30 April 2010

Graveyard Rabbits

Sandy and I were recently introduced as members of the Graveyard Rabbit bloggers at the Graveyard Rabbit website.
Have a look at it. It refers to our sister blog--The Newaygo County Cemetery Ladies where, while we don't post as often, it has more posts mostly focused on cemeteries. (Unlike the obits and ramblings you can find on this blog. )
It even features pictures of Sandy and I from the Cemetery Walk we did a few years ago.

29 April 2010

Obituary--Mrs George Bode

Here is another of those obituaries were the woman's first name is never mentioned. The only way you can get clue to even her maiden name is in the next of kin. And even then it isn't clear.

From the 13 March 1913 Fremont TimesIndicator.

Succumbs to Cancer at Her Home after a Protracted Illness of More than Two Years.

The death of Mrs George Bode occurred last Saturday morning at her home in the south part of the city, after a long illness from cancer. Mrs. Bode had been ill for more than two years during which time every means known to the science of medicine was exhausted to bring relief but to no avail. Several months ago she resorted to the Christian Science faith but only death relieved her suffering.
Mrs. Bode was born in Pleasant Lake, Indiana, April 5, 1870. She remained a resident of that place until 1 January 1894 when she was married to George Bode of this city. Since their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Bode have made Fremont their home.
No children were born to this union but Mr and Mrs. Bode adopted a baby girl from the children's home at St. Joseph, about nine years ago. That child, whom they named Marie, died at the age of three years.
Nrs Bode was a member of the Eastern Star, the Rebekah's and the L.O.T.M.M. She was also long a member of the local Methodist Episcopal Church.
In the passing of Mrs. Bode, this city loses a lady distinguished for her charitable acts and kindly and generous nature. The many beautiful floral offerings received from different parts of the state as well as from local friends attest the affectionate regard in which she was held by all who knew her.
The funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon from the home and the body was laid at rest in Maple Grove cemetery.
Those attending from out of the city were Mr. and Mrs. A. B. Shafer, the latter a sister, and Wm. and Shirley Teagarden, brothers of Mrs. Bode, and Louis Shafer, a nephew, all of Pleasant Lake, Ind; Benj. Geerds, of Holland; Mr. and Mrs. Jasper Norris of Walkerville; Mrs Mary Giles, of Comstock Park; Mrs. R. J. Titus of Grant; and L. C. Gilbert, of Big Rapids.

So typical of the era, extolling her goodness and Christian virtues. Did you notice that she "resorted" to Christian Science faith, but they still mentioned her longtime membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church?
Another item that is typical of this time is her membership in so many lodges. In the time before television and radio, people had to actually socialize in person! How times change.

27 April 2010

James T Battles

I can't let Linda have the last say on this one.
I just about put my back out loading the stone into my car after it was delivered to the library. Who knew they were so heavy! I won't even try to tell you what it was like getting it out. Lesson learned always make sure they have correct delivery information. It was a worth while project and we had such wonderful news coverage and support. It has started a new project for me I would love to try to get as many unmarked Civil War Vets in Newaygo County a stone that I can. So if anyone has information on one please let me know.
This project brought so many groups together from all over Michigan it was great. I'd love to do it again.

