By Anne Eickstadt

ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTO Belvidere Daily Republican
The Sons of the American Revolution placed a marker in the Belvidere Cemetery last month.


Just last month, the Sons of the American Revolution placed a historical marker near the graves of Revolutionary War Veterans Timothy Lewis and Thomas Hart in Belvidere Cemetery. On one side the marker reads:

“Thomas Hart

Thomas Hart born in 1757 in Farmington, Connecticut to John Hart and Hildah Gould, enlisted in the Connecticut Troops the first time, May 1, 1775, serving 8 months in Captain Sedgwick’s Company. His second service was for three months in Captain Bezeleel Beebe’s Company at Brooklyn, New York. His third service was for one month in Captain John Pierce’s Company in 1777. He fought in the battles of Forts George, Ticonderoga and St. Johns, and was at the burning of Danbury, Connecticut. It was reported Mr. Hart was personally acquainted with General Benedict Arnold and Colonel Ethan Allen. Mr. Hart later married Ruth Payne and together they had 12 children. Mr. Hart lived most of his life in New York, moving to Belvidere, Illinois in 1843 or 1844. Mr. Hart died while in Belvidere, Illinois in 1847, aged 89.

Funding provided by the Sons of the American Revolution George Washington Endowment Fund, the Illinois Society, SAR, Kishwaukee Chapter and the Boone County Veterans Club.”

On the other side of the marker is the inscription:

“Timothy Lewis

Timothy Lewis born in 1764, in Ashfield, Massachusetts, to Timothy Lewis and Sarah Austin, enlisted, April 10, 1779, substituting for

ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTO Belvidere Daily Republican
The Bach tree stump headstone still stands tall today.

his father. He served in Captain Eliphalet Densmore’s company six months; then serving Captain Isaac Newton in Colonel Hugh Maxwell’s regiment in 1780. While at West Point he remembered General Benedict Arnold inspecting the troops. He recalled Arnold’s defecting to the British. Food and clothing being scarce during the winter caused suffering and disease during which time Mr. Lewis became ill. His father picked him up and took him home. Mr. Lewis married Thankful Molly Bradley, and together they had eight children. Later, Mr. Lewis moved to New York, then Wisconsin, and finally Boone County to live with his son around 1855; he died in 1858, aged 94.

The Boone Rifles turned out to honor Mr. Lewis, escorting his coffin to the grave and firing three volleys graveside.

Funding provided by the Sons of the American Revolution George Washington Endowment Fund, the Illinois Society, SAR, Kishwaukee Chapter and the Boone County Veterans Club.”

Belvidere Cemetery has a few more gravestones that taphophiles (tombstone tourists) may wish to visit. There are a number of the famous tree stump tombstones that fascinate many visitors to cemeteries across the country.

If you are interested in local history and notables, some outstanding headstones can be found:

-Reverend Joseph Wing (1809 to 1853), his wife Jane (Lobdell) Wing and their children (Sarah, age 6; Julianna, 4 months; and Julia, I day) are honored with a large marker located in the oldest part of the cemetery. His obituary reads “He was a student of the Church Seminary at Cazenovia, NY and entered the ministry of the church as a local preacher at the age of 21 y. He came to Boone Co. in 1845, locating 1st at Blood’s Point, then at Cherry Valley. 1st Methodist class has grown into a strong church, & in 1852 was appointed Pastorate of the church. He labored successfully on the following charges – Poplar Grove, Elroy, & Morseville & gave 54 years to the ministry. Memorial services were held at his home, his body was brought to Belvidere & additional services were held at the res. of his brother, J.V.Wing, conducted by Rev. Swartz. 3 dau – Sarah J., Julia & Juliana Magil”

-Franklin P. Eldredge B. 1-26-1867, buried Oct. 18, 1911, has a mausoleum in the cemetery’s fourth addition, block 17.

-Jacob and Flora Bach have one of the tree stump headstones that are so striking. Jacob’s obituary reads “Comrade Jacob Bach, formerly police magistrate of this city, passed away on Sunday morning at 9:30 at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Fred Fellows, at the corner of East Second and Whitney street. He suffered a stroke of paralysis on August 21, 1913, since which time he has required the attention of a nurse. The second stroke came a week before he died.”

It briefly discusses his life story from birth in Bangor in 1838, enlisted as a private in Co. D First Regiment of Marine Artillery Volunteers, worked as a carpenter and contractor along the east coast, and for the government and railroad, and returned to Belvidere to meet the woman who would become his wife and raise a family.

-Another beautiful mausoleum in the Belvidere Cemetery is the final resting place of the…

For complete article, pick up the July 8 BDR.

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