Sunday, July 31, 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mary Lusk, under the walnut tree

Depending on the time of year, you may want a hardhat if you visit St. John’s Episcopal Cemetery: There are mature black walnut trees there.

Last weekend the walnuts were falling, so I risked a knot on the head when I visited the grave of Mary Lusk (d. 1846), but I had to learn who was buried next to the trunk of the large walnut tree.

Sept. 6, 1846,
Æ20 Y#8217;rs 9 M.

At first glance, the epitaph appears to have been written especially for here; it mentions her name.

Mary hath chosen
that good part which shall
not be taken away from her.

It is from the Bible, Luke 10:42, which reads, “But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

It is unusual that this marker does not identify Mary as either a “wife of” or a “daughter of” (or both), making it a bit more challenging to learn about her. Perhaps she never married and her parents were not living at the time of her death.

Mary may have been a student at Worthington Female Seminary. An 1842 list of pupils at the school, transcribed in the July, 1899 issue of “The ‘Old Northwest’ Genealogical Quarterly,” includes a Mary Lusk. Is this our Mary?

Mary Fitch Kilbourn, this week’s Wednesday’s child, is listed as a pupil also. Note that her home is listed as Milwaukee, which is consistent with her family history.

From the Ohio Memory Collection of the Ohio Historical Society:

The Worthington Female Seminary was founded in 1839. It was the first female seminary of the Methodist Church west of the Alleghenies. The seminary was originally located in the Masonic Temple New England Lodge No. 4, located at 634 High Street in Worthington. The seminary building was dedicated in 1842, with classrooms on the first floor and boarding rooms for students above. Students from Worthington and surrounding communities, as well as a few from around the country, primarily Methodist ministers' daughters, were educated at the seminary. The seminary was initially very successful, often having as many as one hundred and fifty students. After the establishment of the Ohio Wesleyan Female College in 1853, the Worthington Female Seminary lost support and closed in 1857. The building became home to the Ohio Central Normal School in 1871, providing training for kindergarten, primary, intermediate, and secondary teachers. After the closing of the Ohio Central Normal School in 1880, the building was converted into a residential hotel called the Park Hotel. It then became a sanitarium named Worthdale and finally apartments in 1920. The site later became a parking lot for the Worthington United Methodist Church.

“The ‘Old Northwest’ Genealogical Quarterly, Volumes 1–2.” Google Books. Web. 30 July 2011. <>.
“Ohio Memory, a Product of the Ohio Historical Society and the State Library of Ohio.” Ohio Memory. Web. 30 July 2011. <,24975>.
“Byron Kilbourn.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 30 July 2011. <>.

St John’s Episcopal Cemetery, Franklin County, Ohio

Friday, July 29, 2011

“...and took him in an unexpected moment”

The marker with a large willow carving at the grave of Dr. Lawrence B. Case (d. 1841) not only records the cause of his death, but also describes the last years and days of his life.

IN Memory of
Son of Job W & Julia Case
who died of Consumption
August 4, 1841
Aged 25 Years,

Although suffering extremely from pain and
debility for ten years, yet his industrious habits,
unexampled perserverance and patience continued
to the last day of life, still death came suddenly
and took him in an unexpected moment.

“The Son of man cometh in an hour when ye
     think not”

The quoted portion of the epitaph is from the Bible. The King James version of Luke 12:40 reads, “Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.”

One note about this cemetery behind St. John’s Episcopal Church in Worthington, Ohio: It is an old graveyard and a lovely garden. Gravel paths, mature perennials, 19th-century gravestones—beautiful!

St. John’s Episcopal Cemetery, Franklin County, Ohio

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Epitaph: What tim’rous worms we mortals are

Have you ever seen the word worm in an epitaph? I hadn’t, until a few days ago.

wife of Ansel
died June 23rd.
in the 38th year of
her age.

Why should we start and fear to die.
What timrous worms we mortals are
Death is the gate to endless joy.
And yet we dread to enter there.

