• Uncategorized 13.05.2009 Comments Off

    When we went to the cemetery, we saw a lot of different tombstones. William Porter Pierson’s tombstone is a woman pointing up. Gish’s gravestone is a is a tree trunk. W. A. Rankin has a very big block as a tombstone. Even 3 or 4 tombstones are above ground.

  • Uncategorized 13.05.2009 Comments Off

    Last week we went to the cemetery. We went because we were going to mark the different gravestones on the GPS to put them on the map. I ended up getting 12 or 13.

  • Uncategorized 13.05.2009 Comments Off

    This is the third article in this series.  As we mentioned in the last article based on their work some of the members of the IW Map Master would be invited to participate in a program/research study.  This program would take place in the Graduate Department of the Study of Library and Informational Sciences at University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana.

                    Three youth along with Mrs. Rahn participated in the program on Saturday June 28.  This group of youth was some of the youngest present as most of the others were high school age.  They felt a little intimidated at first but then jumped right in and had a great time. 

  • Uncategorized 13.05.2009 Comments Off

    Cemetery symbolism comes in many shape and forms, much like the actual gravestones. In its simplest form you can tell how prominent a citzen is (or was) by the size of the gravestone. Also, engravings like broken chains symbolize a life cut short.  Web sites like http://www.graveaddiction.com/symbol.html are great places to visit if you are interested by cemetery symbolism. One interesting tombstone that we found at the Onarga Cemetery was in the shape of a tree trunk. The name of the person buried there was Emory Gish. According to our reseach on symbolism the tree trunk showed a life cut short. The number of broken branches might symbolize the number of deceased family members buried nearby.

  • Uncategorized 13.05.2009 Comments Off


    You are Invited


    to the


    Iroquois West 4-H Map






    6:00-7:00 pm


    Iroquois West Middle School




    The Map Masters


    will be sharing their GPS/GIS


     mapping project of


    the Onarga Cemetery.



  • Uncategorized 13.05.2009 Comments Off

    This is the first in a series of articles about a small group of extraordinary Iroquois West students.  These brave young men and women embarked on a journey of exploration.  They had no idea what they had signed up to do but as with most kids their age if it had to do with technology they were game.  Let’s start with some background, in the spring of 2007 Kimberly Rahn from University of Illinois Extension and Jill Murphy from IWMS got together and wrote an ESRI grant.  This grant, if awarded would provide them with the use of software license for ESRI Geographical Informational Systems software for one year and an additional year of upgrades once the requirements of the grant were met. 

  • Uncategorized 13.05.2009 Comments Off

    This is the second article in this series.  Now the IW Map Masters were meeting on a regular basis and working hard.  At this time we also became connected with Nama Raj Budhathoki, a Doctoral student from the University of Illinois, he had a lot of experience in GIS and became our technical support person.  We all learned so much from working with him, not only the kids but us adults as well. 

  • Uncategorized 08.05.2009 Comments Off

    We are almost done with making the map of the cemetery.   I am very proud of all the work the students have done and how they have been problem solvers with each other.  I am also proud that they are patient with the adults when we get into a groove or the technology doesn’t work.  Keep up the good work guys!

  • Uncategorized 07.05.2009 Comments Off

    Moses Haynes Messer

     His early employment was on the farm and in his father’s hat shop.  He was a student at New Hampton academy for 2 years and took course in higher mathematics and civil engineering at Yale and Brown University.  During his connection with the city engineer of Boston, he assisted in surveying and constructing railroads in Western PA and MS, and in NH on the line from Bradford to Claremont.  In 1855, he went to Chicago and was employed by IL Central.   He settled in Onarga, IL in October 1855 and has been a promoted and useful citizen, holding numerous offices of public trust. 

  • Uncategorized 06.05.2009 Comments Off

    You can learn more about him by listening to this.


    William Porter Pierson