By Anne Eickstadt

ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTO Belvidere Republican
Ida Fuller G. Hovey as personified by Pamela Zuromski during the Belvidere Cemetery Tour.


“Cemeteries traditionally are hallowed ground, containing the earthly remains of ancestors and loved ones,” reads the guide for the cemetery tour. “They are also a repository of the historic progress of a community, the state, and the nation. Belvidere Cemetery contains a great deal of history.

“Established in 1847 on just four acres, the cemetery holds many of our historic pioneer men and women. By following this guide, you can relive some of that pioneer history.”

The Belvidere Cemetery Tour highlighted 47 points of interest with notes of explanation and places to note as you moved from one point to another. The highlighted points of interest were marked with helium balloons to be easily found and a number of them had people dressed in period outfits, personifying one of the persons buried there.

Each of these re-enactors spoke as the individual they were personifying and told their life story while standing at that person’s gravesite. One of these re-enactors was Pamela Zuromski, who spoke as Ida Fuller G. Hovey. The guide tells of her life as well.

“Ida was born July 8, 1859 in Belvidere. She graduated from the music department of Rockford Seminary in 1875 at the age of 16. She loved music and her father presented her with an upright piano for her 18th birthday.

“Ida was very involved with the community. She hosted parties, attending functions, performing at concerts, and joining the Belvidere Ladies Library Society. She married Theron Adlebert Hovey in Belvidere on July 6, 1878 at a ceremony conducted at her father’s estate.

“The Ladies Library Society was her most cherished cause and she generously contributed funds to it for the benefit of the community. She also performed many eloquent piano recitals to raise funds for the society.

“Unfortunately, Ida became sick with consumption (tuberculosis), and died from the disease at the age of 24.

“On Oct. 5, 1883, her father, General Allen Fuller, wrote to the mayor and the city council of Belvidere stating his wish to donate $5000 for the purpose of establishing a public library in Belvidere in Ida’s memory.

“Today, the Ida Public Library, which commemorates her, is located at 320 N. State St.”

Sherry Lindquist, vice president of the Boone County Arts Council, lent her research abilities and presence to the event as she

ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTO Belvidere Republican
Sherry Lindquist as Hannah Towner, the first Caucasian pioneer woman in Boone County.

portrayed Hannah Towner.

“After the Indian Wars ended, soldiers returned to New England telling of the rich, abundant land in the unoccupied lands between the Great Lake and the Mighty River,” she said. “My husband, John, wanted to go ahead to scout and get established, but I insisted on going with him. I was not a young woman. I was a matron with eight children, the youngest barely walking.

“So we packed up what we could and left Steuben County, New York, and headed west. We intended to settle in…

For complete article, pick up the Sept. 20 Belvidere Republican.

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