AND NEW MOTIFS
For approximately forty years, marble was the preferred gravestone medium and examination of these Boonslick gravestones reveal the height of personalization and individualization. Marble gravestones engulfed the Boonslick gravestone market beginning in the mid 1850’s and by 1865, marble was the only medium employed for gravestones. Carved by local sculptors, marble offered personalization, plus elegance in the appearance of the gravestone. However, by 1890, the less desirable aspects of this medium became evident. Marble weathered rapidly so that gravestones erected for only a couple of decades were already deteriorating. As the generation of gravestone sculptors died, they were not replaced by others carving gravestones. Instead, mass produced gravestones were shipped to the Boonslick for inscription and erection. As shown by James Deetz in his work on New England gravestone, iconography similarities and differences can be explored using marble headstones since so many remain in existence.
Like the locally carved gravestones, many of the marble gravestones contained only the vital statistics of the deceased and had no decoration. Obviously these were the least expensive of the marble gravestones and they were extensively used throughout the region. From the first importation of marble until the 1890’s when granite replaced marble as the primary material, these plain gravestones were carved. But, alongside, were also gravestones carved with decorative motifs. As explained in Chapter 7 and illustrated by Table 3, these motifs are examined in this chapter, using the numbers found in Table 3.
I. STANDARD MOTIFS ON HEADSTONES
6. THE HAND OF GOD
A hand is by far the most dominant motif in marble gravestones found in the Boonslick. Its popularity lasted for several decades and it could be used in numerous ways. On many gravestones, the hand or hands seem to have been added as an afterthought, as if they were necessary in order for the stone to sell. This hand of God motif is thoroughly discussed in Chapter 3 in the case study of the Mitchell family burial ground, where this style also appears.
A quick review of scholarly writing about this motif shows that the hand comes from a long line of motifs dating back to the seventeenth century and can be either the actual hand of God or a human hand reaching up to God.1 In the Boonslick, both of these motifs are found. Additionally, the hand may be holding an object (such as a flower, an anchor or a cross). These will be discussed under different headings because the emphasis in those motifs is upon the object, not the actual hand.
The Mitchell family burial ground featured the common motif of a limp, female hand on the left being clasped by a male hand on the right. The words farewell are often inscribed above and can be taken either as meaning farewell to an actual person or farewell to life because the male hand signifies God who is welcoming the deceased to Heaven (Illustration 84). This motif is carved on both signed and unsigned gravestones. The one illustrated was carved by L. L. Kenepp of Moberly. The clasped hands are often associated with another motif such as grapes which are symbolic of Holy Communion or the hands might be shown on top of an open Bible with a crown and rays streaming overhead (Illustration 85). A unique, clasped hands gravestone shows the hands clasped with either a flower or abstracted weeping willow tree overhead. The extreme weathering of the stone has made most of the lettering illegible, but it dates to 1881, an era far enough removed from Romanticism to have forgotten the meaning of the weeping willow tree.
Many of these marble gravestones show the clasped hands underneath drawn drapery representing a stage curtain. An open Bible may or may not be present. The drawn curtain provides drama and often features tassels, fringes and numerous folds (Illustration 86). As late as 1898, marble gravestones with clasped hands were carved for erection in the Boonslick, although at this late date they commemorate elderly people who expected and desired this type of gravestone. Several gravestones with this motif are inscribed in German showing this motif had universal appeal.
In some instances, the clasped hands are placed vertically which gives the impression of one hand, (signifying God), reaching down to Earth and taking the deceased to Heaven. A signed example of this motif is the marble gravestone to Joseph M. Bernard in Clark’s Chapel United Methodist Graveyard (H57) in Howard County. A masculine hand reaches down from the top of the stone to grasp a limp, female hand with both hands being totally encircled by a floral wreath (Illustration 87). Rosettes placed at the outer curves of the gravestone complete the decoration with an inscription along the top stating, "Death Has Robbed Us Of Our Treasure". At the bottom of the gravestone is an illegible poem. Many marble gravestones featured poetry which could be carved into the marble fairly easily. Elias, J. Bedwell of Boonville produced this signed gravestone.
Not every local sculptor was typical and conformed exactly to eastern patterns. Embellishments inevitably follow. At New Salem Baptist Church Graveyard in Boone County (B60), an unknown carver in the gravestone made for Marshall Matthew (Illustration 88) shows three hands reaching down from Heaven. The gravestone for Sallie Matthew, the wife, features the opposite motif (Illustration 89). Here three hands reach upward and one hand extends downward to clasp the middle hand. Does this motif signify that only one of the three people is saved? Or did the local carver become confused and carve the motif backwards? The Baptist Church during this time period stressed eternal damnation for those not baptized into that particular denomination so a gravestone featuring this motif was appropriate for a churchyard of this particular denomination.
A similar gravestone to Lucy A. Jacobs from 1873 is located in Locust Grove United Methodist Church Graveyard (B36) in Boone County (Illustration 90). Here, the grasping hand is on the bottom and the limp hand is being extended downward from the top. The gravestone is signed "Warren and Nichols of Columbia" so the firm advertised through this medium. Again, is Lucy A. Jacobs being dragged down to hell as inferred or did Warren and Nichols get their position backwards?
Numerous gravestones have the first digit of the right hand pointing upward. Of all the hand of God examples found in the Boonslick, this upwardly pointing hand is the most common. An excellent signed example of this motif is the 1867 marble gravestone to Sarah Patterson in Smith Chapel United Methodist Church Graveyard (H87) in Howard County (Illustration 91). In this gravestone, the hand points upward with a lily on each side of the wrist. Above the hand is a banner reading, "Gone Home." L.L. Kenepp of Moberly, Wallace and Kirkman of Columbia, and J. B. Kirkman of Columbia all signed gravestones featuring this motif. Sometimes, the hand held an object even though the first digit was still extended. At St. John Cemetery in Billingsville in Cooper County (C34), the 1885 gravestone to Maria A. Gratwohl shows a female hand holding a rose (Illustration 92). As explained in Chapter 3 when discussing the Mitchell burial ground, the rose motif originated in the cult of the Magna Mater, or Great Mother, goddess of antiquity. Another marble gravestone in Goshen Primitive Baptist Church Graveyard in Wilton (B62) in Boone County, features a hand pointing upward to a bank of clouds with tall, rank grass behind. Set into a quatrefoil, the effect is sophisticated. Even the fingernails are delineated. The gravestone has been broken so it is impossible to know if it was originally signed.
Numerous gravestones feature the pointed hand with a crown floating above in the air and drapery like the stage curtain seen in the clasped hand motif. Floral wreaths are also sometimes present (Illustration 93). The gravestone to William Nichols now in Hickam Cemetery at Bethel Baptist Church (B50) in Boone County perfectly illustrates this motif. Here, even the ropes to pull the curtain are in place and await a gentle tug. A floral wreath graces the bottom of this gravestone which has obviously been moved here from an unknown place.
