31 March 2010

Obituary--Gilbert Samis

This is the articles concerning the death of my first cousin, twice removed, Gilbert Samis. When I was doing research in a small town north of where I live, looking for my great-grandparents graves I found an article about the Gilbert Samis VFW post.
To say it was a surprise was an understatement. I have both Gilberts and Samis's in my family, and I had been looking for both sets of relatives. We just HAD to be related. In digging around I discovered that Gilbert's mother, Sadie (or Sarah) Gilbert was my great-grandfather's sister. His father was my great-grandmother's brother James Francis Samis.
Here he is below, on the right. Handsome young man.
From Reed City Clarion, 5 December 1918, page 1.

--------------Though the war has been over three weeks yet the list of casualties show contributions for this community to the fight for democracy. Gilbert Samis has been numbered among those giving his life, word having been received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Samis, last week that Gilbert had died October 28.
Gilbert A. Samis was born in Lake county May 13, 1987 and attended the rural schools until coming to Reed City with his family in 1909 when he attended high school for a time. For two years he was in Park Lane, taking the examinations at the Marion schools.
When trouble broke out with Mexico Gilbert enlisted, joining the Big Rapids Co H. 126th Inf. 32nd Division on June 20, 1916. He spent many do this loses the magic of compound months on the border. After receiving an honorable discharge the soldier returned to Reed City and went into the restaurant business with his father. However, he still felt the call to the colors and again enlisted and went overseas last February. He went through the battle at Chateau Thierry, was wounded, recovered and returned to his ranks. He received wound in the fighting at Arogonne Forest on October 2 and on the 28th day of that month passed away, dying like a martyr as thousands of others have done on the fields of France.
Gilbert was of a disposition that brought cheer to his parents and sisters, Edna, Beatrice and Blanche and he will be greatly missed by them as well as by his many friends.
Deceased was a member of the Fraternal Ranks Lodge and was also associated with the Baptist church.
The golden gates are opened wide.
A gentle voice said come.
And angel from the other side
Welcomed our loved one home.
The VFW Post in Reed City is named after Gilbert Samis.

See? I told you about the VFW Post. I found the second picture of him with one of these articles.
How sad it is that even though the Armistice was signed earlier, soldiers were still dying weeks later.

REED CITY MICHIGAN, Clarion, January 1919

The remains of Private 1st Class Gilbert A. Samis, who lost his life overseas, accompanied by a government escort from Hoboken, N.J., arrived in Reed City, Friday, Jan. 9, and by request was taken to the home of Mr. and Mrs. S. Wolfe.
Funeral services were preached by Rev. Hiram Pegg at the Baptist Church Sunday afternoon.
Military services held at the grave under the auspices of Harry Kunzie Post, Big Rapids, and directed by Major McCormick. Prayer by Chaplin Darrow. These being members of the company in which Gilbert served overseas. Taps were sounded at the grave.
Private Gilbert A. Samis was born in Lake county, Mich. May 13, 1897, and was wounded in action in Meuse-Argonne, France, Oct. 2 1918. He was taken to Base Hospital No. 67 and died from his wounds Oct. 28, 1918. He was one of the first Reed City boys to make the supreme sacrifice in a foreign land, in defense of the stars and stripes in the Great World War.
Gilbert volunteered his service to his country and enlisted June 20, 1916, with Co. H Old National Guards, at Big Rapids, serving on the Mexican border. He was later transferred to Co. I. 126th Infantry, U.S. army, and sailed in February 1917 with the 32nd division.
He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Samis, and two sisters, Mrs. Luther Joyner and Blanche, all of Detroit, besides other relatives many of whom were in attendance at the funeral. Interment was in Woodland cemetery.
The following ex-soldiers acted as pall bearers; Royal Gingrich, Gordon Roggow, Lyle Pickett, William Torrey, Vance Dailey, Lynn Luce, William Small, and Charles Rowe.
Those attending the funeral from out of town were Mr. and Mrs. A. Gilbert of Casnovia, Mrs. James Samis of Lansing, Mr. and Mrs. James Dark and Mr. and Mrs. Milan King and son of Kalamazoo, and Mr. and Mrs. Gilman Stone of Hersey.

