Pioneers of Menard & Mason Counties
Including Personal Reminiscens of Abraham Lincoln & Peter Cartwright
By T.G. Onstot, 1902

Peter Cartright's Tomb

Page 128

In less than two years after the death of Peter Cartright it was reported by some enterprising papers that his estate was insolvent and his wife left in destitution. B. F. Irwin, of Pleasant Plaines, replied through the Springfield papers that Mrs. Cartright had been amply provided for in the will of Dr. Cartright, and that the probate records of Sangamon county showed his estate to be worth $50,000.

Several weeks since, a newspaper item went the rounds saying that Peter Cartright and his wife were buried in a private graveyard and their graves were unmarked and greatly neglected and overgrown. This item got into the Illinois papers quite generally. This was followed by various comments calling for "Organizing a society to erect a monument over the grave of Peter Cartright," etc., etc. Of course, as there are not yet enough little local societies to give everybody a "treasurership" or "presidency," this was a "taking" call for a new one, and efforts to organize began in some places.

But Mr. Epler, who is president of the Pleasant Plaines Cemetery, started a denial of this story in the Journal of Springfield, saying the graves of Peter Cartright and wife were marked by an appropriate stone in the above cemetery, that their graves were not in a private burying place, and that the cemetery was "one of the best kept up ones in the state."

The facts are, further, that at the time of the death of Mrs. Cartright there was about $3,000 left of the Dr. Cartright estate, to be divided among the heirs. And about the "unmarked grave," the facts are that two years before Dr. Cartright's death he had a $600 double monument erected for himself and wife in the Pleasant Plaines cemetery. The inscription in full for both, except the date of death, was placed on the stone as written by Peter Cartright. He had carved on his monument the first text he ever used, as follows: "Trust ye in the Lord forever, for the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength."

There is such a peculiar unfitness of associating the names of Peter Cartright and his wife with a call for post mortem charity, that no one who knew either of them and their thrift and fore-thought would be liable to be deceived.

Transcribed by:Brenda Hamilton Johnson



1902 Index

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Illinois Ancestors