INTERESTING EPITAPHS

Grave of Ellen Shannon in Girard, Pennsylvania

Ellen Shannon

The following satirical epitaphs cannot be confirmed but the humour is worth reading.

First Church of England Cemetery at East Dalhousie, King’s County, Nova Scotia, Canada: Here lies Ezekial Aikle, Age 102, The Good Die Young.

Ruidoso-Hondo Valley Memorial Park, Ruidoso, Lincoln County, New Mexico: Here lies Johnny Yeast, Pardon me For not rising.

In Thurmont, Maryland: Beneath this stone lies Dr. John Bigelow an Atheist all dressed up with no place to go

Stowe, Vermont: I was somebody. Who, is no business of yours.

Will The Real Mother Goose Please Arise

In the United States, the Granary Burial Ground in Boston contains a slate gravestone dedicated to Mother Goose. It is located at the rear of the cemetery off one of the main paths. A pile of pennies at the headstone are left in recognition by visitors. The inscription reads:
Here lyes ye body of / Mary Goose wife to / Isaac Goose; aged 42 / years decd October / ye 19th 1690 / Here lies also susana / goose ye 3d aged 15 ms / died august 11th 1687

Translation from Olde English:
Here lies the body of / Mary Goose wife to / Isaac Goose; aged 42 / years deceased October / the 19th 1690 / here lies also Susana / Goose the 3rd aged 15 months / died august 11th 1687.

Isaac Goose was a wealthy landowner in Boston who married Mary Balston. She died at the young age of 42 in 1690 after bearing ten children. After Mary’s death, Isaac married Elizabeth Foster of Charlestown in 1693. She had six children before dying in 1758.

One of those children also named Elizabeth married a printer/publisher named Thomas Fleet who was responsible for publishing a collection of stories in a book entitled Songs for the Nursery. Although commonly believed that this book is the basis of Mother Goose nursery rhyme fame, French texts from as early as 1626 reference stories from Contes de ma Mère l’Oye (Tales of My Mother Goose).

findagrave_Kieran Smith

In London, England there is an information board at the entrance to the graveyard of St. Olaves which identifies the grave of Mother Goose interred on 14th September 1586. The burial register records the name as mother Goose (no first name recorded) therefore possibly a mother with the last name of Goose.

find a gravelondonist

Holocaust Memorials in Paris

The city of Paris has acknowledged the plight of Jews in the multitude of memorials dedicated to the victims of the German concentration camps. Within the grounds of Pere Lachaise Cemetery each concentration camp is recognized on its own memorial.

AUSCHWITZ, the main camp, was located in Oświęcim in southern Poland to hold Polish political prisoners. The camp went on to become a major site of the Nazis’ Final Solution to the Jewish Question. Most of the Jews from all over German-occupied Europe who were sent to the camp were gassed on arrival. More than 1.3 million men, women and children died in the Auschwitz and Birkenau camps, the vast majority of whom were Jews.

Auschwitz was also known as Monowitz-Buna, Buna and Auschwitz III. The memorial consists of five emaciated figures in bronze bearing witness to the suffering and exhaustion of the deportees. A body carried in a wheelbarrow reminds us of the frightening mortality of this camp.

BIRKENAU This memorial is in the form of a column with the featureless silhouette of a human figure standing over an engraved plaque. Written in script are lines from the poet Paul Eluard: When we will no longer kill, they will be avenged … The only vow of justice has life as its echo.

BERGEN-BELSEN in northern Germany was an “exchange camp” where Jewish hostages were held with the intention of exchanging them for German prisoners of war held overseas.

The memorial represents the railway tracks leading to the gates of the camp. Between the ‘railway tracks’ are footprints in various sizes representing all age groups arriving at the camp. It was in this camp that the young Anne Franck died along with her sister.

1943 They suffered and hoped. You fight for your freedom. 
1945 We broke their bodies never their minds. 

BUCHENWALD near Weimar, Germany, was one of the first and the largest of the concentration camps within Germany’s 1937 borders. Many actual or suspected communists were among the first internees. All prisoners worked primarily as forced labor in local armaments factories.

The memorial expresses the horror and violence in the concentration camp system. Three emaciated prisoners define suffering, death, solidarity and resistance.