I have done enough research in the Chase/Reed City area that now many of the pall bearer's names seem familiar. And I can identifiy nearly all of those who attended the funeral. My Civil War GGgrandfather Armenus Gilbert, my GGgrandmother Sarah Smith Samis, and other family members.
Truly obituaries, although sad they may be are still gold mines for genealogists.

I'm Back!

I am back! well sort of. After a long long two months of no weight bearing on my foot after Achilles tendon surgery I now have my cast removed and will return back to work on the 12th of April. Thank you to everyone for your thoughtful messages and notes. I appreciate all of the prayers and well wishes.

I will again be doing some postings I tried when I was laid up but some thing about blogging and pain killers just don't mix well.

30 March 2010

Tombstone Tuesday--Gowell-Huber Cemetery

Gowell Huber is a small cemetery in West central Newaygo county. The transcript of graves that we have in the local history room here only lists 7 stones--one of which simply sounds like a family marker, rather than an individual.
So above you see probably almost half of the cemetery--5 stones! Once again, even here there are bordered plots. Don't want anyone crowding in on you, ya know.
Here is another view of the cemetery. You can see the "wide open spaces" here. I also love the fact that of the very few pictures we have of this cemetery, one is a photoshopped copy of this same picture, minus the power tower and silo, just above the horizon on either side.

Here is a lone stone, near some bushes. The interesting thing I found out about this stone was the top of it. If you look closely, it appears to be a small figure. I think that it is a small carving of a lamb. Of course I had to look at a blown up version to tell that, but you once you know its there, you can make out the shape of something on the stone.
Here is the stone of Sylvester Gowell. He died October 20, 1898 at the age of 60 years, 7 days. No other epitaph is given. Nor I might add, is there any listing in the transcript of anyone by the name of Huber, in spite of the name of the cemetery. I don't know how that was added to the name. I do see in the transcript however, that it lists as sort of a secondary name "Seventh Day Adventist Church." So this may have been a small church cemetery, rather than a family cemetery, as most of our small ones are. If you notice the base of the stone, you can see the outline of the border for this plot.
This stone is for Seth Parks. He also died in 1898, but this large stone lists his age as only 2 years , 5 months and 17 days. No other names are listed as being on this stone. I wonder if there were only a few burials, since the first listing with a date is for 1888 and the last for 1900.
The stone above is for William, son of S. C. and A Gowell, it is also on the border of the family plot as is Sylvester's stone shown previously. I see on the very edge of the photo a small stone inset into the border as well. That got me looking at the very first picture again. And editing figures, because there are two small stones sitting on the border. The white you you can see the corner of here, and on the left corner as you look at the picture another darker one.
And that is it. A small little cemetery, few pictures but still cared for by someone mowing the grass, even if there are no flowers here now.

27 March 2010

Obituary--Sylvanus Slocum

With the soft sounds of simple alliteration sounding its silver tones in the name of Sylvanus Slocum, I could not resist this obituary.

From the pages of 19 January 1905 Fremont Times Indicator.

Death of Sylvanus Slocum

Sylvanus K. Slocum, one of Denver township's esteemed venerable pioneers, died tonight at the home of his son Burdette, eight miles north-east of this village. He was aged 77 years the 22 day of August last, was a native or York State from which place he emigrated to Michigan forty years ago, and has resided in Beaver and Denver townships ever since. Mr Slocum was as thoroughly conversant with the pioneer history of this section as any other person, was a vigorous, sociable, conscientious Christian all the years of his residence here. His aged companion survives, together with three brothers and three sons. Death came to him as a peaceful dream after a few hours of undisturbed slumber.
The funeral service will be held from the church at Huber, Sunday at 1 o'clock.

