The cemetery was founded in 1853 by the Methodist Episcopal Church in the small nearby, now lost, settlement of Russells’ Grove. In September of 1853 the cemetery was registered in Lake County located about 200’ south of the church. The church sold its property and moved out in 1914. Five years later a nonprofit cemetery association was formed.
In 2006, the cemetery association deeded the property and its care to Ela Township under provisions of the Cemetery Care Act of Illinois. A three-person board was appointed to manage the cemetery. The township immediately started the giant task of restoring grass, repairing monuments, removing scrub trees and overgrown shrubs, replacing the front fence, and redoing the front pillars.
In 2009, Historic Archaeological Research was brought in to aid in verifying and completing records. There were 760 grave sites, 432 identified. Many unmarked burials were located and about 40 undisturbed grave sites that have not had active ownership for 100 years were identified for reacquisition. Another 22 grave sites belonging to the cemetery have been cleared for sale.