31 August 2010

Shriner Emblem with a Face (Tombstone Tuesday)

This is an example of a symbol for the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, commonly known as the Shriners. It includes a scimitar (sword with a curved blade), crescent, star of Bethlehem, and head of a sphinx.

Seeing the "head of a sphinx" included in the Shriner emblem carved on a tombstone is a rarity for me. Most of the time, in my area it seems, that element is omitted.

James A. Marples, VII°, describes the emblem of the Mystic Shrine: "The official emblem of the Mystic Shrine is the Crescent. It is composed of two Royal Bengal Tiger Claws united in a gold setting by a Keystone. Inside the Keystone - on the keystone's face - is the head of a Sphinx. Originally behind the Crescent were a pyramid, urn, and star. Today, below the Crescent hangs the Star of Bethlehem. Depicted above the Crescent is a Scimitar from which the Crescent and Star are suspended." (1)

An article on Wikipedia, relying heavily on A Short History: Shriners of North America and Shriners Hospitals by the Shriners of North America explains the beginning history of the organization:
In 1870, there were several thousand Masons in Manhattan, many of whom lunched at the Knickerbocker Cottage at a special table on the second floor. There, the idea of a new fraternity for Masons stressing fun and fellowship was discussed. Dr. Walter M. Fleming, M.D., and William J. Florence took the idea seriously enough to act upon it.

Florence, a world-renowned actor, while on tour in Marseilles, was invited to a party given by an Arabian diplomat. The entertainment was something in the nature of an elaborately staged musical comedy. At its conclusion, the guests became members of a secret society. Florence took copious notes and drawings at his initial viewing and on two other occasions, once in Algiers and once in Cairo. When he returned to New York in 1870, he showed his material to Fleming.

Fleming took the ideas supplied by Florence and converted them into what would become the "Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (A.A.O.N.M.S.)". Fleming created the ritual, emblem and costumes. Florence and Fleming were initiated August 13, 1870, and initiated 11 other men on June 16, 1871.
By the way, the first image posted is from the ledger marker for James Mallory Peavey (1905-1975) located in Evergreen Cemetery at Fitzgerald, Ben Hill County, Georgia.


1. James A. Marples, "The Mystical Symbolism Found in the Emblem of the Mystic Shriners," Nebraska College - Masonic Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis, http://www.masonic.benemerito.net/msricf/papers/marples/marples-symbolism.of.the.mystic.shrines.emblem.pdf .

30 August 2010

I'm Confused! Where Exactly is Percy Buried? (Madness Monday)

I discovered something pretty interesting when doing a little digging about a tombstone I photographed. Take a look at this:

From Evergreen Cemetery in Fitzgerald, Ben Hill County, GA.

That photo was taken by me at Evergreen Cemetery in Ben Hill County, Georgia. It is located next to an identical looking marble stone with an inscription for Percy's wife Sula. Again, I took the photo.

So imagine my surprise when I cam across this at FindAGrave:

From Franklin Cemetery in Doulgas, Coffee County,

That is from a photo (used with permission) taken by FindAGrave contributor Barbara Kirkland at Franklin Cemetery in Douglas, Coffee County, Georgia. Do you see the dilemma? How can Percy N. Ashurst be buried in two different cemeteries? When I asked if I could use her photo, Mrs. Kirkland was just as perplexed as I. Especially since I very recently posted a memorial for Percy in Evergreen Cemetery.

Since I don't live close to Fitzgerald and Evergreen Cemetery, I replayed over and over in my mind the visit to Percy's gravesite (?) there. I cannot recall seeing anything that indicated that marble tombstone was indeed a cenotaph. And there is nothing in Barbara's photo to indicate she photographed a cenotaph for Percy. Hmmm...

A little bit of research conducted for Percy N. Ashurst suggests he was born in Georgia to Lewis and Laura Ashurst. Georgia Deaths, 1919-98 at Ancestry states he died 2 January 1990 in Coffee County, Georgia, where he was also listed as a resident. The Social Security Death Index also lists his last residence as Doulgas in Coffee County. While the SSDI is often not accurate when it comes to last residences, this does bolster the death index finding.

