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  • Writer's pictureLawrence Lore

Clean a Tombstone Saturday

Restorations were recently completed on some of the Thomas Bell family headstones in Bell cemetery in

Lukin Township as reported by volunteer, Marilyn W.

Thomas Bell was the son of Jesse and Hannah Bell. The family came from Wilson County, Tennessee to

Lancaster in Wabash County. They had arrived sometime between 1827 and 1831 as Thomas was born in 1827 in Tennessee and his sister, Ann, was born in Lancaster in Illinois in 1831. Thomas met Sarah Jane Musgrove, who came to the area with her family from Clermont County, Ohio. Thomas and

Sarah married in Lawrence County on February 2, 1850, and had 10, possibly 11 children together.

Possibly 11? Well, there is a child named George F Bell who was born January 7, 1870, and died on August 17, 1876. His stone is in line with the children of Thomas and Sarah and a grandchild belonging to their son, Nathan. But Nathan had no child named George. It is believed Thomas and Sarah Jane had no son named George. Thomas had no other sons old enough in 1870 to have a child named George. No birth record found for George; no death record found. So, who does George F belong to? Come down to Bell cemetery Saturday morning and discuss this mystery with Marilyn. Bell Cemetery is located south of Sumner 18.1 Miles (about 45 minutes) from Lawrenceville, Illinois.

Saturday June 17, the cemetery restoration volunteers will be at Bell Cemetery very early in the morning ---7:00 am to teach others how to clean tombstones. It’s not a class per se; it’s just instructions by doing. We have all the tools and equipment you will need. Just wear old clothes, bring water to drink, and something to sit upon if you don’t like sitting on the grass. You may want a hat and gloves and insect repellant. WE will only work about 1 ½ hr. and quit before it gets too hot. It’s really easy. If you can clean your tub/shower, you can clean a tombstone. So, we want to see you Saturday.

PS Reminder to the Coffee drinkers: There are no bathroom facilities…just saying.

For more information call. 618-240-2021 Nancy King


From Lawrenceville, travel west on Illinois Route 250 approximately 9.6 Miles to Sumner, turn right onto Christy Avenue. Christy Avenue turns into county road 250 east. Travel 7.7 miles on county road 250 east, turn right (west) on county road 300 north, at the Bethlehem Church. Travel .5 miles on county road 300 north past the Moore farm. Then turn left onto what you will swear is a private lane practically through a farmyard. The cows are friendly. Stay in the car and keep going until it makes a sharp turn to the right. Continue on down across a little “bridge” then up a hill about .5 miles, and the cemetery will be on your right. There is a beautiful lake with an eagle fishing there sometimes. But that is on Private Property!! The cemetery is not. You are welcome any time, but we would particularly like to see you Saturday morning to show you how the restoration is going.

Thanks to John Fish for these photographs and for his work on restoring these stones. Also to Chad Jackman and his son Trevor for their work clearing brush, weeds, and vines from the fences surrounding the Lukin cemeteries, and for the care and respect they exhibit in mowing the cemeteries in their care.


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