The Friends of Oakwood Cemetery is a volunteer organization with a mission to preserve, protect and promote Oakwood Cemetery, a historic cemetery in Macomb, Illinois.
The Friends of Oakwood Cemetery
From the McDonough County Voice newspaper
Oakwood Cemetery seeks national status
By Patrick Stout, Voice Correspondent
Posted Aug 23, 2019 at 7:08 PM
MACOMB — The city council’s public works committee Thursday voted to recommend support of an application to place Oakwood Cemetery on the National Register of Historic Places. The recommendation would come before the city council on September 3.
John Hallwas of Friends of Oakwood Cemetery, a division of the McDonough County Historical Society, told the committee, “We want to get more attention on the historic nature of Macomb.“
Oakwood was designated a local historic site in 2016 and received state historic designation in 2018. Hallwas said the friends group is preparing a preliminary application that, if accepted, would place the cemetery in line for national recognition.
Hallwas, a recognized state historian, said that Oakwood houses the remains of many first generation settlers of Macomb, He said seven or eight veterans of the War of 1812 are buried there, and the graves of 300 Civil War veterans can be found in the city cemetery.
“The families that conducted the Underground Railroad through McDonough County are buried there,” Hallwas said. “We have people in our town who are very much devoted to the community. They respect the heritage embodied in Oakwood Cemetery.“
Following the effort to obtain national recognition, Hallwas said the next project of the Friends of Oakwood Cemetery would be to encourage residents to designate funding in their wills toward upkeep of the cemetery.
The historian said there are now eight to 10 cemeteries in Illinois listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Other Macomb sites listed include the McDonough County Courthouse and Sherman Hall at Western Illinois University.