(Also known as South Paw Paw Cemetery)
Paw Paw Township of Dekalb County, IL.



HARRIS Andrew J., son of Z.T.B. and S.J. b. d. -
HARRIS Rev. Benoni b. d. 84y
HARRIS Thankful, his wife b. d. -


The Harris (South Paw Paw) Cemetery is located in Section 19 in the NE corner of the NW quarter section on Goble road on the Atherton farm between East Paw Paw road and South Paw Paw road. Only two tombstones remain of the early cemetery. At one time, there were a total of twenty-one graves in the cemetery by the year 1880.

The party of Rev. Benoni Harris, a Methodist minister, included his family; his son’s, Benjamin Harris, family; John Plass and family; Edward Butterfield and family; Joseph Harris and Louis Mc Dowell  two single men. The group arrived in July 1835.

Benoni Harris and his wife, Thankful, were the parents of eight children: Stephen, Benjamin, Benonia (twins), Joseph, Mary, Amanda, Thankful and Delilah. His wife died and was the first buried in the new settlement in 1836, on what is now the Atherton farm, section 19. Benoni continued his work until 1845 when he died and was buried next to his wife.

The cemetery was about 150 yards west of the farm house of William Atherton. The two stones standing side by side, made of marble shafts, bear the inscriptions, “My Beloved Wife, Thankful Harris” and “Benoni Harris, At Rest.”

Possibly the other burials in the old cemetery were those of the children of Benoni and Thankful Harris. Mary married Edward Butterfield; Amanda married John Plass; Thankful married John Wilcox; and, Delilah married S. O. Mc Dowell the first marriage in Paw Paw township in 1836.

Mr. William Atherton, owner of the Atherton farm and a veteran, died on the 29th of July 1925 and is shown on Veteran records as buried in this cemetery.


The following information has been added to this history just for genealogical research information by:
Susie Martin-Rott
Henry Co ILGenWeb Project CC
Bureau Co ILGenWeb Project CC

Don't know if you have any use for this data but wanted to pass it along in case you wanted to add some of it to the page, since there was speculation made that some of Benoni & Thankful's children were buried at South Paw Paw.  I know for sure that Patience Delilah, Benjamin and Joseph are NOT.


Several of the Harris family relocated to Iowa, including sons Joseph J and Benjamin J. and daughter Prudence Delilah.  The information you have listed indicates she married S.O. McDowell.  S.O. was Samuel in case anyone is trying to find them. By 1860 they had relocated to Waterloo Twp Black Hawk Co IA.  Joseph, who apparently never married, resides with them there, and later in Beloit, Mitchell Co KS, where Joseph Harris died..  Prudence Delilah Harris McDowell also died in Beloit KS and is buried at Elmwood Cemetery in Beloit.
Benjamin's first wife Sarah Jane Courtright whom he married in NY.  It is not clear when she passed away but it was prior to 1860. In 1860 Benjamin remarried on 05 May 1860 in Butler County Iowa to Mrs. Belinda Worthington.  He died in Iowa and is buried at Waterloo Cemetery in Waterloo Black Hawk IA.
The reason I have this data is that I am working on a book regarding the Iowa 37th Infantry --the "Graybeard" Regiment.  Both Benjamin J. and Joseph J. served in Company "A" of this group of old timers.

Harris, Benjamin James (aka James Benjamin Harris)
Age 60.  Residence Waterloo, nativity New York.  Enlisted Sept. 5, 1862.  Mustered Nov. 6, 1862.  Discharged for disability May 21, 1863, St. Louis, MO.

Harris, Joseph J.
Age 55. Residence Waterloo, nativity New York. Enlisted Sept. 19, 1862. Mustered Nov. 6, 1862. Mustered out May 24, 1865. Davenport, Iowa.


From nevrbetr@gmail.com

I have family members buried in Waterloo Cemetery in Waterloo, IA.  I have an interest in the Civil War and decided to look for some headstones today.  I ran across one for Benjamin Harris, and then found info about him on your website.  Here is a picture.


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