Continuing an annual tradition the, 26th Annual All Saint’s Day tours of Woodland Cemetery, sponsored by the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County, will occur on Sunday, November 1st. As in past years, single tours will begin at 3:00 PM and 4:00 PM. From 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM, tours will begin at 15 minute intervals. All tours will last approximately 50-60 minutes and feature re-enactors in period dress at a number of locations along the route.
Dedicated in 1846 by Quincy’s first resident John Wood, this public cemetery is now nearly 170 years old, and has weathered storms both big and small. However, in August of 2015, after several weeks of heavy rains, a major windstorm struck the area, and many of the oldest and largest trees in the cemetery suffered major damage or were torn up by their roots and toppled. In addition, some of the most historic monuments in the rolling 40+ acres of graves and mausoleums were dislodged or damaged, including the soaring Soldiers’ Monument honoring Union dead of the Civil War. Nonetheless, although many of the oldest trees felled by the wind had to be removed and work to restore damaged monuments is continuing, the beauty and peaceful atmosphere of the cemetery survives.
This year’s tour will encompass the northwest area of the cemetery, one of the oldest sections, which passes by the graves of many prominent and humble citizens of early Quincy. In this area are be found the graves of the Pfanschmidt family, victims of one of the most sensational and well known murder and fire events in Adams County history, a mysterious tragedy and crime that was never officially solved. Here also lie the graves of Joseph and Samuel Artus. Joseph, born near Paris, Kentucky in 1796, was a steamboat captain on the lower Mississippi and later the Upper Mississippi and Ohio routes. Moving to Quincy in 1837 he first established a grocery business, and then held interest in the banking firm of Flagg and Savage. Samuel Artus, also a river pilot, joined his brother in Quincy in 1846 and died here in 1872. He was known in Quincy as “Uncle Sam” and remembered at his death as “a venerable landmark, . . . With a pleasant word, a genial smile and a spark of good nature.”
A well-known Quincy business man, Fredrick W. Halbach buried in this area was born in Borgholzhansen, Westphalia in 1847. In Quincy, he formed a partnership with Henry H. Schroeder that developed in time into the “big white store” at the corner of 5th and Maine known as Halbach-Schroeder, Block and Kuhl and still later Carson, Piery, Scott. Also in this area lies the grave of one of the most influential women of early Quincy, Sarah Atwater Denman, whose many philanthropic projects in her adopted hometown, including work with the Needle Pickets during the Civil War, led to the founding of Blessing Hospital.
This year’s tours will be along one of the larger paved streets of the cemetery, however sturdy walking shoes are recommended. The cost of the tour is $10 per person, $6 for Society members. Further information about the tours can be obtained by visiting the Historical Society web site at hsqac.org or calling 222-1835. These tours are very popular and advance reservations are strongly recommended