Above / The monument at Wheatland Cemetery references the first burial in 1836 as well as individuals who served in the War of 1812 and the Civil War, noting that the headstones denote the final resting places of “many whose names adorn our streets and public buildings.”
Historic Wheatland Cemetery, located in unincorporated south Naperville, recently announced the acquisition and installation of new Civil War era headstones to mark the final resting place of two local area veterans who served in the war.
The Board of Trustees for the cemetery obtained the authentic style headstones at no cost via an application process from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. One veteran, William Hayes, was buried in an unmarked grave. The second veteran, Reuben Mather, was buried in a grave marked by an irreparably damaged and illegible headstone.
The two new granite headstones are exact replicas of those originally used for burials at Civil War battlefields. Their stark, dignified design honors those who served during the 1860’s.
Wheatland Township Cemetery Board Trustee Jim Hofman noted the importance of the new headstones.
“These two men served their country during one of the nation’s most difficult periods. We didn’t want them to be forgotten or their proud record of service lost to history,” said Hofman. “Further, we are grateful for the assistance of all who helped see the project through to completion.”
Hayes was stationed at Camp Defiance near Cairo, IL in 1861 while Mather’s service ended with his death at Vicksburg, Mississippi, in 1863. These men are two of more than three dozen U.S. military veterans buried in the cemetery.
The historic Wheatland Township Cemetery has served the community’s needs for over 180 years and is located at 22545 W. 104th Street, between Plainfield-Naperville and Book Roads in Naperville.
“If your readers are interested in Naperville history … we’ve got it in abundance,” Hofman said, looking forward to Memorial Day.
Hofman added, “We just installed a new flagpole which will fly the Stars and Stripes for the first time that day.”
For more info about the Wheatland Township Cemetery, visit www.wheatlandtownship.com.
Above / On May 26, 2016, local veterans placed flags on veterans’ graves in Wheatland Township Cemetery as well as Zion Lutheran Cemetery, St. Scholastica’s Cemetery, St. Procopius Abbey Cemetery and Big Woods Cemetery. (Photo by James Hoch Photography)
The annual Naperville Memorial Day Parade and observance in Central Park is slated to begin at 10:30AM on Mon., May 30, in downtown Naperville.