Saturday, December 31, 2011

Fragments: Joanna H. Winters

June 2011
The child-sized stone—a ledger stone or perhaps a table stone fallen from its legs—was never meant to stand erect. Its entire face is filled by inscription, epitaph, and finally, the carver’s signature, John Strickler. 

The gravestone for Joanna H. Winters (d. 1836) is easier to read without grasses and such growing between the fragments. Still, it is worth the effort to remember this child by reconstructing the sentiments on her gravestone.

October 2011

Sacred to the memory of
Infant daughter of Rev.
Thomas H. & Harriet
Winters who departed this
life Decr 8th, 1836 aged
6 months & 16 days.

Look carefully at the end of her name. At first glance, I thought the spelling was Joannah. Finally I noticed carved punctuation and decided it is meant to read Joanna H.

October 2011

Filling in the broken and hidden bits with the text from the hymn that is the source (“Death of a Child” by Joel Assac Knight), the epitaph reads,

Alas! How chang’d that lovely flow’r;
Which bloom’d and cheer’d my heart;
Fair fleeting comfort of an hour;
How soon we’re call’d to part.

From adverse blasts, and lowering storms
Her favoured soul he bore
And with yon bright angelic forms
She lives to die no more.

Why should I vex my heart or fret;
No more she’ll visit me
My soul will mount to her at last,
And there my child I’ll see.

I visited Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery twice this year, in June and in October. Neither time were my photos of this stone nearly as legible as the photo that Nancy Ann Mull Buchanan posted on in January. Thank you, Nancy, for permission to include your photograph here.

Photo by Nancy Ann Mull Buchanan, January 2011
Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery, Perry County, Ohio


  1. Definitely easier to read without the grass! I hate to find fragments. Unless it gets fixed it will surely be gone in a matter of time.

  2. Yes, the only good thing to say about this one is that the pieces are still mostly together--for now. Let's see how winter treats it this year.


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