Like the clasped hands, sometimes motifs are carved backwards. The gravestone to Alfred C. Wilson who died in 1854 and was buried at Boone Femme Baptist Church Graveyard (B51) in Boone County is an example. The curtain is draped underneath the pointed hand and rests on hooks at crown level (Illustration 94). At Wesley Chapel Cemetery (H3) in Howard County, the marble gravestone to Zoag Evans features a pointed hand reaching downward from out of the clouds, holding a cut lily and a rose. This gravestone is in perfect condition because it is protected by a large tree which abuts the actual gravestone. This tree has preserved the marble, but makes photographing the gravestone nearly impossible.
Numerous gravestones feature floral wreaths, floral garlands, bouquets, or single flowers. These are not strictly the provenance of women. The marble gravestone to Mary Hirsch (Illustration 95) who died in 1859 and is buried at Locust Grove United Methodist Church Graveyard (B36) in Boone County was sculpted by G. G. Dunn of Rocheport. The rectangular slab forms a smooth semicircle at the top with the edges carved with roses and stems. A female hand with all four digits closed, clutches a bunch of roses including buds, barely open flowers, and roses in full bloom. The fingernails are again delineated and the cuff around the wrist features cloth formed in petal shapes.
The marble gravestone to William Brushwood (Illustration 96) who died in 1883 at Mt. Nebo Cemetery (B45) in Boone County, features the standard, clasped hands motif underneath an elegant bouquet of flowers arranged in a vase. Made by E. Farley of Columbia, the gravestone also contains sunbursts and the statement, "His last words were ‘Let me cross over the River and meet Jesus on the other side.’ " The flowers appear to be several garden varieties of the types found in a standard bouquet. Other marble gravestones from this era feature bouquets and scrollwork.
In 1876, Mary Dimitt died and was buried at the Rocheport Cemetery (B34) in Boone County. Her grieving parents erected a gravestone that featured a bouquet of flowers laid upon a pillow, much like a bridal bouquet (Illustration 97). Mary Dimitt was an unmarried twenty-two year old female. In Western England, young, unmarried women about to die were sometimes feted with bridal bouquets which were given then since there would not be a wedding. After the "bride" died, these bouquets were then hung in the church until they disintegrated. Mary Dimitt in Rocheport, Missouri, had probably never heard of that tradition. But the emphasis upon marriage as the life goal for a woman was prominent throughout the European, Victorian world and for Mary to have a bridal bouquet on her gravestone is appropriate. Perhaps she was engaged and died before the wedding or perhaps the gravestone was sold to her parents on the basis that it was appropriate for a young maiden.
Floral wreaths also abounded. The gravestone to Zerelda Hulett who died in 1853 and is also buried in the Rocheport Cemetery (B34) in Boone County has a circular floral wreath above her name with the words "Remember Me’ carved inside (Illustration 98). The wreath matches the floral wreaths used in the actual funeral services (Illustration 99). The rectangular gravestone also has a curvilinear pattern along the top of the gravestone, a decorative touch not often found in the Boonslick. Other marble gravestones incorporated drapery with the floral wreath. The 1880 gravestone to Emeline Tutt at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery (H71) in Howard County features this motif. The top of the gravestone is draped and the bottom half features a floral spray. Tied with ribbon, the spray proclaims, "How Desolate Our Home Berefit" and ‘Blessed Are the Dead which Die in the Lord."
Sometimes the flowers were shown as a single bloom; the gravestone to Cynthia Taylor at Briscoe Graveyard (C56) in Cooper County (Illustration 100) is an excellent example. Or, instead of the bloom curled into a circle, it might ramble over the entire top of the gravestone as on the gravestone to John Geery at Ashland (Disciples of Christ) Christian Church Cemetery (H75) in Howard County (Illustration 101). Although not signed, Elias J. Bedwell of Boonville probably carved this gravestone because the carving of the bloom and the rosettes were a standard Bedwell motif. The final, marble gravestone featuring this single flower motif is found in Richland (Disciples of Christ) Christian Church Graveyard (H51) in Howard County. Erected in memory of Rebecca Marshall who died in 1859, the unsigned gravestone is ovoid with two crossed, lilies on the top (Illustration 102 and Illustration 103). At the bottom front, Baroque swirls accentuate the triangular, sawtooth patterning of the foundation. The footstone is a small version with the same shape but no decoration. A unique gravestone in the Boonslick, it probably was imported.
A marble gravestone in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery (H71) near New Franklin in Howard County has a vase full of flowers, bracketing, scrollwork, and ornamental cornice, all devices that express daintiness. Memorializing Elizabeth Hughes who died in 1858, the inscription reads:
"Friends nor Physicians could save
My physical body from the grave.
Nor can the grave confine it here
When Christ shall call it to appear."
Also discussed in Chapter 3 on the Mitchell burial ground, carved, weeping willow trees were a popular motif on marble gravestones. Often found in memorial pictures done by young women, the theme originated in England and by the 1850’s was firmly entrenched in the Boonslick. This was also extensively discussed in Chapter 3 on the Mitchell burial ground, but needs to be mentioned again, because in spite of being a stock motif, the weeping willow trees vary in appearance from gravestone to gravestone, whether or not the gravestone is signed.
The marble gravestone to Winny Robertson in Creason Cemetery (H13) in Howard County is a memorial to a woman who died in 1845. It is doubtful, however, that this gravestone is contemporary to the time of death because marble was not readily available in the Boonslick and locally carved gravestones were all that was available to people of this income (Illustration 104). Rather, it is probable that this gravestone was placed in the late 1850’s or even in the 1860’s. No matter the actual date, it is unsigned and is especially interesting because the branches of the tree fall straight downward with only the tree trunk showing beneath. All is uniform; nothing is wild or blowing. In the signed marble gravestone in Walnut Grove Baptist Graveyard (B33) in Boone County, to Priscilla Mitchell (no relation to the Mitchell family discussed in Chapter 2) who died in 1856, the weeping willow tree is blowing in the wind (Illustration 105). The branches are visible throughout the tree and the trunk is carved to the top. The individual, leafed branches are not uniform in size, thus exhibiting a more Romantic approach. The marble gravestone to Martha Angell who died in 1857 and is buried at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church Graveyard (B27) is similar except that the branches are lumped together (Illustration 106). In Salt Fork Presbyterian Graveyard (C4) in Cooper County, the marble gravestone to Pauline Evans has an open Bible encircled by a floral wreath and geometric patterning on the front. However, on the rear, alone and with no writing, is a weeping willow tree (Illustration 107 and Illustration 108). The individually, leafed branches are grouped together.
