I am a ggggranddaughter of Lewis Dorris (1800-1867) through his son, Wilburn. Lewis and his wife, Mary, were pioneers in Saline Co., Illinois. arriving early 1830's, and it was their very large family that filled the area with Dorrises. The town of Harrisburg, Illinois eventually surrounded and incorporated the old town of Dorrisville, but the Dorrisville name is still easy to find on street signs and businesses.
I recently had a chance to visit Grandpa Lewis's grave outside Harrisburg and thought I'd share a few things here. First, I have seen some erroneous info on this site listing his year of birth as 1799, but his head stone says 1800, so I'm thinking that is the correct year.
Second, his grave, in the tiny Rann family cemetery is nearly impossible to find. It is back on an old mining road outside of town that now runs through an uninhabited area filled only with farmers' fields, stretching for miles. The only way to find it is to look for little clumps of trees, as cemeteries had to be preserved, so even when the land changed hands, generations of farmers have had to plow around it to not disturb it. As a result, the cemetery itself is now in a small overgrown forest. Fortunately, we were looking for it in the winter, when the trees were bare, so we managed to see what looked like maybe a few headstones back in there. We hiked into it and found we were right. It didn't take long to find Lewis's grave; as a pioneer founding father with a huge family, his stone is very large and prominent, a five foot tall obelisk.
Third, and this is a fun one, cemetery records for Lewis's son, my Gggrandpa Wilburn, are difficult to follow because his name was misspelled on the stone. He is Wilburn Stephen Dorris, 1833-1866, but his stone and all the records say W.S. Darris, 1833-1866. We know it is him, as we found his stone, broken off at the base and buried under generations of forest debris, right next to Lewis's stone. It was an amazing discovery, only finding it because we felt like the ground there was unusually stable and flat. We dug it out and rubbed snow in the crevices to read it.
I have posted photos of our adventures in Rann cemetery on my Facebook page. Here is a public link to the page, if you are interested. I also have several photos of other Dorris stones in this gallery of images. Enjoy!
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