30 December 2009

Southern Epitaphs (& My Most Recent Favorite)

It's no secret. If you follow this blog (and I hope you do!), then you know I like epitaphs. I often highlight the ones I find particularly touching in some way.

I started collecting the epitaphs some time ago and placing them in a database online using the blog format. I am attempting to categorize and uncover meanings. If you'd like to check it out, it's here --> Southern Epitaphs.

By the way, here's my latest favorite. It was found at the Waverly Hall Cemetery in Harris County, Georgia.

Seaborn K. O'Neal
Born Sept 20th, 1838
Died June 3rd, 1871

Oh! could you but see my repose
Where dangers no more shall annoy,
Your feelings you then would compose,
And think of me only in joy.

Heaven Bore Away the Prize of John T. Whitehead

The tombstone for John T. Whitehead has a lot going on -- a glowing epitaph, quotes, Bible scripture, and symbols of the urn and hourglass.

Sacred To The Memory Of
John T. Whitehead
In All Life's Relations He Exemplified The Virtues Of The Christian And Gentleman, And Won The Love Of All. He Was Beloved By His Family, Cheerful In Company, Conscientious In Spirit, Successful In Business, Patient In Affliction, And Victorious In Death. The Love Of This Community Claimed A Longer Stay, But Higher Attraction Prevailed, Earth Yielded, And Heaven Bore Away The Prize. The Key To His Most Triumphant Death Is Found In His Dying Request, To Be Put Upon His Tomb, "I Am A Man Of Prayer."

Born March 27th, 1816
Died September 11th, 1860

"I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die."

"Let sickness blast, let death devour,
If heaven must recompense our pains.
Perish the grass, and fade the flower,
If firm the word of God remains."

The last quote is from the last verse of a hymn by Charles Wesley, Jr. entitled "The Morning Flowers Display Their Sweets." It references Isaiah 40:6-8 in the Bible.

At the top of Mr. Whitehead's tombstone is an urn. This form of funerary art has been written about before on this blog, and you may read about it here.

Placed near the bottom of the urn is an hourglass that looks to me to be within a lyre without the strings. The hourglass symbolizes the passing of time. The lyre, kin to the harp, may represent heavenly desires.

29 December 2009

Frances Lowe was All the Wife & Mother Could Be (Tombstone Tuesday)

Frances E. Kilgore
Wife of Henry L. Lowe
Born Aug 4, 1834
Died Nov 28, 1877

A loving mother and devoted wife has gone to her rest, and the light has gone out in the happy home. Graces with those rare virtues which are peculiar only to her sex, the deceased was all the wife and mother could be. Her sorrowing husband to whom she had been a faithful and loving companion for so many happy years, now that she is gone will cherish her memory and children whom she has tenderly reared will arise up and call her blessed.

This ledger marker is located at Waverly Hall Cemetery in Harris County, Georgia.

Photo copyright © 2009 S. Lincecum.

28 December 2009

I Wish I Could Credit the Carver of Susan's Tombstone

This wonderful piece of art is located at Waverly Hall Cemetery in Harris County, Georgia. The inscription:

In Memory Of
Susan A.
Consort Of Anderson G. Jones,
And Daughter of Wm & Catherine Whitehead
Born In Harris Co, GA Sept 5th, 1834,
And Died In Harris Co, GA Feby 2nd, 1861

A constant Christian,
a devoted Wife and fond

The few photos I have here do not do justice to the intricate carving involved. The vining work is very pretty. I looked for a signature, but did not notice one.

23 December 2009

Hearts & Hands (Wordless Wednesday)

22 December 2009

Henry & Mariah Lowe (Tombstone Tuesday)

Laid to rest in Waverly Hall Cemetery; Harris County, Georgia are General Henry H. and Mrs. Mariah A. Tarver Lowe. Their marble tombstone has inscriptions on all four sides:

To the memory of
Mrs. Mariah A. Lowe,
consort of Genl Henry H. Lowe,
formerly Miss M. A. Tarver,
Born Sept 30th, 1807,
Married Aug 26th, 1821,
Died Nov 27th, 1852.
In but few characters was ever so happily blended all the elements of female virtues and attractions. Modest, refined, cultivated and dignified. Kine, forbearing, benevolent, liberal and just.

Father this cup of sorrow,
We'll drink as did thy Son,
Teach us in resignation,
To say "Thy will be done."

In Memory Of
Genl Henry H. Lowe
Who Was Born 4th Nov 1795
And Died July 8th, 1854
This stone marks the resting place of one whose influence and character were felt in his day: a man of strong will and unwavering purpose, of untiring industry and unyielding perseverance, he made for himself fortune, name and position. And while his excellent sense and sterling character gained for him positions of public preferment, his warm and generous heart won for him friendship which will long offer a tear to his memory. May the sod rest lightly on his brave and noble heart.

To live in hearts we leave behind, is not to die.

[Note: General Henry Lowe was a very prominent figure in Harris County, Georgia. He owned a large plantation, and even hosted a dinner for ex-President James K. Polk.]

