Friday, December 13, 2019

a place where the remains of the dead are buried or interred

I’ve mentioned before that I like to walk through cemeteries.  As a genealogist, it’s interesting to see older grave markers.  Sometimes they’re very sad.  Sometimes forgotten.  Sometimes curious.  I do understand that these places are for the living but I wouldn’t want to be in one. 

Anyway, Wharton’s city cemetery is a few blocks from my house and the other day, I walked through it again.  It’s really big – seven or eight blocks square.  Some of it is surrounded by a rusting fence.  Most is open.  It’s not really well taken care of, though I don’t know if it’s the cities responsibility or the families of those buried.  Many of the tombstones have fallen over, sit kilted to one side, or are overgrown with weeds.

I saw some interesting things though –

  There were a bunch like this.  
And, when I saw this one from a distance,
I first thought it was a dead tree stump.  However it’s not.

Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society is a not-for-profit fraternal benefit society founded in 1890, based in Omaha, Nebraska that operates a large privately held insurance company for its members.  The history of this organization includes numerous philanthropic efforts, community outreach projects, and distinctive tombstones depicting tree stumps.  The organization was founded in 1890 in Omaha by Joseph Cullen Root after hearing a sermon about "pioneer woodsmen clearing away the forest to provide for their families". Taking his own surname to heart, he wanted to start a society that "would clear away problems of financial security for its members".

 Some brought out my curiosity
(Inactivated Influenza Chromatographic Vaccine???)
(International Ice Cream Vending???)

Some are really fancy

Some are very simple.

 There are those that seem forgotten.
(or maybe, someone’s trying to get out!)

And those that are not.

This one has a great deal of engraving, not only on the front side
Name, birth/death dates, age, parents names, husbands name
but a message on the back as well.

25 Nov 1911
Oh Lida
Will Papa nevermore behold thee.
See thy sweet face again
nor hear your merry laughter?
No not here my daughter
But surely I will in heaven.

And on the bottom of the stone was this somewhat
odd message –

Erected by my precious Papa who worshiped me as he did his God.

Who added that, do you think?

There were a number like this – simple stones to mark the place.
Nothing on them.

There were the markers of famous people.

Horton Foote was an American playwright and screenwriter, perhaps best known for his screenplays for the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird and the 1983 film Tender Mercies. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1995 for his play The Young Man From Atlanta along with two Academy Awards, one for Tender Mercies and one for To Kill a Mockingbird.

And, some who were not.

And, then I walked home.

13 Dec 2019


  1. IICV..maybe 105 in Roman numerals? Just guessing! I love to look at gravestones, I find them fascinating. You should see Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta. Lots of gravestones, some famous, many not but well worth a visit. I like find a grave, very useful in genealogy research.

  2. I was thinking roman numerals too. But I got 95 - take that with a HUGE grain of salt because I don't really remember how they work (off to the google as soon as I hit "publish."

    As far as Lida's precious papa - I'll bet it was a wee bit bitter mama who added that message :)

    1. Yes or possibly done by the husband as a jab toward papa.

  3. Not a roman numeral. I wondered if the two I's are actually a U? In that case maybe United Confederate Veteran?

    1. Hmmmm - next time I walk that way I'll have to part the weeds and grass to see if it's a U rather than two I's.

  4. I used to go through cemeteries any time I could. My sister would wait until I got back.

  5. You learn a lot in cemeteries. I was walking through one with David while visiting him mom, grandmother and aunt's graves in their plot and noticed a lot of children in one area called the Playground. David said all the children buried there died from an influenza outbreak. Sure enough I checked the dates and did some checking and there were many deaths from the flu and most were children. So sad

  6. Thanks for sharing these, an interesting mix.

    All the best Jan