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
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
This is a transcription gleaned for the remaining original records. I tried to
keep to the original spellings whenever possible.
corrections, or suggestions would be deeply appreciated!
Copyright © Janine
Crandell & all contributors
All rights reserved
Updated December 31, 2006