Peoria County Farm Cemetery


Photograph by Janine Crandell


(aka. Poor Farm, Maxwell Cem. or Strangers' Row)
An inventory  1899 - 1926
Introduction by Jean Sigulas

Between 1899 and 1955, approximately 2,200 bodies were buried in the two and one-half acre cemetery in Limestone Township, Peoria County, Illinois.  When the county closed its Poor Farm in Mar. 25, 1956, it stopped burying people there.

As early as 1848 the county began providing shelter and care for it's indigent on land contiguous to the present cemetery.  It was known as the Poor Farm. In 1870 an Infirmary building was erected; and in 1883 a building was annexed to care for the insane.  Then, in 1897 a hospital was built. It is unclear exactly where those were buried who died before 1899. It is likely they were buried in another area of the 240 acre Poor Farm.  The infirmary was destroyed by fire in 1886; and it is assumed some of the records were destroyed at that time. The only available records register burials beginning 1899.
Besides the patients and residents of the Poor Farm, there were many people buried at the cemetery from throughout the City and County of Peoria. Anyone in the county who was poor and could not afford a burial; or whose relatives could not be located, were buried at the County Cemetery. Note - the inventory includes many immigrants to America and to Illinois. In many cases, there were "no known relatives".
Likewise, the names of some residents who died at the Poor Farm will not be found in the inventory because they were afforded private burials by relatives.  Also, several were later reinterred at private plots.


Layout of the cemetery


Note: This is a transcription gleaned for the remaining original records. I tried to keep to the original spellings whenever possible.




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Updated December 31, 2006