Picture includes left to right, President Marian Schuetz, Brandy Boosinger, Vice President Dr. Gary K. Hargis.

SPRINGFIELD -- Brandy Boosinger, a sixth grade student from PORTA Central, contributed a cemetery book on Cogdal cemetery in Menard county to the Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) at their annual conference last Saturday (16 Oct 04), in Springfield, IL.

"Brandy’s contribution of the Cogdal Cemetery book is very much appreciated," said ISGS President Marian Richter Schuetz. "Her involvement in getting this historic cemetery cleaned up and restored is an example of what youth can do to help preserve our history. The fact that Abe Lincoln’s friend is buried in this old abandoned cemetery and this little girl thought he deserved to be remembered by at least a clean cemetery is a tribute to all young people. Her family should be very proud and we are happy that she donated the book for our collection."

Brandy studied about Abe Lincoln in her sixth grade class at PORTA Central this year. She was inspired by her teacher to learn more so she talked with her Godparents Stan and Jeanie Lowe, who are actively involved in cemetery and genealogy work in Menard county. They showed her Cogdal cemetery where Isaac Cogdal was buried. When she learned that Isaac Cogdal was a friend of Abe Lincoln she wanted to clean up his cemetery.

Brandy encourage a small group of volunteers to assist her and with the permission of the land owners whose property they had to cross to get to the cemetery, they cut down weeds taller than Brandy. None of the stones were standing. The group plans to return and set the stones up and do further cleanup. There is more than a dozen people buried there. The cemetery had been read by James Toal in the 1980’s and again by Duane Albert and Stan Lowe in 2002. But, during the cleanup project an additional stone was found that had never before been recorded.

A portion of Isaac Cogdal’s obit says, "When a young man, Abraham Lincoln became his warm friend, and they frequently advised each other. After Lincoln became a prominent lawyer he advised Mr. Cogdal to study law under his instruction, which he did, and was admitted to the bar in 1860, since which time he occasionally practiced law and superintended his farm. Mr. Cogdal was a man of ability and high standing."

The cemetery reading and pictures, along with all the Menard county cemeteries are online at http://www.rootsweb.com/~ilmaga/index_men-cass.html and also at the IL Ancestors Menard County site at htp://www.illinoisancestors.org/menard. Both sites feature free information for researchers and descendants who are tracing their family tree, and are nonprofit sites. Brandy’s work in Cogdal cemetery and other Menard county cemeteries is also on these sites.

Brandy is the daughter of Gloria Jean Boosinger of Petersburg, the granddaughter of Gloria and Bill Gum Sr. of Atterberry and the granddaughter of Doris Mills of Oakford.

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Illinois Ancestors