20 December 2009

Today's Epitaph: Mrs. Fannie Pitts Dwelleth in Heaven

Mrs. Fannie M.
Wife of S. H. Pitts
And daughter of Thomas & Mary A. Whitehead
Born Nov 4th, 1842
Died Aug 14th, 1873

She dwelleth in heaven, yet deep in our hearts
Her image is graven, and never departs.
And while we yet linger, we watch and we wait
Till death who has parted, again shall unite.

Ledger marker located at
Waverly Hall Cemetery;
Harris County, Georgia.

19 December 2009

Grapes, Wheat & a Dive-Bombing Dove

This tombstone for Virginia Crook (d. 1859), located at Waverly Hall Cemetery in Harris County, Georgia, contains several Christian symbols.

The cross and book (likely representing the Bible) is common enough, and the symbols widely known. The dove is also often seen and represents peace and purity. I learned something else about the dove when it is depicted as "dive-bombing" from Heaven -- it represents the Holy Ghost, as written in John 1:32-34 -

32 And John bore witness, saying, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him.
33 "I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'
34 "And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God."

The other items I have not often seen are the grapes and wheat. Grapes alone could symbolize the blood of Christ. Wheat alone may depict immortality and resurrection. When the two are shown together, it is thought to represent wine, bread, and Holy Communion.

17 December 2009

Calm, the Good Man Meets His Fate (& a Masonic Funeral Ritual)

This monument is erected by order of the most worshipfull Grand Lodge of Georgia, to the Memory of their former Grand Chaplain, Reverend Thomas Darley, who departed this life, 18th April A.L. 5832, A.D. 1832, in the 63rd year of his age: and who was a shining light to his Masonic Brethren, to imitate in his walk, as a man, Mason, and Christian.

Rev. Darley was laid to rest at Waverly Hall Cemetery in Harris County, Georgia. According to a death notice found in a local paper, he left behind a wife and 16 children. On the back side of Rev. Darley's monument is the following epitaph:

"Calm, the good man meets his fate,
Guards celestial around him wait!
See! he bursts these mortal chains,
And o'er death the victory gains."

While the symbol and inscription on the gravestone clearly states Rev. Darley was a Mason, there are a couple of other clues you might not be aware of that further bolster this fact. Though I have yet to find a simple explanation as to how, the letters and numbers A.L. 5832 have ties to the history of freemasonry.

Also, the epitaph is connected to Masonic history. A Google search of the first line of the epitaph, "Calm the good man meets his fate," reveals a poem written by David Vinton (1774-1833). Mr. Vinton was a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity as a member of Mount Vernon Lodge No. 4 of Providence, Rhode Island. He compiled and published a hymnal entitled "The Masonic Minstrel" in 1816. The epitaph on Rev. Darley's stone is the final stanza in a dirge included in the book set to "Pleyel's Hymn." A dirge is a somber song expressing mourning or grief, such as would be appropriate for performance at a funeral.

That leads me to Funeral Service: Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient Freemasons. While the link leads you to information from a pamphlet distributed in South Carolina, the information appears to apply to all members of the fraternity. Though I cannot say for sure how often this funeral ritual was actually performed (or if it was used at the funeral for Rev. Darley), here are a few highlights:

"No Freemason can be interred with the formalities of the Order, unless it be at his own request, or by that of some of his family, communicated to the Master of the Lodge of which he died a member (foreigners and transient brethren excepted); nor unless he has received the Master's degree; and from this restriction there can be no exception. Fellow Crafts and Apprentices are not entitled to funeral obsequies; nor to attend the Masonic processions on such occasions.

When the Master of a Lodge receives notice of a Master Mason's death, and of his request to be interred as a Mason, he must satisfy himself of its propriety; and then, being informed of the time appointed for the funeral, the Master may invite as many Lodges as he may think proper, and the members of those Lodges may accompany their officers in form; but the whole ceremony must be under the direction of the Master of the Lodge to which the deceased belonged, and he and his officers must be duly honored and cheerfully obeyed on the solemn occasion.

The proper clothing for a Masonic funeral, is a black hat, black or dark clothes, white gloves and a plain white lambskin apron, with a band of crape around the left arm above the elbow, and a sprig of evergreen on the left breast. The Master's gavel, the Warden's columns, the Deacon's and Steward's rods, the Tiler's sword, the Bible, the Book of Constitutions, and the Marshal's baton, should be draped with black crape. The officers of the Lodge and past Masters and Grand Officers, may wear their official jewels.

The brethren being assembled at the Lodge room, or some other convenient place, the Master of the Lodge to which the deceased belonged opens the Lodge in the third degree. A procession is then formed to the house of the deceased and thence to the grave...

...When the procession arrives at the gate of the church-yard, the Lodge to which the deceased brother belonged, and the mourners and attendants on the corpse, halt, until the members of the other Lodges have formed a circle round the grave, when an opening is made to receive them. They then advance to the grave; where the clergyman and officers of the acting Lodge take their station at the head of the grave, and the mourners at the foot. The Marshal will remove the apron from the coffin to be handed in to the Master at the proper time; the coffin is then lowered into the grave and after the clergyman has concluded the religious services of the church, (unless the same have been previously concluded) the Masonic service begins...

...[After words are spoken according to ritual] They then form a chain, with the left arm over the right, and march three times around the grave, while they sing the... [Pleyel's] hymn..."

More words according to ritual are spoken, and the members return to the lodge and close with the usual benediction.

