Wreath laying recognizes Elk Grove graveyard, veterans buried there going back to Revolutionary War
A small graveyard in Elk Grove Village was honored Saturday -- as much as the military veterans and first responders who are buried there -- during a Wreaths Across America ceremony hosted by the Daughters of the American Revolution.
The Arlington Heights-based Eli Skinner chapter of the Daughters organization laid wreaths for 25 veterans, seven first responders and three Sons or Daughters of the American Revolution who are buried at Elk Grove Cemetery, which is nestled between Arlington Heights Road, a ramp to the eastbound Jane Addams Tollway, a Nicor gas pipeline and the tollway itself.
"It's an incredible place. It has so many stories, it's astonishing," Mary Arvidson, regent for the Eli Skinner chapter, said about the cemetery of some 300 plots. "What you're looking at is the first settlers of this land that we're standing on now."
Suburbanites buried in the cemetery include two Revolutionary War veterans, five Civil War soldiers, three World War I veterans and seven who served during World War II, Arvidson said.
Local historians believe the two Revolutionary War veterans at rest there -- Eli Skinner and Aaron Miner -- are the only people who fought in that war to be buried in all of Cook County.
"I think it's pretty neat the history we have here," said Jane Gregga, who has been a member of the Eli Skinner chapter of the Daughters for 15 years. "It's amazing the cemetery has survived."
Praise for the cemetery comes as a result of research the Daughters have been conducting this year not only to remember veterans on national Wreaths Across America Day but also to document the history of all of the people buried there, whose graves date to the 1830s.
The chapter hopes to compile a binder with a page on each person in the cemetery and give it to the Elk Grove Historical Society and the private association that maintains the cemetery.
During Saturday's event, U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, a Schaumburg Democrat representing the 8th District, stopped by to thank veterans by quoting Abraham Lincoln, saying it's a civic duty to be grateful to those who gave their "last full measure of devotion" to their country.
Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson similarly thanked the veterans and first responders at rest in the cemetery for the ways they shaped the town.
"These are people that made this community," Johnson said.