DACHAU, north of Munich in southern Germany, was a forced labor camp which imprisoned Jews, German and Austrian criminals, and eventually foreign nationals from countries that Germany occupied or invaded.

The two pillars forming a gateway are symbolic of the gates of Heaven. The red granite triangle represents the patch worn on political prisoners’ clothes.

A plaque to the left of the stairs is inscribed with a quotation by Edmond Michelet. We have surveyed abysses in ourselves and in others.

DRANCY was an internment camp run by the French located in a northeastern suburb of Paris. It was an assembly and detention camp for confining Jews who were later deported to the extermination camps.

The Memorial reads in translation Inscription engraved at Ninth Fort of Kaunas deported by Convoy 73. In memory of 878 Jews deported from Drancy May 15, 1944 to Kaunas (Lithuania) and Reval-Tallinn (Estonia). 22 returned in 1945.

FLOSSENBURG A map identifies the location of the camp which unlike other concentration camps was located in a remote area in the mountains of Bavaria. Quarries, arms and aviation factories surrounded it. Although the camp’s initial purpose was to exploit the forced labor of prisoners for the production of granite for Nazi architecture they eventually produced armaments for the war effort.

The imprint of a staircase of ten steep steps are visible at the base of the monument in addition to four blocks of cut stone.

MAUTHAUSEN This concentration camp was located on a hill above the market town of Mauthausen in Upper Austria. It was one of the first massive concentration camp complexes in Nazi Germany, and the last to be liberated by the Allies.

Seven blocks of were used to reproduce the monument. Stairs carved into the granite from the quarry of Mauthausen represent 186 uneven steps known as the staircase of death that prisoners had to mount with stones weighing more than 20 kilos on their backs. A bronze statue depicts an emaciated prisoner collapsing under the weight of his load.

NATZWEILER-STRUTHOF located in the Vosges Mountains in France was the only concentration camp established by the Nazis on French territory. Prisoners were mainly from the resistance movements in German-occupied territories. This labor and transit camp eventually became a place of execution.

This memorial is the form of a triangle. The red triangle identified political prisoners and the letter F was an indication to the Germans that the prisoner could speak French and could be called upon to translate. The bronze sculpture of an emaciated figure lies beneath a stone wall with the letters NN, acronym for Nacht und Nabel (a Nazi directive targeting political activists).

NEUENGAMME This camp was located near Hamburg in Northern Germany close to railway and metallurgy factories. With over 85 satellite camps the Neuengamme camp became the largest concentration camp in Northwest Germany. The memorial is created in white granite and the plaque reads in translation under this stone is a bit of ash from the seven thousand French martyrs murdered by the Nazis at the Neuengamme Concentration Camp – they died for us to live free – their families and comrades, survivors have erected this monument to their memory November 13, 1949“

Neuengamme_untapped
Source: https://untappedcities.com/2012/03/13/the-treasures-of-the-pere-lachaise-cemetery-part-ii/

ORANIENBURG AND SACHSENHAUSEN Used primarily for political prisoners from 1936 to the end of the Third Reich in May 1945. The prisoners were also used as a workforce, with a large task force of prisoners from the camp sent to work in the nearby brickworks to meet Albert Speer’s vision of rebuilding Berlin. At the base of the monument, a symbolic barbed wire fence impales an emaciated prisoner.

Orienburg_historichouston
Source: http://historichouston1836.com/holocaust-memorials-at-pere-lachaise-cemetery-paris-france/

RAVENSBRUCK was a camp exclusively for women from 1939 to 1945, located in northern Germany. The prisoners were used as slave labor. Two hands linked in captivity and solidarity emerge from roughly hewn stones one of which is engraved; Here lies the ashes of deported women martyrs of Nazi barbarism.

Hill of Crosses

Throughout the centuries as Lithuania fought for independence from the Soviet Union the people prayed at the Domantai Hill Fort in northern Lithuania. They brought with them crosses made from different mediums and of all sizes. Although the site was bulldozed by the Russians several times there was an estimated 100,000 crosses in 2006. Pope John Paul declared it as a site of hope, peace, love and sacrifice in 1993.

