Ancestors honored with dedication of new bench
Ryan and Deane Hinshaw unveil the George and Susannah Hinshaw Sr. and William and Mary Hinshaw bench at Scoggins Cemetery in Bloomington Sunday afternoon. Other family members left to right are Fontella Haycraft, George Hinshaw, Lyle and Joyce Hinshaw who joined in the family celebration. (Pantagraph/LORI ANN COOK) (October, 7, 2007) LORI ANN COOK

BLOOMINGTON - Young Cyrus Hinshaw returned home after chasing lost livestock and told his parents that he found the perfect place for a cemetery, said Fontella Haycraft, great-great-granddaughter of the boy's parents, George and Susannah.

When Cyrus became ill and died at age 17, his 1828 burial was the first in what would become Scogins Hill Cemetery in Bloomington.

The Hinshaw family gathered at that same cemetery Sunday afternoon to honor Cyrus and other ancestors by dedicating a large, stone bench to them. The family's young children performed the unveiling of the bench.

"We want them to remember their heritage," said Joyce Hinshaw.

The bench was flanked with red and purple flowers. One side of the stone was engraved with the story of William and Mary Hinshaw's 1768 immigration to America from Tyrone County, Ireland.

The other side told the story of their son, George, who married Susannah Johnson and settled in McLean County with her in 1827.

The couple purchased several hundred acres in the county, which came to be known as Hinshaw Grove. George served as a Democrat in the Illinois House of Representatives with Abraham Lincoln.

"I feel blessed just being a part of this great family," Haycraft said.

The dedication was part of the family's annual reunion, which continued at George R. Hinshaw's residence with a potluck.


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