Mac and IC to help clean-up old burial site

August 21, 2018 | 3:45 PM

JACKSONVILLE - Students from MacMurray College and Illinois College will be cleaning-up a burial ground associated with the Morgan County Poor House and Farm in a joint service project this Sunday, Aug. 26.

The project stems from research that Joseph Squillace, MacMurray College associate professor of social work, has conducted for his book, "A History of the Poorhouse and Farm in Morgan County, Illinois." 

"There are two burial grounds that 'paupers' were placed in off the Poor Farm Road," Squillace said. "The gravestones are currently nearly invisible."

Through Squillace's research, a more accurate listing of persons buried at the farm is now available, with some 15 persons having an exact plot number. The research provided an opportunity for renewed interest in cleaning and maintaining the site. 

"To me, this is holy ground," Squillace said. "The persons buried here had no family, many were widows with family far away, and most couldn't afford a burial plot in a Jacksonville cemetery. The Morgan County community set aside this area for their remembrance."

The service project will focus on trimming, cutting and cleaning-up the first burial plot which is located about a mile north of the Nestle plant off Poor Farm Road. Squillace will use the time to teach the students about the site, the Poor House and Farm's role in the history of Morgan County and helping them understand what their contribution means to the county and the memory of the site.

Squillace said, "We thought it would be a great collaborative project between the two colleges, and contain both community service and learning experiences."

For more information, contact Squillace at 217-479-7108 or at 

Read more of the Tartan Times.