9. BIBLES AND ANCHORS OF
An open Bible surrounded by an object is also a common motif in the Boonslick. Sometimes, the Bible is alone as in the marble gravestone to William Scott who died in 1855 and is buried at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery (H71) in Howard County. The Bible is open with quotations inscribed on the pages from Matthew 5:8: "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall inherit the Earth." The rounded arch ends in bracketing and contains two branches tied together with a ribbon. Bracketing is found at the base of the gravestone. The entire gravestone is four and a half feet in height. Some gravestones are lined with open stage curtains, only a Bible is centered on the stage instead of clasped hands. Some of the gravestones have an open Bible with a cross, identical to the one in the Mitchell family burial ground in Chapter 3.
Few marble gravestones contain crosses. This is no doubt due to the view of this motif as a sign of Catholicism by the local, mostly Protestant population. One gravestone that does have the cross is the gravestone to Rosina Fuchs, a German immigrant, who died in 1862 and is buried in Sunset Hills Cemetery (C9) in Cooper County. This cross is centered in the middle front and is surrounded by two flowers, a daisy and a rose (Illustration 109). Some gravestones contain only the motif of the cross and crown, although most gravestones also have a pointed hand, or an open Bible, or some other religious motif. As explained in Chapter 3, religious motifs were popular during this period. People attended local churches where they sang hymns about "stars in my crown."2
The Bible was often accompanied by a ship anchor. Ministers expounded from pulpits that the Bible was the anchor of the Faith.3 Thus, it was deemed appropriate for gravestones. Sometimes, just the Bible and anchor were used; the gravestone to E. A. Brown who died in 1878 and is buried at Walnut Grove Baptist Graveyard (B33) in Boone County is typical (Illustration 110). The motto "Faith, Hope and Charity" is engraved above the circular motif. The gravestone was originally signed, but is now so badly weathered that only the word "Columbia" is legible.
Occasionally, the anchor was held by a hand. The marble gravestone, in Salt Fork Presbyterian Graveyard (C4) in Cooper County to Robert Wallace who died in 1858 shows this motif (Illustration 111). Once gain, the motifs and the funeral wreaths match (Illustration 99). The anchor rests upon a closed Bible and is held by a hand from the right while two branches with willow leaves (probably weeping willow branches) arise at both sides with a rose overhead. This theme last appears in the gravestone to Mattie Stearns who died in 1902 and is buried in the Richland (Disciples of Christ) Christian Church Graveyard (H51) in Howard County. This later gravestone is a return to the mid-nineteenth century motif; this gravestone is draped and under the drape an anchor hangs from which is suspended a scroll with roses at the top (Illustration 112). The poem on this gravestone proclaims,
"Tis hard to break the tender cord
When love has bound the heart
Tis hard to speak the words
We must forever part."
Of all the gravestones surveyed in the 177 cemeteries of the Boonslick, only ten marble gravestones had angels as the main motif. Most of these gravestones were for children, although a few commemorate adults. The choice of angels as a motif reflects their Biblical reference as guardians and messengers. Some Protestant denominations used the idea of a guardian angel as a moral overseerer for children and told the children that angels constantly watched over them.4 Looking at this motif shows both the continuity and the changes in the Boonslick region. The first marble gravestone to feature angels is the 1851 triple gravestone to the children of E. and Ann Young. This is also the only triple gravestone found in the course of the survey (Illustration 113). Only three feet in height, it features two angels at the end flying headlong at the viewer while the central angel flies to the left. All three angels carry banners which are now illegible. The gravestone is not signed and is so weathered that the detailing on the angels has vanished.
The next angels are found on two marble gravestones dating from 1868. One is at Walnut Grove Baptist Graveyard (B33) in Boone County and marks the grave of Elizabeth McClelland (Illustration 114). Aged twenty-four at death, she died in childbirth and her infant is buried to her left. The poem on the gravestone reads:
"A member of the Baptist Church from her early youth
Why should I vex my heart or fear
No more she’ll come to me
May my soul mount to her
There my wife I’ll see."
This gravestone is signed as being made by "Frazier of Columbia." The flying angel faces right and carries an open scroll with no inscription. In her left hand, she holds a large, plucked rose. Roses were often used on the graves of mothers, another indication that childbirth caused the death. The rose is almost as large as the angel. The other angel, marble gravestone from 1868 is in the Columbia Cemetery (B38) in Boone County. This marble gravestone is so weathered that it is illegible, but the year of death can be deciphered. In the top, under a rounded arch with brackets at both ends, an angel sits upon a box crypt with a bank of clouds overhead (Illustration 115). The box crypt is especially interesting since these actually exist in the Boonslick as discussed in Chapter 7. The angel looks upward and toward the left.
Four angels decorate marble gravestones from the 1870’s. One is at Goshen Primitive Baptist Church Graveyard (B62) in Wilton in Boone County where in 1874, Ernett Tuttle died at age three (Illustration 116). This unsigned, high relief, marble gravestone features an angel looking downward and to the left while standing on a cloud, thus approximating a mourner looking at a grave. Her hands are folded in prayer. The carver obviously understands human anatomy, and the drapery on this angel is well done. This angel features the "wet drapery" effect on her gown and definitely has legs and knees, in contrast to the first three gravestones, where the angels appear to have only skirts and heads. A contraposto stance is even tried. This gravestone must have been carved elsewhere and then shipped to the Boonslick because of the understanding of human anatomy which is absent on the gravestone carved in the Boonslick.
In fact, two years later, Ada Hinshaw was buried in the same cemetery at age one and an angel, marble headstone was also erected over her grave (Illustration 117). This angel faces left and is carved in low relief. She holds her skirt with her left hand and her eyes look straight forward. There are no clouds or any attempt at definition of space. Lightly inscribed scrollwork is on both sides of the figure. This gravestone is also unsigned.
However, in 1877, Wallace and Kirkman of Columbia supplied an angel, marble gravestone for Goldie Westlake at Locust Grove United Methodist Church Graveyard (B36) in Boone County (Illustration 118). This marble gravestone contains the same elements, but is obviously not done by the same hand as the 1874 gravestone to Ada Hinshaw. Here, an angel looks to the left and appears to be hovering over clouds. Around the circular motif is scrollwork, lightly inscribed.
Philip Baier of Glasgow signed the marble gravestone to Netta (last name illegible) who died in 1876 and is buried in the Richland (Disciples of Christ) Christian Church Graveyard (H51) in Howard County. This flying angel faces left and has a raised, right arm with finger pointing upward while the left hand is held suspended in mid-air. Her left knee is delineated through her skirt, but there is no hint of a leg and no background. The skirt billows out. The wings are delineated in profile (Illustration 119).
Also dating to 1876 is the marble gravestone to Margaret Wallace (Illustration 120) found at Salt Fork Presbyterian Cemetery (C4) in Cooper County. A skirted angel faces right and hovers over an empty bed. Like most of the others, this marble gravestone is also unsigned.
