As I wrote previously, Gina Wysocki of Illinois was to deliver the long-lost tombstone to descendants of Jenette’s brother, Richard, in Iowa. Julie Bissell Tupker, the great grand niece of Jenete Elizabeth Bissel, brings the story up to date, plus makes a couple of corrections to the original post:
“A couple corrections to your shortened version of the story. … Jenete was the daughter of Pierce B. Bissell, who was my gg grandfather. I am descended from his son, Richard P. Bissell. Jenete wasn't the daughter of Richard P. Bissell ... she was his sister.
“Also later on the page, you alluded to the cemetery where Jenete's tombstones were found as being a farm or family plot burial. That wasn't the case. The land was donated to the city of Joliet by a resident for the purpose of being a cemetery and there were many burials there of the first pioneer residents of Joliet, IL. Later, after another cemetery was opened nearby, the residents moved ~some~ of those burials to the new cemetery, Oakwood, but the old cemetery continued to be used to bury a lot of the city and county poor, thus it became known as a potter's field.
“Update: Last weekend, on the 159th birthday of Jenete Bissell, her tombstone left Joliet for the trip back to SW Iowa and on Saturday, June 13th, it was reset into the cemetery plot of her brother, Richard P. Bissell, with 13 people in attendance. We had a small service honoring the people who made it possible and the memory of little Jenete.”
Gina and Julie have shared the following pictures of the event. Adds Julie, “This has been a VERY big event....and I'd say once in a lifetime, but I'm not sure of that just yet. I heard from other parties involved with this that this has only occurred twice for the state of Illinois where a tombstone has been found, descendants identified, the descendants could document their lineage, the state has given custody of the stone to the family and it has been reset into a family plot.”
Carrying the tombstone into the cemetery
Gina Wysocki helps prepare the plot
Julie Bissell Tupker (right) with relatives