27 March 2012

Tombstone Tuesday--Replacment Stones

Well, not entirely replacements. Maybe just additional is more accurate. I have several branches where subsequent descendants have decided to place a more durable granite stone to sometimes replace, but more often supplement the original stone.
An example is Hubby's Walsworth branch, located in Clark Cemetery. The stone below shows the original obelisk style stone, along with the newer granite stone behind it.
While the face of the stone, with the family name on the base is not the patriarch, he is the son of the original Muskegon county immigrant. Artemas and his wife Amanda are on what I would call the front of the stone. This side faces the U-shaped drive through the cemetery. On one of the other sides can be found that patriarch Elijah and his wife Lucina.
The gray granite stone, shown below, has the family name and all the names from the stone. Unfortunately they are kind of jumbled around. Elijah and Lucina's names are on either side of the family name, in the corners. Artemas and Amanda are on the bottom, left side, and the two other names together on the right side.
These other two people, James and Frank are on the third side of the original stone. While they have the same surname, they don't fit any of my husband's known family members. I am only guessing, but perhaps they are cousins of some degree.
For the supposed age of these stones, the letters are fairly clear, and unworn. But I am glad that both the original and the new one are together.
When it comes to cemetery stones, my thoughts are, the more the merrier.

22 March 2012

Obituary--George Mosher Sr. (And a Mention of Mr. Kingsford)

Time to get back to some of my favorite posts--the obituaries. I am not sure how well I will be able to continue on these, as the oldest obituaries are the best and at this time we are unable to access the microfilmed copies of the oldest county papers. I did save a few of my favorites to use for an occasional post. These obituaries are of people I came across who, like Henry Wilde, posted about in 2010, died before or after falling out of their wagon. (!)

From the pages of the 25 October 1917 Fremont Times Indicator, these are three separate small articles, starting with the related story of Mr. Kingsford.

The community was shocked Saturday evening on hearing of the sudden death of Mr. Kingsford. The Christian Bros. found the lifeless body where it had fallen from the buggy on Millard's hill. It is thought that death had claimed him before he fell from the buggy.

Then later in the same column, this about Mr. Mosher.

George Mosher Sr. died at his home last Wednesday. We understand Mr. Mosher had a stroke of paralysis and fell out of his buggy about a mile south of his home. He was coming from Fremont. The funeral took place at Fremont Saturday.

Then finally, Mr Mosher got a proper obituary;

George Mosher
George Mosher was born in Troy, New York, June 6, 1846 and died of apoplexy October 17, 1917, at the age of 71 years, four months and eleven days.
His early life was spent in the lumber business. At the age of 22 years he married Amelia Foss of Brandon, Wis., and to this union nine children were born, seven of whom, together with Mrs. Mosher, survive.
Mr. Mosher has lived on his farm in Denver township for more than twenty years. During this period he has held several township offices of trust. He was a veteran of the Civil war. In his death the community loses a good citizen and neighbor.
The funeral services were held Saturday afternoon at 2 o'clock from the Church of Christ, Rev. R. A. Thibos officiating.

I find it interesting to note the prevalence of people falling out of their wagon. I can see how it could happen easily, as roads then were probably in even worse repair than today's potholes can be. But it is surely something that was never mentioned in a John Wayne movie or on the Ponderosa.

20 March 2012

Tombstone Tuesday--The Averill Mystery

Well, okay. It probably is only a mystery to me. But it does drive me crazy. And obviously I need to take the time to dig into the county records.
Bennett Cemetery, in Chester township of Ottawa County, Michigan is where my Great-great-great grandparents are apparently buried, along with many other Averills.
The above stone for Samuel Averill and two wives (consecutive, not simultaneous as far as I know,) is located in the background of this stone. According to the transcript given at the Bennett Cemetery link, they list this as Oscar V. Averill.
It seems to me though, while not completely clear here, that it says "Wife Of Oscar Averill", especially when I visited the site in person. They website also does not list the dates, which is also quite frustrating. The stone above for wife of Oscar, as well as on the Averill stone in the background both lists dates, as do others that I have picture of. Apparently whoever made the transcript decided not to fill in the information on that column.
I remember these stone was quite close to the deep ditch in front of the cemetery. It also is clear that it was broken. (duh!) I dearly wanted to dig a bit to see if a death date was also given. After all, if the top was broken off, so could the bottom have been broken. But I restrained myself.
Clearly, a call to the Chester township offices, or county clerk is in order.

13 March 2012

Tombstone Tuesday--Blank Stones

One of the things I find frustrating, not to mention puzzling about some of my family stones is when the obviously places for recording information is left blank. Take for instance this family stone for my maternal great-great-grandparents.
A lovely large stone. The back view, which I can't find a picture of, is stacked logs which make it easy to locate in the cemetery. But.....look at all that space to record names and dates! The only information is the family name Samis on the bottom of the stone. It is clear to read, but look at that scroll hanging along the front of the stone.
Luckily there are also some individual stones for the family members. Here is the stone for GGGrandfather James Henry, who I blogged about here.
And his wife Sarah is located next to him, along with a couple children.
While not the best pictures, these two hold a special place in my heart. I found out a few years ago that some of my friends live on farm that was owned by James and Sarah. Located in the far northeastern corner of the county, it is quite drive, but is still great to visit, knowing that my ancestors walked the same ground.

06 March 2012

A Peek Inside

I mentioned last week that our new History Center had opened. The changes that came together in this location were many.
What we have now is quite a change from the first view of our new digs. Before the remodeling the tin ceiling was pealing, the floors dusty, and while the original marble counters were there, so was an old piano. The wainscoting was plain paneling and there was dust everywhere.
I now have desk and computer and even my picture of my dad and 2 uncles, just after World War II on the wall behind me.
We have an antique display cabinet showing some artifacts from Gerber Products history. We have a family member who is actively supporting us and is helping to keep that rotating.
We need more books and more are being donated and processed, but this is a start of the collection. And notice the painted wainscoting? Looks much better. And the book cases were painted to match.
In addition to two wing-back chairs chairs near my desk, we have another seating area near one window for small groups to work at.
We are lucky in the presence of the local DAR chapter. They have a desk to work at while updating their cemetery records. They will be available for visitors to assist in researching their family history. Belva is also on the board and has been very supportive of our little endeavor.
While my desk was shown empty, (after all, I was taking the pictures), Sandy is once again my supervisor. Here she is hard at work at her desk. As our new director of the Terry Wantz Historical Research Center, she keeps more than busy.
Sometimes she can even keep me in line.
Hopefully we will soon be able to get back to our regular posting, with cemetery pictures and obituaries. It is so great to be back in the saddle again.

02 March 2012

We Really Are Back

Yesterday, we came back.
The rather low-key opening of The Terry Wantz Historical Research Center--the new place of employment for Sandy and me. While we do not yet have as large a collection as we had access to at the library, we are growing one. All day yesterday and already today we had had bags and boxes of books donated to our collection. Our grand opening will be coming up. I'll be sure to blog it.
The story of why we had to leave our position at the library is in the past. Now we can go forward. If you are in the Fremont Michigan area we are located at 10 West Main Street, just down Main Street from our old location. While we are closed on Sunday and Monday, we are open 10 to 7 Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 to 5 Thursday and Friday, and on the first two Saturdays of the month from 10 to 2. Pictures will be coming.
Please feel free to come and see us.