By: Carly O'Keefe
PERRY COUNTY, Ill. - More than a century and a half after Leonard Lipe's death, the Daughters of the American Revolution placed a new stone maker on his grave. "Part of our objective is to preserve the memory and spirit of the men and women who achieved American Independence," said Daughters of the American Revolution member Mary Haines.
Lipe was a Revolutionary War veteran, but he gave more to southern Illinois than his military service. When he passed away, he donated land to the Nine Mile Baptist Church for a cemetery, which is not the location of the current burial ground. "He deeded the land to the church, but it was mine land and was re-claimed," said Haines.
Lipe's grave is located in the current Nine Mile Cemetery, although it was not his first final resting place. His remains were re-interred in the plot in Nine Mile Cemetery after they were discovered through the process of strip mining nearby. "Unfortunately, in a lot of counties that have graves in wooded areas, or areas no longer inhabited, mining companies would come in and strip the land and the graves, and fortunately for us in most cases they realized what (the remains) were and stopped, as is the case with Mr. Lipe and his wife," said Daughters of the American Revolution member Martha Emling.