Milton Township Cemeteries Authority

The Township has care over 3 cemeteries:

Jewell Grove (Inactive)

This is the site of the first burial of a white woman in Milton Township, Emily Jewell, on land owned by her brother, Ira Jewell, which he later donated as a local cemetery. This cemetery became active circa 1842.  The 1-acre cemetery contains the markers for members of the Jewell, Cooley, Cripps, Erwin and Reese families.  In addition, oral tradition from the family of Proctor Price says he “paid for the bodies of 20 men who died in the Civil War to be brought home and buried in the Jewell Grove Cemetery.

He did this because the soldiers families were too poor to bring home bodies.  And lastly, when farm helpers died or families of farm workers, or close friends who came to visit and caught the cholera, or any number of other things that happened, if they died, the Cooley family, or the Reese family, or the Jewell family usually gave them space in the Public burial areas for their kin to be buried.” (statement of Arthur W. Cooley, a direct descendant of Proctor Price Cooley) 

Location: 1410 Champion Forest Drive, Wheaton, IL 60187  

Pleasant Hill Cemetery (Active)

This is the last address of veterans of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War and both World Wars as well.  Pleasant Hill Cemetery, established in 1843, is still open for burials.  Those who might qualify for burial there are indigents, veterans and spouses of someone already buried there. A large sign identifies the site as “Milton Township Cemetery” and pays tribute to Gideon Warner, a Massachusetts native who served in the Revolutionary War.  A large stone grotto believed built in the early 1930’s by the WPA (Works Progress Administration) also graces the cemetery.

Location: Southeast corner of Geneva Road and Coventry Drive in Wheaton (a few blocks west of Gary Ave)

St. Stephen's Cemetery (Inactive)

The Archives & Records Center of the Archdiocese of Chicago dates the establishment of St. Stephen’s Catholic Mission about 1852.  It was located near the community of Gretna, also called Milton, two miles north of holdings that later became known as Wheaton.  The first settlers in the area, the records note, were Irish, who gradually sold their properties to German immigrants around 1850 and moved south to Lemont.  Many German families came from southern Germany, removing themselves from the threat of war, compulsory military service, or in the case of Bavarians, from the high taxes extracted from the citizenry by Ludwig II for his castle-building projects.   

St. Stephen’s lost its right of way when the Chicago-Great Western Railway built its roadbed across the access road of the church and it closed its doors in 1889 and was dismantled to provide lumber for a new school building at St. Michael’s in Wheaton.  Through the years, the cemetery of St. Stephen’s Catholic Mission, or Gretna Green, became the last resting-place for many DuPage County pioneers.  

The last burial was conducted in 1911. The Diocese of Joliet has agreed that Milton Township should care for this property. Next to the one-acre cemetery is a second acre which has never been tilled or cut. It is one of the few patches of un-damaged prairie in the Prairie State and is carefully maintained by volunteers who remove non-native plants.

Location: Along the Great Western Trail Prairie Path heading west from S. Main Place at St. Charles Road in Wheaton, north of Deluxe Towing and visible from Google Earth.

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