Cemeteries of DuPage Township
DuPage Township has two cemeteries under its administration. One is Alexander Cemetery in Romeoville, Illinois. It is located in Section 34 of DuPage Township in Will County, on the west side of Rt. 53, just north of 135th St. It is small in size, less than one acre and was established in 1845. The township is working on a new gateway and landscaping to improve the cemetery’s appearance. In order to complete this project, the township will utilize volunteer labor and host fundraisers to pay for materials.
The second, Boardman’s Cemetery, is located in Bolingbrook, DuPage Township, Will County, Illinois on Paxson Dr. just north of Royce Rd. It was established in 1832. DuPage Township is now responsible for its care. With the help of the Bolingbrook Historical Preservation Committee, volunteers and fundraisers such as the township’s annual fish fry, the township raised approximately $33,000 for its renovation, which is now complete.
At the beginning of the 19th century, a French hunter and trapper named DuPaze (now DePage) settled at the junction of the East and West branches of the river that now bears his name. The winter of the “deep snow” in the 1830-31 found the first settlers staking their claims.
The land on which the cemetery lies first belonged to James L. Alexander (1805-1876), who came to the area from Wayne County, New York in 1837 and purchased this land in 1841. The first burial was that of his three-year-old daughter, Mary Alexander, on October 9, 1845.
The Alexander farm went through inheritance to Thomas William, who came here in 1836 to work on the I&M Canal. It was later owned by the Kirman family from 1833-1949, when it was bought by the Mikan family. Alexander, Williams, and Kirman are the names that predominate on the gravestones, along wtih Stafford, Welch, Goudy, and Taylor, among others.
The cemetery fell into disrepair in the 1980’s. In 1990, DuPage Township cleaned up the cemetery and maintains it to this day.
Boardman Cemetery was established in 1831, when Captain Harry Boardman set aside an acre of his farmland as a “community burial ground”. The cemetery was all but “lost” for many years as it languished in a farm field. It was rediscovered by a local schoolgirl, Lois Michel, who brought it to the attention of the township in 1972. That year Will County deeded it to DuPage Township, who is now responsible for its care.
The township has more than honored its commitment. With the help of the Bolingbrook Historic Preservation Commission, the cemetery has not only been cleaned up and protected by new fencing, it has received a beautiful double-gated entrance with steps, limestone pillars, and a plaza with commemorative brick paving and signage. Over the gate is an elegant arch way with the name and founding date.