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

Friday, November 9, 2012

New Cemetery Walks

Here in Kansas change is in the air. I took advantage of the nice temps we had and visited a few cemeteries two counties east of me. Lots of hedge apples littering the back roads and grounds of Kansas.

I am hoping winter affords me time to catch up on a few projects and work on research and new blog posts. Here are the cemeteries I visited.

Harvey County
Walton & Old Walton Cemeteries

Marion County
Prairie Lawn, Catlin, Dunkard, Doyle Valley, Goessell and an Unnamed Cemetery.

I found a U. S. Geological Survey marker at Doyle Valley Cemetery.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Not much life in tombstone sale


One slightly used tombstone was sold Monday morning at the Reno County courthouse.

The events behind this unusual sale set much of the courthouse in an uproar as efforts were made to halt the sale, then delay it and even to determine who owned the stone and who paid taxes on it.

The strange transaction started when the sheriff's office attached the used grave marker for unpaid 1960 taxes. The taxes due on the tombstone are owed by E. M. Hotaling, former manager of the since reorganized Hutchinson Monument Co. Hotaling subsequently left town and the stone was seized at the Hutchinson Memorial Co, 202 North Maple.

As the hour of sale drew near, Clifton A. Park of Wichita, representing R. W. Park and Sons, a tombstone firm, appeared before the county commission and asked the sale be postponed. He said Hotaling hadn't owned the grave marker and that it already had been taxed in Sedgwick County.

Park said the grave marker had been made for a family in Macksville but the name had been misspelled and since it was hard to find anyone with that name who needed a tombstone, the marker was returned here and used for display. He said it was on consignment to Hotaling and that it was owned by the Wichita firm.

Apparently someone goofed when carving the stone. The name was supposed to be Johnston, but somewhere the "T" got lost and it came out Johnson.

Commissioners and members of the county attorney's office searched the statutes for a solution to the bizarre situation and found themselves powerless to stop the sale.

After the stay of sale was denied, bidders gathered in a hastily arranged tombstone territory near the front door of the courthouse.

"I have for sale one two-piece, red granite headstone hearing the name Johnson," said Undersheriff Elwood Mendenhall. "Who'll start the bidding?"

Bidding was not lively.

After only two bids, Park bought the grave marker for $70. The sale price did not cover the back taxes which were $75.62.

A waggish attorney then offered to start legal proceedings to change anyone's name to Johnson.
"We never sold a tombstone before," said Calvin Sheppard, sheriff.

Hutchinson News
December 3, 1962

reno county kansas

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Shadow on the Hill: the true story of a 1925 Kansas murder

I am supporting this Kickstarter project.

The 1925 murder of Kansas farmwife Florence Knoblock changed an entire community.

It was the most brutal murder in Coffey County, Kansas' history.
"On Decoration Day in 1925, John Knoblock returned to his Kansas farm to find his wife slaughtered on the kitchen floor. Within hours, dozens of lawmen, family members, well-meaning neighbors and gawkers paraded through the Knoblock farmstead, contaminating and destroying what little evidence was left behind. A small team of inexperienced lawmen, including a newly elected sheriff who had never run a murder investigation, attempted to reconstruct and solve the most gruesome murder in the history of Coffey County, Kansas."
Read more about it HERE

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

No spam here....please

Blogger is doing a great job in blocking spam posts. I received the email notification on my phone and was happy to find that each time they did not make it to my blog comments.

Thank you, Blogger!

Blog spam

Monday, October 15, 2012

Jewish Burial Ground

Jewish Cemetery, Savannah GA

Forty-two Jewish refugees arrived on July 11, 1733, having fled persecution in Portugal. The colonists welcomed them, especially when they learned there was a doctor among them, for their own doctor had recently died.

Most of the Jewish families settled in the area of Ellis Square. Descendents of two of the families; the Sheftalls and Minis’s, are prominent Savannah families today. The Mickve Israel synagogue now sits on Monterey Square and houses the South’s oldest Jewish congregation, the third founded in America.

A marble monument at the corner of Bull and Oglethorpe Street marks the site of the original Jewish burial ground established by Oglethorpe in 1733. Over the next ten years, thousands of colonist from many different countries and faiths came to Georgia to start a new life including Moravians and Salzburgers from Germany, Scottish Highlanders, French Huguenots, Irish Catholics, Italians, Greeks and Swiss.

Jewish Cemetery, Savannah GA

Jewish Cemetery, Savannah GA

Jewish Cemetery, Savannah GA

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Texas cemetery walks

I really appreciate that some of my family understands my love of cemeteries.