The marriage date found on his upright granite tombstone (?) at Franklin Cemetery states Percy married Jewell Lee 3 March 1943, approximately ten months after the death of his first (I presume) wife Sula Phillips. This brings us to another interesting tidbit. According to the same Georgia death index, Sula P. Ashurst died 7 June 1942 in Coffee County, Georgia. I sure wish I could go back to Evergreen Cemetery and study that plot some more! Why was she buried there?

I'm leaning toward the side of Percy being buried with his second wife in Franklin Cemetery. But I certainly do not know that for sure.

None of these individuals are related to me, but thinking in terms of genealogy -- what's a family historian to do? I sure hope an obituary or death certificate with burial information can be found for Mr. Percy Ashurst. His passing was "only" about twenty years ago, surely the answer cannot be too hard to find...

29 August 2010

Sentimental Sunday: Mrs. Campbell's Epitaph

Cynthia Tribby Campbell (1955-2008)

Cindy's Sweet, Gentle Spirit
Nourished those who knew her.
She was Heaven sent for a
man and two sons.  Kindergarten
Teacher for 27 years.

Evergreen Cemetery, Fitzgerald, Georgia

Per her obituary Cindy was born in Rochester, Indiana to Wilford Harrison Tribby and Kathleen Livingston Tribby.

28 August 2010

Another Cause of Death Deciphered

The marble gravestone for James Carlton Fussell, M.D. is located in Evergreen Cemetery at Fitzgerald, Ben Hill County, Georgia. He was only 54 years old when he died. While reading his death certificate to determine what the doctors said was the cause of death, this is what I saw:

Huh? That's what I thought. Using good ol' Google I was able to recreate enough of the letters correctly to come up with the proper term -- meningoencephalitis. Wikipedia describes it as a medical condition that simultaneously resembles both meningitis (inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord) and encephalitis (infection or inflammation of the brain).

Dr. James C. Fussell died at the Piedmont Sanitarium in Atlanta, Georgia after suffering from this disease for at least six months. He was born in Georgia, the son of T. O. Fussell and Sarah Fletcher.

Mortuary and Funeral Notices from the 18 August 1921 Atlanta Constitution:

Dr. James Fussell

Dr. James Fussell, 54 years old, well-known physician, of Fitzgerald, Ga., died Wednesday at a local hospital. He is survived by his wife; one daughter, Miss Ethelyn Fussell, of Fitzgerald; and four sons, Dr. George E. Fussell, of Atlanta; James F., Edward G. and Fletcher L. Fussell, all of Fitzgerald.

Funeral Notices
FUSSELL -- Dr. James C. Fussell, of Fitzgerald, Ga., died Wednesday morning at a private sanitarium. Surviving are his wife; four sons, Dr. Geo. E. Fussell, of Atlanta; Joseph F., Edward G. and Fletcher L. Fussell, and one daughter, Miss Ethelyn Fussell. The remains will be taken this (Thursday) morning at 7:15 to Fitzgerald, Ga., for services and interment. Barclay & Brandon Co., morticians.

From Georgia's Virtual Vault, Reference URL

27 August 2010

George Kratzer, Baker and Confectioner

George Kratzer (1875-1962)
Evergreen Cemetery, Fitzgerald, GA

I have no idea why I snapped a photo of this nondescript granite lawn style marker for Mr. George Kratzer. I'm happy I did, though. It lead me to a neat little article filled with a bit of information that made me instantly like George. He was a baker! (I'm a baker, too.)
Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
11 October 1914

This gentleman is one of the very worthy though modest citizens, and substantial business men of Fitzgerald. He sailed from Germany eleven years ago and was the only one of 1,600 passengers to come south. For four years he was connected with another bakery, but seven years ago embarked in business at his present stand on South Grant street.

