Bean Cemetery

Bean Cemetery 08-27-2014I’m drawn to the quiet dignity of rural cemeteries. It doesn’t matter if I don’t know anyone there. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Bean Cemetery in Rome Township near Guysville in Athens County, Ohio, or it’s the Hitt Cemetery near Arbor or it’s the High Hill Cemetery north of Neely’s Landing. I’m not big on ghosts and spirits, but I feel a kinship walking among those strangers.

You can click on the photos to make them larger.

Feeling the bonds

Bean Cemetery 08-27-2014When I did a story about the Cruse Cemetery near Toga returning to nature, reader Larry Points left a comment that shows he has experienced those same feelings:

…one will find the Gravel Hill Cemetery on a knoll with a scenic overlook of the countryside. In it is a tombstone for a nine-year-old girl who died in the 1880s. Upon the stone is this eroded inscription: “Beautiful lovely she was but given, a fair bud to earth to bloom in heaven.” Standing alone at such a stone, in such a setting, imagining shared grief gathered round so long ago, one is drawn to the emotional ties which bond we humans one to another.”

 Bean Cemetery

Bean Cemetery 08-27-2014I didn’t find a lot of online information about the cemetery. FindaGrave reports there are 104 internments in the cemetery, with about half of them photographed.

As you might suspect, there are a lot of Beans buried there. (Curator Jessica commented, “They grow lots of Beans in that part of the county. Actually, that is true, in both senses of the word.”

The fields aren’t green today

Bean Cemetery 08-27-2014Athens County gets Cape weather about two days after Cape. The lush green fields I photographed at the end of August have seen snow in the past few days and there’s more on the way.

The temperatures in West Palm Beach as I type this are a chilly 45 and falling. That’s a lot better than Athens, where it is -2 and falling (wind chill -15), headed for a low of -11 before sunrise.

Maybe Florida isn’t so bad after all.

 

 

St. Mary’s Cemetery

St. Mary's Cemetery 04-17-2011_5233When people talk about cemeteries in Cape, I think of Old Lorimier, New Lorimier, Fairmount and Memorial Park. I didn’t have any contact with St. Mary’s Cemetery until Wife Lila’s Mother, Lucille Hoffman Perry, was buried there in 1998.

There’s plenty of information on the city’s web site about the first three city cemeteries I mentioned, but all I could find in a quick search was that St. Mary’s is a Catholic cemetery that was founded in 1903. It is located on the west side of Perry Avenue where it turns into Perryville Road.  The aerial was taken April 17, 2011. (Click on the photo to make it larger.)

The bright driveway at the bottom of the photo wasn’t paved in 1998. It was just a rutted lane then.

Find a Grave

Lucille Hoffman Perry tombstone 09-15-2000The Find a Grave site lists 953 internments (but not Lila’s mother) and says it has 38% of the grave markers photographed.

UPDATE

After the story was published, Sharon Sanders, Missourian librarian and the keeper of Judy Crow’s flame, emailed me with this new information:

Thanks for doing this blog. I had never seen an aerial of the cemetery. I can point to exactly where my parents are buried.

The land was purchased for the cemetery in 1903 by the Rev. Eberhardt Pruente, longtime pastor of St. Mary’s Church. He borrowed the money from his sister, who was also his housekeeper, to pay for the land. Pruente, as well as his sister, are buried in the crypt under the crucifix in the center of the burial ground. The land was part of the Wenzel Hauptman farm. Mr. Hauptman is also buried at St. Mary’s.

Many years ago, my late writing partner and I updated her earlier book on St. Mary’s Cemetery. It lists all those buried there, pertinent dates, who they married, who their survivors were, etc. It’s still available through the Cape Girardeau County Genealogical Society for $50.