Monday, October 31, 2011

Philpot Cemetery


Not far up our road is Philpot Cemetery.   I love cemeteries.   Old ones, new ones, well kept ones, abandoned ones.   

They're peaceful.    And quiet.

And full of stories.  

And full of dead people.    People who once lived here, maybe on my farm.   People who were children and then grew up and had children.  People who laughed and argued and danced and went to church.   People pretty much like us only they lived without computers.  

And electricity.

And bathrooms.

Boy, am I glad I live now and not then.
Philpot is a Civil War era cemetery and a few of the men buried there served in the Civil War so their graves are marked with the units they served in.    Some good soul puts flags on those graves for Veteran's Day.  
Many of the dead here lived short lives.    It's interesting...and sad...to see how a family grew and dwindled over the years.  

Take the Miller family.  Jane and Alex Miller had two daughters that died young-ish.  Mahala Miller was born in 1850.   Genevra A.Miller was born in 1855.   Jane, the mother, died in June of 1867 and Mahala died in November of that year.  She was 17.   Genevra was only 12 years old when her mother and sister died.   She died just a few years later in 1874 - at only 19 years old.   I wonder if Jane and Alex had other children and what happened to them.    Alex served in the Civil War, but only his military marker is still there.   The headstone with the dates is gone. [Other men had two headstones, one with the family information and one with the military information.]   Did he live through the war?   Was he back home when his wife and daughter died? 
The Gaston family must have been wealthy.   They had monuments for headstones.   They are wonderful monuments with beautiful carving and often had names and dates for more than one person on a stone, one per side.

All of the markers in the cemetery except one are made of limestone.   Not surprising here in southern Indiana.  The only non-limestone marker is granite - the one on the right in the pic above.  The date on that stone is 1907.   That is the latest year recorded in the cemetery.   
Some of the headstones are just beautiful.  Can you see the rose on top of this one?   This is Eliza E. Sullivan.  She was born July 20, 1847  and died Sept 27, 1874.  She was only 27 years old.   That was the same year that Genevra A. Miller died.    Did they know each other?


The center stone in this pic belongs to Margaret  Lyons.  She lived from 1834-1853.  She was 19.   Her epitaph reads: 



Remember friend 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.

It really does say that.

Happy Halloween!


2 comments:

  1. That is fascinating! It really does make you curious about their lives, how they died. Thanks for all your interesting posts!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love cemeteries, too! One of my favorites is in the Deam Wilderness... way back in the woods. I love to hike back there and sometimes eat my lunch there. So many stories! Thanks for sharing your cemetery with all of us.

    ReplyDelete

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