Bliss Cemetery, Sidney Township, Illinois

The old Bliss Cemetery is located in Sidney Township, a mile and a half east of Sidney, on the north side of Route 15.

1956 Description and Introduction

Standing on a prominent knoll, it is fenced, but has no road leading to it. In order to reach it, it is necessary to walk about a third of a mile through a cornfield. in 1956, it is thickly covered with wild growth; trees which were formerly there have been cut down, and most of the stones were down. The earliest stone seen was that of Jacob Thomas, 1836, and the latest were several dated 1875. It is quite certain that there are many unmarked graves with some of an earlier date.

Emigrants traveling through to the west often stopped in the groves along the Salt Fork to rest. We were told by two sources of a marker on the west side of the cemetery which said, “buried by immigrants traveling from Indiana to Iowa,” but we were unable to locate it.

The land for the cemetery was sold to the County Court of Champaign County by William P. Bliss, whose grave is here, on September 11, 1855, for twenty-five dollars. It was used as a free burial ground, and there never was a cemetery association. Judge Cunningham’s, “History of Champaign County,” says, “William P. Bliss was killed in 1864 in a struggle growing out of his defense of the principles of Lincoln and the Republican Party.”

Among the names which appear on the stones are those of some of the earliest settlers in the county. Jacob Thomas and his brother, Joseph, came from Ohio in 1828, and entered much land in Sidney Township. James Copeland also entered land in 1828. The Coddingtons, William and John, took land in 1830-31. The name of Adam Thomas also appears on the first assessment roll for the County, dated 1833. Adam Thomas is said to have planted the first orchard in the township. Joseph Thomas was one of the first grand jurors, and John Coddington was a member of the first petit jury in the county.

The first wife of Noah Knox, who was Mary Thomas, is buried here, and a child of his second wife, who was Persis St. John. He was a member of an early family who settled at “Nox’s Point,” later Sidney. The name was sometimes spelled without the “K.”

The black preacher, Bob Gregory, who with five other blacks was brought from the South by Lieutenant J. S. Freeman of Sidney, after the Civil War, is said to be buried here. He preached in this vicinity to white people as well as to the few blacks for a number of years.