Very similar in motif is the 1882 gravestone carved by "E. Farley of Columbia" to Harry Northcutt (Illustration 121) in Mt. Nebo Cemetery (B45) in Boone County. Here, either a woman or an angel kneels and faces left with hands in the attitude of prayer. To the left is a gravestone. This is a gravestone to a two year old child and the inscription states, "Lost to sight but not our memory dear."
The final, angel, marble gravestone is found in Pilot Grove Municipal Cemetery (C37) in Cooper County, marking the 1882 grave of an eight year old child. The name is now illegible. The top of the gravestone features the cherub motif most often found in eighteenth century, New England gravestones, but done now in a stock manner and lacking the naiveté of the New England gravestones.5 The face looks directly out at the viewer (Illustration 122). Wings are underneath the face, not coming out on each side of the face which was common in the New England gravestones.
Marble gravestones came in two basic types, headstones which are discussed above and columns. Naturally, many of these columns contained the same styles discussed in earlier parts of this chapter. However, they also contained some differences. Basically, these marble columned gravestones came in three basic types: 1) obelisks which rose directly from the base, 2) obelisks that rose from a square altar base balled pedestal obelisks for the sake of this survey, and 3) tall, square columns capped with decorations or cornices or both. There are also unique marble, columned, gravestones that do not fall within the three distinct types.
The simplest of these gravestones are the marble, obelisk gravestones. As implied by the name, they taper from top to bottom. Although the term, obelisk, making reference to images of ancient Egypt and the Egyptian Revival, only the marble gravestone for David Barton (Illustration 44) in Walnut Grove Cemetery in Boonville (C10) contains elements of this style (other than the obelisk shape). This gravestone contains the Egyptian wings of Horus carved on the top. Although obelisks are eclectic, most can be categorized as Classical Revival or Gothic Revival.
The simplest of these gravestones is the plain obelisk with no embellishments except perhaps a motif on the front identical to the motifs on marble headstone. An example is the ten foot tall obelisk to John F. Stone in the Jewell Cemetery (B37) in Boone County (Illustration 123). Carved by the St. Louis firm of Rosebrough & Co., this gravestone was brought upriver for Stone who died in 1846. The obelisk has a laurel wreath in the middle front with the vital statistics inscribed underneath.
Plain obelisks were obviously less expensive than decorated obelisks, so there were many of them erected in the Boonslick. Decorated columns also appealed to the citizenry and were well represented in the area, particularly those columns with features of the Classical Revival. The simplest is the monument to Henry and Elizabeth Woodson Lewis at the Lewis Cemetery (H46) in Howard County (Illustration 124). It is a plain obelisk with a flat cornice and inscription proclaiming that Elizabeth successfully reared twelve children who were all members of the same church. Married for 51 years, Henry and Elizabeth Woodson Lewis were eulogized by their children:
"Father, Mother, thou hast left us
And they loss we deeply feel
Yet it is God who hath berefit us
He can all our sorrows heal.
Yet again we hope to meet there
When the day of life is fled
Then in Heaven we hope to greet thee
Where no farewell tear is shed."
Like the monument to Henry and Elizabeth Woodson Lewis, an obelisk from New Salem Baptist Church Graveyard (B60) in Boone County is also simple. It is topped with the flat cornice like the Lewis obelisk, but this obelisk also contains a Grecian urn. The Lewis monument likely contained such an urn at one time. Carved in honor of Mary Johnston who died in 1858, this gravestone features the clasped hands, flowers and the inscription, "She professed religion and united with the Baptist church when a youth and died as she lived, a devout Christian. Her constant companion was her Holy Bible." This obelisk also confirms the importance placed upon religion by the women of the period.
The column to W. G. and Joan Quisenberry from the Columbia Cemetery (B38) in Boone County (Illustration 125), contains the familiar motifs of laurel wreath and Grecian urn on top of a flat Grecian cornice. This gravestone is unusual because the two footstones are curved and do not conform to the austerity of the headstone. Finally, the 1865 marble gravestone for William Jewell (a son of the famous William Jewell who founded William Jewell College), in the Jewell Cemetery (B37) in Boone County, shows most of the same characteristics as the marble obelisk to John Stone in this same cemetery. However, this gravestone features a Grecian cornice with acroteria about ¾ of the way up the obelisk (Illustration 126). The stone on top is evidently an entirely different appearance to this monument, one that was not original.
These gravestones are what the name implies. They have a square pedestal for a base and then an obelisk rises out of the pedestal. Like the basic obelisk discussed above, many of these gravestones are simply an obelisk rising out of the base. Others are slightly more elaborate, and have a pointed top on the obelisk with a carved front as well. One of these is the gravestone to Joseph Davis who died in 1871 and was buried in the Davis burial ground (B67) in Howard County (Illustration 127). The vital statistics are carved into the square pedestal while the obelisk features a cross and crown in separate carving with the words "Saved by Grace" between them (Illustration 128). Underneath the cross the gravestone proclaims, "They sleep in Death to wake in Heaven." G. G. Dunn of Rocheport carved a gravestone in this motif for Walnut Grove Baptist Graveyard (B33) in Boone County for the grave of Thomas and Sarah Bradford (Illustration 129). Thomas died in 1857 and Sarah died in 1860 so perhaps the gravestone was carved after both were dead. The interesting features on this gravestone are the four motifs surrounding a cross which also has a human skull and crossbones directly underneath. A dagger, star, a hand ringing a bell, and the letter G complete the four emblems which represent a secret society whose identity has not been discovered in the course of this survey.
Several of these gravestones exhibit unusual motifs. The gravestone to William Barr who died in 1858 and is buried in the Columbia Cemetery (B38) in Boone County (Illustration 130) conforms to this trend. This gravestone features the inverted torch whose symbolism was previously discussed in connection with the grave of David Barton in Walnut Grove Cemetery (C10) in Chapter 6. The Lenoir gravestone in the same cemetery (Illustration 131) contains two sheaves of wheat. A third gravestone still from the Columbia Cemetery (B38), commemorates Joseph Howard who died in 1866. This gravestone has a Grecian pitcher on the top with foliage at the top and bottom of the front of the gravestone. Rosettes under the plain cornice add a final touch (Illustration 132). Yet a fourth monument, is across the Columbia Cemetery (B38) and commemorates James Madison Gordon who died in 1875 (Illustration 133). This standard obelisk with plain cornice is topped by a draped Grecian urn. The medallions in the square base are ovoid and one is draped.
