104 Photos - Aug 6, 2008
Photo: Johnson and Wayne Counties of the Illinois Ozarks. Ref: http://www.illinoisozarks.com/.

The seat of Wayne County is Fairfield. Leigh's favorite high school English teacher, Jack Bass, was from Fairfield. Leigh is grateful to his high school classmate and friend Brad Dye, also from Fairfield, for letting him know that at Fairfield in March 1860 Abraham Lincoln received his first official endorsement as the Republican presidential candidate: http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM8P22_The_First_Official_Endorsement_of_Abraham_Lincoln_Fairfield_IL.Photo: Webb Town, between Goreville and Tunnel Hill, just north of Vienna, the seat of Johnson County, IL. A southern arm of Lake of Egypt appears between #'s 17 and 18 at the top of the map. As a kid attending reunion dinners at the Vernie Whitehead farm house, Leigh heard dynamiting at the construction site of Lake of Egypt. He remembers some the folks talking about driving there to look at the project, but they never did. Actually, they just liked to sit and talk.Photo: On the road between Goreville and Tunnel Hill called the Tunnel Hill Blacktop. The lane to the Webb Cemetery is about one half mile in the distance (above the sign).Photo: Photo: The Tunnel Hill Community of Christ Church. In a previous church building of the same denomination at this site, services were held for Ruel Webb in 1951 and his mother, Parlee Webb Henson, in 1958. The Community of Christ was formerly named the Reorganized Church of Latter-Day Saints (RLDS). That denomination did not follow the Mormons west and rejected polygamy. Members of the Community of Christ say, "Don't call us Mormons."

For a wonderful history of this church and its denomination, see Professor Joseph Morris Webb's Home to Tunnel Hill: The True Story of One Family's Historic Odyssey Into and Out of Mormonism, 1775--2110: http://www.blurb.com/b/5483152-home-to-tunnel-hill. Professor Webb is Leigh's cousin and good friend and the salutatorian of their 1960 class at Lincoln Community High School, Lincoln, Illinois.Photo: Tunnel Hill Community of Christ Church at Webb Town.Photo: Turn off to the right from the Tunnel Hill Road about a mile east of the Tunnel Hill Community of Christ Church.Photo: Photo: Photo: The Webb Cemetery Chapel was originally a school house located elsewhere.Photo: Photo: Photo: The Vernie Whitehead farm house was just beyond the trees in background. A path ran from the Whiteheads' backyard to the Webb Cemetery.Photo: Looking south across the low ridges of the Illinois OzarksPhoto: The road past the Webb Cemetery is a dead end, leading to the farm owned by Raymond Coonce and his wife. The farm had several ponds used by his cattle. The view looks south toward Vienna, and on the far ridge is I-24, the route to Paducah, KY.Photo: Photo: Entrance to the Webb Cemetery. At mid 20th-century the cemetery was fenced.Photo: Leigh, whose reflection appears on the face of the monument, is descended from Francis Webb.Photo: Photo: Allen Nimrod Webb, Civil War veteran from 1862 to 1865. He was Leigh and Linda's great, great grandfather. This side of the head stone faces southeast and does not get the harshest weather, so the lettering has remained clear.Photo: Leigh's great, great grandfather, Allen Nimrod Webb: Civil War veteran, Union soldier (private) , 60th Illinois Infantry. Served Feb.17, 1862--Feb. 16, 1865. Wounded at the Battle of Buzzard's Roost, Georgia,   Undated photo taken at Tunnel Hill.

"On May 9, elements of Major General George Thomas's Army of the Cumberland attacked Johnston’s main line of defense at a gap in the mountains, known locally as Buzzard's Roost Gap. Meanwhile, McPherson moved his army to an unprotected gap in the mountains farther south at Snake Creek. Leaving Thomas to demonstrate before the main Confederate line, Sherman moved the remainder of his forces south through the Snake Creek Gap, threatening to disable the Western and Atlantic Railroad behind Johnston's lines. In danger of being outflanked and having his supply line severed, Johnston withdrew twelve miles to Resaca, Georgia on the night of May 12-13. Although the Rebel defenders were able to rebuff Thomas's army at the Battle of Buzzard's Roost, the engagement accomplished Sherman's objective of holding the Confederates in check as he successfully outflanked Johnston's army."

