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.
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.
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 FindAGrave.com in January. Thank you, Nancy, for permission to include your photograph here.
|Photo by Nancy Ann Mull Buchanan, January 2011|