Tombstone Tuesday--Hungerford Cemetery

Hungerford Cemetery is located in the north-east quadrant of Newaygo County. While our pictures show many older stones, they also show a well kept (aside from a few autumn leaves) cemetery in current use. It even has a blacktop drive through it, unlike the usual "two-track" lanes through many of our local cemeteries.
This impressively large stone for Charles Turner and his wive Martha show something typical of many stones. The first person to die has the birth and death dates, while the second only has the birth date. Future genealogists must gnash their teeth to see that. It also gives one reason to wonder, is Martha buried here and the stone never got updated? Or did she remarry or move and end up buried in another location?
With my family who merely put up with my cemetery and genealogy "habit", it is comforting to know the at least around here, the funeral homes will see that the stone is updated.
I have later pictures which show that contrary to the above picture, Hungerford is a large, and for the most part open cemetery. The four stones in the foreground row are impossible to read in this picture, But even so, they are not forgotten, I see a military marker on the one second from the right. The small one, and one in the background seem to have shiny borders, leading me to believe they may be new polished granite stones. That row shows such variety in just the four stones--rough hewn granite wedge, tall obelisk, then the massive upright block followed by the smaller wedge, with polished edge. I am also struck by the fact, that unlike many of the obelisk stones, this one still has the fragile finial.
This massive block for S. William and Caroline P. his wife also has only one death date. Caroline lived from 1900 to 1918. Did a later wife protest at being buried there and move him? Oh the questions. The stone is still decorated with flowers, leading me to wonder if she died at age 18 in childbirth? Perhaps the child still comes to the grave.
The stone for Eve Ewing (wife of B.L.) has fared quite well since she died in 1896. The engraving of the hand pointing upward as well as the words "Gone Home" are clear and strong.
The stone of hubby B. L. Ewing however has not survived as well. Although the engraving is clear, it apparently was broken off at some time, and reset just below the death date.
The military stone for Corporal Mason Norton is marked by both military marker and flag. He served apparently in the Civil War. The stone gives no dates, but does show he served in Company K, 6th Michigan Calvary
The size and condition of Hungerford cemetery is clear in both the photos above and below. With all that space, you think they could have planted that shrub behind the two stones instead of blocking them.
Again, the wide space is apparent here. With old and new stones, Hungerford is an actively used cemetery, even if it is off the beaten path somewhat in the county.

Additional on James T Battles

I forgot to include the picture that started the whole investigation into James T. Battles that obtained his stone for him. The men around the casket were other members of the Grand Army of the Republic. We do not have any pictures of James available. But newspapers from the times tell of his wonderful produce that he sold in various communities around his farm.
Rest in Peace beneath your stone. Forgotten no longer.

26 April 2010

Obituary and More—James T Battles

This following obituary reminded me of the story of how he got his grave stone. More on that later.
From the 31 December 1913, Fremont TimesIndicator, reprinted from the Newaygo Republican.
James T Battles, for many years a resident of Garfield township, died in the Soldiers’ home hospital, Grand Rapids, last Friday after an illness of several months. The remains were brought to Newaygo and funeral services, conducted by Rev. C. L. Graham were held in the Baptist church Monday afternoon. –Newaygo Republican.

Another notice has no date, but appears, by the font, to also be from the Republican.

Jas. Battles Dead. Word was received here Monday that Jas. Battles, who for many years peddled vegetables in the various towns in this county, died Friday at the Soldiers home at Grand Rapids. During the past two years Jim has been failing in health fast, and had to give up the work of peddling. He was well known through the county and lived near the Muskegon river.

Sounds like a rather ordinary notices of the death of a former resident doesn’t it?
However once my co-blogger/boss Sandy got done, it had given rise to far more. This is how:
James Battles came to Sandy’s attention from a library patron and friend who is also a local historian. He has researched the area Civil War veterans and had discovered a picture of Civil War veterans standing around a grave at a funeral. James’ funeral. These veterans, all white as typical in this area settled heavily with Dutch, Danish, and Germans immigrants, are paying honor to their black comrade. (James was one of only 2 blacks out of over 700 from the county who served in the Civil War.)
However, although the location of his grave site was known, there was no marker. The patron notified Sandy, as the then president of the Newaygo County Society of History and Genealogy (NCSHG), urging her to do something.So Sandy looked into it and much paper work went flying back and forth between her and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Until one day Sandy was greeted by a delivery at the library.
“Hey, Lady, where do you want this tombstone?”
Instead of delivering it to the cemetery, there it was at the library.
Finally on Saturday, 28 May 2006, the NCSHG hosted a dedication ceremony for the new stone. An impressive ceremony was conducted by the General John A. Logan Camp No. 1 of the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War and the Champlin Corps No. 41 Women Relief Corps of Grand Rapids. The cost of the stone was donated by the Daughters of Union Vets Eva Grey Tent No. 2.
There were many Civil War enthusiasts, historians and local officials were in attendance, including the patron who had started the quest, and
James’ grave finally had its marker.

Anyone wishing to dig further will find articles in the 31 May 2006 Fremont TimesIndicator, as well as the 25 May 2006 Grand Rapids Press.

25 April 2010

Obituary--Mrs Irene M Stanley

Here is another, from the same paper as the previous obituary. Not so long, this also is a reprint from the Muskegon Chronicle.