Possibly, since the archives in which we store the clippings do not list a newspaper name, it is possible that this was from the Hesperia paper of the time instead. We do occasionally get donations of very old papers. I feel fairly confident that the references to "this village" both in this obituary and the previous one are about Hesperia, a nearby small town. This one especially with the townships listed and the mention of the community of Huber make me quite sure these refer to Hesperia.

25 March 2010

Obituary--Harry Watrous

One of the older issues of the paper yielded this little tidbit from the community columns. It starts out so somber and then takes a dramatic shift somewhere in the middle.

From the 3 September 1879 issue of the Fremont Times Indicator:

--Died in this village, September 1st, Harry, son of S.S. and Minnie A Watrous, in the 9th year of his age. Harry had been sick about 5 weeks and most of that time his sufferings were very great, yet he bore them with remarkable patience to the very last. (Watch out, here it comes!) But now he is dead! and a home is made to feel that one of the brightest of its cluster has been led from earth to a realm beyond the skies. Father, mother, sister, and Harry's little playmates, too, have the sympathy of all in this their time of sorrow.

There is simply nothing I can add to that, other than I feel a frustrated writer in there somewhere yearning to break out.

23 March 2010

Tombstone Tuesday--Goodwell Cemetery

Goodwell Cemetery is located sort of on the East Central portion of the county. As these pictures show, our photographer picked a cheerier time to visit and take pictures. Where the last few cemetery photos were taken very late summer or fall, these seem to have been captured much sooner.
With all the freshly planted flowers and the bright silk flowers, I would dare to say these pictures were taken shortly after Memorial Day. Another striking thing about these first two views of the cemetery are the number of modern stones and graves that have flowers. Clearly in current usage and well maintained.
That isn't to say all is well. But even this old stone, while unreadable, has had a planter of flowers in the last year or so. A second look has me pondering. The letters do not look engraved, but I think this is another home made stone, with the letters and dates made by pressing small pebbles into the wet cement to make the letters. It is almost clearer in this smaller picture than in my blown up version. Try it--stand back and kind of squint. Does it say Mother, and 188--? Or is my imagination on overdrive?
This picture provides some contrast. The two stones for the McDonald family stand neat and readable. The grass is trimmed and they have gotten the flag for Nathan McDonald who served in the 7th Indiana Cavalry standing nicely. Now look at an almost identical pair in the background. The taller stone is a little tipsy, and while the soldier there does have his flag, between the stones is an oak shrub. It threatens to take over the stones one day. (Remember last week's picture?
Here is another pair that at first glimpse look the same. Then I noted the grave cloth draped across one corner of the book in the picture below. The stone above has delicate tracery, in the shape of a stylized tree, above the name of George A. Edwards.
In contrast, the Reynolds stone, even though it has the draped cloth, is much simpler. And the only thing readable is the single name.
I could not resist this picture. The stone a simple slab that appears to be cement, with no carving visible. And for an urn, an old metal bucket. Nothing new is planted in it, so maybe those who remembered this person is gone. But I love the ingenuity expressed here.
And another more current grave to close with. This grave for Victor Wilson, a private in the US Marines. Died nearly 13 years ago. Yet, as evidenced by recent flowers and extra flags, he is clearly remembered still.
"Gone fishing,
Be back
Dark thirty."
Happy fishing Victor.

18 March 2010

Obituary--Sabastian Mohr

Another obituary recording the death of a younger citizen. At first I thought the cause of death was of hemorrhage of the toenails. I mis-read it.

From the 29 May 1913 Fremont Times Indicator we get just a hint of the obituary printed the following week.

Sebastian Mohr, a young man 20 years old, died at his home in Dayton Center yesterday morning. Mr. Mohr had his tonsils removed Monday and the operation resulted in hemorrhages which caused his death. He was a member of the Dayton Center Gleaner lodge.

