Eureka Cemetery Walk scheduled

Staff Writer
Woodford Times

The Eureka College Theater Department and the Woodford County Historical Society will hold their fourth annual cemetery walk from 2 to 4 p.m. Sept. 18 at Olio Township Cemetery, 1015 S. Main St., Eureka.

The rain date is Sept. 25. Eureka College students and community members will portray figures from Eureka’s past.

The actors will have researched the figures and will be costumed in keeping with the figures’ time periods.

The historical figures who will be portrayed are:

• Caleb and Martha Glazebrook Davidson, who arrived in Walnut Grove around 1831 among the earliest influx of settlers. They built a log cabin northwest of what would become Eureka and later constructed a house and barn on their land near Mt. Zion Road. The barn framework still exists. The couple was influential in establishing the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the area, and their descendants have helped shape the Eureka community.

• Thomas Bullock, who migrated from Woodford County, Ky., in 1835 and bought land in the eastern part of Walnut Grove, where he platted the village of Versailles in 1836. It soon developed into a hamlet with a store, blacksmith shop, school and post office. Bullock then made efforts to establish Woodford County from portions of Tazewell and McLean counties, making a new unit with approximately the present boundaries of Woodford County. Versailles was the county seat until Metamora won the honor in 1845.

• John Darst, who was responsible for the siting of the city of Eureka. He purchased land where the railroad was to come through and platted the original town. Several streets are named for him and his sons. He was Eureka College board chairman from 1873 to 1895.

• Emma Price, who was typical of the people who settled in the area to establish farms. Emma and her father, Ezra Price, owned farms around Goodfield and in Kansas and Nebraska. The house that Ezra built on South Darst Street was occupied by nonagenarian Dorothy Westphal until her recent death.

• John Garland Waggoner, who was known as one of the most effective ministers to have served in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He came to Eureka College as a student in 1864. Not being wealthy, it took him eight years to get his degree. He was the minister of Eureka Christian Church from 1886 to 1894, was on the Board of Trustees of Eureka College for six years and was president of its Alumni Association for many years. He was instrumental in raising funds for furnishings for Burgess Memorial Hall when it was built. He authored several books that became standards of religious study and also wrote several books of poetry.

Members of the Eureka College Circle K Club will be greeters at the cemetery gates and will distribute programs and maps to the gravesites. There is no admission fee, but donations to the historical society will be accepted.

For more information, contact theater professor Holly Rocke at 467-6580 or historical society member Karen Fyke at 467-4525.