John William Turner, Jr. and his wife, Mary Alice, deeded two acres of their farm as a burial ground in January 1921. The first burial was for their infant nephew, Weldon Fred Turner, whose grave is indicated by a homemade marker. In May of that year, C.J. and Mary Hallmark buried their infant son C.J., and 13-year-old Mable Gladis Andrews was interred in July.
By 1928, when the Turners and Selma Graves donated more land to the burial ground, area residents had formed the Idalou Cemetery Association, with E.T. Daniell, W.M. Weaver and H.W. Lasater serving as the original board members. Over the next decades, the association accepted additional land donations, which increased the cemetery to its present size. Volunteers and families have attended workdays to help maintain the site.
Today, the cemetery’s features include curbed plots and numerous upright shoulder stones typical of 20th-century grave marker designs, and the open prairie landscape highlights native plantings. The cemetery is a link to the many generations who have contributed to the history of Idalou.