While visiting family in Texas a couple of weeks ago I visited a few cemeteries. My niece's backyard actually backs up to one of them. Close to perfect if you ask me ;)

Krum Jackson Cemetery, cemetery sign
Krum Jackson Cemetery

I took walks in these cemeteries:

  • Krum Jackson
  • Roselawn
  • Sanger

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cemetery Book

I finished scanning my cemetery bookshelf using the app Codex. And just in time for my newest arrival.

Cemetery Books

I found a used copy of this book on Amazon.com. Sometimes you can find really nice copies for half the original cost. It is a beautiful book.

Elmwood Cemetery Book

I made a quick visit to Elmwood Cemetery while in the area for an event. I'm looking forward to matching the information with some of my photos.

Elmwood Cemetery Book

Elmwood Cemetery Book

Elmwood Cemetery Book

Elmwood Cemetery
Jackson Co., MO

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hands Clasped Stone

I was surprised to find only this small stone marking a grave at the Sterling Community Cemetery in my neighboring county.

Hands on tombstone

Fortunately, this cemetery has good records so I could always find out who rests here on another visit.

Hands Together Symbolism [1]
Matrimony when sleeves reflect a feminine and masculine look.
When gender neutral it can be heavenly welcome or earthly farewell.
[1]Keister, Douglas. Stories in Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography. Salt Lake City: Gibbs Smith, 2004.

Monday, September 3, 2012


Happy Birthday to me!

Today marks four years I have been sharing my cemetery walks with you. Thanks for joining me on the journey.

Now, who wants cake?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Walks & Books Update

I recently updated my cemetery walks list. I really thought it was closer to 350 but I guess not. I know how to fix that :)

I am working on updating my bookshelf. The project of "home library" has been on my to-do list forever. I started out manually creating this document but fell behind on other categories while I kept up a little better on the cemetery category.

Cemetery Bookshelf

To speed things up I am experimenting with the Android App Codex. I selected this one for its ease and ability to export the list. And, it's free!

Codex, Library Catalog

I started by: (see photo below)
  1. Scanning the ISBN code on the books. It found and generated the listing for me. On the booklets without a code I manually entered as much data as I felt I needed in the default menu 
  2. In the Other menu I tagged it as my cemetery category and
  3. In the personal menu I checked that I own this book and if I have read it
Codex Android App Screen Shot

These photos reflect:
  1. Collections created: Cemetery is the only one so far
  2. Categories created from the book based on ISBN data
  3. The books in the cemetery collection
Codex Android App Screen Shot

If I like it I will expand to include the rest of our home library. Features that will be useful to me: the ability to create a wishlist and able to check and see if I own a book from anywhere as long as I have my phone.

Using the Codex app export function these are the books I need to add to my bookshelf list:
  • Bellefontaine Cemetery: Civil War Tour Booklet, Bellefontaine Cemetery Association
  • Bellefontaine Cemetery: A Journey Through History, Bellefontaine Cemetery Association
  • Final Thoughts, Eternal Beauty in Stone, John Thomas Grant
  • Forever L.A., A Field Guide to Los Angeles Area Cemeteries & Their Residents, Douglas Keister
  • Historic Bonaventure Cemetery, Photographs from the Collection of the Georgia Historical Society, Mandi Dale Johnson;Mandi Johnson;Amie Marie Wilson;Historical Society Georgia
  • Movers and Shakers, Scalawags and Suffragettes, Tales from Bellefontaine Cemetery, 1849-2006, Carol Ferring Shepley
  • Savannah's Laurel Grove Cemetery, John Walker Guss
  • Savannah Cemeteries,  Matthew Propst
  • Stony Point Church and Cemetery, And Historic Hickory Point, Ruth Endicott Brown
  • Tales Behind the Tombstones, The Deaths and Burials of the Old West's Most Nefarious Outlaws, Notorious Women, and Celebrated Lawmen, Chris Enss

Android X2 Codex

The photo above reflects the book list on my phone (Droid X2). I exported the file as .CSV so that I could open it in Excel on my laptop, which is reflected on the computer screen behind my phone.

Technology is wonderful. Technology in our hobbies: genealogy, cemeteries, photography, cooking, etc makes me a happy girl.

Many of you know that I love photography...I am planning to incorporate Lightroom 4 into my organization and keyword tagging of my many thousands of cemetery photos. You'll be hearing about that somewhere down the road.

I know there are so many options out there. What do you use? 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Photo Monument

Photo Monument: A Grave Photo Essay
a set or series of photographs that are intended to tell a story or evoke a series of emotions.
Babes of Bellefontaine
Stones Depicting Babies & Children
Bellefontaine Cemetery
St. Louis, MO

I am sharing photos from my visit to the Bellefontaine Cemetery over at the Online Journal of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits. Hop on over ...

