----- ............Cemetery Walk: An afternoon of discovery! Every stone has a story. And they are waiting to be told........... -----

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

I have been enjoying the holiday season. My son had 16 days leave for Christmas and that wraps up this weekend. I will miss having him here.

I have some posts in the works and hope to finish some next week.

May your 2010 be all that you hope for!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Italian Sculptors

Can you help?

This query was sent to Richard Waterhouse, Waterhouse Symbolism, from Elisabeth Roark.
...I am collecting examples of sculpture and gravemarkers by Italian sculptors that appear in large American garden or "rural" cemeteries before 1900. If you work with or frequent cemeteries of this type, and are aware of works by Italians identified by signatures, documents, or research you have done, I would be very grateful if you would share this information (and possibly a picture) with me. I promise to send you a copy of the paper I write based on this information."

Visit Richard's blog to read the entire query.

Otipoby Comanche Cemetery

Otipoby Comanche Cemetery is located on post at Ft. Sill, OK. It is a small well kept cemetery. I would have liked to spend more time here. Some of its history is provided on the sign pictured above.

Phil & Gladys Narcomey
Honored for their service.

Cemetery committee November 1965.

Agatha Ah-Do-Sy
12/2/1915 - 11/15/1916

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Visiting Harriet

Highland Cemetery
Lawton, OK

The side bar of my blog states here you will find interesting cemeteries and headstones from my cemetery walks. When I have the opportunity to visit a cemetery in another city or state I often look for the unusual or victorian monuments, especially when my time there is limited. Sometimes though a simple one will capture my attention. Such was the case of Harriet A. Walker. I was walking across a section to look at another headstone when I glanced down and saw her photo. Sadly it won't be there after many more years so I wanted to photograph it in hopes of preserving it. I do remember another Walker grave to her left but after looking through my photos I must of hurried on and didn't photograph it. I believe it was the resting place of her daughter Alice.

Here is what I found on Harriet after a quick search at Ancestry.com. Notice the conflicting place of birth for her.

1930 Lawton, Comanche Co, OK Federal census:
85 years old, widowed, born in TN, parents born in PA. Living in the household of her daughter, Alice Walker. Alice is 55 and single, born in MO.

1920 Lawton, Comanche Co, OK Federal census:Ages and relationship reversed on this record
Alice is head at age 50, born in MO
Harriet is daughter at age 35, born in MO.

1910 Lawton, Comanche Co, OK Federal census:Harriet is 64, widowed, born in PA. Has 1 child living of 1 child born.
Alice is 34, single.

There is another lisiting for an Alice Walker with the same vital information. She is listed as a boarder and working as a cook in a hotel.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Chief Kicking Bird

Ft. Sill Post Cemetery
The grave of Kiowa Chief Kicking Bird is located behind the grave of Quanah Parker.

Kicking Bird, a Kiowa chief, was the grandson of a Crow Indian who was captured and adopted by the Kiowas, his adoption being due to his great bravery and wisdom in councils. The Indian name of Kicking Bird was Tene-angpote. On Aug. 15, 1865, he signed an agreement with representatives of the United States to accept a reservation near the present city of Wichita, Kan., and he was a party to the treaty which was made at Medicine Lodge on Oct. 21, 1867, fixing the boundaries of the Kiowa-Comanche-Apache reservation in the present State of Oklahoma. Then the government, in 1873, failed to carry out the agreement to release certain Kiowa chiefs then imprisoned in Texas, Kicking Bird lost faith in the United States and was preparing to join an expedition against the Tonkawa tribe and the white buffalo hunters when he found out that his rival chief, Lone Wolf, was about to join the hostile Indians to commit depredations upon the frontier settlements. He gave up his own expedition and induced about two-thirds of the Kiowa tribe to remain at the Fort Sill agency. In the negotiations which followed he was treated as the head chief of the tribe. Kicking Bird was a man of positive character and labored for the welfare of his people. He aided in the establishment of the first school among the Kiowas in 1873. His death occurred suddenly on May 5, 1875, and it was thought by some that he had been poisoned by some of his enemies. His name Kicking Bird was adopted as a pseudonym by Milton W. Reynolds, the Kansas writer.

Blackmar, Frank W. Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912

Monday, November 30, 2009

Unknown Mother

I had an opportunity to visit a few more cemeteries over Thanksgiving. We spent the long weekend with our son at Ft. Sill, OK. All but 1 of the 7 cemeteries we stopped to visit were on post.

Located on post:
Apache [on Beef Creek] - burial location of Geronimo
Apache North
Apache South
Comanche Missionary
Ft. Sill Post Cemetery

Located off post in Lawton:

This photo was taken at the Ft. Sill Post Cemetery. I walked away sad. With the rich history of this area I can imagine many scenarios as to how this mother and infant are now remembered as unknown.