Diego Delso_wikipedia
Creative Commons License, Diego Delso. Source: Wiipedia
Diego Delso2_wikipedia
Creative Commons License, Diego Delso. Source: Wiipedia
Diego Delso3_wikipedia
Creative Commons License, Diego Delso. Source: Wiipedia
Flickr_kyle taylor
Creative Commons License, Kyle Taylor. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kyletaylor/4049177569

Rabies Death

This gravestone is located in Cedar City Cemetery, Utah, USA

43027962_1523166510

The death of Martha Jane McCune (her name is misspelled and should read McEwen) when she was only 17 years old is a tragic story.

Martha was born on January 22, 1838 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Three years later her family moved to Nauvoo, Illinois and finally settled in Fillmore, Utah in 1853. She married James W. Farrer and the couple moved to Cedar City. James, who was a teamster, had to leave for three weeks on business, and as Martha did not feel comfortable staying alone because of the Indians her friend’s family let her stay with them.

Early one morning Margaret McConnell and Martha awoke to strange sounds in the chicken coop and ventured out to see what was causing the disturbance. When they opened the doors to the coop they discovered a coyote sitting in the corner. Martha made a swatting motion with her hand and the animal lunged at her sinking its teeth deep into her throat. Margaret’s father, Jehiel McConnell who had been summoned by his daughter, wrapped his hands around the coyotes’ throat forcing it to unclench its jaw and eventually killing it.

The following is purportedly a recollection of the event by Martha McConnell.

“My girlfriend, Mary Jane McCune and I gathered wild food together and planned what we would do after we grew up. Then Mary Jane got married. One night she was staying over with me while her new husband, James W. Farrer, made a freighting trip to Salt Lake. She couldn’t stay alone because of Indians. Mary Jane and I heard a commotion in the adobe chicken coop, and when we opened the door we could see a coyote crouching in one corner, its eyes gleaming in the semidarkness. Mary Jane flung her hand out to frighten the animal away, but instead of retreating, it darted at her, sinking its fangs into her throat. I ran screaming to the house for Papa.

Taking in the desperate situation at a glance, Papa saw he could not pull the animal off without tearing Mary Jane’s throat to pieces. He sank the fingers of one hand around the coyote’s throat, slowly strangling it, at the same time prying its jaws open with the other hand to release the girl’s throat as the animal relaxed in death. And then the full horror of the situation came on us, for the coyote, frothing at the mouth, had rabies. In its madness, it had burrowed under the adobe wall of the coop to get at the chickens.

For a few days all of Cedar City watched the situation, and we all breathed a little easier as Mary Jane’s throat healed remarkably fast. Almost a month went by, then one day she began to develop unmistakable signs of rabies. She steadily became so vicious and violent that several strong men could not hold her, and it became necessary to bind her and peg her to the floor to keep her from attacking others. She would beg piteously for people to come near her so she could kiss them, but when anyone approached, she would snap at them like a mad dog. As the disease progressed to its horrible end, the stricken girl’s suffering became so unbearable that her family finally smothered her to death between two feather beds to shorten her agony.

Papa, fearing that he might have been infected while prying loose the coyote’s jaws, insisted that he be chained to the wall for two weeks to forestall any possible violence on his part. He was not contaminated by the encounter, and remained well. Mary Jane’s husband of only several months returned to find his young wife and unborn baby tragically dead and buried.

Fritz Family Tree

Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum in Cincinnati, Ohio is the third largest cemetery in the United States. Within its gates is the 9-10 feet tall Fritz Tree Memorial carved in sandstone by H. Suhre in 1873. His mark resembles a tire, H. Suhre/Maker. Herman W. Suhre was a German immigrant who established the Suhre & Oberhelman monument company.

The oak tree (Germany’s national tree) is embellished with ivy (symbolic of immortality), and oak leaves and acorns (ripe old age). Ivy vines emerge from the ground giving the impression of four legs. A sculpture near the ground reveals two hands holding a long handled axe which undoubtedly created the hatch marks on the trunk and the severed limbs with smooth cut surfaces for engraving.

axe_facebook
Source: https://www.facebook.com/pg/sgcemetery/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10150383943175536

The marble figure on top of the monument represents the Fritz family’s German heritage and is a representation of ‘Germania’; historically a robust woman with long, flowing, reddish-blonde hair, wearing armour, wielding a sword and holding a shield. This statue holds the sword in her right hand and in her left hand is a wreath resting against a shield decorated with stars and stripes.