Transcription of Bliss Cemetery

Beaty, John M., son of M. O. & C. Beaty d Aug 22, 1852 4yr 10m 20da
Blackmore, Milton, d Oct 25, 1853 7m 26da
Bliss, John Y., son of W. P. & R. M. Bliss d Mar 26, 1861 6m 8da
Bliss, Wm. P., d Oct 24, 1862 37yr 1m 8da
Bush, George W., son of B. W. & M. E. Bush d Jan 5, 1854 5yr 11m 9da
Bush, Reuben, son of D. W. & M. E. Bush d Jul 18, 1850 4yr
Chisem, A. J., d May 6, 1862 31yr 2m 29da
Coddington, Benjamin, d Apr 13, 1865 11yr 11m 2da
Coddington, Clerisa, dau of Benj. & Delilah Coddington d Feb 4, 1857 4m 11da
Coddington, Essie May, dau of J. & C. Coddington b Jan 22, 1874 d July 20, 1875
Coddington, Grant, son of Joseph & Clara Coddington b Sep 16, 1872 d Jan 6, 1873
Coddington, John d May 6, 1849 63yr 4m 2da
Coddington, Susana, wife of John Coddington d Oct 2, 1853 64yr 4m 9da
Copeland, Infant son of J. & M. Copeland d Feb 23, 1854 24da
Copeland, Infant son of J. & M. Copeland Jan 25, 1853
Copeland, Davis, son of J. & M. Copeland d Jul 23, 1838 3yr 7m 10da
Copeland, James d Jul 15, 1848 44yr 4m 10da
Copeland, Mary, wife of James Copeland d Nov 10, 1842 43yr 7m 4da
Copeland, Mary, wife of Joseph Copeland and dau of W. & M. Safly d Apr 21, 1855 33yr 7m 18da
Dennis?, Sarah Alice d 1856 2yr? (no stone, Champaign-Urbana Courier 7-20-1855 article)
Deuals?, Sarah Alice, dau of Wm. R. & L. A. Devals d Jun 7, 1856 1yr 11m 22da (same as above?)
Duncan, Rozella R. d Aug 18, 1863 1m 6da (dau of Dr. W. S. & C. Duncan)
Duncan, William M., son of Dr. W. S. & C. Duncan d Aug 5, 1862 24da
George, Cyrus R., son of J. V. & N. George d Mar 30, 1859 15yr 11m 17da
George, Henry C., son of J. V. & N. George d Mar 30, 1859 15yr 11m 17da
George, Joseph V. d Jan 1, 1873, 69yr 3m 24da
George, Nancy, wife of J. V. George d Apr 6, 1859, 37yr 2m 25da
George, Patrick d May 5, 1859 27yr 6m 4da
Goldsberry, Angeline, wife of T. S. Goldsberry d Dec 31, 1870 47yr
Goldsberry, Doria, dau of T. S. & A. Goldsberry d Nov 11, 1872 8yr 11m 7da
Goldsberry, Orasho, son of T. & A. Goldsberry d Dec 11, 1870 4yr 9m 27da
Goldsberry, Thomas S., d Nov 30, 1872 63yr 4da
Gregory, Robert (no stone, no record)
Knox, Mary, wife of N. Knox d Nov 15, 1854 33yr 4m
Knox, Solomon, son of N. & P. Knox d Nov 4, 1865 3m
Lawson, Amanda J., dau of A. & M. A. Lawson d Aug 13, 1852 3m 28da
Lawson, James, son of A. & M. A. Lawson d Oct 28, 1855 5yr 8m 18da
Lawson, Mary, dau of A. & M. A. Lawson d 1851 (stone broken)
Madden, Benjamin A., d Oct 14, 1857 48yr 5m 1da
Newlam, Mary A., dau of L. & S. Newlam d Aug 28, 1846 7yr 6m 6da
Nichol, Belinda, wife of George Nichol d Mar 8, 1857
Parkhurst, Hector C., 2nd IL Cav. Co. I., d Feb 15, 1866 30yr 7m
Parkhurst, Thomas L., son of S. & E. Parkhurst d Apr 24, 1862 19yr 11m 24da
Rudicil, Henry d Sep 11, 1875 50yr 7m 10da
Rudicill, Cora M., dau of H. & S. E. Rudicil d Jun 24, 1872 9m 5da
Rudicill, William, son of H. & M. R. Rudicill d Oct 2, 1854 1yr 2m 5da
Rudisill, Bythena, wife of Washington Rudisill d May 6, 1875 27yr 14da
Rudisill, John V., son of Samuel & M. J. Rudisill d Aug 25, 1861 1yr 3m
Rudisill, William, son of Washington & Bythena Rudisill d Sep 13, 1864 9m 15da
Runckels, Cyntha E. A., dau of G. W. & M. E. Runckels d Feb 7, 1875 9m 5da
Stewart, Lloyd, son of C. R. & N. Stewart d Sep 30, 1855 11m 5da
Stewart, Nancy, wife of Cyrus B. Stewart d May 10, 1850 26yr 7m
Thomas, Adam d Aug 5, 1840 43yr 1m 16da
Thomas, Dorendo, wife of Joseph Thomas d Apr 10, 1856 51yr 9m 20da
Thomas, Ellen, wife of Jacob Thomas d Sep 17, 1861, 60yr 3m 6da
Thomas, Henry, son of J. & D. Thomas d Aug 22, 1851 11yr 8m 5da
Thomas, Jacob d Jul 19, 1836 64yr 6m
Thomas, Nancy, wife of J. Thomas d Oct 22, 1865 47yr 5m 24da
Tirson, Elipat d Sep 8, 1865 10yr 18da
Welch, Sarah, wife of Asa A. Welch d Jun 5, 1857 31yr
Wilds, S. K., Co. A. Illinois Cav. (No dates)
Williams, Rhoda 1836 – 1870
Wilson, Rebecca, wife of George Wilson d Jul 21, 1849 (could not read age)
Youngblood, James A. d Jun 27, 1858 23 yr 2m 2da

Mr. Fred Wood of Sidney, Illinois, in an article in the Champaign-Urbana Courier, July 20, 1955, writes that the stone of Little Sarah Alice, daughter of a couple named Dennis, less than two years old in 1856, was buried there, but we did not find this stone. The cemetery was in such a deplorable condition, it could have been easily missed. Mr. Wood wrote this article on the Bliss Cemetery.

Images for the Transcription of Bliss Cemetery

To prevent any additional transcription errors, I chose to provide you the 5 images from the original transcription as published within volume 1 of the Pioneers Burial Places in Champaign County Illinois series. You can use these to confirm the transcription above.

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