Drummer Township Cemetery
This re-construction was done 2010-2011 by ©Gail and Bob Hutchcraft
and formatted for Genealogy Trails by ©K. Torp.
Data was extracted from old and newer DAR records, and then records from Drummer Twp Cemetery were merged, so some of the older burials had three listings and in some cases all different. Every effort was made to learn the correct facts on these discrepancies. We looked up hundreds of old obits and learned some burials were listed as "John Doe" but the deceased was actually "infant of" or "wife of." "John Doe" had purchased the lot so his name was the one recorded. These obits, along with hundreds of others, are on file at Moyer District Library in Gibson City. Some (2002) dates were actually (1902). Many names were "soundex" and listed more than one way alphabetically. I also acquired Ford County Civil War burial records that were not recorded in the original cemetery records as well as the graves moved from Jordan Cemetery south-east of Gibson City.
There are bound to still be errors after three or more transcribings!
Other references and many thanks:
1985 History of Ford County, IRAD, Find A Grave, SSDI, Ford County Vital Records.
Many old obit lookups - Bob Hutchcraft, deceased
DAR records - Marilyn Ames
Civil War records - Ed Briggs, deceased
Drummer Cemetery Sexton - Randy Ferguson
Computer assistance - Eric Tjarks, Mike Upton
Additions and corrections are highly desired to make this as accurate as possible.
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DRUMMER TWP CEMETERY AT GIBSON CITY, IL
When we stroll along the well-kept walks in the beautiful Drummer Twp Cemetery, we can think back into the past as we read the names on the markers and tombstones. The original cemetery for this community in the early days was on the northwest corner of the Andrew Jordan farm, section 24 in what is now Drummer Twp. Mr. Jordan is considered to be the earliest settler in the township, having settled on this farm in 185-. The original plat of the village of Gibson was laid out in the early part of 1871 by Mr. J.B. Lott, who purchased 240 acres on this site in 1869. In 1874 Mr. Lott deeded 10 acres of the highest ground to Drummer Twp for a burying ground and an association was formed to provide regulations for the cemetery. Three trustees, elected at the town meetings, have charge of the cemetery business affairs.
The original cemetery was plotted within a circular drive around the hill. Soldiers' Circle occupies the place of honor at the top of the hill. In the center of Soldier's Circle, Lott Post No. 70 G.A.R. placed a large cannon and a Parrott gun, with a number of shells which they obtained from the United States government Fortress Monroe, and a flag-pole beside the cannon. This was dedicated to the soldier dead at a ceremony on Memorial Day of 1898. The first burial in the cemetery was that of Mrs. Mary S. Bowker, wife of a pioneer farmer, who died Jan. 8, 1876. The second was that of G.W. Slack, a good friend of Mr. J.B. Lott, who died May 19 the same year. He was a Confederate soldier. In 1880 more ground was needed and the first addition northeast of the circle was plotted. A small rectangular building was constructed to house tools. In the 1920's a commodious concrete building replaced the wooden structure. In 1910 and again in 1927 additional sections were laid out; in 1951 an additional 28 acres to the south of the original grant was purchased. The cemetery is now laid out in 8 sections. The original plot inside the circle is known as Section 5. The custodian has the original Plat Book in his office at the cemetery. Only the name of the purchaser of the lot has been listed in the records, until quite recent years, when the names of the deceased have been recorded. The Old Jordan Cemetery was discontinued as a burying ground in the early 1880's, and all marked graves and tombstones were moved to the new cemetery. Some of the unmarked graves could not be located. In some cases no relative or friend could be found. One such grave is said to have been that of a Confederate soldier. A special place north of the circle was set aside for the graves of those who had no family lot. Some markers were of wood - long since unreadable.
Memorial services are held each year on Decoration Day conducted by the Lee Lowry Post of the American Legion and the Keller-Brotherton Veterans of Foreign Wars. For many years the Women's Relief Corp and the Legion Auxiliary decorated the graves of the veterans of the Civil War, Spanish American War, and World Wars I and II. This has recently been discontinued.
Veterans buried here include 60 Civil War, 3 Spanish-American, 50 World War I and 32 World War II. During the summer of 1962 members of the Governor Thomas Ford Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution conducted a complete
survey of all 23 cemeteries in Ford County, listing all readable inscriptions on the markers and tombstones. There are 3700 such stones in Drummer Twp Cemetery, and perhaps 25 unreadable. Many of the graves are unmarked. In some cases the lot can be located from the plat book; many times the purchase of the lot was made in other than the family name. [Source: DAR reading,1963]
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