January 2021 -TWM is proud to give back to the community by donating staff time and professional services for a number of great organizations. It was an honor to be asked by the American Legion to provide professional surveying and mapping services for the historic Messinger Cemetery and Veterans Memorial, the final resting place for so many of our brave veterans.
The Messinger Cemetery and Veterans Memorial is located south of TWM’s corporate office at 3450 Old Collinsville Road in Swansea, IL, and was established in the mid 1800’s. Over the years this cemetery has been neglected due to lack of funding for maintenance, leaving deteriorated headstones and monuments that are difficult to identify. In an effort to revitalize this relevant piece of history, the American Legion joined forces with the St. Clair County Historical Society.
In September, TWM was approached by these two groups and asked for help to locate, map, and create an index of all the grave markers located on the property. Using the collective input from the American Legion and Historical Society, diligent research at the St. Clair County Recorder’s Office, and TWM’s personal surveying records we were able to identify data for over 90 tombstones. TWM then created an accurate map of the physical location of each tombstone and indexed each tombstone with a photo and its inscriptions. Each gravesite will also be marked with its own unique numbered aluminum tablet ensuring visitors will be able to locate their ancestors for years to come. In addition, TWM will be able to use the data collected to create a GIS database that can be shared with the County, Historical Society, and the American Legion.
To honor the fallen, a special Pearl Harbor ceremony was held on December 7, 2020. Due to COVID-19 concerns, the ceremony could only be attended by a limited number of participants. While TWM personnel was not able to be in attendance, the exhibits and index books that were created by TWM were present to show our support for these two groups and how we stand by our community and veterans.
*An interesting fact that was discovered while working on this project is that Mr. John Messenger – whom the cemetery was named for – served as a St. Clair County Surveyor. He was appointed Deputy United States Surveyor and platted much of the government land between the Illinois and Mississippi River. In 1835 he produced the first map of Illinois based on the Official United States Survey. It was an added bonus that the TWM Geospatial Department was able to preserve the legacy of a fellow surveyor.
Visit TWM’s Land Surveying page to learn more about our services.