Monday, November 7, 2011

Did Mr. Rowles get a discount?

Not long ago, I set out for West Rushville Cemetery in Fairfield County, Ohio to search for one particular gravestone. I have seen photos of the gravestone for Jesse Rowles (d. 1835) before, and I had to see it for myself.

The Rowles gravestone is similar to my Halloween post, the gravestone for Susan Spitler. It is carved by the same stone cutter (John Strickler), has identical verses as an epitaph, and features (even more) coffin carvings.

But this stone has something the Spitler stone does not: An advertisement for the stone cutter.

whoe died May 7, A.D. 1835
Aged 62 years, 6 months
and 28 days.

Go home dear friends and do not weep,
I am not dead but here to sleep;
Though cold and silent is my bed,
My rest is sweet, my sorrows fled.

I here will slumber underground,
Untill the last loud trump will sound
Then burst my tomb with sweet surprise,
And in my saviours image rise.

john Strickler. Stone Cuttr one mile
West of the Babtist meeting house.
at pleasant Run.

One Internet family historian cites Cemeteries of Pleasant Township, Fairfield County, Ohio, published by The Fairfield County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society, which offers this insight into the location of the Strickler shop:
The intersection of Coonpath and Lake Roads is known as Baptist Corners. It is also called Strickler’s Corners because of the stonecutters who operated their business on the southeast corner.
Baptist Corners Cemetery (home of the Susan Spitler gravestone mentioned above) sits on the northeast corner of the intersection. There are, as you might expect, quite a few Strickler-carved gravestones there.

From Google Street View, Southeast corner of Coonpath and Lake Roads, Fairfield County, Ohio

West Rushville Cemetery, Fairfield County, Ohio


  1. Gale, it's certainly in the special category. Self promotion that lasts and lasts and lasts!

  2. Thank you so much for this. It happens that Jesse Rowles married my GGGGG Aunt, Elizabeth Murphey.

    Here is a biographical sketch of him included in the book "Pioneer Period and Pioneer People of Fairfield Co., Ohio." by C. M. L. Wiseman. Publ. F. J. Heer Printing Co., Columbus, O. 1901.

    Jesse Rowles was born in Baltimore County MD Nov 9 1772. He married Elizabeth Murphey daughter of Rev John Murphey and Esther his wife March 27 1798. She was born June 2, 1777 and died in Bremen Nov 11, 1843. Jesse Rowles died May 7, 1835. Jesse Rowles came to Fairfield County with his family in 1803 and settled on a quarter section of John Murphey's land since known as the Spence farm. Here he gave his attention to farming making an occasional trip to Baltimore with a freight team. George Clum, an old wagoner. was often in his company. In early life he was a millwright and worked on the big mills at Ellicott's mills Maryland. Jesse Rowles was an Episcopalian and he never united with any church in this county. He lived a good life and reared a good family. Their descendants are very numerous and all Christian people. Rev J.F. Kemper of Seward, Neb. is a Methodist and a grandson, one we hope worthy to wear the mantle of John Murphey [Methodist Episcopal preacher, father of Elizabeth Murphey Rowles]. There are numerous teachers in the family, good business men, good farmers.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing the sketch. The day I photographed this gravestone was a great day in a beautiful part of Ohio. Enriching the memory of that "adventure" with bits of history like this--as well as a connection to the present--is priceless!


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