Jackson County Historical Society hosts first cemetery walk, attendees share familial connections

CARBONDALE, Ill. (KBSI) – Karen Algee and her daughter Alicia McIntosh share a familial connection with Hazel Algee, a single mother who passed away at the age of 19 and one of the people featured during Saturday’s Oakland Cemetery walk. Hazel’s only son was Karen’s father-in-law’s cousin. 

“It was tremendous. There were a lot of things I did not know about her,” Algee said. “I still saw that she was such a strong woman to raise a child by herself like she did, John, by herself.” 

“I knew John Algee, but I never even thought about his mom, and it was so exciting for me to learn about her life,” McIntosh said.

McIntosh said getting to share this day with her mother was special, and she intends to pass what she learned about Hazel on to other members of her family. 

“To get to come out here together on a beautiful day and get to see her actual gravesite, that was wonderful,” she said. “I will share that with my son and nieces and nephew.” 

Jackson County Historical Society Volunteer and event organizer Mary Riseling said this dialogue between families is one of the goals of this walk. 

“After people leave here today, we want people to be able to start conversations with their own families, tell the kids what their lives were like, or have the kids ask their families, especially the older generation that’s not going to be around too much longer, and start a dialogue to get these families’ stories, so they can be passed on,” she said.

March 2025 marks the 100th anniversary of the Murphysboro tornado, and the Historical Society has plans to commemorate that anniversary, which include another cemetery walk.

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