John Milton Gregory's Grave – Urbana, Illinois - Atlas Obscura

John Milton Gregory's Grave

The inconspicuous grave of the University of Illinois' first president is just steps from the main quadrangle. 

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John Milton Gregory was the first regent of the University of Illinois, what would today be considered the president of the school. His leadership has a vast effect on the university and what it would eventually come to be.

After his death in Washington, D.C. in 1898, Gregory’s body was returned to Illinois, where he was buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery, located south of campus. However, Gregory has expressed his desire to be buried on the grounds of the university, and so later that same year his body was exhumed from the cemetery and buried between Altgeld Hall and what used to be University Hall (which was demolished in 1938 and is now the Henry Administration building).

Gregory’s grave went unmarked for over a decade. It wasn’t until 1914 that a memorial service and grave marker dedication were finally held. Regent Gregory’s grave is marked by a small boulder with a bronze tablet inset.

Know Before You Go

The grave is located in the grove of trees south of Altgeld Hall and north of the Henry Administration Building.

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