 1963, it was not surrounded by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and its 6,800 acre campus. Fermilab has enhanced the condition of this long neglected graveyard and agreed to continue its perpetual care.

Pioneer Cemetery as the name implies, is an early settler's burial ground, with the first burial noted in 1839. An 1874 Winfield Township plat map verifies local farm owners have ancestors interred here, but surprisingly the cemetery was not depicted.

A noteworthy interment occurred in 1851 of General Thompson Mead, a veteran of the war of 1812. He is at rest, next to his wife and grandchildren. The General has his original headstone, along with a 1972 bronze marker rededicating the plot by the VFW.

Due to many years of abandonment, the cemetery today consists of 18 identified grave markers, along with 100 unidentified grave sites. The unmarked sites were discovered in 2006, using a dowsing wire method to estimate their location. The 100 unmarked graves are designated with clay bricks that line up with the other 18 historic burial positions from 1839 to 1871.

Not long ago, two other burials took place nearly 130 years after the historic group. In April 2000, Robert Wilson, founder and director of Fermilab and in February 2006, Jane Wilson, his wife are there. Dr. Wilson was the architect that designed this unique and distinctive headquarters. He was responsible for restoring the land around the lab core buildings, back to Illinois prairie and rehabbing area historic homes and barns, utilizing them as a village complex. There are bike and hiking paths, in addition Dr. Wilson, established a small herd of American bison so visitors could appreciate seeing a piece of Americana. The campus has an exhibit hall with archeological dig objects and historical settler artifacts from the vicinity. All these areas are open to the public.

fermiFermi National Accelerator Laboratory property, near East gate entrance on Batavia Road. Campus consists of 6,800 acres with portions in Kane and DuPage Counties and a mailing address of Batavia, IL. Fermilab is site of one of the largest Prairie Reconstruction projects in Illinois. Visitors are welcome to enjoy a bit of Illinois heritage that was here over 200 years ago.

fermiThe American Bison farm established by Dr. Robert Wilson, Fermilab's founder. His intention was to exhibit a piece of Americana for campus visitors. Located on Batavia Road east of Pioneer Cemetery.

 

 

fermiPioneer Cemetery on old Batavia Road, Fermilab campus. Located in section 39, across from the model airplane field.

 

 

 

 

fermiEntrance Pioneer Cemetery, most likely established with first burial in 1839. Contains approximately 118 historic graves, in addition to recent burials of Dr. Robert Wilson, Fermilab founder and his wife.

 

 

 

fermiGrave site numbering done in 2006. Clay bricks were added to mark 100 newly discovered unidentified historic graves. All appear to be in alignment with the 18 historic identified grave stones from 1839 to 1871.

 

 

fermiHonoring the grave of Thompson Mead, a general in the War of 1812. The General, his wife and their grandchildren are buried in the cemetery which was once part of their farm.

 

 

 

Transcription

Pioneer Cemetery November 20, 2010 Below 21 graves using numbering system listed on cemetery directory sign. Inventory today revealed grave “U” stone missing, but inscription is included. Bonnie Duresa

 

GRAVE A broken – no name- only fragments of verse remaining

“ _hen ___sho_
regret __repi___
_hen fadeless joy
blis___ thine.”

GRAVE B
In memory of
NOAH SABIN
Son of Joel & Sally Howe
Who departed this life Aug 21 AD 1839
Aged 24 Years
“Given is to Earth it ______
Relics wither in the dust
Yield is to God the spirit
Spirit mind with the joy”

GRAVE C
W H N

GRAVE D
N S HOWE

GRAVE E
Geo C HUBBARD
SON OF John F & Almira Hubbard of Norwich, N.Y
DIED Jan 17, 1851
Aged 25 Years & 6 Months

GRAVE F
HENRIETTA
Daughter of T. & L.S. MEAD
Died Sept 15, 1851 Aged 2 Yrs. 3 Ms. & 21 Days
“This lovely bud so young and fair, Called hence by early doom,
Just came to show how fair a flower in paradise would bloom”

GRAVE G
AGNES J.
Daughter OF T. & L.S. MEAD
DIED MAY 20, 1848
7 MS. 17 DAYS
“This lovely bud so young and fair, Called hence by early doom,
Just came to show how fair a flower, In paradise would bloom”

GRAVE H
MIRIAM Wife of Gen. Thompson Mead
DIED Oct. 1, 1850

GRAVE I
GEN. THOMPSON MEAD
DIED Mar. 3, 1951 Aged 77 years
“Blessed are the dead which died in the Lord.”

Brass plaque placed on 24 Sept 1972
THOMPSON MEAD
ILLINOIS GENERAL 17 REGT NY MILITIA
WAR OF 1812
Feb 26, 1771 March 3, 1851

GRAVE J
G. C. H.

GRAVE K
“Sacred to the Memory of Our Mother”
MARIA LINDSEY
DIED MARCH 6 1846

GRAVE L
A. J. M.

GRAVE M
broken “ __M ”

GRAVE N
broken - no text remaining

Grave O
T. M.

GRAVE P
ALFRED BENEDICT
SON of Isaac & Mary Benedict
DIED Jan 19, 1854
Aged 24 Years

GRAVE Q
A. B.

GRAVE R
broken - no text remaining

GRAVE S
JANE INEZ SCHEYER WILSON
JUNE 12, 1916 FEBRUARY 14, 2006

GRAVE T
ROBERT RATHBUN WILSON
1914 - 2000

GRAVE U (stone missing)
In Memory of JOEL HOWE who DIED Oct. 20, 1842
Aged 69 years
“Jehovah _______ n__ is d__ _____”