15 July 1926, Fremont Times Indicator.


Mrs. Irene M. Stanley, 76, formerly a resident of Hesperia, who had been an inmate of the Soldiers' Home hospital in Grand Rapids for the past two years, was found drowned in the pond of the home. She had been missing from the hospital since Wednesday. dr. H. C. Wolfe, Kent county coroner , after an investigation, stated the death was probably intentional.
The woman had planned to go on a two weeks' vacation Wednesday and had purchased her ticket. She wet to the Comstock Park station early Wednesday morning but later returned saying she had missed her train.
Later in the day, she went out of the hospital, saying to Miss Lettie Hummer, another inmate, that if she did not return she wished her clothes to be given to the Salvation army.
Elmer Blaisdell, a member of the home, was searching for berries near the shore of the pond when he discovered the woman's body lying in shallow water about 10 feet from shore. He notified authorities and Deputy Sheriff Andrew Zoet responded to a call to the office of Sheriff William f. Smith.
The only relative is a nephew, John A. Davis, of Hesperia, with whom the woman had planned to spend her vacation. she had been in poor health. ---Muskegon Chronicle.

The Soldier's Home mentioned here almost sounds like a prision. Did you notice that while Elmer was a "member" of the home, the women were "inmate"s?

22 April 2010

Continued--Obituary of George R Dempkey

Ok, where did we leave off? Oh yes. (I couldn't help it, it was the best cliffhanger in the entire article.)

from the 15 July 1926 Fremont Times Indicator.

"Don't shoot, George, don't---"

And so we continue...

The report of a revolver cut this sentence short. It was followed by five more, and when silence again fell Mrs. Carlson was lying on the floor between the kitchen and dining room with her jugular vein severed and two bullets piercing her shoulder and upper arm. Demkey lying dead with a bullet in his heart in the refrigerator room while Mr. Carlson was breathing his last at the foot of the steps on a side porch whence he staggered and fell when a bullet caught him in the neck, also severing his jugular vein. One shot missed, shattering the glass in a kitchen window.
Neighbor Call Police
When the shooting started, Bernard ran next door and called Mrs. Iverson who notified the police and then rushed over to the Carlson home. Mrs George Demkey, 19, and Rose Carlson, 17, were at work at the Brunswick-Balke-Collendar company at the time of the shooting and were immediately notified. Besides Mrs Demkey, and Rose, Bernard and Lucille, there are four other Carlson children, Mabel, 15 years old; Donald 10; Palmer 5; and Milton 2. They were playing about the neighborhood when the killing took place and were unaware of anything wrong until the ambulance drove in front of their home.
The bodies were taken from Mercy hospital, where they were taken in the hope of finding some signs of life to the Balbirnie Funeral Home.
Funeral services for Mr. and Mrs. Carlson were held Monday afternoon at 2:30 from the Swedish Mission church, First street and Muskegon avenue of which they were members. The Rev Robert Peterson, pastor officiated.
Arrangements have not yet been made for the burial of Demkey.
Was On Vacation
Mr Carlson was employed at the Shaw-Walker company, but was on vacation this week. Besides the children, he leaves three brothers, Gus Carlson of Octavius street, Charles Carlson of Yuba street, and Elmer Carlson corner of Summit avenue and Glendale Street, Muskegon Heights, and two sisters Mrs. Mary Johnson, of Yuba street, and Mrs Anna Schoquist, of Chicago.
Mrs. Carlson is survived by two brothers Joseph McShannock of this city, and Fred McChannock of St. Paul Minnesota, and one sister, Mrs. Hattie Masterbrook of Fruitport.
Dempkey, whose home originally was in Fremont, leaves besides the widow and baby, four brothers, Archie of Apple avenue, James of Fremont, Henry of Hesperia and David from Pensylvania. The Demkeys were married two years ago.
Mr. Carlson was born in Sweden and came to Muskegon with is parents when a child. Mrs. carlson was born here and lived in the city until her marriage in 1904. They then moved to Fruitland until a year ago when they came here.
The other crimes which have gained state-wide attention, are the Three Lakes bombing the latter part of May, when Asa K Bartlett mailed an infernal machine to Supervisor August Krubasch, of Three Lakes township, which killed Mr. Krubasch, his daughter, Jeanette, and her fiance, William Frankee; the shooting to death by Lawrence Hilt of his wife Mrs. Rose Hilt and her mother, Mrs Ella hale, and his immediate suicide in Muskegon Heights two weeks ago, and the death of David Rice, colored, by Isaac Pulett, also colored, the middle of May in a crap game at Muskegon Heights. --Muskegon Chronicle.
The body of Mr. Demkey was brought here and funeral services were held from the home of his brother Sunday afternoon. The body was interred in the Lincoln township cemetery.