GYR Online Journal

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Massey Stones Undamaged

Earlier this year I posted a short blog about the vandalism at a local cemetery. This cemetery is one that I've been working on since 2006. I helped another person digitize the interment records for the city. And, recently I decided to blog the project I'm working on to photograph each lot. You can read the details on the about|contact page on the blog.

A few weeks ago I received an email from someone asking about the damaged stones at Eastside and if there was a list. She was concerned about the stones of her great grandparents, Charles Christopher and Eliza Jane Lattimer Massey. I told her I would check on the stones on my next visit.

I was happy to report they are fine and not in the area where most of the damage occurred. I hope she will share information on them for the Eastside blog.

Massey Stones
Eastside Cemetery
Lot 1144

Weathered & Worn

~ I could not find a name.

Simmons Lot
Bellefontaine Cemetery

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bellefontaine Cemetery

This is a must see cemetery. The office staff were so nice when I stopped in to pick up my tour pamphlet.

I'll be sharing many photos soon.

Bellefontaine Cemetery
St. Louis, MO

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Remembered on Memorial Day

A few days after Memorial Day I had to go out to Penwell Gabel (formerly Memorial Park). I took the long route around and made my way to the office. Before I got there I had to stop and get out to look at this lot. It has to be the most decorated lot I've seen. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Child Mummy

This male infant mummy is not buried but on display at the St. Louis Science Center.

From the 2007 press release and opening of the exhibit

 The Child Mummy is a boy who died at about seven to eight months old.

 He probably lived during the period of 40 BC to 130 AD, possibly during the reign of
Caesar Augustus, known as The Roman Period because the Romans ruled Egypt at the

 The infant was likely from an upper middle class or wealthy family since mummification
was expensive.

 Geneticists are currently running DNA tests on the mummy to try to define the child’s

A great video about the research:

Online articles:

Examination of a Child Mummy
The Secrets of the Child Mummy

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cemetery vandalized

Last week Eastside Cemetery was vandalized. I took it personally. I have been working on recording and preserving the records and lives of those resting at Eastside since 2006. 67 headstones were toppled with some of them breaking.

Here is a photo of a section of Civil War veterans that had their stones broken. After Memorial Day I will do a thorough walk through with the sexton and record the damage. Thankfully I had already photographed most of the 21 broken stones.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Ready for Memorial Day

Today, with Barry's help, the interment list for Wildmead Cemetery was updated. I have one empty panel that I hope to fill with interesting information and photos.

Our contribution to pay it forward.

The kiosk, memorial stone and benches were added in 2010.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Woodlawn Cemetery Needs Your Vote!

From Jason Gross, Social Media Manager, for Woodlawn Cemetery in Bronx, NY.
Woodlawn is one of forty New York City sites participating in the Partners in Preservation program   American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation are awarding funds to restoration projects through an online voting competition.  Grants go to the sites with highest number of votes and the most creative and passionate supporters (like you!). Woodlawn will use the $150,000 grant for restoration to the beautiful, historic Belmont Mausoleum, which was just featured in this Partners in Preservation YouTube video: 

To win, we need you to VOTE DAILY. You can also post your thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or on your website to promote the VOTE for Woodlawn. The competition runs until May 21st.
Please click on http://partnersinpreservation.com/, promote the vote, and let everyone know why the place that preserves the stories of over 300,000 people (including Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Herman Melville, Joseph Pulitzer, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, Simon Guggenheim, Irving Berlin, George M. Cohan, Lionel Hampton and many other great historic figures) matters to you.
Okay my cemetery friends...please take time to vote and also share this on your blogs, G+, Facebook, etc.

Woodlawn was designated a National Historic Landmark in June 2011. Please vote!

The Belmont Mausoleum

Saw Lee surrender

He saw Lee surrender

One Hutchinson Veteran Found Who Was It At Finish

One Hutchinson veteran has been found who was at Appomattox when Gen. Lee’s army surrendered to Grant. George W. Lester was there, and was close enough to see Lee hand over his sword to Grant.

Mr. Lester was in a Pennsylvania cavalry regiment, which happened to be stationed not far away, when the historical incident occurred. He secured a piece of the wood of the famous apple tree under which the surrender took place.

Hutchinson News
April 14, 1910

Saw Lee Surrender
Lot 374

  • Factual reporting?
  • The surrender took place where?
  • What did he see? If anything?
  • Was he there?
  • George’s headstone shows his service as Co A, 3 NJ CAV
  • George’s obituary lists 3 Cav and 25 Cav, both Co A
  • Ancestry.com records list 3 Cav Co A and 25 Cav Co I
  • Where is the wood today?