And from the 5 June 1913 Fremont Times Indicator, the following:

Sebastian Mohr

Sebastian N. Mohr, son of Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Mohr, of Dayton Center, died Wednesday morning, May 28, 1913 of hemorrhage of the tonsils. (Oh, tonsils, not toenails.)
He was born in Sturgis, May 12 1893 being 20 years and 16 days at the time of his death.
His early years were spent in Sturgis but he moved to Dayton with his parents one year and a half ago. He leaves to mourn his untimely death a father, mother, four brothers and two sisters besides a host of relatives and friends. He was a great favorite among the young people and was ever ready and willing to do his part.
Th friends, neighbors and members of the Dayton Center Arbor, A. O. O. G., of which he was a member extend their deepest sympathy to the bereaved family.
The funeral services were held Friday Morning at the All Saints' church, Rev. Fr. Drew officiating. Interment in Maple Grove cemetery.
Those from out of town who attended the funeral were Mr. Peter Mohr, uncle of the deceased, and Mrs. Kate Wentzel and Mrs Emma Probst of Sturgis, aunts of the deceased.

No one hears the doors that open
When they pass beyond our call;
Lost as loosened roses that fade
One by one our loved ones fall.

I am left to guess that the Dayton Center Arbor, A. O. O. G. mentioned in the obituary is the Gleaners lodge mentioned in the community column. Back in the days before television and radio, it is amazing how many people belonged to clubs and lodges.

Obituary--Fannie Misner

This obituary is another child, and like most children's obituaries, unless a tragic death like the previous posting, was found in the community gossip column.
The community columns died out about the same time as the telephone party lines in this area, in the 5o's and 60's. But I think they (both the columns and the party lines, not that I think about it) served an important role in the community, helping to create the sense of community and sharing. Although, granted, with the party line telephone, the sharing may not have been intentional on the part of the informant.

From the 18 September 1913, Fremont Times-Indicator.


Fannie Cinderella Misner, daughter of Mr and Mrs Orville Misner was born January 15, 1898 and died Sunday, September 7th, 1913, aged 15 years, 7 months and 23 days. She had never enjoyed good health.
She leaves her father and mother, four sisters and one brother to mourn their loss.
Interment was made in Lincoln cemetery, the services being conducted by Rev. Geo. VanWyngarden.

It always intrigued me how so often the obituaries, as well as the old death certificates gave age by years, months, and days. Who sat down and figured that out? And when they calculated the extra days, did they adjust it or make allowance for the odd numbered months? I'm just glad I don't have to set down and figure it out.

16 March 2010

Obituary--Harley Daniels

This obituary is so sad, involving a child's accidental death.

From the pages of the 14 September 1922 Fremont Times Indicator, but credited to the Newaygo Republican.


Harley Daniels While Playing On Railroad Bridge Falls Off and Was Drowned.

Newaygo Republican--
Harley Amos Daniels, the 8-year-old son of Mr and Mrs Amos Daniels was accidentally drowned last Saturday afternoon. the little fellow was playing with other boys by the railroad bridge over the race when he accidentally fell into the water.
As soon as the alarm was given quite a number of people gathered on the banks and strenuous efforts to recover the body were made, but it was not located until about 8 o'clock, the water being about 18 feet deep and the strong current had carried the body down to one of the gates at the power house. The body was taken to the undertaking room of Glenn Rice, prepared for burial and was taken to the home on Sunday morning.
Revs. Truman and Varney conducted a funeral service at the home on Tuesday afternoon. The casket was covered with beaautiful flowers, bearing their silent testimony tothe sympathy felt for the family. Burial was in the village cemetery, four playmates acting as pallbearers.

I am not sure if this happened in Newaygo or Croton. Both communities had nearby dams and powerplants on the Muskegon River. The thought of playing on the railroad bridge over 18 foot deep water gives me chills. But back in those simpler times children ran and played more freely than today.

Additional for Evens Cemetery

I didn't want to edit the previous post again. I lost and had to retype most of it so I decided to just to a second post.