Cemetery Photograph Update
I updated my list of cemeteries I have taken photographs in and my new count is 165. Visit the link to view this list in PDF format.

There are always so many interesting headstones to blog about and in the days ahead I'll post about some from my recent trip.

Something I found funny during this trip - After our cemetery visits I looked across the room to see my son using his laptop to view the cemetery photos he had taken. Since both his and my husband's eyes glaze over when the subject of genealogy, cemeteries & family history come up, I was tickled he found this piece of history interesting enough to take photos in the cemeteries. His graduation gift from basic combat training was a new digital camera and he used it to take some really nice panoramic photos of the cemetery and landscape. I'll share one later if he remembers to email it to his Mom.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Finding Robert - Part 1

In September I blogged about the oldest cemetery photo I have. Based on family records I know Robert Shultz died 5/2/1895 in Lakin County, Kansas but I didn't know where he was buried. This photo has beckoned for me to find Robert, the one left behind when the family moved to Reno County and settled down to stay.

Why did he die at the young age of 32? Would I be able to find him? Would his headstone still be standing after 114 years? Has he been forgotten? So many questions.

I also wondered when this photo was taken - just how old was it? Stay tuned.

Fell Asleep

Mary A.
Lyons Mun. Cemetery

Someone cared enough to want to preserve Mary's headstone when it broke in half. Sadly the break is right through the information that gives the name of her husband and her surname. I would imagine she is only unknown to me. This cemetery has a nice office on site and the records are available in the lobby. I did not walk away sad not knowing her last name. You see, Mary didn't die, she fell asleep, on Oct. 4, 1880.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tag! Headstones Identified!

Okay, I'm not one to jump on the bandwagon when a new gadget, software or tool is the latest thing. I still don't tweet. Even this blog was something I resisted for a long while. Finally, I decided to use it as an outlet to share one of my interests - cemeteries!

I could easily reach the 20,000 mark for cemetery photos in the year 2010. They are sorted and filed digitally in separate folders by cemetery name so that is good. What is not good is that it is impossible to remember where various types of headstones are located in those 140 plus cemetery files. I already use Picasa to manage and upload photos. Now I'm taking time to use the tagging feature. Here is what I hope to use as my standard for tagging:
  1. Copyright Gale Wall
  2. Cemetery name
  3. Cemetery location [county/state]
  4. Symbolism on headstone: lamb, urn, anchor
  5. Epitaph if complete and legible
  6. Headstone feature: Zinc, table top, footstone, cause of death

It my goal to make it easier to find the examples of a particular headstone or symbol when I want to work with it. I highlight all the pictures in a folder and apply the tag [information] for the first 3 items and then scroll through and apply tags for the last 3 items, as they apply.

Tagging is just one of the features of Picasa. I do own other software programs, like PhotoElf, that I use specifically for batch renaming & resizing, but I like to use Picasa for my cemetery photos.

If you have a similar project that you use in managing your cemetery photos I'd love to hear about it.

Choo Choo

Eastside Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in the city of Hutchinson. It is not the first cemetery but the second - the other being relocated here around the 1879 -1881 time frame. Records for those moved here and the first few years no longer exist. Interment records begin with April 1883.

Often I see trains while I'm there. I recently snapped a picture of one as its whistle interupted the silence surrounding me. Upon reviewing it I can't help but see life rushing past those at rest that helped shape the city we enjoy today.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Angel & Mansion

Leo Francis Rhea
11/2/1903 - 11/7/1950
Valley View Cemetery

1930 Federal Census; Finney Co., KS
1925 State Census; Finney Co., KS
1920 Federal Census; Finney Co., KS
1915 State Census; Nemaha Co., KS
1910 Federal Census; Finney Co., KS
1905 State Census; Finney Co., KS

Angel: Messengers of God
Mansion: Biblical reference - In my Father's house are many mansions..." John 14:2 KJV

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cemetery Library Shelf Updated

I'm still here! The last couple of weeks have not been my own. Life has had many changes and demands.

I did add a few books to my cemetery library shelf. Three were on my wish list and the other, Corpses, Coffins and Crypts, is one I had checked out at my local library and added when I came across it at a great price. .
  • Bunnen, Lucinda; Smith, Virginia Warren. Scoring in Heaven; Gravestones and Cemetery Art of the American Sunbelt States. Aperture. 1991.
  • Colman, Penny. Corpses, Coffins and Crypts. A History of Burial. Henry Holt and Company, Inc. 1997.
  • Galland, China. Love Cemetery. Unburying the Secret History of Slaves. 2007.
  • Meyer, Richard E. Cemeteries and Gravemarkers: Voices of American Culture. Logan Utah: Utah State University Press. 1989.