Another interesting note connecting to Rev. Darley: he would've been one to perform a service such as this for a Grand Officer, during the time he was Grand Chaplain.

15 December 2009

Members of Kennon Family Killed by a Storm in 1875 (Tombstone Tuesday)

In March of 1875, at least three tornadoes touched 18 counties in the state of Georgia. In Harris county, at least six members of the Capt. John H. Kennon family were killed. They were laid to rest in the Waverly Hall cemetery.

An account of the disaster in the 30 March 1875 Macon Weekly Telegraph says this: "...At Mt. Airy, the house of Capt. John Kennon was whirled around, and portions of it carried half a mile. Mrs. Kennon was killed with her two grown daughters, a son aged seventeen, a daughter of twelve, and a baby. Their bodies were scattered along the road for 50 to 150 yards, and everything else was gone. The bones of all were broken and they had received severe gashes..."

Here is an additional article that describes more of the storm. I transcribed the whole article for those that might have genealogical interests. After this transcription is a link to even more articles from other newspapers detailing the destruction of the storms.

Augusta Chronicle
24 March 1875
"Around Columbus
[Special to the Herald]
COLUMBUS, GA, March 22 -- Storms occurred Saturday between 11 and 12 o'clock. There appeared to be four whirlwinds, or tornadoes, one near Whiteville, in Harris county; another from Harris county into Meriwether; another near Hamilton, and another from Harris through Talbot. The two first created immense havoc to property, but no lives were lost; the one near Hamilton killed three children of H. W. Pitts, and badly wounded two others, one having both legs, both arms and a thigh broken, and injured Pitts and his wife. The latter is bereft of reason from grief. Every house on its course, for twenty miles in length and a half mile in width, was levelled, trees blown down and carried hundreds of feet, and fences scattered everywhere; furniture, clothing, stock, etc, all gone, and the people suffering on account of the destruction of food. The fourth was most destructive, for, twenty miles in length and half a mile in width, its path is marked by ruin and devastation. The little village of Mount Airy, in Harris county, was totally destroyed; not a house standing. The wife and five children -- four grown, three of which were young ladies -- of Capt. J. H. Kennon were killed and their bodies blown from fifty to one hundred yards, and Captain Kennon was hurt in the shoulder. Two of his sons were saved, being absent from home. Mr. Hunt was injured in the spine, Wm. McGhee had two ribs broken, and goods and clothing scattered all around; Maj. John H. Walton escaped narrowly, his residence being demolished; teacher Clark and wife are mortally wounded, and their child had an arm fractured; rev. J. B. McGhee had his jaw broken, and was injured internally; his daughter and son injured; Tom Neal was hurt and his house utterly blown away. Baughville, Talbot county, was completely demolished. Elisha Culpepper was killed, and his wife and daughter-in-law was seriously wounded, and Mrs. Burdell had both legs broken. Among others badly hurt are Mrs. Miller B. Phillips, Mrs. Bradshaw and son, a daughter of Prof. Chaplin, and a son of Capt. C. Calhoun, in all ten whites and sixteen negroes killed and five churches demolished, six stores and four school houses destroyed. Total loss over one hundred thousand dollars. Columbus has voted four thousand dollars to the sufferers. Hamilton and Talbotton escaped by a mile and a half. Direction of the storm was northeast. A gentleman came in on the Southwestern train this morning for six coffins for one family -- that of Capt. John Kennon, his wife, three daughters, and two sons."

Read even more accounts of the devastating storm here.

**Update:  Just received an email from Mr. Allen Henderson.  His grandfather, Rev. Charles Kennon Henderson, placed the markers for the KENNON family.  Capt. John H. Kennon mentioned in the article was the uncle of Rev. Henderson.  Those lost in the storm were descendants of Dr. John Kennon, a prominent settler of the area.  Dr. Kennon is believed to also be buried at Waverly Hall cemetery.  Thanks, Allen, for the information! (11/18/2010)

14 December 2009

Michael Gannon, Stone Cutter

The above signature is carved into a marble ledger marker located at Waverly Hall Cemetery in Harris County, Georgia. A little research led me to Mr. Michael Gannon. Census records suggest he was born between 1812 and 1820 in Ireland. He was naturalized in Charleston, South Carolina in the year 1847.

Michael and family are found in the 1860 US Federal Census for Charleston, South Carolina. They are in Ward 3, enumerated on page 9, dwelling 58, family 54 (lines 5-12):

Michael Gannon / age 40 / male / occ: Stone Cutter / b. Ireland
Mary Gannon / 35 / F / b. Ireland
John Gannon / 17 / M / South Carolina
Michael Gannon / 15 / M / South Carolina
Mary Ann Gannon / 13 / F / South Carolina
William J. Gannon / 7 / M / South Carolina
Thomas F. Gannon / 2 / M / South Carolina
James Gannon / 28 / M / occ: Stone Cutter / b. Ireland

By 1870, the craft was being passed on to his son, as both the elder and younger Michael were listed as Stone Masons. A second son, William, joined in as a stone cutter by 1880.

Michael worked at the marble yard located at 170 King Street in Charleston, per the Shole's Directory of the City of Charleston of 1878 and 1879 and the South Carolina State Business Directory of 1880 and 1881.