I somehow, probably in the retyping mentioned above, lost the picture of one of the most unusual stones I found for Evens Cemetery.
I love the rustic edges of this stone. And I have never seen any other like it. It is a long low stone, but the engraving continues from the top to the front. Edith and William Wachter appear to both have passed away in the 1930's. The only thing I can say against this stone is that the rustic surface clings to the grass and pine needles that fall on it. That is what is blurring the name on top.
But what a striking stone. I had to make sure I posted it.

Tombstone Tuesday--Evens Cemetery

This weeks cemetery is one I have not stopped at, but often drove past. Younger Son worked at a nearby dairy farm and when I had to deliver or pick him up, this was right on the way. One of the interesting things about this cemetery is the name. We have seen documents and maps with it spelled as seen here "Evens", but many records also have "Evans," the more common spelling of the name.
I tried to check our transcript, but alas...our cemetery book has a tab for Evens Cemetery (spelled Evans) but nothing behind the tab. I sense a cemetery crawl coming on.
Looking at an enlarged image of this picture for Samuel L and Mary G's stone it clearly states--in 3 places--the spelling is indeed Evens. I can't imagine the stone cutter getting it wrong that often. I thought it an unusual stone with the huge ball on the top. I am unable to make out any carvings on it, possibly a globe, or just a simple ball. Hmmmmm.
As you can see this cemetery is set in a lovely rural area of the county. What I was unable to find a picture of, however is what I considered the most unusual feature of the cemetery, and one that raises lots of questions in my mind.
When you drive by this cemetery, the drive in, along the south side, takes you back to a small modern ranch-style house. I wondered at that, thinking it was a caretakers home or something. However, it is apparently just a house. One with a cemetery in its front yard. Most unusual.
I find this picture interesting as it shows the way these stones are put together; something I had never thought of. The base can be firmly planted. Then the next section only needs to have the family name engraved usually. That can be secured to the base. Then the taller section can be set but made more removable. Since these types of stones frequently have one or two names on each of the four faces, it can be taken down and re-engraved as another family member dies.
This stone, still standing strong, if tipsy, but so hard to read. The lichens, while they may be great for dying wool (another blog) are not so great for stones. Besides attaching themselves to the stones and deteriorating the surface, they make the stones hard to read. Here I can tell the stone is for the wife of Wm something and she died Dec. 10, 18 something, possibly 70. But even with the lichens, the engraved lily is fairly clear on the top of the stone.
In contrast to the previous stone, the above stone is still clear, with its rich engraving. But, is this all of it? Is half of it buried, lost, broken? Ahh, the questions it raises.
And have you noticed the in the previous pictures the items that have been so common in recent cemeteries I have highlighted that are missing here? Where are the bordered family plots? I have never noticed them while driving by the cemetery, and none of the pictures shows any cement or stone borders.
And longtime followers may remember my rants about planting trees and bushes too close to grave stones.
Look at this. It is practically buried by the tree stump.
Don't say I didn't warn you.

09 March 2010

Who Do You Think You Are--My Take

I might as well jump on the bandwagon of genealogy bloggers who have been commenting on the show.
I loved it. I have told several non-genealogists about it, and they seem to have caught my enthusiasm. Maybe part of the charm was that I have recently discovered a tenuous connection the the Salem witch trials myself, so that part was particularly close to home.
I love finding the details about family members, and stories about them are the best. I also liked that they traced one of Sarah Jessica Parker's line back to England, and told her that no one knew just where in England, so that line was at a brick wall--for now. And then they returned to Salem, and the story there.
The connections of having names and dates you can place within the fabric of history make history seem more alive. Discovering my Civil War ancestor in my Gilbert line, besides being my maternal breakthrough, also gave me a connection to the people who fought then. Ditto my distant cousins who died in France in World War I and II. My ancestor who was captured by Indians and taken to Canada during the revolutionary times is another whose story has connected me with those times. I enjoyed that Sarah Jessica was seeming to feel the same connections, excitement and thrills that I get.
But back to the show, my only quibble--and I have seen this noted elsewhere also--was when Ms. Parker got to see the actual document accusing her ancestor of being a witch. I cringed when I saw the bare hands and when I saw the pencil--I dropped a stitch in the sweater I was knitting! Yikes!! Not the example I would want budding genealogists to take away.
But I can't wait for this week, and the upcoming shows. Maybe it will do for my hobby the same thing that "Roots" did so much earlier.

