The imagery of a tree stump suggesting that the deceased’s life had been cut short was popular in the late 19th century. The number of cut limbs protruding from the trunk may indicate that there are also members of the same family buried at that location. Names are sometimes engraved on the cut edge.
Logs were occasionally used to memorialize children’s graves.
The tree stump may also be a physical support for sculpture. Ivy clinging to the side of the tree stump stands for steadfastness, memory, and faithfulness. The lily at the bottom signifies life sprung anew, that eternal life which many hope find after their earthly lives are over.
The tree stump is also a recognized icon of the fraternity, Woodmen of the World (W.O.W.) Originally an insurance company that insured workers in dangerous occupations the policy included a grave marker in the form of a tree. The icon or trademark often carved into the front of the gravestone indicated equality. It is accompanied with the Latin phrase, Dum Tacet Clamat, meaning Though Silent He Speaks.
A stump displaying a dove with an olive branch represents peace, an axe and wedge indicates craftsmanship.
Women of Woodcraft was the female auxiliary to Woodmen of the World.
Remember friends as you pass by
As you are now so once was I
As I am now so you must be
Prepare for death and follow me.