The epitaph is from the hymn “Why Should We Start and Fear to Die” by Isaac Watts (b. 1674, d. 1748).

Why should we start and fear to die?
What tim’rous worms we mortals are!
Death is the gate of endless joy,
And yet we dread to enter there.

The pains, the groans, the dying strife,
Fright our approaching souls away;
Still we shrink back again to life,
Fond of our prison and our clay.

O, if my Lord would come and meet,
My soul should stretch her wings in haste,
Fly fearless through death’s iron gate,
Nor feel the terrors as she passed.

Jesus can make a dying bed
Feel soft as downy pillows are,
While on His breast I lean my head,
And breathe my life out sweetly there.

Saint John’s Episcopal Church Cemetery, Franklin County, Ohio

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday’s child: Lucy Fitch Kilbourn

Lucy Fitch Kilbourn (d. 1845) is the granddaughter of James Kilbourn (buried nearby), “the founder of Worthington, Ohio and a surveyor, merchant and political leader in the early years of Ohio statehood.”1

Daughter of
NOV. 8, 1845;
Aged 14 Years
11 mo. 25 ds.

Lucy’s father, Bryon, was also a surveyor—and a railroad executive and an important figure in the founding of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.2

Lucy’s great-grandfather, John Fitch, invented the steamboat.3 John Fitch is also the father of Lucy Fitch, who married James Kilbourn and became our Lucy’s grandmother.4

Impressive family tree, eh?

By the way, the Kilbourn men have Facebook pages. Do any of your ancestors have Facebook pages?

James Kilbourn tomb
St. John’s Episcopal Cemetery, Franklin County, Ohio

1“James Kilbourne - Ohio History Central - A Product of the Ohio Historical Society.” Ohio History Central – An Online Encyclopedia of Ohio History – Ohio Historical Society. Web. 26 July 2011. <>.
2“Byron Kilbourn.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 26 July 2011. <>.
3“John Fitch (inventor).” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 26 July 2011. <>.
4Westcott, Thompson. Life of John Fitch: the Inventor of the Steamboat. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1857.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

“O what a gospel!”

It is common to see a family name inscribed at the base of a pedestal monument. Inscribed at the base of the monument for Rev. Thomas Parker (b. 1827, d. 1863) is not Parker but M. E. Church—Methodist Episcopal Church.

DEC. 25, 1827.
JUNE 8, 1863.
35 Yrs. 5 Mos. 13 Ds.

while dying he exclaimed,
i am at the river, and am looking
both ways. bright, all bright!
o what a gospel!

Letters written to James Anderson by his mother and sister,1 members of the M. E. Church in Marion, Ohio, give an account of the Rev. Parker’s death.

Mrs. Thomas Anderson to her son James:

Well, dear Princie, Mr. Parker at three o’clock this morning, exchanged worlds. He could not be convinced that he was about to die until Saturday, for he had a strange delusion that he was going to be brought down to the very gates of death, and then by supernatural power raised to preach the gospel of Jesus for many years. But on Saturday, feeling that his end was near he gave up, and wished to be alone with his wife. On the Sabbath, the holy sacrament was administered. Just a short time before he breathed his last he said to his mother: “I am all right, I am safe, and it is almost over. I shall soon meet our friends who have gone before and tell them the good news.” Thus passed away a good man. He crossed the river of death in safety. The cold waves of Jordan had no terrors for him.

Miss Annie Anderson to her brother James:

Mother gave you the particulars of Mr. Parker’s death. His family feel their loss greatly, and have our sympathy. Mr. Parker was a good man and well prepared to die. He looks natural in death, and a sweet expression of contentment and peace is on his face. He will be buried tomorrow afternoon at 3 o’clock; and the funeral sermon at his particular request will be preached by the Rev. L. B. Gurley. On Sunday morning at 11 o’clock the corpse of —, who drank himself to death, was found in a stable in town. Thus two men died, and what a contrast! One the most beautiful of all deaths, and the other the most miserable.

