Created in 1857, Oakwood Cemetery is remarkably historic. Its founder, William H. Randolph, a former sheriff and state legislator, was the leading Abraham Lincoln supporter in McDonough County. And on two occasions Honest Abe stayed at his Macomb hotel, The Randolph House. With 14,000 burials, Oakwood is by far the largest cemetery in McDonough County.
Oakwood was a celebrated burial place for Civil War soldiers. There are over 300 graves of men who served in that nation-redefining war.
Among the many noted graves are those of early county organizers and Macomb founders James Clarke and James Campbell; several Underground Railroad conductors in the Allison and Blazer families; noted business leaders and community activists like C. V. Chandler and Mary Ewing; crusading humanitarians Rose Jolly and Josie Westfall; early bacteriologist Ruth Tunnicliff, who developed the first inoculation for measles; Western Illinois University presidents Alfred Bayliss, Walter P. Morgan, and Dr. Frank Beu; noted Leatherneck coaches Ray “Rock” Hanson and LeRoy “Stix” Morley—to name but a few.
The Oakwood Cemetery is one of 10 sites that gave McDonough County Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area status and can be visited as part of Macomb‘s Looking For Lincoln Self-Guided Tour.
Just one more thing that makes Forgottonia so Unforgettable.