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

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.