Tombstone Tuesday--Ensley North Cemetery

This weeks cemetery is North Ensley, located in the south east corner of the county. I love the entrance, with the fieldstone pillars supporting the arched sign.
Here is the impressive memorial for Benjamin Ensley and his wife who died in 1889 and 1874. A very important family it would seem.
I mean this stone has everything! The burial cloth draped on the top of the stone. The symbol for the Masons figured prominently on the front, as well as the clasped hands of husband and wife. And notice those pointy things like spears in the background on both sides? Here is a clearer picture of them.
Not to be content with a mere cement border, the Ensley family plot is surrounded by this border of posts and chain. Each of the posts are topped with this 4 bladed spear like object. I don't know what the purpose of this glorified fence was, but I am impressed. You can also see there is engraving here on the side of the tall monument as well. I am unable to make it out, but it looks like it could be additional family members. Here is another of my favorite stones. It appears, with its crisp detailing and ornate designs, to be constructed of zinc. The smaller stones say Father and Mother, with some other details. The large tall spire indicates that this is the Hillman family. Set on a stone foundation, it is leaning ever so slightly, but all in all, in great shape.
The Terwilliger family has another zinc stone. I just love how they stay so crisp and clean. Funny though how they try to imitate rough hewn granite. Abraham and Elizabeth both died in the late 1890's.And back to the "stone" stones. William Bazzett's stone does not give a date, at least on this side. It simply states "Gone dear husband, gone forever." And the top of the stone has some delicate flowers carved that are still clear and unworn.
Ahh--my pet peeve--the overgrown bush. At least this stone is not hidden by it. But there is no way of telling here if there are also small stones on the other side of the tall one.
I love this stone. Simple, not much details, but just the name and even the spiky plants (sorry, I am no horticulturist) seem to set it off.
And lastly, John Graves. A surprisingly easy to read stone, even though he died in 1880. I can even make out the fine print below the crest that reads "Gone but not forgotten. " It almost makes you wonder at the newer stone for John at its base. But as the original says, not forgotten.

07 March 2010

Obigtuary--Frank Maze

A more typical obituary, with much more detail than we see today.

From the 1 May 1913 Fremont Times Indicator.


Frank Maze Received Injury at Alpena Last Friday from Which he Died Within a Few Hours

The death of Frank Maze, formerly of Denver, (a township in Newaygo County, not the city in Colorado) but who has been employed in Alpena since last fall, occurred Friday April 25, following a serious accident on the railroad.

Frank Maze was born February 12, 1879 to William and Minnie Maze, in Denver, township where he was reared to manhood and married to Bertha Beattie February 11, 1904. To this union one child, Geraldine, was born, who now at the age of eight years is bereft of a fathers care.
For some years Mr. Maze had followed the vocation of a steam engineer, having been engaged in this work in several places in this state. Last fall he secured a position whth the Huron Cement company and was put in charge of a locomotive, doing service in hauling stone and coal in the yards. About three weeks ago, having been told by the superintendent that his work was satisfactory and the the position might be considered permanent, he removed his family from Berlin to Alpena.
On April 25 while thus engaged, he left his own engine in the care of his fireman and stepped across to another track to adjust a coupling pin in a car that had failed to couple, and whil there the car at his back that had been shunted away, returned on the slight incline and pinioned him fast against the bumbers.
A bright intellect, a kind lovable soul, a man in every respect, born and reared in this county, the possessor of a host of friends, whil in the prime of life sis suddenly called to the beyond. The bitter cup is pressed to the lips of a loving wife and daughter; and a fond father and a loving mother, in the passing, see the laying away of their only child, the one hope for which they have lived and struggled.
Everything possible was done for him, but within three hous he died and his wife and child, accompanied by Arthur LeRoy, foreman at the plant, brought his remains to Fremont for burial.
The funeral services were held April 29 from the Congregational church, Rev. R. W. Paul officiating.
He had been a member of the Hesperia lodge of Odd Fellows since arriving at his majority. Besides his wife and daughter, and mother and father, who are disconsolate in their bereavement, a large number of relatives and a host of friends feel this untimely loss.