Marion Cemetery, Marion, Ohio

1Anderson, James H. Life and Letters of Judge Thomas J. Anderson and Wife. Columbus: F. J. Heer, 1904.

Monday, July 25, 2011

“Blessed are the dead”

On a gravestone the carving of an open book often represents an open Bible. On the gravestone of Rachel Decker (d. 1848), we can be sure it is a Bible because an excerpt from a Bible verse is written there: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord (Revelations 14:13).

Wife of
Dec. 16, 1848;
Aged 24 Ys,
10 m. 24 ds.

Rachel Dawson married John Decker on February 18, 1845. Rachel died months before their third anniversary. Did the Deckers have children? Did John remarry?

From Ohio, County Marriages, 1790-1950 on

Pleasant Cemetery, Marion County, Ohio

Saturday, July 23, 2011

“I have laid down my life”

The gravestone for George Snyder, Jr. (d. 1862) has a simple carving of a Union soldier standing at attention. The inscription tells us that George died in 1862 during a Civil War battle outside Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

28 Ys 4 Mo 28 Ds.
A member of Co B 64 Reg OVI
I have laid down my life for my
country’s sake at the battle of
Murfreesboro in the state of
Tennessee December 31, 1862
The battle in which George Snyder lost his life is known as the Battle of Stones River. The Confederate soldiers attacked near dawn on December 31. Lieutenant Tunnel of the Fourteenth Texas Infantry described confusion among the Union trops:

Many of the Yanks were either killed or retreated in their nightclothes … We found a caisson with the horses still attached lodged against a tree and other evidences of their confusion. The Yanks tried to make a stand whenever they could find shelter of any kind. All along our route we captured prisoners, who would take refuge behind houses, fences, logs, cedar bushes and in ravines.

The three-day battle was one of the bloodiest of the war. Both sides suffered a higher percentage of casualties at the Battle of Stones River than any other major Civil War battle.

“Stones River National Battlefield (U.S. National Park Service).” U.S. National Park Service - Experience Your America. Web. 22 July 2011. <>.
“Battle of Stones River.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 22 July 2011. <>.

Pleasant Cemetery, Marion County, Ohio

Friday, July 22, 2011

He was prepared

The tablet marker at the grave of Rev. Andrew Kinnear (b. 1781, d. 1845) seems rather plain—until you read the inscription. The sentiment may be common, but it is not commonly inscribed on a gravestone.

IN Memory oF Rev.
called to depart this
life suddenly, but not
without being prepared.
Oct. 30, 1845.
Aged 65 Years
& 10 Months.

Andrew Kinnear his wife, Dinah, had eleven children, two of whom were Methodist ministers like their father. [1]

The Kinnears and Their Kin, p. 68

[1] White, Emma Siggins and Martha Humphreys Maltby, Genealogist. The Kinnears and Their Kin. Kansas City: Tiernan-Dart Printing Co., 1916.

Pleasant Cemetery, Marion County, Ohio

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Flaming torches, inverted

If you love cemeteries, it is hard to drive past one without stopping. So recently, when I was driving to Marion to check out a couple of “famous” gravestones,1 I spied a small country graveyard and quickly pulled in. (No, those were not my tires squealing at the unexpected stop.)

The monument for Barbara Augenstein (d. 1865) and George F. Augenstein (d. 1877) was the first to catch my eye. It was leaning and had obviously been repaired. First I noticed the carving of child and lamb. Then I saw a less common element: Upside-down torches. Inverted torches are commonly understood to be symbols for an extinguished life—and I do not often see them around here.

Wife of,
G. F. Augenstein
Mar. 23, 1865.
72 Y. 2 M. 21 D.

son of
G. F. & H.
Feb. 8, 1877.
5 Y. 9 M. 11 D.


Until you look at the dates of death, you might guess that Barbara is the mother of young Geo. F. But she died before his birth. Could she be his grandmother? According to, she is.

Augenstein Cemetery is nicely documented on Ninety-one burials are listed and nearly all of them have photographs. Some have bios and family links as well.