I also became an Army Mom this past summer and recently traveled to Ft. Knox, KY to see my son, Clayton, graduate from basic combat training. Having my son enlist when we are fighting two wars leaves me both proud and anxious. Having served his community as a Corrections Officer at the prison was a job he was content with but he wants to also serve his country.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pioneer Settlers

Elmwood Cemetery
Pioneer Settlers
First Blacksmith Shop

Samuel Robb
Lydia Ann Robb
Charles S. Robb
Imogene Robb Perry
Lulu Robb Stevens
Elmer E. Robb

This is located in the cemetery where members of the Dalton Gang are buried.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Nature's Beauty

Nature can leave a headstone illegible. Sometimes beauty can be found in the ruins. As I approached this stone I wondered how legible it would be. I did find this one readable and loved the colors found on top of the stone.
In loving remembrance of
C W Pennington
Died Jan 17, 1888
Aged 6 years
Abilene Cemetery

Symbolism: Cross

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Little information

Or is it a lot!

Abilene Cemetery

Beautiful unknowns

Some whisper while others cry out, these beautiful unknowns.

From these cemeteries:
Bean, Geneseo & Forest Home

Phythian Sisters

Lyons Municipal Cemetery

Phythian Sisters: The female auxilary of the Knights of Phythias. The Maltese Cross, embossed with letters, is their symbol.

P = Purity

F = Fidelity

L = Love

E = Equality

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Killed by Indians

Samuel J. McMurry
Fairview [Elmer] Cemetery
Born Oct. 22, 1848.
Killed by Indians on the Cimeron in New Mexico
July 4, 1874

Also - revisit a previous post about six railroad workers that were also killed by Indians.

Killed in the discharge of duty

- The Hutchinson Herald 9/4/1880: Harry Morgan, of Nickerson, a conductor on the A. T. & S. F. railroad, was shot by a laboring man on the train, while near Ellinwood, last Tuesday. The train was going west, and a party of men were on board en-route to New Mexico, for the purpose of working on the road. They seemed to “feel their oats” considerably, and a squad of them were on top of one of the coaches conducting themselves in a noisy and beastly manner. At the command of the conductor they all came down and took their seats inside the coach except one Montgomery, who engaged in an altercation with Mr. Morgan, and being requested by the latter to put away a revolver which he had drawn, commenced cursing, and placing the muzzle of the weapon close to Mr. Morgan’s person, pulled the trigger. The ball lodged in the upper abdomen, making a severe though not necessarily fatal wound. The would-be assassin was placed in jail at Great Bend. There was considerable talk of lynching.

- The Argosy 9/8/1880: Shooting of Conductor Harry Morgan

- The Argosy 9/22/1880: Death of Conductor Morgan
Sunday morning last a gloom was thrown over our city by the report of the death of Conductor Harry Morgan, whose death occurred at quarter of six on that morning. He had, apparently got along so well ever since he was shot that everyone supposed he would recover… Mr. Morgan was 37 years of age. He had been in the employ of the Santa Fe railroad for five years, a resident of Nickerson over a year and served his country four years during the war. He was a passenger conductor on the railroad and enjoyed the confidence and stood high in the estimation of the officers of the company, and was an honored and highly respected citizen. He was a loving and faithful husband and leaves an equally loving and faithful wife to mourn his loss.

- The Hutchinson Herald 9/25/1880: M. J. Ruddy’s hearse was taken to Nickerson Tuesday afternoon, to take the remains of conductor Morgan to the cemetery.

-1880 Nickerson, Grant Township, Reno County, Kansas Federal Census: Harry Morgan age 30. Married. Conductor. Born in Maryland. Parents born in United States. Ella Morgan. Wife. Age 23. Married. Keeps house. Born in United States. Birth place of parents not listed.

Harry Morgan
Wildmead Cemetery
Nickerson, KS

Drowned while bathing

Charles Powelson
Lyons Municipal Cemetery

Not too often do we find the cause of death on a headstone. Richard Waterhouse, Waterhouse Symbolism, is featuring on his blog this month headstones that tell of violent deaths.

While this isn't as horrid as murder I would say drowning isn't a pleasant way to die.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Remembering The Clutter Family

On my last road trip I was able to visit the Clutter Memorial in the Holcomb Community park. Their murders were chronicled in the book "In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote. The memorial comes a few months before the 50th anniversary of their deaths. The family was murdered in Holcomb and buried in Garden City at Valley View Cemetery.

Jewish Cemetery

This cemetery is really off the beaten path. On the drive over to it I couldn't help but fear the children of the corn. I was glad to get back to a black top road.

In Loving Remembrance

Hays City Cemetery - Ellis Co., KS

Honoring Harry

Harry Lyon was the first burial in the Utica Cemetery in Ness Co., KS. The back of his headstone gives the history of the cemetery. What a sweet face and very touching memorial.