Created in 1857, Oakwood Cemetery is remarkably historic. Its founder, William H. Randolph, a former sheriff and state legislator, was the leading A. 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.