A historic cemetery, overgrown with weeds, bushes and vines, was refurbished here recently, due in part to the efforts of young Church members who plan to research the names of people buried in the cemetery and be baptized in their behalf.
The cemetery, located on Patterson Road, contains the remains of many people born in the 1700s and 1800s. Among them are veterans of the War of 1812 and the Civil War, according to Amy Vines, Young Women president in the Joliet 1st Ward.Working with the elders quorum and the high priests group, Young Men and Young Women from the ward helped clear away growth in the cemetery using power tools and rakes.
The project was undertaken at the urging of John Whiteside, columnist for the Herald-News, who drew attention to the neglected state of the cemetery in a newspaper column.
Later, Whiteside reported on the efforts of the ward members, as well as the work of young people from other religious organizations to help clear the cemetery.
In Whiteside's column, Sister Vines was quoted as saying: "This is teaching our young people reponsibility and a sense of worth in community efforts. We are learning to serve our fellow man."
Whiteside wrote that the young Latter-day Saints plan to return twice a year to keep up the cemetery's new appearance.
Sister Vines told the Church News, "Some of the youths have taken the names of those buried to do research at the county courthouse."
If the names are cleared by the Church Family History Department, the young people plan to do baptisms for the deceased persons when the Chicago Temple reopens, Sister Vines said.