|Old Burying Ground|
St. Clair County
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
This cemetery was located near the corner of South Third and West Harrison Streets on lots across the street from St. Peter's Cathedral. The cemetery was destroyed in 1889 when the residence of the Bishop of the Belleville Diocese was erected on part of the site.
The "Old Burying Ground" was the earliest cemetery in Belleville and was also called the "Belleville Burying Ground". It was given to the people of Belleville for a burial ground by Ninian Edwards, 3rd Illinois Governor, who died in 1833 before perfecting a deed of conveyance. The cemetery passed to Edwards' heirs, who in 1844, sold it to the St. Clair County Commissioners. According to the dates on some of the tombstones found here, it was in existence at least since the late 1820's. Among the burials were many early Belleville Catholics.
In June 1865, a newspaper article, reported that the cemetery also contained the graves of 150-200 persons who died of cholera in 1849, many of whom had no tombstones.
Many of the burials and/or remains were later moved to either Walnut Hill Cemetery or Green Mount Cemetery. Some remains may also have been moved to Harrison Cemetery which existed from 1852-1877.
An excellent article titled "Belleville's Early Cemeteries" was published in The St. Clair County [IL] Genealogical Society QUARTERLY, Volume 28 (2005) # 3 pp. 140-167.
[Information supplied by Bob Buecher at firstname.lastname@example.org]
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