Mr. Kratzer indulges justifiable pride in his skill in the culinary art, and conscientiously gives the public the benefit of same, with the result that he has acquired an enviable reputation for the excellence of his products, which embrace practically everything known to a high-class bakery. Delivery of fresh bread and pastry is made daily to every part of the city and constantly increasing sales experienced.

Mr. Kratzer has begun to specialize in the making of a ten-cent package of "Twentieth Century" pound cake, wrapped in sanitary wax paper, virtually moisture proof. It embraces numerous varieties, such as raisin, silver slice, citron, etc. A rapidly growing demand for this product attests its superior excellence and is adding to the reputation and popularity of the establishment.

For years Kratzer's fruit cakes have had a distinctive merit and fame that have associated them with the Christmas holidays and thus early Mr. Kratzer is soliciting and receiving a generous supply of orders for the approaching season of joyous and happy yule-tide.
George Kratzer was born in Germany in 1875 and came to the United States in 1903. He arrived at Baltimore, Maryland on the 27th of March with $40.00, and his final destination was Cordele, Georgia. His future wife Theresa arrived in the U.S. from Germany about 1906. She, too, came through Baltimore with a final destination of Fitzgerald, GA, expressly to visit "uncle Georg Kratzer, baker." They were married 1906-1907 and both became naturalized citizens in 1915. She traveled and was married under the name Theresa Kratzer, so I suggest George and Theresa had a prior relationship in Germany, though I doubt he was her uncle.1,2,3

Theresa (1889-1981) and an infant daughter, Mary Josephene (born and died 1908) are also buried with Mr. George Kratzer in Evergreen Cemetery.

1. Baltimore Passenger Lists, 1820-1948 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.
2. History of Irwin County [database on-line]. Provo, UT: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original Data: Clements, J. B. History of Irwin County. Atlanta: Foote & Davies Co., c1932.
3. Irwin County Marriage Certificates, 1832-1959 [database online at SouthGeorgiaGenealogy.com].

26 August 2010

3 of His Brothers were Yanks & 4 were Rebs?

Located in Evergreen Cemetery at Fitzgerald, Georgia are two rounded raised top granite markers memorializing Adrian Hageman (1839-1914) and his wife Fannie Protsman Hageman (1849-1940). Here is what the Evergreen Cemetery Tour Map and Guide had to say about Adrian Hageman:

"Hageman Family
Cpl. Adrian Hageman, Company D, 93rd Indiana Infantry Volunteers, wounded in the knee at Vicksburg. Three of his brothers were Yanks and four were Rebs. Adrian and Fannie Protsman Hageman and their daughters Fannie and Adelia arrived December 9, 1895, by train from Missouri to Lulaville and then by hack to Mrs. Fox's hotel. Their four sons remained in the west. They had trouble getting their chickens to roost in the tall pines for they were accustomed to apple trees. Adrian invested in the pecan industry, founding the Riverview Land and Immigration Company. He died of a heart attack while visiting his sons in the west and despite his request to be buried with his troops, his widow Fannie buried him in the family plot."

Fannie and Adelia, daughters of Adrian, were both also laid to rest in Evergreen Cemetery.

25 August 2010

W. R. Bowen, Son of Confederate Veteran R. V. Bowen

Kate Buice (1870-1934) & William Reid (1869-1932) Bowen.
Evergreen Cemetery; Fitzgerald, GA.
Photo © 2010 S. Lincecum.

This is what the Evergreen Cemetery Tour Map and Guide from the Fitzgerald Convention and Visitors Bureau has to say about both Mr. Bowens:

"W. R. Bowen
Son of only Confederate veteran to serve on Colony Company Board, 2nd Lt. R. V. Bowen who fought with the 49th Regiment, Company E, Wilcox County, States Rights Guards. In the Battle of Cedar Mountain August 9, 1862 with 22 men under his command, only 9 came out unhurt. After the War, R. V. Bowen started a lumber and mercantile business at Bowen's Mill, with a trade radius of 50 miles in the scarcely populated area. R. V. was a state representative in 1898-99 and 1903-04. W. R. was involved in banking and real estate with his father, involving of the Lee-Grant Hotel and several downtown city blocks, including the Garbutt-Donovan Building and marble-fronted Exchange Bank, both of which are in active use today. W. R. Bowen founded the Colony Bank with Frank Bauder of Cleveland."