M. Gannon died 2 December 1881 at his home in Charleston.  Per his death certificate, Michael's age was 65 and his occupation was Stone cutter.  Burial was at St. Lawrence Cemetery.

South Carolina, Death Records, 1821-1965

Another researcher notes Michael Gannon's technique resulted in "distinctive lettering." An example below is from the aforementioned Waverly Hall Cemetery in Harris County, Georgia.

Note:  When we took a road trip to Charleston last year, we stayed at the historic Francis Marion hotel located on King Street. Just think -- we were right by where the marble yard was, and where Mr. Gannon worked more than 120 years ago! Very cool.

12 December 2009

Today's Epitaph: Sleep on Dearest!

Sacred to the memory of
Mrs. S. C.
Wife of W. A. Stansell;
And daughter of N. and E. Passmore,
Born 14th Novr 1833
Died 12th March 1863
Aged 29 years, 3 months and 28 days.

Sleep on Dearest! sweetly beside thy infant babes,
On the resurrection morn thou and they
Shall rise again.
Angels guard they sleeping dust.
W. A. S.

This ledger marker is located at Waverly Hall Cemetery in Harris County, Georgia. The stone carver was "M. Gannon, Chn. S. C." Nearby is Mrs. Stansell's mother -

In memory of
Mrs. Elizabeth
Wife of Nathan Passmore
and daughter of John E. & A. Lester
Born Nov. 8th, 1809,
Died May 20th, 1869
Aged 59 years, 6 months & 12 days

Sweetly sleep Wife, Mother
Thy home is in Heaven, where thou
wilt taste the joys and pluck the ambrosial
fruits of Paradise.

11 December 2009

Dum Tacet Clamat

I've photographed many Woodmen of the World memorials, and I think this is the best image I've captured of their slogan, Dum Tacet Clamat. It translates to "though silent, he speaks."

Woodmen of the World is the largest fraternal benefit society with open membership in the United States. It is an insurance organization founded by Joseph Cullen Root in Omaha, Nebraska on the 6th of June, 1890.

The first certificate of membership was issued to William A. McCully of Independence, Kansas on the 29th of December, 1890. Six months later, Woodmen paid its first death claim on the life of teenager Willie O. Warner who drowned on the 14th of June, 1891, in Niles, Michigan.

Early Woodmen of the World policies provided for a death and a monument benefit. Gravestones were originally furnished to members for free and later were offered to those who purchased a $100 rider.

To learn more, visit "Woodmen of the World Memorials" on the Southern Graves website.

Note: The photo is of the treestone placed for Jesse H. Short (25 Sept 1878 - 25 Apr 1943) at the Waverly Hall Cemetery in Harris County, Georgia.

10 December 2009

Slideshow: Riverside Cemetery in Asheville, North Carolina

09 December 2009

Fannie's Headless Angel (Wordless Wednesday)

06 December 2009

Starnes Tree of Life & Death

This beautifully carved "treestone" is located at Riverside Cemetery in Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina. I do believe it is one of the most life-like I've ever seen. This particular tree stump memorializes the STARNES family. On the back of the stone is a plaque with all the names of the family members, as well as birth and death years for each.

Thomas A. Starnes
1818 - 1897
His Wife
1825 - 1896

Family of
Thomas Albert Starnes, 1818-1897
& Elizabeth Morgan Starnes, 1825-1896
Avaline S. Smith (Mrs. R. S.), 1843-1924
Caroline S. Ownbey (Mrs. Sims), 1844-1914
Mary Ann S. Reeves (Mrs. T. C.), 1846-1889
Martha S. Clark (Mrs. W. P.), 1848-1908
John Wesley Starnes, 1849-1898
Margaret E. Starnes, 1851-1926
Thomas Charles Starnes, 1854-1899
Jesse Russell Starnes, 1856-1913
George Haskew Starnes, 1857-1922
Dr. E. Clingman Starnes, 1859-1900
Eva Marian Starnes, 1863-1864
Gonano Starnes, 1865-1945
Ida Zone Starnes, 1867-1930

I also found a couple obituaries for STARNES family members John W. and Jesse R. on GenealogyBank.

23 December 1898
Charlotte Observer, North Carolina
A Well-Known Educator of Asheville Succumbs to Disease

Special to The Observer.
Asheville, Dec. 22 -- Hon. John W. Starnes, a well-known educator of Buncombe, died at his home here to-day, of acute catarth[?] of the head. Mr. Starnes was a native of this county, 40 years old, was formerly superintendent of the Buncombe public schools for seven years and his administration was marked by ability and progressiveness. Some years ago he represented this county in the lower house of the General Assembly, his colleague being Gen. Robert B. Vance. Mr. Starnes always took a deep interest in the educational progress of the State and was for one term a member of the board of trustees of the State University. His death is deplored by a very large circle of friends through out Buncombe and western North Carolina. His wife and two sons survive him."

27 August 1913
Asheville Pioneer Citizen Dies at Age of 60

(Special to The Observer)
Asheville, Aug 26 -- Jesse R. Starnes, one of Asheville's pioneer citizens, died at his home on North Main street yesterday, following a year's illness. Mr. Starnes was a native of this county and was a large property owner in this city. He has practiced law for the past 20 years and for several years has been interested in one of the city's leading undertaking and livery establishments.