The gravestone to Angelina Wilson, who died in 1856, in the Jewell Cemetery (B37) in Boone County (Illustration 134), shows the different ways this concept can be used. Of unsigned marble, the square base rises to an octagonal column which is topped with gothic arches with bulbous ends and shields inset beneath. Above are rosettes which are capped with a cornice encircles by a frieze of laurel. A Grecian urn tops this very eclectic gravestone. A distant source for this must be the English fascination with octagon Gothic styled gravestones.6
At the chronological end of these obelisks is the gravestone to Edward Lowry who died in 1881 and is the fifth example from the Columbia Cemetery (B38) in Boone County. The square pedestal has been rounded into a rectangle with a round medallion in the front inscribed with the vital statistics (Illustration 135). The obelisk is now a round column with a fluted top and sawtooth edging. Made by E. Farley of Columbia, this gravestone shows how regional character can be added.
The gravestone to Millie Edwards Hurt (Illustration 136) who died in 1880 at age twenty-six is transitional. Mollie is buried in Mt. Hermon Baptist Church Graveyard (C30) in Cooper County. The square pedestal base of her gravestone has become a rectangle with a cornice at the top of the pedestal, and then the obelisk rises to a Grecian urn. The firm of Moore and Elliott, location unknown, erected the gravestone. The poem on the pedestal reads:
"Calm on the bosom of they God
Young spirit rest thee now.
Even while with us they footsteps trod
His seal was on they brow.
Lone are paths and sad the bower
Whence they meek smile has gone
But on, a brighter home than ours
In Heaven is now thine own."
Examination of this gravestone reveals that it was assembled in sections and could be made as elaborate or as simple as finances dictated. Most gravestones used only the corniced base with some sort of decoration on top which will be discussed below. These gravestones were at least partially carved elsewhere and then finished at the final destination. The concept is similar to the pattern books for architecture where ideas and styles were combined and changed to meet individual tastes and needs.
As early as 1859, a few rectangle pedestals had been erected as gravestones. The double gravestone to Isabella and Letitia Coleman, a mother and daughter who died less than a month apart in 1859, is an excellent example (Illustration 137). The square pedestal is topped with four, centered Gothic arched gables featuring underneath a low relief carved with flowers. The top of the gravestone is missing, but still has a projecting iron rod. Thus, it is impossible to visualize how the gravestone originally looked. This marble gravestone was carved by James Gellatry of Rocheport, a name that does not remain in Boonslick annals for any length of time. A poem from this double gravestone repeats the Romantic fascination with death as an allegory: (Smiels is spelled the same as on the gravestone.)
"Farewell, my parents and friends most dear.
The Angel of Death on my body is preying
While beauty and loveliness fast are decaying.
How benign is her pillow while lending how sweet!
How assuring she smiels to me and hope tears my soul
with her away.
Farewell, my friends and children dear,
I can no longer with you stay
My Savior smiels and bids me rise
Life’s joys all fade away
The spirits of mercy round my pillow are flying
As the Angel smiels on my lips when dying
And the vision of Heaven on my soul is falling."
More typical is the 1881 gravestone to Mary Rennolds who died at the age of twenty-two (Illustration 138) and was buried in New Hope Baptist Graveyard (H17) in Howard County. Carved by L. L. Kenepp of Moberly, this six foot corniced pedestal gravestone has rounded arches, rather than Gothic ones, and is topped with a Grecian urn. An iron fence encloses the lot. The corniced pedestal gravestone states "Asleep in Jesus, Oh how sweet" at the top. The inscription at the bottom reads:
"My dear little Bettie thou has gone and left us
Oh how lonely is life without her
But thou who gave her to us hath called her home
To rest and may it be a summons.
We will meet when we are called to go so that we
May meet in heaven never, never more to part."
In Riggs Union Church Graveyard (Bill) in Boone County, a similar gravestone marks the grave of Nancy Graves and her daughter, Nancy, who both died in 1887. In this gravestone, the cornice is no longer actually a true cornice, but instead, is a rounded projection topped with a draped, Grecian urn. The gravestone is not signed. The corniced pedestal is evolving into a different motif. The Classical Revival period of American art history had passed many years before this time.
Contemporary to the curved cornice pedestal gravestones, were several elaborately carved, unsigned gravestones, which feature the square pedestal base and then have either a flat top or a semi-flat top with an elaborate Grecian vase. The best example of this style is found in Ashland (Disciples of Christ) Christian Church Cemetery (H75) in Howard County (Illustration 139, Illustration 140, and Illustration 141). This gravestone commemorates Rebecca Peeler Sousley who died in St. Louis in 1858 at age 29. Her death is St. Louis immediately raises the probability that this gravestone was purchased there. Elaborately carved with funeral wreath in the central front and the words "To my wife" underneath, the pedestal protion features carved acanthus or tobacco leaves at the top and bottom. The top contains a tall urn garlanded with flowers and with rosettes in both handles.
Close in both concept and style to the 1858 Rebecca Peeler Sousley gravestone, is the 1887 gravestone to W. May Douglass (Illustration 142) who died at age twenty and is buried in Locust Grove United Methodist Church Graveyard (B36) in Boone County. This pedestal is definitely rectangular rather than square, and a large vase sits on the top. The vase is both draped and garlanded with flowers while the entire top of the pedestal is covered by a marble cloth complete with equal folds and a fringe. This is the first time the name plate on the gravestone lists the first name, May, rather than the last name, Douglass. Like the other gravestones of this period, a poem was inscribed into the gravestone:
"Silently one by one
The Shepherd calls his sheep
Till the last but one of all the flock
Was lying in peace asleep
And to her life’s joys
Had only as yet been given
When the loving Father called her home
He took his lamb to Heaven.
Original" (added to gravestone)
A gravestone featuring a square, pedestal base is noteworthy because of the inscriptions over every available inch of the gravestone surface. Probably purchased by the New Sale Baptist Church congregation and erected directly behind of (west) the church in the graveyard (B60), this gravestone commemorates David Doyle, MD. It features the following statement:
"His friends to whose welfare his life was dedicated
have placed this tombstone above the spot where his
body reposes to testify their lasting remembrance of
his love and constant care.
If spirits are permitted to return to earth, then after
I am gone you may expect me to be about here when
Church meeting day comes round. Oh! O shall want to
Know whether my dear children are serving the Lord,
Whether His truth is preached in this pulpit, whether
These children are seeking the Savior.
If eternal happiness be the reward of tender love,
Unobtrusively piety, the kindliest charity, a life
Devoted to the service of God and the promotion of
Good; blessed is the spirit which once animated the
Lowly tenant of this sepulchre."
Dr. Doyle must have been a man of firm belief.
Other gravestone carved in this corniced pedestal motif attempted to fill every possible space with sentiment. An example is the gravestone to Mary H. Austin who died a spinster at age 46 in 1885:
What to me is life without thee,
Darkness and despair alone,
When with signs we seek to find thee,
This tomb proclaims thou art gone.
…..WEEP NOT FRIENDS
The mandate came, the deed is done,
Then why should our souls be so sad?