1 The Merchant Ball at Marion Cemetery and the Gypsy Queen grave at St. Mary’s Cemetery.

Augentstein Cemetery, Marion County, Ohio

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wednesday’s child: Infant Boehm

Nicholas Boehm married Catherine Hilf on January 1, 1871 in Franklin County, Ohio. Their son was born in October, and he died in December.

OCT. 22, 1871,
DEC. 8, 1871.

The Lord gave,
The Lord has taken away.
Blessed be the name of
the Lord forever.

Many years later, the Boehms were buried next to their infant son in St. Paul Lutheran Cemetery, Franklin County, Ohio.

St. Paul Lutheran Cemetery, Franklin County, Ohio

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Willow and stars

I had just left Marion Cemetery, a beautiful cemetery full of large monuments, statuary, and private mausoleums. On my way home, I took “the scenic route” past (and into) several small, rural cemeteries. My last stop of the day was Pleasant Cemetery—and yes, it was...quite pleasant.

One of the Pleasant gravestones, that for Peter Shrock (d. 1847), is a nice example of a mid-19th century stone with a willow-and-stars motif.

In memory of
died May 19, 1847;
Ag’d 55 yrs. 6 mos. &
21 ds.

The weeping willow symbolizes mourning and sadness; the stars, divine guidance. In particular, 5-pointed stars represent the Star of Bethlehem.

Pleasant Cemetery, Marion County, Ohio

Monday, July 18, 2011

Mary Minerva Garlick, newlywed

The first thing I noticed about this gravestone was its striking urn-and-willow carving. Then I read the inscription. Mary Minerva Garlick (b. 1820, d. 1840) was married less than six months when she died.

Born June 19th 1820:
Married mar 21st 1840,
DIED SEPT. 9th 1840,
Months 21 days.

The epitaph, badly weathered in spots, is taken from this verse of the long poem Pleasures of Hope by Scottish poet Thomas Campbell (b. 1777, d. 1844):

“And weep not thus,” he cried, “young Ellenore;
My bosom bleeds, but soon shall bleed no more!
Short shall this half-extinguished spirit burn,
And soon these limbs to kindred dust return!

But not, my child, with life’s precarious fire,
The immortal ties of Nature shall expire;
These shall resist the triumph of decay,
When time is o’er, and worlds have pass’d away;
Cold in the dust this perish’d heart may lie,
But that which warm’d it once shall never die!

That spark unburied in its mortal frame,
With living light, eternal, and the same,
Shall beam on Joy’s interminable years,
Unveil’d by darkness — unassuag’d by tears!

Bonus links
Carmi Garlick on
The Pleasures of Hope by Thomas Campbell

Union Township Cemetery, Union County, Ohio

Saturday, July 16, 2011

An abbreviated surname?

The carving of evergreens caught my eye on this small sandstone gravestone. I stopped to snap a photograph and then paused to read the inscription.

Elisabeth Daughter of Christian & Sary cr Who died...

Elisabeth who?

Elisabeth Daughter
Christian & Sary cr
Who died [mar? apr? may?] 24 1823
Aged ten weaks

Shall [??] my God
To all [??]

Yes, it says “weaks”
Some transcribers have read the mother’s name as Saryer but I see Sary cr. I think what we have here is a gravestone with an abbreviated surname.

Elisabeth is most likely Elisabeth Crumley, an infant who died at 10 weeks. Christian Crumley is buried in the same cemetery. Though I did not photograph his marker, it is posted on

The Crumley family is mentioned in Pioneer Period and Pioneer People of Fairfield County, Ohio by Charles Milton Lewis Wiseman. Christian Crumley with his wife Salome (could this be Sary?) and family, moved to Ohio from Pennsylvania as early as 1803. One of their sons was Conrad, who is mentioned by name along with Christian and Salome in this excerpt:

In the year 1803 Christian Crumley with his family, left Pennsylvania to seek a new home in Ohio. They made a temporary stop in Lancaster, and during that time one of his children died. He purchased a section of woodland in Bloom township, built a cabin and moved his family to the new home, about one mile west of Rock Mill. Here young Conrad remained until he became a man. ... On two occasions Christian Crumley loaded flat boats at Gallipolis for New Orleans. Conrad drove the team that carried, or drew, the produce to load these boats. He made nine trips in one winter, through an almost unbroken forest to Gallipolis, a distance of one hundred miles.

