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The Wormley Cemetery

Little White School Museum, 2017

The Wormley Cemetery, located in the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 5, Oswego Township, was begun as the Wormley family burying ground and is one of the oldest cemeteries in Kendall County.  The first recorded burial was John Wormley, who died in October 1836, the son of early settler William Wormley.

Very few bodies remain in the Wormley Cemetery compared to the number in earlier days.  Families began removing burials from the cemetery in the late 1800s.

On July 5, 1899, the Kendall County Record reported that: “Levi C. Gorton had the remains of their children and those of his wife’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. [Claudius and Sarah (McCormick)] Townsend, taken up at the Wormley Cemetery and removed to Bristol Station.  J.W. Morrison preformed it.

The cemetery remained a private family cemetery but succeeding generations failed to protect and maintain the cemetery.  One owner of the farm on which the cemetery is located wanted to return the cemetery ground to farmland.  A long and extensive lawsuit was required to prevent the reversion of the ground to the owner’s farm.

An article published in the July 4, 1900 Kendall County Record summed up the situation:

As the country grows older the private or home graveyard is departing, the burials take place in the larger incorporated cemetery, which is taken care of in a systematic manner.  It is always a source of regret to see an old family burial place run to weeds or used as a pasture, and it seems useless to try to keep them in good order, for the dead are soon forgotten when property changes hands.  The old graveyard above Oswego, in the Wormley neighborhood, is being bereft of its inhabitants.  Already the remains of twenty-nine bodies have been removed, and recently Henry J. Wormley of Mendota came and removed the remains of his grandfather, Henry Wormley, and had them buried in the Oswego Cemetery.

The Wormley Cemetery is inactive, the last burial, of Mrs. William (Elizabeth VanFleet) Wormley, taking place in August 1906.

Click Here for directions to The Wormley Cemetery.