24 August 2010

Marion's Lyre (Tombstone Tuesday)

Etched in the granite plaque marker for Marion Van Gorder (1899-1957) is the image of a lyre. I briefly mentioned it once before on this Southern Graves blog, and I am doing so again because this is a much more clear image.

Wikipedia describes the lyre as "a stringed musical instrument well known for its use in classical antiquity and later." According to ancient Greek mythology, a lyre was associated with the virtues of moderation and equilibrium. The god Apollo is often depicted with a lyre. The term lyre is also used to refer to the work or skill of a poet.

Though considered a more playful instrument, the lyre is kin to the harp. In funerary art, the harp symbolizes divine music and heavenly aspirations.

Photos © 2010 S. Lincecum.
Taken at Evergreen Cemetery; Fitzgerald, GA

[Other post where lyre is mentioned: Heaven Bore Away the Prize of John T. Whitehead.]

23 August 2010

Parrott Family Vault

The Parrott family vault is located in Evergreen Cemetery at Fitzgerald, Ben Hill County, Georgia. There are four interments here. Starting top left and moving clockwise, we see inscriptions for Harold L. Parrott (1903-1971), Margaret W. Parrott (1904-1996), James A. Parrott (1869-1959), and Mabel May Parrott (1879-1968).

Harold L., born in Georgia, was the son of James A. and his first wife Addie A. Mozier. James and Addie were married in 1900 at Irwin County, Georgia. At the time, Fitzgerald was part of that county. James was a hardware salesman. By 1910, James was widowed and living with his two sons (Harold and Lauren) at 411 North Lee Street in Fitzgerald. Also listed in this household for the U.S. Federal census was Margaret, a housekeeper, and a boarder named Mabel Long. Mabel was 29 years old, divorced, and working as a law office stenographer. Both Margaret and Mabel had birthplaces of Canada. James was occupied as a retail hardware merchant.

In 1930, census records show there was a Mabel M. listed as James's wife, and a Margaret Shearer as mother-in-law. Again, both Mabel and Margaret had birthplaces of Canada. After his first wife passed away, it seems James married his housekeeper's daughter. They were still living at 411 North Lee Street in Fitzgerald. James was listed as a building proprietor, but no mention of hardware.

22 August 2010

Warm Southern Wind, Blow Softly Here

Today's epitaph was found on the ledger marker for Catherine Cobb Fohl (1868-1949) in Evergreen Cemetery at Fitzgerald, Ben Hill County, Georgia:

Warm Summer Sun, Shine Kindly Here;
Warm Southern Wind, Blow Softly Here;
Bright Stars Above, Shine Light, Shine Light;
Good Night, Dear Heart, Good Night, Good Night.

The verse above is an "adaptation of an adaptation." The most referenced work is that of Mark Twain. The verse was put as an epitaph on the tombstone of his daughter Olivia Clemens with a different third line. It read, "Green sod above, lie light, lie light."

Mark Twain's verse was adapted from the original poem of Robert Richardson entitled "Annette." The final verse:

"Warm summer sun, shine friendly here
Warm western wind, blow kindly here;
Green sod above, rest light, rest light,
Good-night, Annette!
Sweetheart, good-night!"

More information about the eulogy to Olivia Susan Clemens can be found here.

21 August 2010

Man Cannot Aspire to More than Handy Warren

(Click to enlarge)

Handy Moore Warren
Feb 14, 1862
Apr 2, 1914
God's Noblest work Is Man.
As Such He Lived,
As Such He Died.
Man Cannot Aspire to More.

