Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Marker Details

Image Courtesy of William Furry
The marker is located in Oakwood Cemetery, 1027 North Randolph Street, Macomb.
Dedication Date:
Dedication By:
The City of Macomb and The Illinois State Historical Society

Marker Description:
Oakwood Cemetery was developed by William H. Randolph in 1857, on land settled by his wife's family, the Brookings, in 1834. It was laid out by surveyor Charles Gilchrist, later a Civil War colonel and brevet brigadier general. A former sheriff and state legislator, Randolph was killed in 1864 while enforcing the Civil War draft as provost marshal. Macomb acquired the cemetery from Randolph's widow, Jane, in 1877.

Thousands attended the annual Decoration Day ceremonies here, starting in 1869. There are 270 Civil War soldiers buried in Oakwood. Among them are Major William Broaddus and Colonel Carter Van Vleck, of the 78th Illinois Infantry, killed respectively in 1863 and 1864. G. L. Farwell, a revered Civil War captain who was later the county sheriff, shares a tall marker with his son, John, who died at West Point. With an eagle on top, it was created by renowned sculptor Leonard Volk. Also associated with the Civil War era are the graves of several Underground Railroad conductors in the Allison and Blazer families, who hid runaway slaves at their farms south of Macomb.

Oakwood includes the graves of several hundred veterans of other wars. Jane Randolph's father and grandfather, whose deaths fostered the cemetery, are among the seven War of 1812 veterans buried here.

Oakwood has graves of notable local figures from every generation, including Macomb founders, civic leaders, WIU faculty, and female social activists. It symbolizes meaningful community. An award-winning book, "Here to Stay," by John Hallwas, depicts the cemetery's fascinating history, discusses more than 150 individuals buried here, and locates those graves.

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