The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Honoring Veteran, First Earliest Permanent White Inhabitant of Henderson County Saturday

by Dessa Rodeffer

Quill Publisher/Owner


What an honor it will be to witness the placing of a properly marked gravestone this Saturday for a veteran in a small rural cemetery where it is believed one of Henderson Counties first landowners is buried - Rezin Redman. The grave was marked by a rock, which was typical for many buried in the early days.

"The Freeland Cemetery" is NOT located at Crane Cemetery on top of Crane Hill which was originally thought. Yes, the address is 408 Crane Hill, but you find it by driving east on Ill 96 from Lomax and once at the base of the bluffs you turn left (north) onto Crane Hill Road which travels a few miles and around a curve to where the cemetery is located on the east side and through a couple of farm gates. There is room to park your car on a flat plot near the cemetery entrance. Randy May of Lomax has the cemetery in excellent shape on land where Redman had first settled and brought his wife Nancy Redman Freeland who is buried in Freeland Cemetery.

Redman served in the War of 1812, raised in ranks to Colonel, was a Judge before moving to Illinois and settling along Honey Creek. Most of us did not know the history of Redman, unless you read page 10 in the book "Rivers, Railways and Roads" A History of Henderson County, Illinois by Robert P. Sutton, who was an author and a history professor at Western Illinois University.

The Henderson County Historical Society, organized in 1962, commissioned the book through a committee chaired by Judge Stephen Evans and Sutton acknowledged John Lee Allaman who shared numerous bits of information as did Mildred Anderson and Jim Cook. There are two stones in the Freeland cemetery with Sutton on them. I wonder if they are related.

I hope Saturday is a pleasant morning and you come at 10:00 a.m. and witness an important day in Henderson County history. Col. Mike Rowley of Des Moines, IA and others have put much work into seeing our veteran get a proper head stone and ceremony. Thanks to all who help and who will attend.