A large stone on the Edgar County Courthouse lawn has two markers that represent the Revolutionary War soldiers buried in Edgar County.
One plaque was placed on the stone in 1921 and the other in 1974. The markers and the stone itself are in a state of disrepair, which is obvious while viewing the artifacts even from a distance. There is a marked discoloration on the plaques and the stone itself and some of the screws that hold the plates in place are missing. Patti McHenry is leading an effort to clean the plates and stone and make sure the markers are correctly secured to the large boulder.
McHenry got involved after her daughter, who lives in Minnesota, wanted to become a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. One of the requirements was signing up 12 new members. The daughter asked McHenry to join as one of the new members, which McHenry accepted partly because her mother and her grandmother were DAR members.
The emphasis for the DAR this past year was to make sure all markers dedicated by the society are in good repair. When McHenry’s daughter visited Paris they looked at the marker dedicated to the Revolutionary War soldiers buried in Edgar County. They did a close inspection and quickly concluded the marker located on the southeast corner of the courthouse lawn needs some restoration to keep it attractive and preserve it for future generations.
This is especially important to McHenry and her daughter because one of their ancestors, Hugh Barr, is listed on the marker. McHenry’s grandmother was present as a DAR member for the dedication of the stone in 1921, which is another reason restoring the marker is meaningful to the family.
McHenry said it is important the treasures of Edgar County’s past and the artifacts such as this stone are cherished by the citizens of this area.
The stone has a bronze plate on both the east and west side of the boulder. The one on the east side was dedicated in 1921 with the names of 21 soldiers on it. The plaque on the west side has a list of seven more who are buried in the county and was placed in 1974. The DAR placed both plaques.
According to research done by McHenry, Edgar County has more American Revolutionary soldiers interred than any other county in Illinois. She suspects the reason for the large local population of Revolutionary War soldiers is pioneering families were drawn by the rich soil for farming.
The inscriptions that accompany the names of the soldiers has the DAR symbol on it with the Madam Rachel Edgar Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution and the dates 1921 and 1974. There is also this wording on the plaque “To the honor and glory of the soldiers of the American Revolution who are buried in Edgar County.”
McHenry is leading a fund drive in conjunction with the Edgar County Historical Society and the DAR to clean the stone and bronze tablets. A protective coating will be placed on the tablets and new screws with unique covers for the screws will be reinstalled. A local monument company is doing the work for $1,200
Donations are welcome and can be made in care of the Edgar County Historical Society, 408 N. Main St., Paris Il., 61944 as a tax free contribution. Any questions regarding this project or about the DAR can be directed to McHenry at 217-466-5620.