Saturday, July 18, 2009

Photographing Tombstones, Entry 3

After the trip back from Glen Elder through Cawker City and Downs I stopped to photograph the Oak Dale Cemetery, located just a few miles to the northeast of Downs. This relatively well-kept cemetery probably has few visitors at any time, but in any rural cemetery there are some rather interesting stones - and so stories - to discover here.

This 1953 marker is to the memory of all the early settlers in the "Oak Dale District," which consisted mainly of those settlers from along both Elm and Oak Creeks.

At its beginning Osborne County, Kansas could count those of the Democratic Party persuasion on one hand. A. B. Collins was one of the of these before his death on December 6, 1872. A tree he was cutting fell on him at the age of 42 years, 9 months.

Forgive the poor quality of the photo, but Joseph Delbert “Del” Cox deserves a small moment of reflection. An early settler and historian, for 40 years he wrote the column "Across the Raging Solomon" for the local newspaper. Now THAT would be a blog!

In our rural cemeteries even the most important memories are slowly fading away. Here the best that can be done is a homemade stone saying Civil War Veteran Unknown.

When the local GAR ("Grand Army of the Republic" - the Union soldier post-Civil War fraternal organization) post was formed in the nearby town of Downs, the name of the war veteran they chose to honor was that of Benjamin Greenman. This being an honor usually preserved for the most distinguished and well known of the veterans, it is odd that very little is known of Benjamin Greenman, as this simple homemade stone shows. One of the many unfinished stories that abound in Osborne County, Kansas.

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