Newspaper article, “Nashville Journal,” Nashville, Washington County, Illinois, 1939

The Nashville Journal runs a wonderful “It Happened Here” feature. In the March 26, 2014 edition of “It Happened Here” — 75 years ago, 1939:

Discovery of oil at the Oak Grove Cemetery in Pilot Knob Township and a successful test in DuBois caused talk of an oil boom in Washington County.

Oil pumps are still visible — some working — “behind” Oak Grove (Presbyterian) Cemetery today. Many years ago, Reuben Chorpenning and Helen Buhrman(n) Chorpenning filed suit to try and recover some funding from the oil company because both Reuben and Helen had relatives buried at Oak Grove Cemetery. In Rube’s case, there are several Chorpennings buried at Oak Grove, including his father, George B. McClellan Chorpenning (no stone extant). In Helen’s, her mother, father, and sister — Nancy “Nannie” Kerr Buhrman, Theodore Buhrman, and Georgie Buhrman — are buried at Oak Grove as is George Henderson, her g-grandfather, and her grandmother, Sarah Smith Henderson (assumed; no stone).

 

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