26 March 2013

Tombestone Tuesday--Flat Stones

A marble slab.  Surely that is the iconic image of a tombstone.  But there is nothing simple about those marble slabs.
This row of slabs are found in Everett-Big Prairie cemetery, also know as Community Cemetery.
 The four stones, all in a row are probably from the same era.  The left most above is a slightly different shape on top.  The next three all seem to be similar in shape and design.
The picture of this stone below was filed just before the above picture.  It looks like it could possibly be one of those three on the right.  The first of those has a streak across the bottom, like this stone.
The stone for Felix Matthews is is a simple slab, yet it has the image of the weeping willow with some additional carving in the top corners.  The inscription reads: Felix, son of Henry and Anna Matthews died May 17, 1860, aged 24 years.
The bottom of the stone has an additional verse but it is faint.  It looks to me that at one time, there must have been dirt or debris piled higher around the stone.  The dark streak across the bottom is a bit of a deposit on the stone.  And, since below that line, the stone is less decayed, I think something was protecting that area. Whether it was buried or not, it definitely was not exposed to the elements.
Either way, there is something special about the old marble slab.

22 March 2013

Obituary--Silas A. Harris

This obituary is another of our area Civil War veterans.  It is another of those who just amaze me by how much they traveled in this era in the last half of the 19th century.  This particular obituary is a bit hard to decipher in places, but still is a great example of the mobility of America in the late Victorian age. 
From the 28 July 1938 Fremont Times Indicator:

Silas A. Harris, 92, Is Taken By Death
Civil War Veteran Stricken By Heart Ailment At Grandson's Home Saturday.
Silas A. Harris, 92-year-old veteran of the civil War and one of the oldest residents of Fremont, died Saturday at the home of Ernest Dewey, his grandson, with whom he had been living for about sixteen months.  Death was the result of a heart attack. Funeral services were held from the Crandall & Ensing Funeral Home Tueaday afternoon and were conducted by Rev. Clyde E. Pickett, pastor of the Church of Christ.  burial was made at Maple Grove cemetery
Mr. Harris was born in Iroquois county, Illinois, September 15, 1845 and spent his boyhood at that place.  When he was 17 he was accepted for military service with the Third Iowa Cavalry, Company K, in the Civil War.  He saw about 22 1/2 years service.  At the close of the war he returned to Illinois to a farm but later moved to a homestead in Oregon where he lived until about 10 years ago.  He was chaplain of the Rawlin Post, G.A. R. of Heppner, Ore. until it was disbanded.  Mr. harris was the last survivor of his company in the war.  He is survived by ten children, Mrs. Carrie Phillips of Denver, Col.; Mrs. Nora Dewey, Fremont; Mrs. Lula Phillips, Bradegate, Ia.; Mrs. Irene Martin, Minneapolis, Minn.; Earl Harris, Arizona; Harvey Harris, Chicago; Harley Harris, Danville, Ill; Mrs. Hattie Redman, Benton Harbor; Mrs. Edna Newnes, Pontiac; Mrs. Gladys Hendricks, Sioux City Ia.  He also leaves 50 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren.  His wife died 18 years ago.

I was rather surprised to find that this obituary received a prominent place on the front page of the paper.  I mean he couldn't have lived in the town more than 10 years, as that is how long ago he left Oregon.  The other thing I got a bit of a chuckle of was how his family was scattered all across the country. 

19 March 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: Fancy Stone of Lulu Utley

While scanning pictures of cemeteries, I was struck by this fancy stone.  Lulu, daughter of W. S. and L. B. Utley apparently died in 1885.
This lovely stone is located in Everett-Big Prairie Cemetery in Newaygo County Michigan.  I really like the detailed carving. The over-all shape is more detailed than usual. When you add the inner framework around the wording, and all the flowers engraved on the top section, this stone becomes something quite ornate.
The stone is a bit weathered, but all in all, a wonderful memorial to Lulu.

