Friday, February 3, 2012

Riddle me this

All that is visible on the marker at the grave of James Riddle is his name—and a graceful hand with a finger pointing heavenward. Above the hand you can just make out the popular gravestone sentiment, “There is rest in Heaven.”

One online repository of gravestone photos in the area proposes that the gravestone reads Aug 23, 1863, aged 62 y 6 m 8 d, though the source of this date is not offered.

The same site shows another marker, which I did not photograph, with the inscription Father, James Riddle, 1801 — 1863.

Do we have two James Riddles? Or two markers for the same James?

Here is a hint: An search reveals an 1850 Federal Census record showing a James Riddle family living in the township. James Riddle, a grocer, is the 49-year-old head of household. Among the children in the home is 9-year-old James.

Perhaps the two gravestones are for these two James Riddles: The father, born in 1810; the son, born about 1841.

When the younger James Riddle died is a mystery for now, even though the gravestone, if it is indeed his, holds the answer tantalizingly close, inches below ground in Milford Center Cemetery.

Milford Center Cemetery, Union County, Ohio

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