Beneath the inscription on Handy Warren's large tombstone in Evergreen Cemetery (Fitzgerald, GA) is a cross and sword in a crown. Most often I see the cross with crown, but rarely see the sword in there as well. The cross in crown first and foremost is a Christian symbol of the sovereignty of the Lord. The crown means victory, and the cross means Christianity.

This cross with crown symbol also often means the deceased was a member of the York Rite Masons. Adding the sword might denote more specifically the Knights Templar. There are usually two swords crossed behind a Maltese cross with the cross and crown in the center.

My hunch that Mr. Warren was a member of a Masonic fraternity was confirmed by his obituary:

Atlanta Constitution (Georgia)
Sunday, 5 April 1914


H. M. Warren, Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald, Ga, April 4 -- (Special) -- Handy Moore Warren died suddenly at 6 o'clock Thursday evening. He was taken ill on his farm a short distance from the city and was brought immediately to his home, but he never regained consciousness and died in a short time from apoplexy. Mr. Warren had lived in Georgia twenty years, fifteen of which having been spent in Fitzgerald. He was 51 years old and leaves a wife, three sons and one daughter. He was one of the first commissioners of Ben Hill county. The funeral was conducted by the Masons this afternoon, the business houses of the city being closed at that time by proclamation of the mayor."

According to census records, Mr. Warren was born in North Carolina. His sons were Earl, Needham, and William.

17 August 2010

Minnie Lou (Tombstone Tuesday)

Minnie Lou
Daughter of D. L. F. & L. J. Peacock
Born Aug 29, 1877
Died Oct 16, 1902

Walnut Cemetery
Unadilla, Dooly County, Georgia

15 August 2010

Farewell, James, Farewell!

Sacred to the Memory of
James Leggitt
Son of M. H. & Elizabeth Leggitt
Died July 15, 1862
Aged 29 Years, 11 Mo's & 17 Days

Walnut Cemetery
Unadilla, Georgia

BEULAH CHURCH, Aug. 9th, 1862.
Since our last conference, brother James Leggitt, a deacon, has died at his father's house in Macon county, Georgia, on the 15th day of July, in the 30th year of his age. He was tenderly nursed by his heart stricken father, mother and wife, during his last illness, who fondly hoped to restore him to health; but, alas! they were forced to close his eyes in death, surrounded as he was by father, mother, wife, brothers and sisters. But they are not without hope, for he frequently gave token of his acceptance with God. James was a good man, a dutiful son, a kind husband and a good master. He was a member of Rylander's Battalion, Georgia volunteers, and underwent all the hardships with his battalion, when he contracted the disease which terminated his life. He was one of our best members, and a deacon. He leaves an aged father and mother, a young wife, two brothers and five sisters, to mourn their loss, together with the church at Beulah, and a host of friends. Farewell, James, we shall take the bread and wine no more with you, until we take it anew with you in our Father's kingdom, where there will be no more wars by which to contract disease. Thy seat is vacant; thy familiar face will never greet us again this side of eternity. Farewell! [From 15 August 1862 edition, Macon Telegraph, Georgia]

Photo © 2010 S. Lincecum

14 August 2010

Connecting the Stones

Richard Lee Barfield (1835-1912) and his wife Margaret (1844-1917) were laid to rest in Walnut Cemetery at Dooly County, GA beneath a large tree and capped family stone. The inscription on the family stone (typed on the photo) is the second verse of the hymn "Sleeping in Jesus."

On Richard's ledger marker are these words: "He Considered The Welfare Of Others Before His Own And Exacted More Of Himself Than Of Others." Margaret's reads that she was Faithful Through Life, and Victorious In Death.

Richard Lee Barfield, a veteran of the Civil War, was the son of Richard Barfield and Epsey Barnett. This family was prominent in Bibb County, GA. The Barfield family cemetery is located there and contains the remains of Richard Lee's parents and several siblings. I have never been to the Barfield Cemetery, but might just have to see if I can find it to "connect the stones."