I had the feeling that this was a reprint from the Muskegon newspaper. And sure enough it was.
Did you also notice that this was an entire week after the shooting? One of the drawbacks of a weekly small town paper. Did you also notice the lack of "alleged"? Everything is reported as strictly fact.

21 April 2010

Obituary--George R. Demkey

This a from a rather long article about the death of a former resident and two others that he shot. I'll post in installments. It continues to amaze me the information that papers would print back then.

From the 15 July 1926, Fremont Times Indicator.

A court injunction restraining him from visiting his wife and 15 months old daughter pending divorce proceedings is believed to have caused George R. Dempkey, 28 years old to slay Eric Carlson, 46 years old, and Mrs. Carlson 42 years old, his father-in-law and mother-in-law, then turn the gun on himself, taking his own life and bring the total number of criminal deaths in Muskegon county to 10 in less than two months.
Thursday afternoon's tragedy took place shortly after 5 o'clock in the back rooms of the Carlson home, at 830 W Forest avenue, and was witnessed by Bernard Carlson, 15 year old son of the murdered couple who was standing about 10 feet from Demkey when the latter opened fire.
Boy Tells of Killing
Dempkey, who had made three unsuccessful attempts to see his little daughter since his return from Pennsylvania July 3, came into the yard yesterday and approched little Lucille Carlson, his year old sister-in-law, thinking it to be his child, Bertha Rose Demkey according to Bernard's story.
Learning of his mistake, Demkey proceeded to the back door and asked Mrs Carlson, who was working in a refrigerator rom off the kitchen, if he could see his child. The grandmother, in whose custody the baby was left, refused.
"I guess I have a right to see my own child and I'm going to see her any time I want to," Bernard said Demkey then stated.
This report brought Mr Carlson out of the kitchen where he had been doing some painting, and who told Demkey that if he wanted to see the baby whenever he wanted to he ought to put her some place where he could pay half of her board.
The argument then switched to the pending divorce proceedings, which were to start next week in circuit court, Demkey saying: "I don't want to take this court. We ought to be able to settle it peacefully."
"Well, it's your lawyer who is holding out," Mr Carlson said. "Why don't you see him and settle it that way."
Dempkey then protested that it was all the Carlson's who were back of all his domestic troubles, saying "You people started the trouble and now you're going to pay for it. "
With this Dempkey drew a gun from his pocket, pushed his hand through the screen door which was locked and advanced on the couple, who backed up.
"Don't shoot, George, don't---"

To be continued tomorrow. (Ain't I a tease?)

20 April 2010

Tombstone Tuesday--Hillside Cemetery

This week's cemetery, Hillside is one of our southernmost cemeteries. Located near the farming community of Grant, is is fairly flat and as you can see below a neatly kept cemetery that is still currently used. Look how straight the rows. Not many trees, except around the edges, near the road and drives. Just a few shrubs here and there.
And speaking of shrubs. Remember my rant about not planting trees too near the stones? The same applies to the smallish evergreen bushes. Even small bushes can become large. So don't plant them in front of the stones! See this example?
Since I was able to make out the letters "obinso" I will hazard a guess it is for the Robinson family. But most of the other information is obscured. Now look at this one.
Again the two bushes flanking the stone, but this time behind it far enough that the stone remains readable. And what a stone!
You know how I love a good old homemade stone. Like my Aunt Lyla's stone that my father made, this one is made of cement and not that long ago, only after 1988. While some of the limestone chips have fallen out, it is clear to read yet: In loving memory Hazel Olson 1915-1988. There appears to be more writing at the base also in limestone chips. That however I am unable to make out. Don't you love the flowers though? I cannot decide if they are inlaid somehow or simply colored on somehow. And how poignant is that little tipped urn?
Ok, away from the syrupy chatter. I really love this memorial. While it isn't labeled in our picture file, I am guessing that this is where the community's Memorial Day and Veteran's Day observances are held. Stark and simple and lovely.
I always enjoy the older obelisk tower stones. This one for Timothy, however, has a bolt sticking from the top, so apparently it lost its finial. I wonder if that is where the cross came from? Or if you look closely, there is another small stone leaning on the other side of the base. Could that be the original top of the stone?
But one of most striking difference between this cemetery and most others I've posted about recently?
The only cement borders seem to be on the road, and not around graves. I think that helps to account for the straight, unbroken rows.

