Since 2010 I have been working to honor the pioneers of the no longer extant village of Pulaski, Augusta Township, Hancock County, Illinois by recording Pulaski Cemetery memorials to Find A Grave. This labor of love results from preserved burial records of the Pulaski Methodist Episcopal Church and our family photo collection.
The Pulaski Methodist Church and its Pulaski Cemetery served a tri-county community including:
Most of the portrait photos that I upload are from the Crain Family Collection. The collection not only contains varied paper ephemera but also scads of photos of the Pulaski old timers (mostly Crain, Baxter, Newcomb, Gordon, Hoyt, Bacon). The collection has been fastidiously maintained by the descendants of Rev. William Crain and his wife, Harriet Tong, from the 1840's to today. On loan from my father-in-law, once my work is complete or when I die—whichever comes first—our family will donate the photos to the Archives and Special Collections of Western Illinois University Libraries (WIU) in Macomb, Illinois.
A collection of Pulaski-related photos and ephemera already resides at Western Illinois University Archives & Special Collections within the Tri-County Genealogical Society Collection (Augusta, Illinois). The photos still in the family-held collection represent my husband's closest relatives.
This Pulaski Cemetery project on Find A Grave would not have been possible without the well-maintained record keeping of William Reynolds Hoyt (1830-1907), the Pulaski Methodist Church Recording Steward. His Pulaski Cemetery records were part of Tri-County Genealogical Society Collection and copied by hand in the mid-1940's by my husband's great granduncle, Harry Marshall Crain (1874-1967). Harry's original transcription is kept at WIU and my scanned copy is available at hancock.illinoisgenweb.org (http://hancock.illinoisgenweb.org./cemeteries/ pulaski/pulaskicemetery.pdf). Go to the last pages for the index to facilitate locating family groupings.
Today, all that is left of this central-western Illinois village of Pulaski is the cemetery. For the most part, corn and soy fields inhabit the area for miles around, with homes here and there. Despite the excellent care that the Augusta Township generously bestows upon Pulaski Cemetery, many of the burials lack markers or the markers are long lost in the earth like that of Pulaski's Thomas Brunton (1778-1871).
In 2007, I was informed by the WIU archivist that the original Pulaski cemetery records accompanying Harry's transcription were discarded due to mold. Save for a printout of a 3rd generation transcription available at the Augusta Library (Greater West Central Public Library), without Harry Marshall Crain's transcription of William Reynolds Hoyt's records, there might have been no further record than the visible stones at Pulaski today.
While processing the photo collection continues, you'll see that honoring and remembering these hardy Illinois pioneers has been a collaborative effort. My heartfelt thanks to those who have offered, and continue to offer, further info, photos, and corrections.
Corrections and further information are always welcome. Please contact me via the email address below or through Find A Grave's "Suggest a Correction" (SAC). I feel akin to my great-grandfather, Austin Thomas Byrne, who wrote in the preface to the 1902 second edition of his Inspection of the Materials and Workmanship Employed in Construction, "I wish to advise my reader that I am open to hints or suggestions with a view to improve or perfect the content . . . and that I shall receive them with pleasure." (1)
Former Find A Grave username rootsjockey.
Sincerely, Susan M. Hawes Portland, Maine
(1) A.T. Byrne's book is digitized on _HaithiTrust_ (http://catalog.hathitrust.org/ Record/006511098 : accessed 21 June 2015).