The deceased was 60 years of age and is survived by a wife and two children. He was a consistent member of the First Baptist Church and held memberships in several fraternal orders which have lodges at this point.

The funeral services will be conducted Wednesday afternoon from the home of the deceased."

05 December 2009

Zebulon's Grandfather

For this week's Tombstone Tuesday, I wrote about North Carolina's "greatest man," Zebulon Baird Vance. In a newspaper article about him that I found and transcribed here, Zeb's grandfather is described. Luckily, I had also photographed a stone while at Riverside Cemetery in Asheville, not far from where Zebulon was laid to rest, that memorializes this grandfather as well as a few additional members of his family. On each of the fours sides of the stone, a different family member is remembered.

David Vance
Born in Frederick County, Va, of Scotch Irish parentage about 1750. Died in Buncombe Co, N.C. in 1811. He was a soldier at King's Mountain in the Patriot Army in 1780. One of the earliest settlers of Buncombe and the first clerk of the County Court.

Priscilla Brank
Wife of David Vance
Born in Rowan Co, NC in 1756 of German parentage. Reared a family of eight children and died in 1836.

Robert Brank Vance, M.D.
Youngest son of David and Priscilla. Born in...[?]...1794. Died in 1827. He was a physician of much promise, well versed in English lit, and a politician of note. He served as member for this District in the XVIIIth Congress.

David Vance
Son of David and Priscilla, born in Reems Creek, Buncombe Co, NC July 15, 1792. Died Jan 14, 1844. Succeeding to the name and Virtues of his Father, was highly esteemed as a modest and upright citizen and Christian gentleman. He was an Elder in the Presbyterian Church.

01 December 2009

North Carolina's Greatest Man (Tombstone Tuesday)

Zebulon Baird Vance
May 1830
April 1894

Riverside Cemetery
Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina

Zebulon Vance was a Confederate military officer during the Civil War, twice Governor of North Carolina, and U.S. Senator. He was a remarkable writer and became one of the most influential Southern leaders of the Civil War and postbellum periods. He was much beloved by his home state, as is conveyed in the following newspaper article describing his funeral.

19 April 1894
State, South Carolina
Renewed and Continuous Demonstrations of their Great Love for Their Dead Senator, Made by North Carolinians Yesterday

Asheville, N.C., April 18 -- At the hour of noon today the remains of the late Zebulon B. Vance are being deposited in their last resting place overlooking the beautiful French Broad river in this "Land of the Sky," a fitting spot for the last repose of a great man.

The funeral train arrived just after dawn from Raleigh, with committees of both houses of Congress, the Governor and other officers of State and three cars of distinguished friends of the dead Senator.

Notwithstanding the late hour at which the train passed Hickory, Morganton and other stations, large crowds pressed into the funeral car and demanded to see the remains. The demonstration at Asheville is the greatest of the occasion.

The body was placed in the First Presbyterian Church at 8 o'clock, and from that hour until 11:30 thousands of people from his native county of Buncombe passed to take a last look.

An immense crowd of Confederate veterans, followed by different fraternal organizations, the Asheville Light Infantry, and Bingham cadets, filed by.

Mrs. Vance spent a half hour in private with her dead husband and asked that she be the last one to see his face.

The procession was then formed, reaching almost from the church to the cemetery, a distance of two miles.

The crowd that marched out to the cemetery was estimated at 10,000.

Friday will be observed here as memorial day for the whole State and an immense throng is expected.

The crowd thronged the stations along the way to Asheville, delayed the train by their urgent demands to see, at least, the casket, and they filled the funeral car with magnificent floral offerings. Each hamlet added beautiful flowers, marked "From the Ladies to Our Zeb," and when Asheville was finally reached the funeral car was opened for the last time, it required the aid of a company of militia to remove the floral tributes. The Asheville Light Infantry escorted the remains from the train to the church and mounted guards over them, while the reverent crowds passed to take a last look at the beloved familiar face. The scene was especially touching when the Confederate veterans took leave of their old commander. After these came several of the Senator's old slaves.

The procession to the cemetery was formed in the following order: Mounted police, Asheville Light Infantry, Bingham cadets, pall bearers in carriages, special escort of Rough and Ready Guards surrounding the hearse, Family of the deceased, Congressional committees, Governor and staff, city and county officers, Masonic Order, Survivors Association, Grand Army of the Republic, Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, Royal Arcanum and Knights of Honor. These were followed by different labor organizations and the entire city fire department.

The procession, both civic and military, numbered about 10,000, while thousands looked on as spectators. The streets through which the procession passed, were draped in mourning, and from the front of the county court house hung a large portrait of the dead Senator, while stretching from the belfry on both sides to the ground were cords, from which waved the marine signals, which spelled "We Mourn for Zebulon Vance."

The ceremony at the grave was exceedingly solemn and was conducted by Rev. Dr. Campbell of the First Presbyterian church, after which the floral offerings were gracefully placed and thus North Carolina buried a son whose place may be partly filled in the council halls of the nation, but never in the hearts of her people.
[Update: I continued to do a little more reading about Mr. Vance and came across an editorial from a 1905 newspaper regarding him and his career. While the article as a whole is an opinion, I believe it does provide a glimpse into United States, North Carolina, and VANCE history. I transcribed it, and it is available here on the Southern Graves website.]

