Category Archives: USA

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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A ribbon wreath encircles a small bouquet of flowers.

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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.

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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.

 

Korean War Veterans Memorial

The Korean War Veterans Memorial at the west end of the Mall near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. was created by Frank Gaylord, a Vermont sculptor. The memorial was intended to “confront visitors with the reality of actual war” without glorifying it.

The sculptures cast in stainless steel represent American soldiers in their rain ponchos making their way through the rough terrain of Korea wooded areas. Various branches of the armed forces are represented including fourteen Army personnel, three Marines, one member of the Navy, and one member of the Air Force. The sculptures also represent an ethnic cross section of American society; fourteen Caucasians, three African-Americans, two Hispanics, one Oriental, and one Native American soldier. Regardless of where you are situated at the memorial, one of the soldiers will always be looking at you.

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Source: https://www.aviewoncities.com/washington/koreanwarmemorial.htm
Military times
Source: https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2015/10/12/korean-war-veterans-memorial-gets-1m-donation-from-samsung/

A black granite mural wall almost 164 feet long complements the statues. Designed by Louis Nelson it consists of forty-one panels showing 2,400 etched faces of military support personnel, (nurses, truck drivers, medics and chaplains) and equipment from all the branches of the armed forces.

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Creative Commons License, Wally Gobetz. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/3630221015

The Korean War Memorial was dedicated in 1995 by President Bill Clinton and President Kim Young-sam of South Korea.

Our Nation honors her Sons and Daughters who answered the call to defend a Country they never knew and a people they never met. 1950 Korea 1953

Bear Beard

In Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York City, you may be surprised to find an enormous bear sitting atop what appears to be a blank gravestone.

beard bear
Source: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/12451565/william-holbrook-beard

Jeffrey I. Richman, historian, discovered that a famous artist named William Holbrook Beard was buried within the cemetery in Section 115, and yet there was no marker identifying his grave within a 14’ x 27’of the Beard family plot.

In 2002 a ceremony took place to erect a memorial to the 19th-century painter of animal scenes. As his favourite subject was the bear, a Colorado sculptor, Dan Ostermiller agreed to donate a bronze sculpture of a bear reflecting the humour that Beard often used in his art.

find a grave2
Source: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/12451565/william-holbrook-beard

The front of the granite stone is blank reflecting that the exact place of Beard’s remains is unknown. The rear is engraved; William / Holbrook / Beard/ 1824-1900/ American Artist/ L’Ours (the bear) sculpture by Dan Ostermiller, Sc. / Gift of the artist 2002

William Holbrook Beard died on 20 February 1900 from apoplexy (hemorrhage or stroke) at age 75.

find a grave
Source: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/12451565/william-holbrook-beard

Spirit Houses

A graveyard at the St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Eklutna, Alaska is filled with burial sites in the form of large dollhouses. Russian Orthodox missionaries who lived in the area in the early 19th century lived side by side with Athabaskan natives.

The Athabascan burial practice began with placing a blanket over the grave to comfort the departed soul. Forty days later a spirit box was placed on top. The size of the box was determined by social status and was painted with tribal colours. Athabascans believed that that which is taken from the Earth must be allowed to return and therefore the spirit houses were not maintained and left to decay.

People who were members of the church also have their graves marked with the Orthodox Christian Cross. The upper horizontal bar represents the inscription over the head of Jesus. The Middle Bar is the board on which the Lord’s hands were nailed, and the slanting bar represents the footrest.

Drowning Tragedy

John & Jacobina Dotterweich who lived at old Hamburg Turnpike near Green Brook Farm were the parents of nine children. On 13 December 1874, five of the children went out to ride a sled and ventured on to a pond that was not completely frozen. When the ice broke the children were plunged into the water.

In an attempt to save their children the mother and father waded into the water up to their necks and attempted to save the children using a rope. The bodies of the children were pulled from the pond an hour later.

Between 800 and 1,000 people attended the funeral for Caroline aged 16, Augusta aged 14, Maggie age 13, John aged 11, Philip aged 9, and Barbara aged 6 at the Preakness Reformed Church Cemetery, Passaic County, New Jersey.

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Drowning is not so pitiful
As the attempt to rise.
Three times, ’tis said, a sinking man
Comes up to face the skies,
And then declines forever
To that abhorred abode,
Where hope and he part company –
For he is grasped of God.
The Maker’s cordial visage,
However good to see,
Is shunned, we must admit it,
Like an adversity.
~Emily Dickinson~

R.I.P. Not!

The power of water and subsequent flooding can be catastrophic disturbing even the dead. Hurricanes with record breaking amounts of rain, and rising sea levels due to global warming cause subsidence especially in ‘spongy’ soil.

Lawton PA
Lawton, PA. Source: https://imgur.com/gallery/JHY5GxH

Charles Hunter, the Calcasieu Parish chief coroner investigator, Louisiana. “In a flood, the air pressure builds up in that vault and it will eventually break the seal,” he said. “When that happens, the lid just pops off. I’ve even seen the water pick up the entire vault, and they can weigh in excess of 3,000 pounds.”

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Rochester, VT after Hurricane Irene 2011. Source: https://www.nola.com/hurricane/2011/10/flooded_vermont_town_struggles.html

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Springfield SC. Source: https://khqa.com/news/nation-world/caskets-rise-from-south-carolina-cemetery-after-widespread-flooding

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New Orleans LA. Source: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/louisiana-flooding-caskets-calcasieu-parish/
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Louisiana. Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGYkA7HgKCU
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Louisiana. Source: https://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2016/0518/How-fast-is-New-Orleans-sinking-Faster-and-faster-says-new-study
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Source: http://www.ghosthuntingtheories.com/2017/07/flooded-cemeteries-terrifying-finds.html

Dr. David Persse, the physician in charge of Houston’s Emergency Medical Services and Public Health Authority stated, “Embalming kills all pathogens in the body, and corpses buried before the practice would be so decomposed in diluted floodwater there would be no danger.”