15 March 2013

Obiturary--Amos F. Bacon

I love a good obituary, and after reading Eastman's link to one of the best obituaries ever, I feel this isn't on the same level, but nonetheless, full of information.  Even if this isn't as imaginative, it shows a lot about the community, as well as Mr. Bacon's life.  Plus there is an added bit from another paper.  I think that small clipping is from the Muskegon Chronicle, as is often the case.
But first, the main article, from the 31 October 1935 Fremont Times Indicator.

Amos F. Bacon, chief of police of this city and city engineer for 17 years died at his home, 103 Mechanic Ave., Saturday morning at 2:30 A.M.  He had been ill for about two years with hearth disease which confined him to his bed several times during that period and finally ended his work.  He was fifty-nine years old.
Mr. Bacon lived nearly all of his life in this community.  He was born in Brookside December 22, 1875 and spend his early years there.  He was married to Miss Gertrude Dean, also of Brookside, October 30, 1901.  Mr. and Mrs. Bacon moved to Fremont that same year and Mr.Bacon entered the plumbing and heating business, operating this for several years.  When the World War began, he held a position with the federal government at the Hog Island shipyards near Philadelphia.  Then, at the close of the war, he returned to Fremont, where he was appointed chief of Police and superintendent of the public works.
 The public works department involved the maintenance of the municipal sewage plane, water works and streets.  Of these three it was the water works that called for most of his attention.  The water supply of the city had been inadequate for some time and a new well, put down by an out-of-town drilling firm, had proved to be a failure, so Mr. Bacon persuaded the city commission, consisting of W. J. Branstrom, T. I. Fry and Robert Southard, to authorize his drilling a well.  This well, now known as the Bacon well, on North Division, proved an outstanding success and was built at less than half the usual cost.  In 1933 he constructed another well near the Fremont Canning company property, also at a marked saving.
Mr. Bacon was also placed in charge of the local P. W. A. work when this was begun in the fall of 1933.  As this was principally a street grading project, it required considerable work on his part to keep moving from one part of the job to another and at last he was stricken by a heart attack.  This confined him to his home for several months.  Since that time he was able again several times to resume his work although he was under strict doctor's supervision.
Mr. Bacon was a member of the local I. O. O. F. lodge and the Modern Woodmen.  He is survived by his widow, a son, Dean, and three brothers, Grover of Detroit, and Henry and Ellsworth of Fremont.
The funeral services were held at the home and at the Fremont Congregational church Tuesday afternoon with the pastor, Rev. A. E. Gay, in charge.  The I. O. O. F. lodge assisted in the funeral rites.  Burial was made at Maple Grove cemetery.  In his honor the local business places were closed for an hour on Tuesday afternoon and the city hall flag hung at half mast.

And in case you can't read the smaller clipping from (I believe, the Muskegon Chronicle), here is that transcribed.

Heart Attack Fatal To Amos Bacon, Fremont
Amos F. Bacon, 59, police chief and superintendent of the water works system at Fremont for the past 17 years, died Friday night after a heart attack.  Mr. Bacon had suffered a severe heart attack about two years ago but since that time had appeared in good health and was at work all day Friday. 
Mr. bacon was born on a farm near Brookside and shortly after his marriage in 1901 moved to Fremont.  He entered the employ of the village in 1918 and is credited with having sunk the wells which now give Fremont an adequate water supply.
Surviving are the widow, one son, Dean at home and three brothers, Grover of Detroit, and Henry and Ellsworth of Fremont.  Mr. Bacon was a member of the Modern Woodmen and I. O. O. F. fraternities. 

At the end of the clipping is a word or two that cannot be read on the small clipping.  Your guess is as good as mine.  
I like this obituary primarily for the information it gives on the history of Fremont while not being too skimpy on personal details.  It was a life that made a difference in his immediate community.
Thank you Mr. Bacon.

12 March 2013

Tombstone Tuesday--

Chilly morning today.  Our furnace was not working for a while and our temperature here in the history center was down to 56 degrees when I got here.
While the cold is making typing hard, I thought this was the most appropriate cemetery stone I could share.  I am not sure where it is from, but Winfield S Merrill (1851-1938) was the brother of James Merrill, or at least that is what the caption of the photo states. 
The furnace has kicked in, but I remain tucked in wool.  I will find some non-typing to do for a while.