An urge for momentos now possessed the men of both armies. The unfortunate Wilmer McLean was besieged by Yankee officers who made off with many items from the surrender room. A few tried to assuage their consciences by forcing a payment upon the reluctant host, but the fact is that nothing was taken with his willing permission. The apple tree where Lee had rested while he waited to hear from Grant also paid for its notoriety. "Our men wanted pieces of wood from the tree under which General Lee sat," a Pennsylvania soldier explained. "They began breaking twigs and then everyone wanted a piece of the tree for a souvenir. Before they finished they had cut down five large trees."
 …and in certain areas of popular imagination it may prove far more difficult to dislodge or qualify than the story that Grant and Lee signed the surrender papers under an apple tree, a legend that arose after Lee spent time waiting for Grant on April 9 in an apple orchard.
 New Jersey Cavalry - 3rd Regt
Organized at Camp Bayard, Trenton, N.J., and mustered in by Companies as follows: Company "A" January 26, Company "C" January 22, Company "E" January 4, Company "F" January 12, Companies "G" and "H" January 6, 1864; Company "D" December 2, 1863; Company "B" January 29, and Companies "I," "K," "L" and "M" March 24, 1864. March to Annapolis, Md., April 5-7, 1864. Guard Orange & Alexandria Railroad April 29-May 5. Attached to Cavalry, 9th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to May, 1864. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac and Middle Military Division, to June, 1865. Defenses of Washington, D.C., to August, 1865.
SERVICE.--Campaign from the Rapidan to the James May 3-June 12, 1864. Wilderness May 5-7. Near Germanin Ford May 5. Picket on the Rapidan May 6. Guard pontoons May 7. Expedition to Fredericksburg May 8-9. Spotsylvania May 9-12. Spotsylvania Court House May 12-21. United States Ford May 19. North Anna River May 23-26. On line of the Pamunkey May 26-28. Totopotomoy May 28-31. Mechump's Creek May 31. Ashland Station June 1. Cold Harbor June 1-12. Totopotomoy, Gaines' Mill, Salem Church and Hawes' Shop June 2. Hawes' Shop June 3. Bethesda Church June 11. White Oak Swamp June 13. Smith's Store, near St. Mary's Church, June 15. Weldon Railroad June 20. Jerusalem Plank Road June 22-23. Milford Station June 27. Picket duty at City Point until July 16. Duty at Light House Point July 16-25. Before Petersburg July 25. Mine Explosion, Petersburg, July 30 (Cos. "A" and "E"). Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign August 7-November 28. Winchester August 17. Summit Point August 21. Middleway August 21. Near Kearneysville August 25. Abraham's Creek, near Winchester, September 13. Battle of Winchester September 19. Near Cedarville September 20. Front Royal September 21. Milford September 22. Waynesboro September 29. Bridgewater October 2. Tom's Brook ("Woodstock Races") October 8-9. Picket at Cedar Creek until October 13. Cedar Creek October 13. Battle of Cedar Creek October 19. Newtown (or Middletown) November 12. Rude's Hill, near Mr. Jackson, November 22. Expedition from Kernstown to Lacey's Springs December 19-22. Lacey's Springs December 21. Sheridan's Raid from Winchester February 27-March 24, 1865. Occupation of Staunton March 2. Action at Waynesboro March 2. Occupation of Charlottesville March 3. Near Ashland March 15. Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9. Dinwiddie Court House March 30-31. Five Forks April 1. Fall of Petersburg April 2. Namozine Church April 3. Sailor's Creek April 6. Appomattox Station April 8. Appomattox Court House April 9. Surrender of Lee and his army. Expedition to Danville and South Boston April 23-27. March to Washington. D.C., May. Grand Review May 23. Mustered out at Washington, D, C., August l, 1865.

Hutchinson News

Hutchinson News
The obituary calls him an old settler. He was in Reno County as early as the 1880 Federal Census.

1880 Reno Co., KS Federal Census

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Palm tree in the cemetery

My photo essay is online at the Graveyard Rabbits Online Journal.

Elmwood Cemetery - Jackson County, MO

Marie Antoinette Thoms Maehl
4/12/1866 - 9/8/1891

August H. Weber
1866 - 1922

Baby Lena [on stone with August Weber]

Anton A. Weber
1836 - 1910

Christena Weber
1838 - 1910

Adolph W. Weber
1875 - 1905

Other photos for this lot:

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Memory Medallion

Last month I installed a Memory Medallion on my Mama's headstone. I shared more photos on my genealogy blog.