Tuesday, January 3, 2012

H. F.

It was a gray afternoon, cool and threatening to rain again as I pulled into tiny Butter Cemetery in Morrow County, Ohio. I had noticed a number of 19th-century markers a few hundred feet off the road.

Too tempting to pass up.

Before the rain eventually chased me away (for this day at least), I noticed a broken willow-and-urn marker with the letters H and F above the double willows.

Interesting. An abbreviation for...what? Maybe a fraternal organization I was not familiar with. Maybe it had religious meaning.

Often the simplest explanation is the best, so I knelt down to check whether I could read the name on the inscription. Of course, the letters are the initials of the deceased: Hosea Fuller (d. 1830).


In Memory
Hosea Fuller,
22[nd] 1830 in the [82]
of his Age.

The first line of the epitaph, barely visible above the grass line, is a familiar one: Death is a debt to nature due. Perhaps the Fuller stone goes on to complete the old rhyme: Which I have paid and so must you.

Cemetery note. The current sign says “Butter Cemetery,” but this cemetery has also been known as Vining Cemetery and Fargo North Cemetery. Once part of Delaware County, the cemetery is about two miles north of the current boundary between Delaware and Morrow Counties.

Butter Cemetery, Morrow County, Ohio


  1. What a great epitaph! Is it common in Ohio?

  2. This epitaph is not so common around here, though I have seen it once or twice before. (Now where did those photos go...?) It's an old one.


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