Harker's Corners cemetery article
This article appeared in the 4/20/2000 edition of the Glasford Gazette:
CEMETERY BEING REVIVED
An almost forgotten small family cemetery at Harker Corner in Mapleton is being revived.Clayton and Mary Alice Bontz and their neighbor, Rick Marion, decided some five or six years ago to clean the cemetery up before it began to look as bad as the Springdale Cemetery (in Peoria, ed.).This was no small undertaking clearing out brush that had grown for years, straightened up head stones that had toppled over and hauled off beer cans from late-night parties.Marion moved away, but Clayton and Mary Alice continued their community project as they live only two houses up the road from the cemetery.
Last fall Darlene Campbell of Washington contacted the Bontzes, she thought the cemetery had been abandoned, she and her family became interested.Before Campbell began her organizational campaign, the most recent minutes of the cemetery board were from 1983, it was definitely time to regroup.Almost 30 descendants attended the next meeting and a chain link fence was erected around the cemetery, Clayton repaired and repainted the gate.The Bontzes do not have relatives buried at the site but has shown great interest in respect, and was named to the cemetery board.
The land was donated for the cemetery by James Harker who was an early settler in this area, arriving in 1829 when he traded land in New York for patent land in Illinois given to a soldier for service.At one time, he and his sons had land on all four corners of this intersection called HarkerÕs Corners.A post office also existed there from 1863 to 1900.
The association is open to descendants of the Harker, Cowser, VanPatton or other families buried in the cemetery or to anyone interested in preserving private cemeteries.Anyone interested may contact Campbell at (--------).