18 April 2010

Obituary Charles B Buck

This is a rather long obituary, as befitting a director of the bank. It even includes a resolution in his honor that was made by the board of directors.

Fremont Times Indicator, 2 October 1913

Charles B. Buck Succumbs to Septic Poisoning in the U. B. A Hospital Last Saturday, September 27

The death of Charles B. Buck occurred Saturday, September 27 at the U. B. A. hospital in Grand Rapids after an illness of several weeks. Mr. Buck went to Grand rapids July 22nd and entered the Burleson hospital where he remained until about three weeks before his death when he was taken to the U. B. A. hospital where he died. The immediate cause of death was septic poisoning which was the result of the breaking of a fistula. He was in poor health when he returned last spring from Dade City, Florida, where he had suffered from fever, and grew gradually worse. He was 66 years of age.
Mr. Buck was born in Sturgis, August 2, 1847, and made that city his home until he came to Fremont in 1890. He has since resided ere. For many years he was the proprietor of the Elliot House in Sturgis and was at the time of his death a director of the Citizens State Bank of that city. Prior to his death he was engaged in the loan and banking business here and was a director of the Old State Bank.
Mr. Buck was married in Sturgis to Miss Ella Cole September 30, 1866, and to this union four children were born, namely, Luella, Herbert, Lillie Mae, and herman. Of these only the latter survives.
Besides the widow and son, Herman, he is survived by two sisters, Mrs E. H. Murdock and Mrs. Belle M. Stowe of Chicago, and three brothers, George Buck of California, Sila Buck of Chicago, and Frank Buck, of this city. Another sister, Mrs Marian LaDow passed away a week before Mr. Buck's death.
The funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon from the Congregational church and were conducted by Rev. Ralph W. Paul. The directors of the Old State Bank acted as pall bearers. The interment took place in Maple Grove cemetery.
All of the deceased;s brothers and sisters, excepting George Buck, together with a nephew Herbert LaDow and a niece, Mrs L Hulversen, of Chicago, attended the funeral.
As a mark of respect both banks and a number of the business places were closed during the funeral.
The following resolution was adopted at a meeting of the board of directors of the Old State bank Monday afternoon:
Whereas, The Great and Supreme Ruler of the Universe has in His wisdom removed from this life Mr. Charles B. Buck, second vice-president of the Old State Bank of Fremont and
Whereas, In his death the family have lost a good husband and father and the bank an earnest and faithful officer and the community a willing citizen, therefore let it be
Resolved, That we, the directors of the Old State Bank of Fremont tender to his bereaved family and friends in their hour of affliction our sincere and heartfelt sympathy and earnestly hop that He that doeth all things well may comfort and protect them in this their hour of sorrow. And be it
Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be sent to the bereaved family and the Fremont Times Indicator of this city.
Signed by the directors of the Old State Bank.

I love that resolution at the end. You don't see companies thinking of families like that now. Especially when local companies in small towns become part of the vast conglomerates.
I also never noticed how writers back then seemed to love commas. Just a thought.

15 April 2010

Obituary--Mrs Addie Lantz Quackenbush

Ok, I will admit that this obit attracted me with her name. but it is one that is typical in style yet still moving.
My copy is dated 30 March 1905 (Fremont Times Indicator) But since that is the date of death, then apparently this was the following weeks paper.


March 30th, 1905 Mrs Addie Lantz Quackenbush, wife of Elmer Quackenbush. She was born April 2d, 1867 in the village of Croton, and had spent all of her life there. Her health had been poor for two years. To some her death was not a surprise. Her suffering was terrible; those who stood by her bedside can only imagine her terrible suffering. She leaves a husband and six children: George, James Mattie, Hazel, Maria and Nina; a father Mr George Lantz; one brother Mr. Albert Lantz, of Croton; one sister Mrs Lottie Hughes, of Grand Rapids; a grand mother, Mrs Charlotte Tucker, of Soldiers' Home, Grand Rapids all of whom attended the funeral, which was held April 2, at the Congregational church, Harry E. Walker, of White Cloud, officiating. Interment in the Croton cemetery. A large number of friends followed her to her last resting place. may God comfort and sustain the husband and children in their affliction. It is hard to see a mother taken from her family and her children left to the cold and heartless world.
Mr. Quackenbush and family tender their thanks to the neighbors who so kindly assisted in their bereavement.

