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I am a headstone reader. I’m fascinated with epitaphs. There was a time when people put a lot of effort into how to remember those they loved (and loathed). Here are a few of some of my favorites.
Under this sod, and under these trees,
Lieth the body of Gilbert Pease;
Pease is not here, but only the pod,
Gilbert shelled out and went home to God.
Here lies Richard Fothergill who met a violent death. He was
shot by a Colt revolver, old kind, brass mounted. And of such is
the kingdom of heaven.
“I told yall I was sick!”
Born June 7th, 1821, of Henry Harris
And Jane his Wife.
Died on the 4th of May, 1837, by the kick of a colt in his bowels.
Peaceable and quiet, a friend to his father and mother. and
respected by all who knew him, and went to the world where
horses don’t kick, where sorrow and weeping is no more.
Tread softly mortals o’er the bones
Of this world’s wonder, Captain Jones,
Who told his glorious deeds to many
Yet never was believed by any.
Posterity let this suffice
He swore all’s true, yet here he lies.
Here lies John Auricular
Who in the ways of the Lord, walked perpendicular.
Ruth Sprague, Daughter of Gibson and Elizabeth Sprague.
Died June 1 1, 1846, aged 9 years, 4 months, and 3 days.
She was stolen from the grave by Roderick R. Clow, dissected at Dr. P. M. Armstrong’s office, in Hoosick, N. Y., from which place her mutilated remains were obtained and deposited here.
Her body dissected by fiendish man,
Her bones anatomized,
Her soul, we trust, has risen to God,
Where few physicians rise.
Is Phoebe Thorpe’s.
Here lies me and my three daughters,
Brought here by using seidlitz waters.
If we had stuck to epsom salts,
We would not be lying in these vaults.
God works his wonders now and then–
Here lies a lawyer and an honest man.
Here lies an editore.
Here lieth, underneath these stones,
The cloak, the hat, and half the bones,
Of our late brother, Wallace Jones.
First came the cough that carried him off,
Then came the coffin they carried him off in.
I laid my wife beneath this stone,
For her repose–and for my own.
Underneath this ancient pew,
Lies the body of Jonathan Blue;
(His real name was Black, but that wouldn’t do).
Here I lie, and no wonder I’m dead.
A wagon wheel rode clean over my head.
My wife lies here,
My tears will never bring her back;
So I weep.
Here lies Jane Smith,
Wife of Thomas Smith, Marble Cutter
This monument was erected by her
husband as a tribute to her memory
and a specimen of his work .
Monuments of this same style are
two hundred and fifty dollars.