Directly beneath Germania is the statue of a priest dressed in long robes with lace trim. Standing on two severed branches, it gives the impression that he is in a pulpit. An open book resting on a log at the base of the tree may have fallen from his hands. Depictions of an open book are often used on the gravestones of ministers or clergymen. However, it is sometimes found on gravestones of very devoted religious people.

The memorial, adorned with iconography, contains many epitaphs to members of the Fritz family.

Oak leaves and acorns droop over a joint epitaph for Wilhemina/Fritz/Wife Of/J. Fritz Born/June 18, 1837/Died January 1/1876/Age 38/Years 6/Months. A feminine hand denoted by the flower on the cuff points with outstretched finger to Wilhemina’s inscription. Her husband, Jacob/Fritz/Born Aug 2/1833/died March 20/1884 was a butcher at Salisman Sausage Co. in Cincinnati.

Katharina/Fritz/Born Oct 30/1841/Died Jan 29/1904. A hand descends from Heaven with outstretched finger pointing to her epitaph.

Katharina_flickrzachs
Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zachsdame/sets/72157603320074532/with/1215132407/

A joint epitaph for William and Elizabeth is attached to a sculptured log. A vine separates the two inscriptions, Wm Fritz/April 11, 1858/April 29, 1911 and Elizabeth/Fritz/1863-1937. Situated at the stump of a branch is a padlock attached to three links of a chain (everlasting love) or it could be symbolic of the key to the gates of Heaven.

A hand emerges from within oak leaves and acorns with outstretched finger pointing to the epitaph of a young boy named H.E. Charles Fritz Born/Nov 15th 1862/Died May 18th 1873/Age 10 years 6 months 3 days.

Charles_flickrzachs
Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zachsdame/sets/72157603320074532/with/1215132407/ource:

A hand with outstretched finger pointing down symbolizes the hand of God descending from Heaven. The finger points to the epitaph of Jacob F. Fritz/Oct 31, 1884/May 24, 1927. The scroll also contains a Masonic symbol.

jacob F_hobgoblin
Source: http://hobgoblintaphophile.blogspot.com/2015/11/fritz-tree-stone-spring-grove-cemetery.html

A hand descends from Heaven with outstretched finger pointing to the epitaph of Lillian Fritz 1889-1963.

Lilian_flickrzachs
Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zachsdame/sets/72157603320074532/with/1215132407/

In the upper regions of the tree is an anchor with entwined snake (symbolic of immortality). The anchor is suspended by a chain hanging from a protruding scroll. The scroll contains an inscription using Blackletter font, part of which reads Geboren Warden which means to be born.

The fight between good and evil is represented by a dove (peace) pecking at the tail of a squirrel (Satan). There is what appears to be a padlock above which is also a Freemasons icon.

bird squirrel_imageproxy

A ribbon wreath encircles a small bouquet of flowers.

ribbon_flickrzachs
Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zachsdame/sets/72157603320074532/with/1215132407/

Murdered by Human Wolves

Within the grass of Konawa Cemetery, Kenowa, Oklahoma, the grave of Katherine Cross is most memorable for the epitaph: Murdered By Human Wolves. In a continuation of her sad story the gravestone was stolen in 2016.

Her gravestone was engraved with an arch, open gates, and a star.
The arch is a symbol of triumph and victory in death. It also represents being joined with a partner in Heaven. Open gates symbolize the soul entering heaven. The star piercing the darkness symbolizes the spirit overcoming evil and rising to heaven.

405
Source: http://www.405magazine.com/October-2013/77-Counties/

There are many legends surrounding her death including a fictional account in a novel written by Steven E. Wedel.

The facts: Katherine was the first born child of ten to John Taylor Cross and his wife, Mary Katherine Diehl Cross.
Katherine Dau. Of J.T. & M.K. Cross Mar. 13, 1899 Oct. 10, 1917 

An arrest and charge of first degree murder was made against Dr. Yates, a Konawa physician, for performing what is believed to be an abortion on Katherine who was three months pregnant. The father of the child was Fred O’Neil, the married principal of the Vamoosa School.

findagrave
Source: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/7423442

Seminole County News later reported that Katherine’s death was downgraded from first-degree murder to first-degree manslaughter.

 

Mors Ianua Vitae: Death is the gate of life