These old obituaries with their emotions and expressions of faith never fail to move me.

13 April 2010

Tombstone Tuesday--Hiller Cemetery

Ok, this is may be a quickie posting. We are having computer problems here and I need to post fast before everything gets lost. And save often.
I find Hiller (or Hillers Cemetery as the sign states) rather interesting. For one thing, this is another where we have a different name in our files and in our transcription book than shows here on the sign. We also have a section in our book labeled Hiller, but the few names listed there are for a different cemetery in another part of the county. So we have no transcript of the graves here.
So we will go with what we have here. Most of the pictures, other than the one above seem to show the same group of stones, just from different angles.
There are about four or so with wooden crosses that have artificial flowers fastened to them, all in a row. Also visible in this picture is a divided bordered plot. This one is divided down the middle and the border appears to be made with landscape timbers rather than cement.
This picture above shows just about all of the stones in the cemetery. There is one tall one on the right, and both new granite and the older obelisk shaped ones. You can see the crosses a little better in this picture.
Here again in this picture you can see the flowered crosses. Clearly the grass is kept mowed, but just as clearly, this is cemetery has a lot of open spaces.

11 April 2010

Obituary--James M. Young

This obituary is taken from the same issue of the paper as the last one 27 November 1878 Fremont Times Indicator. This is another story of a veteran who moved to our area. The article doesn't say if he enlisted from New York or was already in Michigan at that time. Many veterans came to this area after the Civil War.

Died, 20th inst., of inflammation of the lungs, James M. Young. Mr Young was born in Batavia, N.Y. in 1812, and was at the time of his death 66 years of age. He was a man of much more than ordinary natural ability, and was at one time a preacher of the gospel. Upon the breaking out of the war, he entered the army, and received a severe wound, from which he never fully recovered. He died at the residence of T. L Waters, and received all the care that could be bestowed. The funeral services were conducted by Rev. Mr. Saunders at the M. E. church. Mr Saunders took for his text one selected by the deceased--"I have fought the good fight; I have finished my course; I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness." Deceased leaves a wife and two small children, besides two sons, who were present at his funeral.

T. L Waters is a local hero, a veteran of the Civil War, and for a time imprisoned in Andersonville. I wonder if they knew each other before their service. I also love the last sentence. Apparently then he left 4 children: 2 small and 2 adult. The proof readers back then must have loved to leave things ambiguous.

09 April 2010

Obituary--Henri Wildie

I found a couple interesting articles from the 27 November 1878 edition of the Fremont Times Indicator. This one shows the dangers of life as our community was growing. The "Good Old Days" were not all all as they seemed on television.

Henri Wildie, one of the oldest residents of the south-western part of Sheridan, cam to town a few days ago and was detained quite late. When about a mile from town he was thrown from his wagon, one of the wheels passing over his head. Drs. Ellis and Nave were sent for, and found him pretty badly injured. He was brought back to town and will recover in a short time. Too much care can not be taken in driving over our rough roads, as an unpleasant stump is liable at any time to cause serious trouble. ---LATER: After the above was in type, unfavorable symptoms manifested themselves and Wildie died at nine o'clock Saturday night. He laves a wife and several children, who will be in comfortable circumstances.

Some thoughts here: He ran over his own head? When did you ever see that portrayed in a John Wayne movie or a Roy Rogers episode? (Ok, ok, I know I'm dating myself.) And then the last line about his wife and children will be in comfortable circumstances. It seems Mr Wildie was a prudent guy, other than that running over himself thing.

08 April 2010

Obituary--(Young Man) Montague

I think that the main reason I found this obituary so intriguing is the fact that the young man's name is Monague, and the nearby towns of Whitehall and Montague are across the river from each other.

From the 14 August 1878 Fremont Times Indicator.

A young man by the name of Montague, from Whitehall, was drowned last Sunday in a small lake near Swam's lumber camp. It appears that there was but one boat upon the lake, which was a very small one-man canoe, and Montague had been in the habit of riding in it, much against the wishes of many of his comrades, on account of his being unable to swim. He had been warned often to stay out of it, there being no way possible for any one to help him if he should upset. But being confident of his ability to navigate with it, he continued his sport, each time risking his life, until the result above stated. His body was recovered.

His age is not given in this article. From his attitude "being confident of his ability", I can only surmise young adult, late teen. Right about that "I am invincible" age.