26 November 2009

I'm Thankful for... You!

25 November 2009

Free Access to Colonial, Revolutionary War & DAR Databases

WorldVitalRecords is offering free access to Colonial, Revolutionary War, and Daughters of the American Revolution databases through November 30th. This includes 200 free databases covering vital, court, and military records through the Revolutionary War. You can search everything from information on Mayflower families to lineages submitted by the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Some noted databases:

- Abstracts Of Wills And Inventories, Fairfax County, Virginia, 1742 - 1801
- Abstracts Of Wills, Inventories, And Administration Accounts Of Loudoun County, Virginia, 1757 - 1800
- American Wills Proved In London, 1611 - 1775
- Births, Deaths And Sponsors, 1717 - 1778 From The Albemarle Parish Register Of Surry And Sussex Counties, Virginia
- Calendar Of Wills, 1626 - 1836
- Death Notices In The South-Carolina Gazette, 1732 - 1775
- Genealogical Abstracts From 18th-Century Virginia Newspapers
- Known Military Dead During The American Revolutionary War, 1775 - 1783
- Scots In Georgia And The Deep South, 1735 - 1845
- The Germans Of Colonial Georgia, 1733 - 1783

For a complete list of free databases, click here.

Col. Stephen Lee, Relative of Gen. Robert E. Lee

Laid to rest in Riverside Cemetery at Asheville, North Carolina are members of the Colonel Stephen Lee family. Transcription of the obelisk topped tombstone:

Mrs. Caroline Lee
Died Dec 18th, 1855
Age 48 Years

Caroline Lee
Died Aug 10th, 1857
Age 21 Years

Emily K. Lee
Died June 15th, 1893
Age 62 Years

In Memory Of
Col. Chas C., Thomas, Stephen, and Joseph.
Sons of Stephen & Caroline Lee,
Who Died In The Southern Cause.
Blessed Are The Dead
Who Die In The Lord.

In Memory Of
Col. Stephen Lee
Born in Charleston, SC
June 7th, 1801
Died in Asheville, NC
Aug 2nd, 1879

Here is what the Riverside Cemetery Walking Tour has to say about Col. Stephen Lee: "Colonel Stephen Lee, a distant relative of General Robert E. Lee, left Charleston to open a school in Asheville in 1846. His school, known as 'Lee's Select School for Boys' became famous across the south for its discipline and curriculum. He spent his entire life teaching at his school except for the years of the Civil War. During the war, Lee fought bravely for the Confederacy... At the end of his service, Lee formed a company called the 'Silver Grays.' These men were so well trained by Lee that on April 6, 1865, his small company of less than 300 men repulsed a Union army of 1,100 soldiers who came to Asheville with the intention of burning it down. After the war, Lee gave tracts of land in the Chunn's Creek section to his former slaves. Lee's land holdings before the Civil War included land from the top of Beaucatcher Mountain to the Swannanoa River."

Col. Lee is also mentioned in Western North Carolina: a history (1730-1913):
Col. Lee's school for boys was far famed and many of the best citizens of this country and South Carolina remembered with gratitude, not only the drilling in Latin and Greek received from this most successful educator, but also the lessons in high toned honor and manhood imparted by this knight "without fear and without reproach." Col. Lee came from South Carolina and opened his school first in a large brick house built by himself on Swannanoa, known as "The Lodge..." Col. Lee afterwards moved to Chunn's Cove, where he taught until, at the call of his country, he and his sons and his pupils enlisted in the cause which they believed to be right. He was a graduate of West Point and distantly related to Gen. R. E. Lee.

Col. Stephen Lee, son of Judge Thomas lee of Charleston, S.C., was born in Charleston, June 7, 1801, was educated at West Point and for some years after taught in the Charleston College. In September, 1825, he was married to his cousin, Caroline Lee, also of Charleston; they had fifteen children, nine boys and six girls. Some years after he was married he moved to Spartanburg, S.C., where he lived only a few years, moving with his family to Buncombe county, N.C. In Chunn's Cove he started his school for boys, which he kept up as long as he lived, except for two or three years in the sixties, a part of which time he was in command of the 16th N.C. Regiment, serving his country in West Virginia and the rest of the time drilling new recruits and preparing them for service. Besides serving himself, he sent eight boys into the Confederate army, four of whom gave their lives to the cause. At the close of the war he returned to his school duties and prepared many young men for their life work. He died in 1879, and is buried in the Asheville cemetery.

24 November 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: Clara Chunn Chapman

Clara E. Chunn
Wife of Robt H. Chapman, D.D.
Born Oct 12, 1812
Married Oct 18, 1831
Died Aug 13, 1858

Riverside Cemetery; Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina

According to the text from the Riverside Cemetery Walking Tour, Clara's grave was moved to Riverside Cemetery from the Episcopal Church on Church Street. Chunn's Cove in Asheville was named for her.

