|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
North Half of the NW1/4 of Section 15 of Lee Township
The Cleaves Cemetery is one of the oldest public burial grounds in Lee Township of Brown County, Illinois.
First designated as a family plot by landowner, Nathaniel Cleaves for the burial of his wife, Hannah Cleaves in 1840 when the family chose a burial spot on the farm not far from the family cabins. By 1853, some 12 burials had been made, most with family connections with the Cleaves Family. In that year the owner, Jefferson Cleaves, conveyed this family burial ground into a public cemetery by deeding this one-half acre to the County Court of Brown County for the sum of $12.50.
The last burial in 1923, that of Levi Beckman.
Now, for all practical purposes, Cleaves Cemetery is abandoned & forsaken. Positioned far off the beaten path, the only access having to travel across plowed fields, it is overgrown with weeds & scrub brush.
Most of the stones toppled, broken or for the most part destroyed. Although having over 113-recorded burials, less than 20 burial markers remain, many of these too, are on the verge of loss.