06 April 2010

Tombstone Tuesday--East Hesperia (again)

Yes, I know that I previously posted about the East Hesperia Cemetery. But give me a break. I wasn't going alphabetically through the county then. And, knowing that the alphabet was churning toward the H's again, I revisited the cemetery. And while there, with my camera, I captured some shots of newer stones. You know how the style of stones change, from marble to granite, from tall to flat, and everything in between. I promise this will be a different than the glimpse I gave you of the cemetery back on 10 November 2009.To begin with, I was rather surprised to find this grave here in the Hesperia Cemetery. After all, Fremont was originally named Weaverville after this old fellow, Daniel Weaver. He was one of the first settlers in Fremont. Then I remembered my Hesperia roots--Dan'l Weaver was also a leading settler of Hesperia and in fact was the first village president. This stone is remarkable well preserved; on the north side, the name of Emily Weaver still is clearly readable.
This monument is my pet peeve. I call it the twin towers and is remarkably unlike any other stone in the cemetery. A recent addition, it is located in the newer section, just down from my parents. While it does make their grave easy to find, it just seems that the uniqueness of this clashes with the surrounding graves.
While these are not the most modern of stones, I found the proximity and conditions interesting. The large stone of Jane, wife of Thomas Baker while covered in lichens still easy to read. The little one, for Mary, daughter of--someone, its too hard to read--is covered with even more lichens. While you can see that the front of the stone represents a scroll, curling up on the bottom right, the lichens are just too thick to make out the inscription. (As a knitter, spinner and general fiber person, those lichens just make my hands itch and want to scrape them off to dye some wool. As a genealogist, I am aghast at the thought of the damage of taking them off as well as leaving them on.)
You just knew I had to throw one in. In this case a lilac bush planted right in front of the stone will soon have the name covered, once the bush leafs out. For now though, poor John Rings will have to at least reconcile himself that his stone is preserved, if only here and in our picture database.
One thing I noticed here is the absence of bordered family plots. While families clustered together as in this grouping of the Phillips family (mother Marjory, father George, and sons James, Thomas and George), I only noticed one section with any kind of border around the area.
One last stone from the older section. While I have often found pictures of the marble slab type stones with clasped hands, fingers pointing to heaven, lambs and cherubs, I have not seen one with the lovely cross shown on the top of this stone. But the Celtic flavor of the cross is certainly reflected in the name below: James Flarity.
I chose to use this picture because it typifies several characteristics of the more modern memorials. First of all is the military plaque. Many stones, including my parents have the brass plaque attached to the back of the stone, or simply mounted to the face of the granite as the only marking. Here however the plaque is imbedded in front of the stone. The stone itself features a couple of the new features found in cemeteries today. The engraving is laser etched into stone. Some stones in this cemetery feature common scenery typical of the area, pastoral fields with deer, some in summer, others depicting fields of snow. Others even have an engraving of an arial shot if the home farm. And another way this picture is typical of many modern stones is in the little gifts left on the stone. Did you notice the two little birds by the wife's name?
This is an entirely wooden sign. I have seen these in several area cemeteries. While I do admire the way they look, my genealogist side asks, how long will they last?
And finally, I went to the grave of the young farmer who was a friend of my son, he frequently has small Ertle scale model tractors and other momentos on his grave. This time there was nothing there--probably too early in the spring.
But I did find this grave marker. And somehow, I have a feeling that 93 year old George had probably spent a lifetime as a dairy farmer.

03 April 2010


This article is from an issue of the paper (Presumably Fremont Times Indicator, under whatever name it had then) dated 12 March 1879. You may think the veterans it refers to is from the Civil War. But guess again!

Three veterans of the war of 1812 have died in Michigan within the past month. James Bates, in Geneva, Van Buren county, aged 75; John J Reed, South Lyon, Oakland county, aged 91, Samuel Spaulding, of Lake Ridge, Lenawee county aged 90, leaving a wife to whom he had been married 71 years, 12 children, 32 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, 2 great great grandchildren. At the present rate the crop of veterans will son be exhausted, and then what will we do on the 4th of July?

Unfortunately, as we all know, the crop of veterans isn't going to run out soon.

02 April 2010

Printer Friendly Posts

You may notice a small button at the bottom of each posting now. Thanks to the info from Geneabloggers, I got the link here to make each post printable with out all the sidebars and such. Hope the readers find it helpful.