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Pauper Cemetery
Also known as: Dorrisville Cemetery
Saline County
Illinois  USA

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Cemetery notes and/or description:
As early as 1819, the Illinois General Assembly enacted a Pauper Bill which required County Commissioners to appoint overseers of the poor. Usually, a paupers family received aid for the care of those of the house who could not care for themselves. By 1839 the Almshouse method of public welfare was introduced in which a building would be built on county land and pauper labor would farm it. One person could then oversee the operation.

In an effort to care for the area's poor, land was purchased in 1863 and construction on the village began in 1877 on 175 acres, starting with a 2-story Victorian style home that is now fitted with a museum of local and donated artifacts from the 1800s. Several log homes, a barn and blockhouse, an old Quaker church, jail house and a school complete the village.

The custom of the time was for those not having a proper funeral to be buried the same day as they where discovered dead which did not leave a lot of preparation time for headstones resulting in some rather crude burial notes to be carved on the markers. Some of these notes include; Run over by a train at Wasson, Gun shot wound, Unknown baby found in sewerh, gGunshot wound administered by chief of Police, Daddy, Lithuania-wife still in Europe, Found dead in ditch, Carnival worker, Murdered, Left of Charlie Yates-O-Gara, #3 mined accident, and Shot by Charlie Birger at Ledford.

This cemetery has burial records dating back to 1849. There are at least 263 burials with about sixty of them being children. This cemetery was home to vagrants, abandoned children, murder victims, coal miners, and individuals from the Poor Farms. The majority of the burials do not have grave markers. The cemetery is still being used today.


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Pauper Cemetery
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Pauper Cemetery
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