The Rebirth of Moore Cemetery...
In April of 1982, Doug and Dianna West purchased a piece of property north -west of Atwood from Walter and Della Dorjahn. On the property was a small family cemetery, it was very much damaged. They were told that in 1922 when the ditch was drudged, it was plowed over by equipment. Alot of weathering had taken its course and really not much visible to make out. The West spent time seeking for evidence of what was left, they believe for many, many years it has been in this condition. They later took a trip to the Piatt County Court House to see what could be done with the cemetery. Being explained to that there was no money set aside for it, and it would be a good idea to leave it alone. The West family listened to their advise, and took precausions to keep people from being back there to do anymore damage.
In my cemetery travels I meet alot of folks like the West. People who have land with a cemetery and hate seeing the bad conditions it has gone threw the years. Also, I meet people like John Heider, R.I.P. Restorations from Monticello. Knowledgable ones who go in and repair cemeteries. In a conversation with John one day, I mentioned I had grown up in Atwood. Of course, we talked about the cemeteries and he was very interested in Moore. He had taken interest in wanting to restore the cemetery. I explained I graduated with Darin and knew Dianna. He asked if there was a way I could talk to them and see if they where interested. So that is what I did.
I met with the West at there home and showed them the photos of Johns' other restoration projects and explained to them it would be done right and legal. It took some persuading, their main concern was trust in that he would really come threw. So after them agreeing, another trip to the West came and this time with John. This moment for me was a turning point, I witnessed a start to history being made. I also earned a respect for Mr. Heider for what he does.
So the summer of 2009, the rebirth of Moore Cemetery started. I would go out every other weekend and see the changes that were being made, photographing the progress along the way. In the summer of 2010, the cemetery was completely finished, grass was growing, a new sign was up, and there is a mail box for visitors to sign. The West have done alot of clearing up of the area and it looks absolutely beautiful. They do welcome family members to come out and visit. They are planning on building a new house out there and they keep the cemetery well watched.
Talking with the West and Kay Gilbreath from the Piatt County Genealogy Society we would like to make a new Moore Cemetery book. There is not much information on this area but the West do know there are relatives still living in the Atwood. If anyone has any photographs, or information please send a letter to Angie Johnson 116 S. Plum Bement, Il. 61813.
Doug and Dianna send there most deepest gratitude and thanks to John for what he has come and done to the cemetery. I am sure that little Sarah Moore, the first one buried in the cemetery, looks down and smiles to see her resting place back to its original condition.
Written by Angie Andrews-Johnson in the Southern Piatt Record Herald on Oct. 26, 2011
GPS Coordinates: 39.8217, -88.4822
- Added: 2 Jan 2000
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #106953
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