In the same paper, a less flowery but no less sympathetic note in the community column.

Dr. Rolison received a telegram last Friday that Frank Maze, of Alpena was seriously injured and in a little while another dispatch came saying that he was dead. This was a great shock to his Hesperia friends, as Frank was a Hesperia boy, who had the love and esteem of all who knew him. Great sympathy goes out to the stricken wife and mother. Many Hesperians attended the funeral in Fremont last Tuesday afternoon.

Which makes it sound like father and daughter just didn't care.

05 March 2010

Obituary--Charles D. (or C.) Hubbs

You gotta live an obit where the name is spelled with two different middle initials. Of course if the hotel burned down, they would not have the register to check it against. We are getting back to less unusual means of death, although is by no means a common one. As typical for this era, the brief article manages to convey plenty of drama.

From the 25 December 1905 Newaygo Republican.


Charles D Hubbs Loses His Life in Burning Hotel.

The Pacific Hotel, situated near the depot in Fremont, caught fire about 12 o'clock this morning and was totally destroyed. Charles C. (see I told you.) Hubbs, a traveling man whose home was ni Greenville was smothered by the smoke and was dead when found. He came down stairs after the fire broke out and went back to his room for some reason and did not come down again. He was missed and searchers found him on the floor in a corner of his room covered with bed clothing. Physicians worked over him for three hours in the effort to save his life but to no avail. He leaves a wife and two children. It is not known positively how the fire orginated. The hotel was owned by John DeBois.

Apparently not completely cremated, if they worked for 3 hours. You wonder--did he he forget a gift for his wife or children that made him rush back in? Did he have some money or important papers he needed? Or was he despondent and choose this way to die.
The mysteries of life. And death.

02 March 2010

Tombstone Tuesday--Davenport West Cemetery.

This week we scurry across Beech Avenue to the west side of Davenport cemetery.
Having only driven past this cemetery, I never realized how they both see fairly comperable, although West does seem maybe a little newer. In our transcript book, however, this is listed as (Old) Davenport Cemetery. But the most outstanding feature of Davenport West, to me, seems to be bordered family plots.
Look at all of them!
A close inspection of the above picture shows at least 5 or 6 plots sectioned off. And look at the size of the tree in that one. I also noticed the many of these areas have fairly new looking granite stones.
The setting for this cemetery, as was the case with East Davenport, is farmland. This side of the road seems a little flatter, although the cemetery itself is on a gentle slope.
Charles and Mary Seaman died in 1929 and 1954. Their identical stones flank the urn near the edge of the cemetery. A quiet setting. And again, notice the bordered plot behind them.
This little stone, still remembered. I had to look up the cemetery listing as the lettering is clear, but still a little hard to read. Listed in the Old Davenport section is Amasa Davis. She was born in 1877 and died 1945 and clearly not forgotten.
It did occur to me that perhaps some readers, especially those from warmer parts of the country may wonder at the upside flower urns in some of the pictures here and previously. It is a sign that these graves are tended and cared for by loved ones. Many families dump the soil on the graves, spreading it out and disposing of old plants. They then turn the urn over so it does not fill with ice or snow during the wonderful snowy winters we have, thus often cracking. Come spring, it will be flipped back and filled with fresh dirt and plants.
On my husband's parent's grave the urn was tipped each year, enriching the sandy soil of the grave sites with good rich farm soil. In the spring we came with a bucket soil from the garden and/or pasture, ready to fill it up again before planting.
With so many now using artificial flowers and plants, the richness of the soil may not matter, but the urns must still be flipped to avoid cracking and breaking.