Lakes Region Historical Society webpage
October 31, 2020


Most people in Antioch are familiar with Hillside Cemetery, but did you know that there are “lost” graveyards in Antioch? Not counting the unknown number of Native American burials scattered around the Chain O’ Lakes, there are four known burial grounds forgotten in time.

In the years between the settlement of the town and the organization of the various cemeteries, when people died they were very often buried on the farm where they had lived. Over the years, the wooden markers were lost to weathering or the later farmers would remove the markers as they interrupted the plowing, planting and harvesting of the crops and these loved ones were forgotten. This was the case in three of our tales, but the fourth was a known family cemetery–the Garwood Cemetery at Channel Lake.

Its location between the two Garwood farms belonging to Samuel and Jairus Garwood, is known from the 1873 and 1907 Lake County maps. In the 1930’s, when the State of Illinois proposed putting in highway 173, the cemetery was in the immediate path at approximately the intersection of current 173, the old entrance to Lake Avenue and Country Club Drive. The Garwood remains were disinterred and reburied at Hillside Cemetery. There is no remnant of the original cemetery, but the existing stones were moved and the remainder of the family were combined onto one large stone.

Next we move to North Avenue, to the farm of Eber C. Stevens who bought his property from the government in the 1840’s for $1.25 an acre. His farm was located on the Northeast corner of what is now North Avenue and Deep Lake Road. The exact cemetery location is unknown, but the stones were removed decades ago. They were flipped and used as stepping stones on a farm on the Northwest corner of the intersection! Realizing their importance, a later owner of the farm brought the broken monuments to the School House Museum where they remain today. Only one stone is legible, that of Mary French Ingalls, daughter of Eleazer Ingalls and Amy Pearson, two of Antioch’s first residents. Mary was the first wife of Myron Hamilton Stevens. She was born 22 April 1824 and died at the age of 22 on 8 May 1846. Fragments of other stones were also recovered, but only one other has a single first name. It might (pure conjecture) be possible that one of the smaller stones was a child lost at birth and that Mary diesd during the delivery. All of these stones can be seen at the Museum where their names may be forgotten, but their lives in Antioch are remembered.

The third grave yard is now part of the Red Wing Wild Game Preserve and Red Wing slough around Deer Lake. This was the farm of Thomas Webb and his wife, Margaret Fink Webb. When this farm was purchased after WWII, a road was extended back into the woods. In the path of the new road a single tombstone was found for a Harriet Webb who died 15 May 185_. The last digit had broken off the stone, but from the 1850 census we learn that Harriet was born in April, 1850. The stone was reverently moved to the side of the new road and placed against a tree. In the 1960’s, a large Boy Scout Jamboree was held at Deer Lake and afterward, the little stone was found to be missing. A search was made of the neighboring woods and fields with no success. There are no photographs of this stone, but Harriet, too, is remembered here. Curiously, there is a Harriet Webb buried with these parents in Hickory Union Cemetery. This Harriet died 22 February 1853 at the age of one year, eight months. Clearly, the first Harriet had perished quite young and another daughter was named for her as the first Harriet was four months old in the 1850 census. No image of the lost stone for Harriet #1 exists.

The last lost cemetery is in a location visited by most Antioch residents at one time or another—the Antioch Aqua Center! The Edgar B. Williams farm is the site of the current swimming pool, library and Little League fields. The Williams family donated the property for these Antioch institutions. Doc Jensen, Antioch veterinarian, and the Antioch Lions Club, came up with the idea to build a community swimming pool in 1955. In April, 1956. The digging began. Shortly after, they uncovered the remains of the burial of a William’s child. All that was left were bits of wood and cloth and a casket marker which read “Our Darling”. The artifacts were returned to the Schroeder family, descendants of the Williams family and benefactors of the library. There is no record of the name or dates for this child, but he/she, too, is thought to have died in the 1850’s (see Antioch News article, April, 1956).

So now when you walk the fields around town or swim in the Antioch pool, be aware that there were others there that came before you and that some of them may still be there!

C:\Users\Vern\Pictures\HISTORICAL\FORT HILL CEMETERY\1873 Map of Lake County (Lakes Region Historical Society facebook page).jpg1873 Map of Lake County
Garwood Cemetery and Garwood Farms

C:\Users\Vern\Pictures\HISTORICAL\FORT HILL CEMETERY\1907 map of Lake County Garwood family moved (Lakes Region Historical Soceity facebook).jpg1907 Map of Lake County
Garwood families have moved

C:\Users\Vern\Pictures\HISTORICAL\FORT HILL CEMETERY\Garwood family headstone at Hillside Cemetery Antioch (Lakes Region Historical Society facebook).jpgGarwood headstone moved to Hillside Cemetery in Antioch

C:\Users\Vern\Pictures\HISTORICAL\FORT HILL CEMETERY\Garwood family headstone at Hillside Cemetery Antioch (2) (Lakes Region Historical Society facebook).jpgGarwood headstone moved to Hillside Cemetery in Antioch

C:\Users\Vern\Pictures\HISTORICAL\FORT HILL CEMETERY\1956-03-22 Long Forgotten Grave (Antioch News) (Lakes Region Historical Society).jpg“Long Forgotten Grave Found” from the Antioch News (March 22, 1956)