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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.

[Front]
Thomas A. Starnes
1818 - 1897
His Wife
Elyzabeth
1825 - 1896

[Back]
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
"JOHN W. STARNES, ESQ, DEAD
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
"DEATH RECORD
JESSE R. STARNES
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."

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The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"

So I answered, "O Lord God, You know."

Again He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!' Thus says the Lord God to these bones: 'Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live...'" (Ezekiel 37:1-5, NKJV)