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Barry Schrader
Columnist

 

I currently write a column each Tuesday for the DeKalb Daily Chronicle. The column will also appear on this website each week and be added to the archives.

The Articles started December 2007.

 

If you've missed any please follow the links on the dates to catch up.

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Oak Mound Cemetery holds prominent pioneers

By Barry Schrader.................................November 2, 2010

Descendants of several Somonauk area pioneer families gathered recently for a guided tour of the Oak Mound Cemetery where they learned about the lives of ancestors interred there.
Located on Chicago Road near the United Presbyterian Church, the cemetery was created by Lucius Frisbee as a place to bury his two children who had died of consumption, sometime after 1835. In 1838 he donated the land as a cemetery to DeKalb County. By 1881 the county board had deeded it over to the Oak Mound Cemetery Association, later known as the Somonauk Cemetery Association.
This would make it one of the earliest cemeteries in the county, according to cemetery board president Bud Burgin, who said even though it is privately operated there are burial plots still for sale to the public. Much of the funding for its maintenance comes from an endowment from the Patten family that has the only mausoleum on the grounds.
Giving talks on the tour were eight people, many of them family members of those being depicted. Speakers included Burgin, who detailed the life of James Beveridge; Robert Bastian, who talked about his ancestor August Bastian; Wendell Chestnut, who highlighted the life of Andrew Graham; Nancy Harms, who featured Sarah Jane Graham; Debra Burgin, who covered the life of Eliza Owen; Reid McAllister, who addressed the history of William Patten; Howard Stahl, who talked about his ancestor Otto Stahl; and Mick Cronin, who shared the life story of the Rev. Lee E. Walker.
Best known statewide is the Beveridge family, and Burgin concentrated on James Beveridge (1817-1896) who was the first person from DeKalb County to be elected to statewide office. He became state treasurer in 1864 and served just two years. Another major

Cemetery Walk speakers gathered before the program Oct. 9 included Bud Burgin, Robert Bastian, Wendell Chestnut, Nancy Harmes, Debra Burgin, Reid McAllister, Howard Stahl and Mick Cronin

Wendell Chestnut, at right, goes over his role with Reid McAllister just prior to the cemetery talks where they featured several ancestors buried there.


achievement in his life was being one of the three founders of the Sycamore True Republican in 1857, along with D.B. James and C.M. Brown. He was also one of the organizers of a Sycamore Bank, which was closed after the manager was indicted for embezzling. Beveridge’s youngest brother, John, practiced law in Sycamore and later was elected governor of Illinois.
Descendants of several Somonauk area pioneer families gathered recently for a guided tour of the Oak Mound Cemetery where they learned about the lives of ancestors interred there.
Located on Chicago Road near the United Presbyterian Church, the cemetery was created by Lucius Frisbee as a place to bury his two children who had died of consumption, sometime after 1835. In 1838 he donated the land as a cemetery to DeKalb County. By 1881 the county board had deeded it over to the Oak Mound Cemetery Association, later known as the Somonauk Cemetery Association.
This would make it one of the earliest cemeteries in the county, according to cemetery board president Bud Burgin, who said even though it is privately operated there are burial plots still for sale to the public. Much of the funding for its maintenance comes from an endowment from the Patten family that has the only mausoleum on the grounds.
Giving talks on the tour were eight people, many of them family members of those being depicted. Speakers included Burgin, who detailed the life of James Beveridge; Robert Bastian, who talked about his ancestor August Bastian; Wendell Chestnut, who highlighted the life of Andrew Graham; Nancy Harms, who featured Sarah Jane Graham; Debra Burgin, who covered the life of Eliza Owen; Reid McAllister, who addressed the history of William Patten; Howard Stahl, who talked about his ancestor Otto Stahl; and Mick Cronin, who shared the life story of the Rev. Lee E. Walker.
Best known statewide is the Beveridge family, and Burgin concentrated on James Beveridge (1817-1896) who was the first person from DeKalb County to be elected to statewide office. He became state treasurer in 1864 and served just two years. Another major achievement in his life was being one of the three founders of the Sycamore True Republican in 1857, along with D.B. James and C.M. Brown. He was also one of the organizers of a Sycamore Bank, which was closed after the manager was indicted for embezzling. Beveridge’s youngest brother, John, practiced law in Sycamore and later was elected governor of Illinois.
McAllister represented the Patten family on the tour, talking about the life of William Patten. He was caught up in the excitement of the discovery of gold in California and left the farm to work the gold fields for 18 months, returning $2,000 richer to continue farming. He was also a county supervisor, served two terms in the Illinois House and was then elected a state senator for one term.
Marriage often occurred between neighboring families and this was made obvious when speaker Howard Stahl told about the life of Otto Stahl (1871-1963), who married Anna Bastian. He then related how three of Otto’s sisters married the three brothers of Anna. That must have made it interesting when researching the family tree.
Another speaker was Robert Bastian, depicting his ancestor August Bastian (1822-1887). Bastian came to this country at age 29 from Germany in 1852 and eventually took up farming near Hinckley. Some 160 acres of the original farm is still in the Bastian family six generations later.
If you want to know more about the presentations, just contact the above named speakers to find out when the next cemetery walk is planned. My column space is limited so I couldn't highlight all the ancestors featured that day.

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The columnist can be reached via email at :

barry815sbcglobal.net

or by snailmail at:

Barry Schrader
PO Box 851
DeKalb, Ill 60115