We know thou art gone where the weary
Are blest among the angel band.
Shall we meet with all the loved ones
That were torn from our embrace
Shall we listen to their voices
And behold them once again,
Shall we meet them? Yes, beyond
The shining river."
The gravestones above are expensive, too expensive for many. But, this square pedestal concept was abstracted, compacted and condensed into smaller, four sided rectangular gravestones with flat tops that were approximately four feet tall and two feet wide (Illustration 143). These gravestones were within the financial grasp of most Boonslick citizens. The gravestone to Merritte and Elizabeth Williams who died in 1885 and 1886, respectively, and are buried in Log Chapel Graveyard (H12) in Howard County is a good example. It features a tearful poem:
"Our father, our loved one is gone.
He lies beneath the sod
Dear Father, though we miss you much
We know you rest with God.
Tears, alas, were unavailing
Sighs, alas, they were in vain
Father, let they grave be given
That we may in yonder Heaven
Meet our Father again.
Not last blest the vigil but gone before
Were we shall meet to grieve no more."
Thousands of these gravestones dot the Boonslick. The availability of this gravestone shows they were mass produced and were purchased through a monument company which did not carve them. Even mail-order catalogues at the turn of the century sold gravestones through the mail. Solidity was emphasized at the expense of decoration if necessary.
As with any type or style, there are variations. The Classical Revival was more favored by Boonslick patrons than the Gothic Revival, and thus more styles in the Classical manner are located in the Boonslick region. One of the ways of using the Classical column was to have the column break off halfway. However, a broken column cannot be used in a pedestal gravestone since it would have to be placed separately and not attached, so for marble columns the motif becomes the bottom half of the column representing a life "broken off" too soon.8 In 1861 Thomas Gibson died and was buried in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery (H71) in Howard County (Illustration 144). The base of a large column represents his early death. The base is offset at an angle of 45 degrees above the square pedestal. At first this appeared to be a misaligned gravestone, but closer examination revealed it was one piece so it had to be carved that way.
Broken, columned gravestones were advertised throughout both the United States and England.9 One of these gravestones, also unsigned, is in Washington Cemetery (H47) in Glasgow (Illustration 145). The gravestone originally commemorated only Jennie Thompson Armstrong who died in 1873 at age 21. She was followed in death by her mother, Elizabeth Jones Thompson who died in 1883 and her vital statistics were also inscribed on the gravestone. Elizabeth was the sister of Lucy Jones Swinney, whose 1863 box crypt in the Swinney lot across the cemetery was discussed in Chapter 6 because it is the last box crypt in the Boonslick. This is noteworthy because it places both families in the financial position to purchase any gravestone desired. Elizabeth’s memorial plaque contains her vital statistics and adds:
"daughter of James and Catherine Jones
From Christ she learned well the emblems of life
Which made her the true friend and sister and wife
To soothe troubled hearts was her fondest employ
To make foes become friends gave her tenderest joy."
Evidently Elizabeth’s husband, James S. Thompson, remarried an Elizabeth Towles as their names are also inscribed on the gravestone with different carving then the first two. As mentioned above, the Victorian desire for stability, solidity and bulk certainly comes through in this gravestone.
Classical Revival, columned, gravestones were more popular than Gothic Revival, columned, gravestones, just as Classic Revival architecture was more popular than Gothic Revival architecture in the Boonslick. Still, there are some gravestones associated with the Gothic Revival, more gravestones than Gothic Revival architecture. Gothic architecture automatically inspires mental visions of cathedrals and religion, and thus Gothic related motifs seemed appropriate for a gravestone, if not for a house. An eclectic gravestone combining both the Classical Revival with the Gothic Revival is the 1863, unsigned obelisk to Leona Havter (Illustration 146 and Illustration 147) in Boonsboro (Disciples of Christ) Christian Church Graveyard (H54) in Howard County. The poem states the rationale for this gravestone:
"Erected by fond parents to the memory of a sweetly
beloved and only daughter.
Farewell our darling
We meet again
Death never to sever
Love is forever."
The six foot obelisk is topped with a marble ball which fits into the top of the obelisk which is cupped rather than pointed. A weeping willow tree is above the vital statistics while an angel hovers above the poem. The angel faced to the front with her hands closed in prayer while her skirt appears to be the only body part; once again legs are missing. To the right of the angel is a gravestone. Both the willow tree and the angel conform to other gravestones of this type already examined earlier in this chapter.
In the same cemetery is a square, straight column erected in memory of James L. Bouldin who died in 1863 at age 52 (Illustration 148). This column is unsigned except the inscription does say "erected by his devoted wife." However, her name is not given. The top of this shaft forms a large knob, which together with the Gothic arches at the base, gives this gravestone an unusual appearance.
The Allen family erected a Gothic, marble, columned, gravestone in the Columbia Cemetery (B38) in Boone County (Illustration 149). This monument features a tapering column with a Gothic inspired top and Gothic tracery along the pedestal. Although much smaller in scale, it is based upon the same idea as a design for a monumental column in the Gothic style done by S. C. Fripp in England before 1853 and shows that this type of work was known throughout the countries of European extraction.10
Without exception, the early gravestones in the Boonslick containing crosses mark the graves of people of the Catholic faith. The basic cross shape used in the Boonslick is the Latin cross. The shape did not matter to the fundamental, Protestant denominations that dominated the Boonslick because these sects preached that crosses of any shape were Papish and that people who were members of that faith were automatically condemned to hell.11 To even wear a cross as a piece of jewelry was considered sinful.12 No crosses were found on Boone County gravestones before the twentieth century. The ones found in Howard County were either in Washington Cemetery (H47) in Glasgow which had a large German, immigrant population or in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery (H71) near New Franklin which contains a separate, Catholic section sanctified by that denomination. However, this section was not fenced which contrasts with the African American sections of Boonslick cemeteries which often contained a fence between the two. Catholics were at least white.13 Cooper County contains four, separate Catholic cemeteries and had the largest German, immigrant population. German immigrants arrived at the same time technology invented a plow that would break the prairie sod, so the Germans had a chance to settle together as a group in Cooper County which helped to continue the traditions of their homeland.
St. Martin Catholic Graveyard (C36) in Cooper County has a large cross with a crucified Christ on a raised, stepped platform. The Catholic preference for sanctified ground for burials was also quite different than the neighboring Protestant tradition. In the sanctified Catholic Cemetery and Reformatory Grounds (C11) in Boonville, in Cooper County, standard marble gravestones were carved to Anna and Mary Franken with floral motifs like the rest of the Boonslick. A cross was simply added to the top (Illustration 150). Elias J. Bedwell of Boonville carved these two gravestones and they match his other work in every respect. In the same cemetery, a metal gravestone with a cross is done the same way, but in a different medium. It will be discussed in the section on metal monuments since it more closely conforms to that motif.
