Moffat Cemetery


Moffat Cemetery (now gone) was located on the
corner of Griswold and South Adams Street in Peoria.


1896 map of Peoria



This excerpt is part of a W. P. A. project that compiled information on various Peoria county cemeteries.
Transcribed by Claire Crandell.

3900 South Adams Street



Records in the office of the Peoria County Recorder show that a tract of land in the southern part of the City was acquired July 29, 1836 as a government grant by Aquila Moffatt and was later known as Moffatt's addition. A small part of this ground was set side by the owner as a burial place for himself and his family. The earliest date shown on tombstone on this site is E. D. Derby, Died August 22, 1849, and, Ellen Blown, Died September 3, 1853. Another marks the grave of Mary E., wife of A. W. Moffatt, who died at age thirty-seven, 1866. Other Moffatts buried there include Philander, Damaris, Merwin, Luella, Lucretia, M. E., and Mrs. M. T. Moffatt. The latter was the first interment recorded by James Bennett, which was July 28, 1873.

This burial ground remained private until March 18, 1874, when James Bennett and Walter Treasure purchased four and one-half acres of land which included the resting places of the Moffatts.

The new owners associated themselves with Julius S. Starr and formed the Moffatt Cemetery Association. On September 7, of the same year, it was incorporated with William C. Barton and John Wilson also as shareholders. The shares were listed at $10,000 distributed as follows: James Bennett-49; Walter Treasure-48; Wm. C. Barton-1; John Wilson-1 and Julius Starr-1; total 100 at $100 each.

Book 2, pages 112 and 113, County Recorder's Office shows a plat of this cemetery as laid out by a county surveyor, Arthur T. Birket. This drawing shows the cemetery was bounded along the west side parallel to Griswold Street by the cemetery street known as Western Avenue, the north by Northern Avenue, the East by Eastern Avenue, the South by Southern Avenue and Samaritan's Lane. Central Avenue runs completely through the grounds from the center of the Southeasterly line to the extreme Northwestern corner. Enclosed therein are fourteen subdivisions having a total of five hundred and eighty-three lots. Set aside in the subdivision, known as Moffatt's, is the lot wherein lie the bodies of the people by whose name the cemetery is known. A small subdivision in the Southwest corner is marked for unknown people and is called Stranger's Row.

Burials in the cemetery were not made north of the Central Avenue. This section contained two and one-sixth acres which was turned over by the Association 1917, to the estate of John Bennett; namely, Alvina Wolgamott and Emma Wilton. After the death of Emma Wilton her share passed into the hands of her husband, John Wilton who, with Alvina Wolgamott, are joint owners of the land.

John Wilton, president of the Wilton Mortuary informs us that after the City Cemetery on Lincoln Avenue was closed while the city was putting a sewer line through this one-time burial place, the excavators threw out a pile of human bones, which were put in forty-six soap boxes and hauled to Moffatt's Cemetery where they were buried all in one grave without cost.

Burials in this old cemetery were ordered discontinued by a Dr. Elmer M. Eckard of the Peoria City Board of Health, August 18, 1905. The last interment was March 18, 1905, according to records at Wilton Undertakers.

In this abandoned cemetery, there is a Memorial marker erected at the extreme eastern point on Adams Street. This marker has a bronze plate listing the names of forty-five Civil War Veterans buried in the cemetery. The memorial reads as follows:



  Henry Amsler Joseph Derby John M. Weimer
  William Glass John Cardol Geo. Folkers
  Gus Reed Albert Brackley Levi Gilstrap
  Geo. Ellington W. H. Jenks Harry Thomas
  Peter Ellington John Dagon Herman Look
  James DeWitt Levi Sumner Thomas H. Bradshaw
  James McCristol Wm. Taylor Henry Uphold
  A. J. Willis Ned Boxley James Pitcher
  Geo. Haley Wm. E. Davis Granville V. Holley
  Wm. R. Main Austin Smith Nathen Ashby
  Danial Erb W. H. Webster Thomas Long
  John Smith Thomas Lawless Simon Anderson
  Job Shaw Geo. I. Wormuth Noah Garber
  Hiram Hedrick Wm. Ventor Capt. Samuel Edgar
  Thos. Moffatt Wm. Keeley Wm. Swartwood


Any contributions, corrections, or suggestions would be deeply appreciated!

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