So far, I have found no photo of this grave marker before the statue was broken. Even so, I cannot look at this weathered marker without hearing the whisper of a small voice: Now I lay me down to sleep.
On a recent visit to Sandy Corners Cemetery in Dublin, Ohio, I stopped at the grave markers for the Davis family. There were two weathered obelisks, one for H. Davis (d. 1878) and one for his wife, Sarah (d. 1877).
Between the tall markers was a small, damaged stone that was difficult to read. In fact, I could not even make out the name, but based on the few lines I could read, I understood it to be the marker for a daughter of H. and Sarah. I snapped a picture, hoping to figure out the details of the inscription after transferring the image to my computer.
No such luck.
No matter how much I zoomed or enhanced my photo of Unknown Davis, I could not read the name. On top of that, the line revealing age at death was completely missing. Time for plan B: Search the Internet for another source of the gravestone inscription.
Bingo! Her name was Loria.
I found a photo of the white marble marker, easily read, on Leona Gustafson’s website, a site I had visited many times before. The big chip had been missing from the top of the marker when this photo was taken, but there was little lichen (moss? algae?) on the stone. David Gustafson took the photo in 2001.
Leona and David Gustafson have photographed and transcribed thousands of gravestones in abandoned and inactive cemeteries in and around Franklin County, Ohio, preserving valuable information for generations to come. In a 2002 article in The Columbus Dispatch, Leona said, “Every one of them, eventually, will be gone.”
Look carefully at the bottom of the marker. Before the marker sunk into its foundation, an epitaph was visible! I see Sweet little bud for—do you? I am making a Google-supported guess to finish the verse:
Sweet little bud, for
earth too fair, has gone
to heaven to blossom there.
Clara Leasure, Oller Cemetery, Delaware County, Ohio
On my first visit to Cheshire Cemetery in Delaware County, Ohio, I photographed the marker for David Jones (b. 1836, d. 1864) a Union soldier who died at Camp Chase in the summer of 1864. It is a striking monument, a tasseled stone podium holding an open book. I took several photos from several angles, focusing first on the book and the tassels.
Then I paused to read the inscription, and I forgot about books and tassels and gravestone symbols.
Co. H. 145th. Reg. O.N.G.
DIED AT CAMP CHASE O.
AUG. 29, A.D. 1864
28 YRS. 8 MO. 15 DS.
A loyal Soldier
to his country and his God
He was the youngest and
last of three Sons
of Z. & S. JONES who died
in the service of their Country
Solomon Jones (b. 1826), Andrew Jones (b. 1831), and David Jones, brothers and Union soldiers, died in the same year, 1864. According to cemetery records, all three brothers were buried along with their parents and other family members in old Cheshire Cemetery. Graves from that cemetery were moved to new Cheshire Cemetery in 1973 to make way for Alum Creek Reservoir.
There is evidence of a marker for Andrew in old Cheshire Cemetery, but I cannot find it in new Cheshire Cemetery. The markers for Solomon and David are there, near the marker for their parents, Zelotes Jones (b. 1791, d. 1874) and Sarah Jones (d. 1866).
If you visit Cheshire Cemetery, keep an eye out for Andrew’s marker. He is not named in the cemetery directory, but surely he is resting near his brothers.
Broken and barely legible grave markers are expected at older cemeteries, right? There is another, relatively common obstacle to reading and photographing grave markers: Garden plants gone wild.
A few weekends ago, I discovered my great grandmother’s marker engulfed by a white peony. Today, on another Find A Grave expedition, I found what I suspect is the marker of James Pendleton (b. 1807, d. 1879) hiding in a large bed of orange daylilies at Sandy Corners Cemetery in Dublin, Ohio.
In 1973 the Army Corps of Engineers moved several cemeteries to make way for Alum Creek Reservoir outside of Columbus, Ohio. Old Cheshire Cemetery, Blockhouse Cemetery, and Townhouse Cemetery were moved to the new Cheshire Cemetery, my destination for this weekend’s Find A Grave photo request.
I quickly found the markers for Leon Nutt (b. 1900, d. 1929) and for his parents, Edward Nutt (b. 1859, d. 1928) and Susan Nutt (b. 1869, d. 1946)—not because of any great skill on my part, but because there is a detailed map with names of the grave sites at the entrance to the cemetery.
And what a beautiful cemetery!
At the very back, in the Blockhouse Cemetery section, the tall monument for Minerva Janes (d. 1848)with its obvious marks of repair caught my eye:
JANES, DIED, JAN.
AGED, 37, YEARS.
At the bottom, I could make out only two lines of the epitaph:
Farewell ye friends whose tender care
Has long engaged my love
Then something something embrace I now exchange. What the heck were the last lines?
Now bear with me if you are familiar with this verse; I was not. So I googled it and discovered that what may have begun as a hymn in the 1800s is now considered a traditional folk song, Long Time Traveller, recently recorded by the Wailin’ Jennys.
Farewell ye friends whose tender care
Has long engaged my love
Your fond embrace I now exchange
For better friends above
Of course, my next stop was YouTube, and there were the Wailin’ Jennys, singing Minerva’s epitaph for all of us to hear.
Instead of driving straight home after my visit to Cheshire Cemetery (more on that in a later post), I decided to swing over to Oller Cemetery again. I’ve been kicking myself all week for not photographing the probable grave marker for Effa Hamilton (b. 1805, d. 1852), the wife of Isaac Butt (d. 1876).
Yes, most of it was as difficult to read as I remembered—except the first name. EFFA is clear as can be. Don’t know why I thought I couldn’t read it when I wrote my earlier post. See? Should have taken the photo the first time.
Today, unlike my last visit, the sky was overcast and thunderstorms were on the way, and so I didn’t stay long. I’m sure I’ll return soon to Oller Cemetery, but for now, I’m feeling satisfied that I have finished my business with Effa.