23 November 2009

McElveen Mausoleum

This mausoleum is located at Riverside Cemetery in Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina. I neglected to write down all the information of the readable inscriptions, as I was in a hurry. Nonetheless, I was able to get the following with my digital camera:

Ella Pace McElveen
Wife of G. W. McElveen
Born Rogersville, Tenn May 1860
Died June 1899

Our Mother
Parolee Blevins Pace
Born Rogersville, Tenn Mar 31, 1836
Died Waco, Texas Jan 26, 1921

I photographed this mausoleum because I thought it was neat how the woman sculpted at the top appeared to be coming out of the greenery.

22 November 2009

Buchanan Family Monument Photos

The Buchanan monument at Riverside Cemetery in Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina is more than meets the eye. There is a large angel sculpture atop the monument, carved entirely out of limestone left over from the construction of the Biltmore Estates by Fred Miles, a stone carver for the Biltmore. At each of the four corners below the angel are cherub faces. And farther down are pairs of faces, again at each of the four corners. These faces seem to represent the Buchanan family -- an adult male, adult female, and children.

In Memory of
William Allen Buchanan
Born in Kingston, Jamaica
Died September 8, 1871
Aged 49 Years
And His Beloved Wife
Sarah Elizabeth
Died December 27, 1915
Aged 83 Years
And bring thee peace.
Also In memory of Their Daughter
1862 - 1930
In The Peace of God
William Allen Buchanan
Born June 7, 1856
Died Nov 5, 1931
At Rest
Also In Memory Of
Stella Buchanan Barrett
Died 15th of June 1887
In Her 33rd Year
W. A. Barrett
Aug 16, 1879
Nov 11, 1921

21 November 2009

Killed By a Desperado

B. F. Addison
Killed By a Desperado
Nov 13, 1906
Aged 56 Years
Gone But Not Forgotten

Mr. Ben Addison, a black merchant, was laid to rest in the designated "colored" section of Riverside Cemetery in Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina.

On the cold winter night of 13 November 1906, a crazed drunken man named Will Harris went on a shooting rampage that left five men dead. One unfortunate victim was Ben Addison. Mr. Addison owned a store at 53 Eagle street in downtown Asheville. He was shot when he opened his door to see what the commotion was about.

[Source: text from "Riverside Cemetery Walking Tour," which uses a script from a video entitled "Journey Beyond the Gates," produced by the students of Charles D. Owen High School -- the 1997 Advanced Placement U. S. History Class]

20 November 2009

In Memory of Eighteen German Sailors Who died in the U.S. Army Hospital at Asheville, NC 1918-1919

In Memory Of Eighteen German Sailors Who Died In The United States Army Hospital At Asheville

Nicht grossern Vorteil wusst'ich zu nennen
Als des'Feindes Verdienst erkennen.

No greater gain for the human spirit
Than a sense of our foeman's merit.

Karl Von Aspern
Karl Bening
Adam Biffar
Wilhelm Denecke
Karl Flum
Fritz Hoffman
Hans Jakobi
Karl Kilper
Emil Kobe
Karl Koschmieder
Heinrich Lochow
Hermann Menzel
Johann Wilhelm Meyer
Johann Meyerhoff
Viktor Wilhelm Rieke
Richard Paul Schlause
Wilhelm Stockhausen
Fritz Hermann Wahnschaffe

Erected By Kiffin Rockwell Post American Legion

The memorial transcribed above is located at Riverside Cemetery in Asheville, North Carolina. Text from the Riverside Cemetery Walking Tour: "Riverside Cemetery is the final resting place for World War I German Prisoners of War. Several thousand sailors were first transferred from Ellis Island to a detention center in Hot Springs, North Carolina. A typhoid epidemic resulted in 18 of the sailors dying. The POWs were given a place of rest at Riverside Cemetery."

19 November 2009

Today's Epitaph: Daniel Ogden Lives in Memory Alone

About a month ago, while visiting Riverside Cemetery in Asheville, North Carolina, I come across the grave of Daniel Ogden pictured here. I was actually on my way to see a more "prominent" memorial in the cemetery when I noticed Daniel's gravestone was fallen over and lying on the ground. I snapped a few photos, simply because I always get the urge to document stones that look to be in trouble.

When I got home, I found a sweet epitaph for Daniel etched in the stone. I also snagged a little more information about him with a bit of research.

Daniel W. Ogden
Feb 10, 1882
July 19, 1917
It is sad that one we cherish
Should be taken from our home,
But the Joys that do not perish
Live in memory alone.
All the years we've spent together,
All the happy golden hours,
Shall be cherished in remembrance;
Fragrant sweets from memories' flowers.

I found Daniel in the North Carolina Death Certificates, 1909-1975 collection at Ancestry. It states Daniel was born in Liddieville, Louisiana to Daniel W. Ogden of Woodville, Mississippi and Epsie Brown of Winnsboro, Louisiana. Daniel was married at the time of his death, and his occupation was Meat Cutter. His address was 403 West Haywood Street in Asheville, though his usual residence was listed as Mississippi.

Daniel's cause of death was pulmonary tuberculosis. It seems Daniel was one of the many with this disease who came to the Asheville area hoping the clean mountain air would improve their health. Sadly, for him, it did not. He passed away at the young age of 35.

