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

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Coffin or Casket

Which word do you use? Coffin or casket? Are they one in the same?


1. the box or case in which the body of a dead person is placed for burial; casket.

coffin. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/coffin (accessed: May 25, 2010).

Word Origin & History
coffin - early 14c., from O.Fr. cofin "sarcophagus," earlier "basket, coffer," from L. cophinus "basket," from Gk. kophinos "a basket," of uncertain origin. Funeral sense in Eng. is 1520s; before that it was literal and had also a meaning of "pie crust." Coffin nail "cigarette" is slang from 1880.

coffin. Dictionary.com. Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/coffin (accessed: May 25, 2010).


1. a coffin.
2. a small chest or box, as for jewels.

casket. Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/casket (accessed: May 25, 2010).

Word Origin & History
casket - 1461, "small box for jewels, etc.," possibly formed as a dim. of Eng. cask, or from Norm.-Fr. cassette, from M.Fr. casset (see cassette). Meaning of "coffin" is Amer.Eng., probably euphemistic, first attested 1849.

casket. Dictionary.com. Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/casket (accessed: May 25, 2010).

Hutchinson News
2/21/1900 Page 6

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cemetery Art

GYR Carnival

The interesting, odd & beautiful

In almost every cemetery we can find a tombstone that fits into the interesting, odd and beautiful categories. These are the ones we most likely share on our cemetery blogs.

Mt. Calvary Cemetery - Saline County, KS
I have not located information on this grave.


Mitchal Runnels Grave
Valley View Cemetery - Finney County, KS


Highland Cem. - Comanche Co., OK
Eakins Cem. - Denton Co., TX
Eastside Cem. - Reno Co, KS
Eastside Cem., Reno Co, KS
I am drawn to tombstones that tend to pull my heartstrings.
These are a few that fit the beautiful category.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Partner in crime...

...or is that partner in cemetery? Meet my boneyard buddy, Kathleen. We have logged several hundred miles together visiting cemeteries. I know she has been to at least 60+ with me in our surrounding counties. We both have cemetery kits in our vehicles so that no matter who drives we are prepared. Mine is a part of my cemetery cart. We started out with walkie-talkies and now use our blackberry phones to keep in touch as we wander our own way.

Today, she brought me something she crafted. My new cemetery hat. I didn't take photos of everything but the back has a big red heart and the cutest cat buttons around the front.

Oh yeah, nobody tell her I put her photo on my blog. Hee!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Dearest Brother

Kemper Cemetery
Dearest brother thou hast left us
Here thy loss we deeply feel
But 'tis God that has bereft us
He can all our sorrows heal

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Little Angels

Just a few of the many little angels I saw that day at the Lakin Cemetery.

Beautiful Cemetery Photography

Cemetery Photography by John Thomas Grant
Many of you know of the great cemetery photography by John Thomas Grant. He is working on his book, Final Thoughts, that will be released in 2011. For those of you that may not know of him - you must visit his website. Recently I left a comment on one of his Facebook posts about how his photos spoke to me and he asked that I explain. I thought about it a day or two and realized I didn't need a long winded wordy response. This is what I shared with him:

Cemeteries offer an afternoon of discovery. Beauty and art is waiting to be found in the old stones, statues, epitaphs and landscape. Perhaps what each of us find is different. You capture them in a manner that gives them a voice. This is what I hear:

“Call my name out loud”

“Stay awhile”

“I am the shoulders on which you stand”

Beckoning: “Remember me”

Perhaps even a whisper of “thanks for stopping by”.
Most of my photographs are taken to preserve and share via the internet on websites and blogs. Among those are many interesting gravestones discovered on my walk that I share with you here at Digital Cemetery Walk. Some days though I long to capture the beauty found in the cemetery. Sometimes, I get lucky and come home with a snapshot of the beauty I saw that day. JT Grant does exactly that. I hope you will stop by and visit him soon.


Mt. Vernon Cemetery

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A great remembrance

 A lot of care went into this:

James M. Parker
Elizabeth Wimp Parker
Star Cemetery

Famous File: Jack Banta

I am borrowing the label "Famous File" from Tammi over at Escape to the Silent Cities. My famous file posts could be local or national.

