Wheaton Cemetery History

Jesse Wheaton & Erastus Gary The Wheaton Cemetery Association was incorporated as a non-profit association by a special Act of the Illinois Legislature in 1857. Through the generosity of Jesse C. Wheaton, Sr. (left) and Erastus Gary (right), two of the original sponsors, a tract of land was acquired and the sale of lots was begun. The first interments were made soon after, and the total number is now over 7,500. For many years maintenance of the Cemetery was handled by annual charges paid by the lot owners.

Gary MausoleumThe Gary Mausoleum was erected in 1912 of granite from Barre, Vermont, by Judge Elbert H. Gary, a son of Erastus Gary, to serve as a resting place for the Gary family. In 1926 the policy of the Association was changed to provide a trust fund for perpetual care through gifts, surplus, and the allocation of a part of the sales price of lots. A part of this trust fund was created by a gift from Elbert Gary, then President of the United States Steel Corporation. All lots are now sold with an agreement providing for perpetual care. A Columbarium was constructed in 2000.

The Association is still strictly a non-profit organization, and no member, director, nor officer receives any compensation. The directors, who are business people representing a cross section of Wheaton, feel that the Cemetery is an integral part of the community, and have always endeavored to operate it on this basis.

The Cemetery provides a final resting place for loved ones in secluded tranquility close to home. The quiet atmosphere gives a feeling of rest and security.

The perpetual care given with all lots insures the continuing beauty of the well-kept grounds. The many huge trees add to the sense of serenity. The cost of lots is reasonable and affordable.