18 November 2009

Abraham Lincoln's Bodyguard (Wordless Wednesday)

17 November 2009

H. Clay Wilson was a Man of Many Virtues and Few Faults (Tombstone Tuesday)

H. Clay Wilson
1856 - 1900
A man of many virtues
and few faults.

Riverside Cemetery
Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina

Photos © 2009 S. Lincecum

16 November 2009

Military Monday: Confederate General James Green Martin

Gen. James Green Martin
Born in Elizabeth City, N.C. February 14, 1819
Died in Asheville, N.C. October 4, 1878
Brevet Major, U.S.A. for gallant conduct in Mexico, 1847. Brig. Gen. C.S.A. Army of Northern Va. 1864. General-In-Chief, N.C. Troops, 1861. In Command of Western N.C. 1865.

General Martin was laid to rest in Riverside Cemetery; Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina. He was a son of Dr. William Martin and Sophia Dange. General Martin was known as "Old One Wing" because he lost an arm in the Mexican War.

- James Green Martin on Wikipedia

15 November 2009

O. Henry - Author, Cowboy, Druggist, Sheep Herder, & Convicted Embezzler

William Sydney Porter (1862-1910), son of Dr. Algernon Sidney Porter and Mary Jane Virginia Swaim, was laid to rest upon his death at Riverside Cemetery in Asheville, North Carolina. Better known as O. Henry, Porter was a well-known short story author. One of his most famous stories is "The Gift of the Magi."

     There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating. ― O. Henry, "The Gift of the Magi"

There are a few obituaries and funeral notices regarding Mr. Porter below. None of them, however, mention that he was convicted of embezzling funds from a bank in Texas. Before his trial was set to begin in 1896, William fled to the Honduras, where he wrote Cabbages and Kings and coined the term "banana republic." When he got word his first wife, Athol Estes, was dying, William returned to Texas and turned himself in. William's bail was posted so he could be with his dying wife. Athol died in 1897, and O. Henry spent 1898-1901 in the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus.

I tell you this because I noticed that when people visit William's grave, they sometimes leave him coins. A nod to his colorful history.

Duluth News-Tribune, Minnesota
6 June 1910
William Sydney Porter, Well Known and Popular Magazine Writer, Succumbs in New York Hostpital -- Work Was Humorous, Attracting Much Attention.
Literary Career Started On Staff of Houston Daily Post -- Formerly Cowboy, Sheep Herder, Druggist and a Traveler -- Little Known of Private Life.

NEW YORK, June 5 -- William Sydney Porter, better known under his pen name of "O. Henry," writer of short stories, died today at Polytechnic hospital. He underwent an operation last Friday and never rallied. The nature of his ailment was not made known. Mrs. Porter, who had been in South Carolina, was not summoned by telegraph, but did not arrive here until after her husband's death.

Mr. Porter was born in Texas 62 years ago, and began his journalistic career on the Houston Post. Before that he had been a cowboy, sheep herder and druggist, and an extensive traveler. The general public knew little of his private life, for he shunned interviewers and was content to be known merely through his writings as "O. Henry..."

...He had been in poor health for some time, but it was thought his illness was not serious. Wednesday he dined with friends and seemed in his usual spirits. Friday night he was taken ill and was moved to the hospital. A minor operation was performed, but up to within one hour of his death, it was thought he would recover.

Derangement of both liver and kidneys, however, proved more deep seated than had been thought, and he sank rapidly.

The burial will be at Asheville, North Carolina.
State, South Carolina
6 June 1910
William Sydney Porter, Known as "O. Henry," Dies in New York. Native of North Carolina.

...Mr. Porter was born in Greensboro, N.C., 46 years ago and began his career on the Houston Post...

Lived in North Carolina
Asheville, N.C., June 5 -- William Sydney Porter, who died in New York today, spent much of his time in this city. He was prominently connected with the Worth family in the eastern part of the State. As a young man he served as drug clerk in Greensboro, and when just past his majority went to Texas, where he engaged in ranching and commercial pursuits. He drifted to Houston and began his newspaper work on the Houston Post, and while there married. From Houston he went to New York and continued his newspaper work, and also began writing his short stories of the plains which immediately attracted attention. His first wife died after he went to New York.

While writing under the nom de plume of O. Henry, his work attracted the attention of Miss Sarah Lindsay Coleman of this city, who herself was writing under the nom de plume of Sarah Lindsay. Inquiries made of her publishers revealed the fact that they were old friends, having had a youthful attachment while he was still a school boy in Greensboro. This old attachment resulted in their marriage in this city about two years ago.
Charlotte Observer, North Carolina
8 June 1910
'O. Henry' to Be Buried at Asheville.
New York, June 7 -- Funeral services for William Sydney Porter, who under the name of "O. Henry" became known as one of the foremost short story writers in America, took place today in the Church of Transfiguration ("The Little Church Around the Corner") around which the author constructed several of his stories.

Many personal friends of the author attended. Mrs. Sarah Lindsey Porter, his wife, was the only relative present. The dead author's parents died some years ago, and he had no close relatives...

12 November 2009

Terry Mausoleum

This TERRY mausoleum is located in Riverside Cemetery; Asheville, North Carolina. It was erected for Franklin Silas Terry and his wife Lillian Estelle Slocomb. They were the owners of the grand estate in Black Mountain, NC called In-The-Oaks, named after the oak leaf in the SLOCOMB family coat of arms.

A beautiful characteristic of this mausoleum is the detailed bronze door.

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