Wray-Imeson Cemetery

Photo added by Bill Wheeler

Wray-Imeson Cemetery

Richardson Road
Spring Grove, McHenry County, Illinois, USA
Memorials 29 added (86% photographed)

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Located on the east side of Richardson Road, South of English Prairie Road.

Back in the brush atop a small hill sits this sad little cemetery with a history of neglect spanning more than three quarters of a century. Yet its historic importance is remarkable considering its small size. Here lies a Civil War soldier in a desecrated grave. Here lies Jonathan Imeson who is credited with being the first settler in Burton Township when he arrived in June of 1836. His original cabin was displayed at the McHenry County Fairgrounds for a time. His marriage to Mary Wray on November 30, 1837, was the first recorded in McHenry County. His daughters Elizabeth and Mary were the first twins born on the English Prairie. They achieved a measure of fame when two lakes just across the state line in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, were named for the girls. Other burials here are from families almost as early as Imeson in the county. Although Imeson is considered the first settler, Thomas Wray and Stephen Lawson were not far behind. The arrived together, also in 1836. Not surprisingly, the three families became intertwined when Thomas Wray's oldest daughter married Jonathan Imeson and another daughter married Stephen Lawson in 1839. Over the years this graveyard has been called Imeson, Wray, Lawson, or some combination of those names. The parcel of which the cemetery is a part was purchased in 1840 from the U.S. Government by a land speculator named Henry King who sold it to Thomas Wray in 1843. Beginning in 1844 Gideon Cooley, father-in-law of Miles H. Cole, farmed the surrounding land until his death in 1872. Cooley's son Joseph took over the farm before it passed into the hands of the Lawson family who owned it for many years. It seems clear that the burial grounds must have been started at the time Thomas Wray owned the land and held for the exclusive use of the family. Gideon Cooley is buried in Richmond and none of his family are in this cemetery. It is not clear if Frank Robinson was related in some way to the Wray family. His parents, Jeremiah and Eliza, were longtime residents of Richmond Township. Jeremiah had a farm west of Richmond and also worked as a railway station agent. Both parents are buried in Richmond Cemetery. Most unusual was the decision of the current owner of this property to be buried here himself. Deno Buralli created a small add-on at the back end of the cemetery, brought in the remains of Ceasar Buralli, and was himself buried here in 1995. This tidy plot of grass with its polished modern stones provides quite a contrast to the old section where massive monuments stolidly fend off fallen trees and battered smaller stones poke up through the tangled scrub.


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GPS Coordinates: 42.4622, -88.2275

  • Added: 2 Jan 2000
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #108958