In Mt. Pleasant Cemetery (H71) in Howard County near New Franklin, the gravestone to Ella M. Wayland is a four foot tall stone cross with no dates (Illustration 151). It does however, mention her maiden name by stating, "Ella M. Wayland, nee Phipps." In St. John Catholic Graveyard (C43) in Cooper County, there is a cross which has no inscription (Illustration 152). Formed of concrete, it is well constructed. In 1908 John Martin died and was buried in St. Martin Graveyard (C36) in Cooper County (Illustration 153). His gravestone features a rustic cross at a 45 degree angle to the right, reminiscent of the Woodmen of the World and Richardsonian Romanesque architecture so popular about fifteen years prior to this date.
Metal crosses could be purchased from St. Louis which supplied the German market.14 Although unsigned, this is the probable source of several metal crosses in Cooper County. The cross to Helen Powell who died in 1914 is in perfect condition (Illustration 154). It features Jesus hanging upon the cross with his head drooping to the left. The ends of the cross are decorated and the base features metal spiraling and rosettes. Sunbursts project from each of the four central sections forming a background to Christ. The name and dates of the deceased are inscribed in a metal plate about ¾ of the way down the cross. Above the name place is a metal cherub head with wings underneath, identical to the marble cherub in the nearby Pilot Grove Cemetery (Illustration 122).
By 1900, Germanic tradition became more important than religious considerations and crosses began to appear in the Protestant German cemeteries of the Boonslick. An example is the granite gravestone to Pastor D. and Marie Behrens (Illustration 155) who are buried in St. John’s Cemetery at Billingsville (Evangelical) (C34) in Cooper County. This granite gravestone conforms to the marble, rectangular pedestal gravestone except it is in a different medium and topped by a cross. The inscription is also in German. The epitaph reads: ""In deiner hand steht mein zeit lass du mich nur barmherzickeit vor dir im tode finden. Psalm 103 v. 10-19." World War I quickly ended German inscriptions on gravestone and in the general culture of the Boonslick.15
In St. Martin Graveyard (C36) in Cooper County, there are several unsigned, marble gravestones featuring Christ crucified. Four different styles of this motif are within this cemetery and more than one example is available in several cases. The earliest gravestone dates to 1872 and is a memorial to Elizabeth Widel (Illustration 156). All four styles feature Christ in a niche that loosely conforms to his body shape. In the 1872 Elizabeth Widel gravestone, Christ is shown absolutely erect and totally frontal as if he is merely standing in front of the cross. His arms are raised level with his head and his loin cloth has a knot at the left side. Above his head, the cross splays out into a sunburst.
T he second style is featured on the 1899 gravestone to Philip Widel, husband of Elizabeth Widel. In this gravestone, Jesus is shown with sagging arms which are pinned above his head. However, the body is still erect and frontal as if the weight is still being maintained by the feet. The loin cloth now has a frontal knot and the sunburst overhead is much larger, and there is a semicircle at the top where the cross joins (Illustration 157).
The third and fourth styles are next to each other (Illustration 158). In 1909, Maria Meyer died and was buried with the third style of cross (cross to the right). It continues the treatment of the 1899 Philip Widel cross. The arms are above the head, the legs are beginning to bend and the semicircle and sunburst are behind the cross. The knot of the loin cloth remains frontal. Naturalism and realism are attempted in this piece. The final cross dates to 1914 and commemorates John Meyer. In this gravestone, even the head of Christ sags toward the left and the knees definitely exhibit some bending. The knot of the loin cloth is back to the left and the semicircle behind the body of Jesus is now a complete circle. The body is definitely pulling down from the arms. The sunburst is still on the top. This late date for a marble gravestone is also intriguing and since the gravestones are unsigned, their provenance cannot be determined.
16. NICHOS OR NICHES
Table 6 near the beginning of Chapter 7, categorizes nichos or niches as individualized gravestones. A few cemeteries, especially the Community Cemetery near Lisbon (H53) in Howard County contain nichos or niches (Illustration 159). These niches were constructed from concrete with the same size and pattern so in that respect they were mass produced. However, they were individualized by the articles placed in the niches which were then covered with glass. These niches (nichos) graves also contain footstones which are plain, but lack the niches. No names or dates are on any of these gravestones and all have been vandalized at some point. These nichos are Spanish in origin and their reason for placement in the Boonslick is unknown.16 No evidence has come to light about how, why, or when these markers were Made.
Since marble and individualized gravestones corresponded with the single generation of men who carved gravestones in the Boonslick, unique gravestones were available. A unique, interesting monument is the gravestone to William Barton in Washington Cemetery in Glasgow (H47) in Howard County (Illustration 160). Barton died in 1851 and this gravestone features a heavy cornice like the marble columned gravestones of the Boonslick region. Dating from 1857 is the gravestone to America Johnson (Illustration 161) in the Columbia Cemetery (B38) in Boone County. Unsigned, it features a pillowed kneeler (identical to those found in a contemporary church) with a laurel wreath tied with ribbon and the vital information inscribed underneath. The pillows are even tasseled and the sides feature bracketing. The gravestone is about four feet in height. Mary Shirley died in 1858 (Illustration 162). She was buried in the Fayette Cemetery (H64) with a marble gravestone erected over her grave. It features a curved, scrolled top with flowers draped down each side as bracketing. A ribbon festooned across the top front proclaims, "Jesus Called Me Home." A centered medallion is inscribed with the vital statistics and ends with the words, "Beloved she lived, lamented she died." This gravestone is also unsigned.
An interesting gravestone is the three foot tall gravestone to Henry A. Anderson who died in 1859 (Illustration 163). He was buried in Locust Grove United Methodist Graveyard (B36) in Boone County. This gravestone features the broken column theme previously discussed. In this gravestone, the top half of the column has totally broken off and is lying on the ground to the left. The column stands and lies under a double Islamic arch with bulbous caps at each bottom end of the arch. Stylized foliage fills each corner. This gravestone is also unsigned, but the stylized foliage is similar to that done by Elias J. Bedwell in neighboring Boonville.
A marble gravestone in Washington Cemetery in Glasgow (H47) in Howard County (Illustration 164) erected in memory of Emma Jane Donohoe Cockerill continues the theme of uniqueness. This gravestone features a ladder extending from the ground up into the clouds, a Jacob’s ladder. Sunbursts fill each bottom corner. The inference of climbing the ladder to Heaven is too obvious to miss. Emma Jane was one of the most interesting people who lived in Glasgow; she was one of the Boonslick citizens immortalized by George Caleb Bingham, (Illustration 165), the home she built is under consideration for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.
