Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sentiments Across Time: Photographing Tombstones, Entry 5

Yesterday was the day when the temperature soared into the 70s for the first time this year, a day of heat and wind and ready made for touring the cemeteries of Osborne County.  I am nearing my personal quest to photograph every tombstone in the county, and sometimes I inadvertently even manage to photograph myself:

It was on this day in the Downs City Cemetery that I came across a white bronze tombstone.  Bronze tombstones hail from the 1880s and 1890s and no doubt were very expensive.  They always seem to mark children's graves, and this particular tombstone was no exception. 

In examining the stone two things become immediately obvious: (1) that this was not just the marker for one child, but for three children; and (2) the immense loss that the parents felt for each child, and the poignant manner in which they expressed their grief in bronze sentiments that continue to echo across time and space.

To Mary Wade

To Adaline Wade

To Charles Wade

Over a third of all the graves found in Osborne County to date are of children aged ten years and younger.  Nearly all those graves come from the period of 1871 to 1920, the fifty years in which the county was "settled" in the modern sense.   Such sacrifice bears more than just a few moments of contemplation.

1 comment:

Susan Edinger Marshall said...

Hi Von - I enjoyed Sod and Stubble. I bought it because my grandfather, Henry Felix Hundley, was a bound boy (age 14) to Rachel and David Elkins of Mt. Ayr as evidenced in the 1910 Census. I'm wondering if you have any good liks to online infomation about the Mt. Ayr Friends Meeting/history. You can respond to sem11@humboldt.edu