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February 22, 2024

Shelby County – Whining vs Solutions – Part I (Cemetery/Farm)

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On June 10, 2023

Shelby Co. (ECWd) –

The truth is trickling out in Shelby County, and it appears it’s a tough pill to swallow for a select few. During the last county board meeting, we once again witnessed comments and statements from both elected officials and citizens that were more tied to justifying why to continue doing something regardless of the law and whining about matters based on opinion rather than fact.  When this happens, a false narrative gets spread and nothing good ever comes from it.

There are answers to every question raised and solutions to every alleged problem but those answers and solutions come with a side plate of crow pie for some.

Farm Ground or Cemetery

A vote to get a legal opinion regarding the farm ground use failed.  We find it odd that a majority of the board didn’t want to have a legal opinion on a matter that deals with burials on the farm ground and future use of the ground. Board member Carol Cole had clearly stated during a public meeting the following, emphasis added:

“There are facts about who is buried in the cemetery and proof where on the graveyard plot these 79 people are buried.   You can check those facts in the Almshouse Registry located in the courthouse county clerks office.   According to the book the last person buried at the farm in 1942 is not listed on the grave plot, all 79 people are accounted for in the cemetery. There were many more people who died while living there but were taken to other cemeteries. All those names are also listed in the Almshouse book, when they died and where they were taken for burial.” 

In response to our questions, she also stated:

“According to the book the last person buried at the farm in 1942 is not listed on the grave plot, all 79 people are accounted for in the cemetery.”

If 80 people are buried on the property and 79 are confirmed in the cemetery plot, logic would indicate the county has an obligation to fix the wrongs from the past and locate the site of the remaining person who was buried on the property in 1942.  Or is this a case of Monty Python where it’s OK to just “bring out your dead” and throw them on a trailer and bury them where ever you like and ignore them moving forward?

It was reported that Cole raised this burial issue for the sole purpose of trying to stop power poles from going across the field. If it was good enough to force the power company to do their archeological research would it not be good enough for the county to do the same? As was reported in a prior article, at least one headstone had been located and it was not in the cemetery plot.  If we truly care about those who are buried on the property is it really asking too much to locate what appears to be 1 grave location?

At a prior meeting, Cole stated “she believes the University of Illinois has the technology to identify grave sites.”  If that is true, it would seem a simple Intergovernmental Agreement could be arranged between the county and the U of I for them to examine the entire farm ground with the appropriate technology so that a proper record can be established pertaining to where people are buried.”

We find it odd that the very person who raised these valid concerns and offered what appeared to be a viable solution has yet to put anything on the agenda pertaining to this matter.

Part II to follow.

The video of the meeting is below.

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1 Comment
  • James Sundridge III
    Posted at 12:43h, 14 July

    I have been following this story for quite some time and if the county boards position is to sell the farm and they believe there are bodies outside the boundaries of the cemetery area on the property then do the work and hire a firm to come in with a ground penetrating radar to remove all doubt. The board members whom oppose the proposal to farm it need to either do the work to provide concrete evidence in their belief or allow the land to be farmed and donate the monies to a county non-profit organization or group. I think the board can utilize some of the monies from the harvested crop to have this ground scan done. It’s that simple.

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