III. GEORGE CALEB BINGHAM AND COLUMBIA GRAVESTONES
A George Caleb Bingham connection is probably in the gravestone of Frederick Moss and Nancy Johnston Prewitt (Illustration 166) in Columbia Cemetery (B38) in Boone County. Both died in early 1871. Here obelisks of uneven height are topped with draped, Grecian urns and set upon a rectangular base which is then installed on a stone platform. Approximately twenty feet in height, this gravestone is unique in the Boonslick and no copies of this type appear in any of the period advertisements. Frederick Moss and Nancy Johnston Prewitt (Illustration 167) were the maternal uncle and aunt of Eliza Thomas Bingham, the wife of artist George Caleb Bingham.17 Another unexpected find in the course of this survey was the only marble statue dated to this era erected to honor an adult. This is the marble gravestone to Reverend Xerxes Xavier and Clara Prewitt Buckner (Illustration 168). Clara was the daughter of Frederick Moss and Nancy Johnston Prewitt and the gravestones are on the same lot.18 The statue stands approximately fifteen feet in height.
A Bingham connection is tempting since these gravestones are unique in the Boonslick and are of the highest caliber, but this is conjecture. However, several definite facts are known. Nancy Johnston Prewitt and Elvira Johnston Thomas (the mother of Eliza Thomas Bingham) were sisters and both lived in Columbia. Elvira’s husband, Dr. Robert Stewart Thomas (the father of Eliza Thomas Bingham) was the principal of Bonne Femme Academy which was an early attempt at education in the Boonslick and was located on the site of present day Bonne Femme Church and Graveyard (B51). Later, he was a professor at Columbia College (then called Christian College). Eventually the Thomases moved to Kansas City where Dr. Thomas became president of William Jewell College and then minister to the First Baptist Church. When he died in 1859, his body was returned to Fulton, Missouri, for burial.
Meanwhile, Nancy Johnston married Frederick Moss Prewitt and remained in Columbia in Boone County.19 Frederick Moss Prewitt was a Columbia banker whose son-in-law, Robert Beverly Price, eventually took over the bank (it remained in the family until the 1980’s and is known as Boone County National Bank).20 When Moss Prewitt died in 1871, he named two sons-in-law, Reverend Xerxes Xavier Buckner and Robert Beverly Price, as the executor of his estate.21
Reverend Xerxes Xavier Buckner (Illustration 169) died in 1872 before the estate could be settled. A former president of Stephens College in Columbia and a Baptist minister, Buckner moved to Kansas City in 1859 following the death of his wife’s uncle, Dr. Robert Stewart Thomas, also a devout Baptist. However, he did not take over any ministerial duties of the uncle, but instead went into real estate. His body was returned to Columbia for burial upon his death. Elvira Johnston Thomas (Bingham’s mother-ion-law) died in the intervening year between the Prewitts' and Buckner’s deaths and had also been returned to mid-Missouri for burial.22 The death of Eliza Thomas Bingham’s mother meant a gravestone in mid-Missouri was uppermost in the mind of the Bingham couple. During the year 1872/1873, the Binghams were often in Columbia and one cannot help but wonder if they had influence in choosing these unique gravestones since they are the only ones of this type in the entire Boonslick region. The gravestone to Reverend Buckner features a woman with long hair (but no wings, so she is not an angel) who must personify Wisdom as does a similarly dressed woman on the 1854 gravestone to teenaged Kate Tracy in Walnut Grove Cemetery in Boonville (Illustration 39), the only other marble female figure in a Boonslick Cemetery. On both gravestones the female wears a long, loose robe representing antique clothing. The arms are crossed over the chest in the typical death position which dates back at least as far as Egyptian antiquity. The head looks outward and slightly upward, rather than down to the viewer. Wisdom stands upon a sexagonal base which has Medieval Gothic tracery with floral wreaths festooned in alternating sections. Long poems fill the medallions installed in these sections:
"Faithful in the thinking
On the path of acid learning
He was beloved by the Baptists and held in the
Highest thought by the community.
An affectionate wife and children with –(illegible)
Whom he lived to bless will tenderly
Cherish his memory fondly hoping for the
Reunion of the redeemed on high."
Clara Prewitt Buckner and Eliza Thomas Bingham were first cousins and the Buckners’ lived in Kansas City like the Binghams. Thus, they had contact with each other on a constant basis not available if one couple had stayed in Columbia. With both of the Prewitts and Reverend Buckner dead, Clara Prewitt Buckner was left without a peer in the Kansas City area to help her make decisions. No record could be found in the Prewitt probate records about their gravestone although the will of Moss Prewitt specifies that a monument be erected.23 Bingham was the most famous artist in Missouri during this time period and a member of the family. Education and culture obviously ranked high among this family’s goals, considering at the chosen professions they followed.
1Ludwig, Allan I., Graven Images, New England Stonecarving and its Symbols, 1650-1815 (Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 1966), p. 124.
2Sturgis, J.E., editor, "Will There Be Any Stars?," Favorite Hymns (Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing Company, 1936), p. 66.
3Morley, John, Death, Heaven and the Victorians (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1971), p. 56.
4Green, Harvey, The Light of the Home (New York: Pantheon Books, 1983), p. 173.
5Tashjian, Dickran and Ann, Memorials for Children of Change, The Art of Early New England Stonecarving (Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 1974), p. 85.
6Curl, James Stevens, The Victorian Celebration of Death (Detroit: Partridge Press, 1972), p. 71.
71900 Sears and Roebuck Catalogue.
8Morley, p. 57
10Ibid, plate 69.
11Sermons delivered by Brother Edsel Dale at Friendship Christian Church, Centralia, Missouri, during the 1960’s.
12Lecture by Martha Kuntz Everhart to the Friendship Youth Fellowship of Friendship Christian Church of Centralia, Missouri. Martha was the youth sponsor when one of the young members appeared wearing a cross necklace.
13Remarks stated about 1960 by Franklin Marion Harshbarger of Centralia, Missouri, which were typical of those heard from the generation of people born to Confederate veterans. The election of John Kennedy bothered those loyal Democrats.
14Van Ravenswaay, Charles, The Arts and Architecture of German Settlements in Missouri, A Survey of a Vanishing Culture (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1977) , p. 435.
15Interview with Fanny Putnam, church historian of the Boonville United Church of Christ (formerly the Evangelical Church) conducted on April 10, 1986.
16Jordan, Terry, Texas Graveyards (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1982), p. 79.
17Bloch, E. Maurice, The Paintings of George Caleb Bingham (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1986), p. 207.
18Cemetery Records of the Columbia Cemetery in Columbia, Missouri.
19Bloch, p. 207.
20Information from Boone County Bank in Columbia, Missouri.
21Will of Frederick Moss Prewitt on file in the Probate Clerk's Office of the Boone County courthouse in Columbia, Missouri.
22Bloch, p. 185.
23Probate records of Frederick Moss Prewitt on file in the Probate Clerk office of the Boone County courthouse in Columbia, Missouri.
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