08 March 2013

Obituary--Joseph Cosens

I first picked this obituary because I believe I attended school with one of his descendants.  (It doesn't take much to distract me.)  But I rather enjoyed the fact that a day later there was another article, adding a few more facts.  Because of the two consecutive days having articles I believe that this obituary and notice appeared in the Muskegon Chronicle, in September 1936.  The Fremont paper, although a closer publication, was only a weekly while the Chronicle was a daily.  And many people from that area, at least in later dates, in Hesperia would be most like to have their obituaries published there.

Rites Tuesday for Joseph Cosens, 84
Hesperia, Sept. 1921--(Special)--Funeral services for Joseph Shiply Cosens, 84 years old, who died at the home of his son, Henry Cosens, here Sunday, will be held from the Methodist church at 2 p. m. Tuesday, with Rev. William Paulson, of Newaygo, in charge.  Burial will be made in Clark, south of here.
Mr. Cosens was born in Canads, July 12, 1852, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wesley Cosens, and came to the United States in 1879 shortly after he was maried to Catharine Eveligh.  Mrs. Cosens died March 24, 1900.
Mr Cosens was a resident here 35 years, had been a member of the Masonic lodge and the Methodist church many years.  Surviving besides the sone, Henry, are two sons, Wesley of Hesperia and John of Rockford, and a daughter, Mrs. Maude Robinson of Holton.

So ends the original obituary.  However the following was published the following day.  Again, because of the Hesperia notice in the first line, I believe this is from the Muskegon Chronicle.

Other Cosens' Survivors
Hesperia, Sept. 22--Joseph Cosens who died at the home of his son, Henry near Hesperia, Sunday, is also survived by a step-daughter, Mrs. Ora Edsell of Muskegon and a step-son Clarence Mattice of North Olmstead, Ohio, in addition to other relatives named yesterday. 
Following the death of his first wife he was married to Mrs. Alice Mattice, in Hesperia, March 15. 1908.  She died Jan. 28, 1935.

What an interesting addition.  It makes me wonder what sort of kerfluffle the original obituary stirred up, with no mention of the step-siblings.  It wasn't as if the surviving son would have forgotten her, as she died less than a year before.  
Family strife.  Makes for great family stories.

05 March 2013

Tombstone Tuesday--Oh, Allens

 Several years ago, I went with my crazy aunt Glenna to go cemetery crawling.  She was showing me some of the Kent County, Michigan Allen graves.
 We search several cemeteries that day.  I had armed myself with information from the Western  Michigan Genealogical Society website to figure who was in what cemetery.  But since we had several names not included, most notably my Irish Hurley branch, we still checked several cemeteries.  I believe that these pictures were from the Courtland township cemetery.  Aunt Glenna knew approximately were the Allens were located, and that helped.
We found the big Allen marker with out too much problems, it was near the south drive, and also near the road. 
What we failed to find was my Great-great-grandparents.  My aunt was pretty sure that Isaac and Lydia were buried here.  We did however find stones for two of their sons, Ora and Orlin.
 We also searched in vain for their brother's (and my Great-grandfather's) first wife.  Again, Aunt Glenna though she was also here with them.  Anna Laura Hurley died over 40 years before Ggrandpa Omar, and was, she believed, buried with her in-laws.  She was the mother of my grandpa.
(Which always leaves me wondering, was she Catholic and then disowned by her family?  We have almost no information on the Hurley clan, and I need to find something on them.
Last of all, we found Great-grandpa Omar. He is buried in the Alton township cemetery, again in Kent County. 
He is buried next to his second wife, and as luck would have it, the mother, by a previous marriage, of my grandma.  My grandparents were step-siblings who then got married.
Grandma Carrie is one of the sources of my Ford connection. 
And another strange fact was that Carrie and Omar had one child together.  She (strangely enough) was named after the first wife, Anna Laura.
And here is crazy Aunt Glenna, checking out the Alton cemetery stones shown above.
Yup, no mistakes on those stones.