13 August 2010

The Heavenly Chain

The Lord is My Shepherd
M. Pauline Sumerford
Born Dec 4, 1840
Died July 31, 1898

Walnut Cemetery
Unadilla, Dooly County, Georgia
Many tombstone symbolism references say a broken chain symbolizes a loss of a child or loved one. In the instance of Ms. Sumerford's stone, however, the chain does not appear broken to me. Her stone seems to represent a chain in Heaven, with a hand (finger) reaching down from above to bring another link home.

I was actually trying to find a quote of an epitaph containing the words "Heavenly chain" that I'm sure I've seen before (never did locate it) when I found the following interesting information. It's from a book entitled Our Little Ones in Heaven, Thoughts in Prose and Verse published 1858. While I have no idea if it remotely pertains to Ms. Sumerford, I thought it shed light on the symbol of the "Heavenly chain." Furthermore, I don't think it has to apply just to infants, but to any loved one who has gone before us.


THERE is something pleasing in this fact, that every infant that you lose is a link that binds you to the grave on the one hand, and a link also that binds you to eternity on the other. A portion of yourself has taken possession of the tomb, to remind you that you must lie down there. A soul that was related to yourself has taken possession of eternity, to remind you that you must enter there. Our bodies are, through our infants, in communion with the dust; and our spirits, through theirs, with the everlasting throne. We are so disposed to strike our roots into this fading and fainting earth, that it becomes mercy on the part of God to send those chastisements, which loosen our affections from a world doomed to flame. Each infant that we lose is a tie (holy and happy truth!) less to bind us to this world, and a tie more to bind our hearts to that better world where our infants have preceded us...

12 August 2010

Life is a Span (Today's Epitaph)

Charlie Z. Carrell
Born Oct 23, 1879
Died Oct 21, 1906

Life is a span -- a fleeting hour,
How soon the vapor flies.
Man is a tender transient flower,
That e'en in blooming dies.

At Walnut Cemetery in Unadilla, Dooly County, Georgia.

I found Charlie's epitaph in an 1843 publication entitled Universalist Hymn Book: Comprising a Sacred Variety of Sacred Effusions by George Rogers. It is "Suitable to the Livelier as well as Graver Purposes of Devotion." The particular lines are the first verse of hymn number 540, and is in the "Consoling in View of Death" section. Here is the rest of the hymn:

The once-loved form, now cold and dead,
Each mournful thought employs,
And nature weeps her comforts fled,
And withered all her joys.

Hope looks beyond the bounds of time,
When what we now deplore,
Shall rise in full immortal prime,
And bloom to fade no more.

Then cease, fond nature, dry thy tears;
Religion points on high;
There everlasting spring appears,
And joys that never die.

When reading this hymn, I thought it familiar so searched around in the Southern Graves blog archives. Verse three was used as part of an epitaph on the tombstone for Mrs. L. C. Mathews (1826-1885) at Oak Hill Cemetery in Talbotton, Talbot County, Georgia. I mentioned it in a post written about a year ago -- Three Pretty Mathews All in a Row.

11 August 2010

Colorful (Wordless Wednesday)

10 August 2010

W. E. Wheeler Stone & Epitaph (Tombstone Tuesday)

W. E. Wheeler
Born Feb 16, 1867
Died Dec 5, 1906

Walnut Cemetery
Unadilla, Dooly County, Georgia

We miss thee from our home dear,
We miss thee from thy place.
A shadow oer our life is cast,
We miss the sunshine of thy face.
We miss thy kind and willing hand,
Thy fond and earnest care.
Our home is dark without thee,
We miss thee everywhere.

09 August 2010

Walnut Cemetery Photos Now Online

Photos from Walnut Cemetery in Unadilla, Dooly County, Georgia are now online. Stop by the web album for a virtual visit. Surnames include Barfield, Carrell, Clewis, Crumpler, Goodwin, Harvard, Leggitt, Lockerman, Mims, Peacock, Peavey / Peavy, Smith, Sumerford, Watts, Wheeler, and Wootten.

Walnut Cemetery
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