Glick-Brick Church-Hoy Cemetery, Fairfield County, Ohio

Friday, July 15, 2011

Harriet Dashom, with footstone

When I stop to view and photograph a gravestone, I always check for a stone carver’s signature. At first glance, the gravestone of Harriet Dashom (d. 1837), with its asymmetric willow carving, is not signed.

Check the front: No signature.
Check the back: No signature.

Ah, but there is a footstone—and it is signed. The stone is attributed to a stone carving business, or at least a two-person team: J & D. Perrung of Somerset, Ohio.

In memory of
constort of Jacob
who died June 19
who died June 19
1837 Aged 33
years 3 months &
9 days.

Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery, Perry County, Ohio

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A good news, bad news gravestone

The good news is that the carving at the top of the gravestone is intact, along with the name Rebecca. The bad news is that the bottom half (or more) of the stone, including Rebecca’s surname, is gone.

The carving shows a gravestone next to a willow tree. There appear to be flowers or perhaps a wreath at the base. A woman kneels at the gravestone, her head slightly bowed with her right hand covering her (tearing) eyes. Is that a wreath she is holding in her left hand?

Look closely at the bottom of the stone. Some cut-off lettering shows. Could it be Daughter of? What do you see?

Click image to enlarge
Smith Cemetery, Franklin County, Ohio

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wednesday’s child: Fredric Harold Walker

Last Saturday, while walking through Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus with my daughter and her boyfriend (she hopes I soon will be able to say fiancé), she pointed to a child’s grave and said, “Look! There is a gravestone with a statue of a dog.”

It was a lamb. Weathered with no ears, but a lamb.

A few minutes later I was distracted by a gravestone carved to look like an open gate, and the not-yet-a-fiancé said, “Look! There is a gravestone with a statue of a dog.”

I turned around, fully prepared to correct him, and saw … a gravestone with a statue of a dog.

One can only imagine that the statue on the grave marker for Fredric Harold Walker (b. 1886, d. 1890) represents the young boy’s special friend.

The inscription is weathered and difficult to read, but with help from, we can fill in the iffy parts with data from Fredric’s record in the collection “Ohio Deaths and Burials, 1854–1997.”

BORN JAN’Y 15, 1886
DIED MAY 22, 1890

Green Lawn Cemetery, Franklin County, Ohio

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Signed by J.H. Boylan

The First Saturday at Green Lawn program in Columbus this month featured Beth Santore, who sits on the Board of Trustees for the Association for Gravestone Studies and created the popular website Beth fascinated a standing-room-only crowd with her stories and photos of Ohio gravestones.

And since she featured some graveyards I have not yet visited, now I have a summer to-do list. Thanks, Beth!

A few of the gravestones in Beth’s presentation were familiar to me, including this striking stone that is signed by the carver J. H. Boylan.

Click image to enlarge

Aligha Harnet
son of John and
Sarah Harnet
& Was born March
th22 AD 1803 & Dc Febury
th20 AD 1829 & aged 25
Years & 11 Monts &

Remember now thy creator
in the days of thy youth, while
the evil days come not, ner
the yea is draw nigh, when
thou shalt say, I have no
pleasure in them;

And where is the signature? On the back! And so is another interesting—and interestingly spelled—epitaph. (Click the shady image below to enlarge. It is lacking the definition provided by proper lighting, but it is readable, and too good to pass up.)

Now in the heet of youthful
Blood, remember your creater
god; Behold the monts comes
hase[?]n on. When you shall say
my goys are gon
                        JH Boylan

New Reading Cemetery, Perry County, Ohio
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