Source: http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=632&PHPSESSID=0068d44627ed900de9f492844b2f3a5aPhoto: William R. Webb, brother of Allen Nimrod Webb, served with him in Company "K," 60th Illinois Infantry, mustering in on the say date as ANWebb, 2-17-1862, but serving one month longer than his brother, mustering out on 3-14-1865.Photo: Infant daughter of Parlee and Mitchel WebbPhoto: Leigh and Linda's great grandparents. Mitchel died of typhoid fever.Photo: Parlee Webb Henson, flower garden in Lincoln, IL. For information about why Parlee's family left the Illinois Ozarks, see http://findinglincolnillinois.com/ruthhensons.html.Photo: Daughters of Allen Nimrod Webb: Parlee Webb Henson (sitting left); Sarah Armilda "Mil" Webb Coonce (sitting, right); Laura Jane Webb Fitzgerald (standing, left); and (probably) Mary Magdaline "Maggie" Webb Smith.Photo: Parlee and John F. "Blackberry"  Henson with family and congregation, probably at Brush Creek RLDS, Wayne County, Illinois. Notice they are holding what appears church-related material. John was an itinerant minister of the RLDS from Wayne County, a few miles north of Johnson County. John and Parlee most likely met in the 1890s when he visited the Tunnel Hill RLDS. After John's death in 1912, Parlee for a brief period lived at Independence, MO, where the RLDS has its headquarters.Photo: Leigh and Linda's great uncle and great aunt. Ruel was a chain smoker who died of lung cancer in 1951. He was also a "chain" reader of westerns, especially Zane Grey.Photo: Ruel Webb, 16. He graduated from Goreville High School.Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Be sure to click the photo in the regular view (not the slideshow) and read the tribute.Photo: Photo: Photo: Laura Fitzgerald was a sister of Parlee Webb Henson and mother of Mary Beggs, whose stone is at the left. Laura and her husband lived in Tunnel Hill, and he worked for the railroad.Photo: Photo: Mary and Cletus Beggs. Their only child is Donald L. "Don" Beggs, former chancellor at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and president emeritus of Wichita State University, http://webs.wichita.edu/?u=PCAMPBELL&p=/presidentbio/.Photo: Jewel and Vernie lived in the old family home near the Webb Cemetery. Leigh recalls pot-luck dinners there during Memorial Day reunions in the mid-1950s and listening to "the old folks." Besides farming, Vernie was a long-time minister of the Reorganized Church of Latter-Day Saints.Photo: Vernie and Jewell Whitehead familyPhoto: Photo: Back of Frances and Joe Whitehead's stone.Photo: Joe Whitehead at the Webb Cemetery Chapel, undated.Photo: Photo: Photo: Pat Hartman says Marvin Kleinau was one of her professors at SIU-C.Photo: Photo: "Uncle Charlie"Photo: Ruth Ann Webb Henson and her Uncle Charlie SmithPhoto: Gladys Smith, daughter of Charlie Smith. A distant Webb cousin of Leigh's who was a supervising teacher at University High School, SIU-C. When I began my teaching career, she asked me if I could ever collect homework and not grade it. She scolded me when I said yes.Photo: Photo: Leigh Henson family at the Webb Cemetery, 1979. Left to right: Sandra Henson, Darold with Kendra Henson, Ruth Webb Henson, and Leigh with Brandon Henson. Not sure of the names of the ladies in the background.Photo: Photo: Tunnel Hill is a few miles east of the Webb Cemetery in Johnson County. The town is so named because of the nearby train tunnel (it's the Illinois Ozarks).Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Leigh looked for copperheads in the rubble but couldn't find any. During the final months of the Civil War, there were plenty of Copperheads (Peace Democrats) in this part of the state, but his Webb ancestors fought for the Union.Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Johnson County, Illinois, Courthouse in ViennaPhoto: Veterans' Memorial on the SquarePhoto: Numerous Webb Veterans (but not Allen Nimrod Webb, Civil War Veteran)Photo: The Public Library on the Square. A Carnegie Library, but not the most attractive.Photo: Monument Company in Vienna. Many headstones in the Webb Cemetery were purchased here.Photo: One of Vienna's BestPhoto: Discovered on the Road North from Vienna Toward GorevillePhoto: Photo: Henson Cemetery in Wayne County, IL (near Zenith). A Community of Christ Church (Brush Creek) is nearby, including retreat facilities. Henson Cemetery at Find a Grave showing many grave sites, including those of John F. "Blackberry" Henson, his son Jerry, and grandson John, Leigh's grandfather: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=106118&CScn=Henson+Cemetery&CScntry=4&CSst=16&Photo: Photo: Photo: Kendra, Brandon, and Leigh Henson, circa 1986Photo: Leigh Henson and his wife, Pat Hartman, 2003Photo: Linda Henson Nelson Perry with brother, Leigh Henson, 2003Photo: Photo: Cherokee Lydia Gundia's (or Gundy) grave: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSfn=Lydia&GSiman=1&GScid=106118&GRid=28566866&.Photo: "2. Jerry Henson," Leigh's great grandfather. John F. "Blackberry" Henson, Leigh's great, great grandfather.Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Isaac A. Morris was also a ministerial colleague of the Webb family, including ancestors of Leigh's distinguished cousin Joseph Morris Webb, author of Home to Tunnel Hill: The True Story of One Family's Historic Odyssey Into and Out of Mormonism, 1775--2110: http://www.blurb.com/b/5483152-home-to-tunnel-hill.Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Alma Lee Rockett "Bud" Henson, genealogical researcher and author of A Henson Family History, 1635--1983, and WWII veteran.