Jack Banta
Brooklyn Dodgers
1947 - 1950
Born: 6/24/1925 Hutchinson, Reno Co., KS
Died: 9/17/2006 Hutchinson, Reno Co., KS
Buried: Penwell Gabel Cemetery & Mausoleum

'49 World Series pitcher dies

HUTCHINSON — Jack Banta, who played on the Brooklyn Dodgers with Jackie Robinson and made three relief appearances in the 1949 World Series, died at 81. His death was confirmed Tuesday. Banta, who had heart problems and recently broke his hip, entered a Hutchinson hospice Saturday and died the next day, wife Jackie Banta said.

Banta pitched briefly for the Dodgers in 1947 and 1948. His best season was in 1949 when he went 10-6 and won the pennant clinching game. Banta, who threw sidearm, pitched in the World Series against a New York Yankees team featuring Joe DiMaggio and Yogi Berra.

Banta pitched in relief in Games 3, 4 and 5 and gave up a home run to DiMaggio. The Yankees won the Series in five games.

He worked for a grocery supermarket company in Hutchinson for 33 years before retiring in 1989.

A graveside service is scheduled for Thursday in Hutchinson.

Salina Journal, 9/20/2006

Links to online information on Jack Banta:

Link 1
Link 2

Monday, May 10, 2010

On Assignment

Sometimes when the phone rings it is someone referred to me by the local library, or the museum calling to ask if I can help someone or redirect someone looking for me there. I've been in the newspaper several times about the cemetery/genealogy projects I oversee for my genealogical society. I get cemetery calls the most.

Gale Wall and Warden Sam Cline
So, it was no surprise a few weeks ago, while in the middle of a cemetery in another county, that my cell phone rang. The surprise was my caller. It was the Warden of our local correctional facility. [Before my son joined the Army he was a Master Sgt. Corrections Officer at the prison]. Warden Cline wanted to know if I would be interested in a research project for him. The task: find living family of an officer that died in 1928 from injuries sustained when an inmate escaped. Of course I said yes!

The officer, Lee White, had no children and 3 siblings. I quickly located 2 great nephews. They will be invitied to a memorial service at the Eastside Cemetery later this month. It was thought Lee White would be honored at the annual state service in 2011 but it was discovered he had been included in the 1993 service. I plan to attend the service in a few weeks and will include more information in another blog post. I had the opportunity to meet Warden Cline last week and receive a tour of the prison. It was called the Reformatory when first built. I have collected 7 original wanted posters along with articles and history on the Reformatory since my son worked there. I took these along for the Warden to copy.

Lee V. White - Eastside Cemetery
After the call and before my meeting with the Warden I wondered how he got my cell phone number. While at the cemetery locating Lee White's grave I mentioned it to the cemetery manager and he told me he was the one that gave the Warden my cell phone number. That tells you how often I am in the Eastside Cemetery.

During my meeting with the Warden I informed him of the cemetery sign project that my genealogical society is working on. To place a name sign in the 17 cemeteries without one. The reformatory has a small cemetery on the grounds that I want to include in this project. He has authorized my request to install the sign our society will purchase. When my research on the Reformatory Cemetery is complete I will provide a copy to Warden Cline. I will blog about this in the months ahead.

My husband thinks it is funny - the requests and calls I receive. I tell him there are worse things to be known for.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My hero

No cemetery related post here. Just a note to my cemetery friends...

My son, Clayton, has deployed to Afghanistan. If you want to follow us on this journey you can on our other blog. I recently had an opportunity to represent the military family at a public event. I shared that having our son enlist to serve our country makes us proud but having him enlist during two wars makes HIM a hero to us.

Please say an extra prayer for him and all that serve our country.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Watch this sleeping dust

In Memory of

Mary E.
wife of
John J. Ryan
Died June 29, 1878
Ages 31 years & 13 days

May she rest in peace

May Angels kind be inclined
to watch this sleeping dust
till God above wraped in pure love
will come to raise the just
then may she rise in sweet surprise
in glory radiant rise may she
be blest with peace and rest
for everlasting days

Erected by her husband John J. Ryan

Located in St. Patrick's Cemetery