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Archive for the ‘Funeral’ Category

This week I’m going to honor my very own Grandma Nellie with her headstone as my “Headstone of the Week.” The reason I selected her is because I just celebrated the marriage of my grandson to a beautiful bride, and my grandmother was a beautiful bride! These two brides a few things in common, as you will soon see.On Saturday evening, 31 March 2012, Stephanie Ages became the bride of Nellie Viola Niess Sherman’s great-great-grandson, Michael Foster. She was a lovely bride in a beautiful ceremony. She had her friends and relatives attend her, as bridesmaids and maid of honor. Nothing was lacking in the ceremony or reception. . . . and 98 years prior, the groom’s great-great-grandmother had a similar ceremony on 16 September 1914. She, too, was attended by a maid of honor, and four bridesmaids, that included both relatives and a BFF (although the term would be foreign to her!)  in the perfect wedding ceremony with the perfect reception. Details of it were written up in the Washington Post on Thursday, September 17, 1914:

 The marriage of Miss Nellie Viola Niess, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edwin A. Niess, and Mr. William Francis Sherman took place last evening at 8 o’clock in the First Congregational Church in the presence of a large company of relatives and friends.  The pastor of the church, the Rev. Jay T. Stocking, officiated.  The bride was given in marriage by her father, and wore a gown of ivory brocaded crepe de chine made with a court train.  Her veil, which was of tulle, fell from a cap of lace and orange blossoms to the edge of the train, and she carried a shower bouquet of lilies of the valley, orchids, and bride roses.  Mrs. Jarvis Goodwin was matron of honor, and her gown was of pale pink satin and lace.  She wore a cop of pink tulle and carried a basket of pink roses.

There were four bridesmaids, each of whom wore a gown of crepe de chine in the pastel shade to form the colors of the rainbow.  Miss Hattie Montgomery, of Baltimore, was in pale green; Miss Martha Niess, of Pennsylvania, in pale mauve; Miss Dorothy McElwee in yellow, and Miss Elsie Small in pale blue.  They all carried standard baskets of asters tied with chiffon ribbons to match their gowns.

Mr. Charles Graves was best man, and the ushers were Benjamin Harlan, Mr. Edwin N. (sic) Niess, Mr. Carl Joras, and Mr. Edwin Kavanaugh of New York.

The ceremony was followed by a reception at the home of the bride’s parents, 61 Rhode Island avenue, after which Mr. and Mrs. Sherman left for their wedding trip.  They will be at home after November 1, at 20 W street.

Out of town guests here for the wedding included Mr. and Mrs. E.H. Niess, grandparents of the bride; Mrs. Louis Houseal, Messrs. Louis and Robert Houseal, Mrs. Julia Kern (sic), Miss Fannie Laverty, and Mrs. Sarah Luxen (sic), all of Harrisburgh(sic), Pa., Mr. James Montgomery of Kansas City, Mr. Samuel J. Montgomery and Mrs. Hildeman of Baltimore, Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Lehman and Mrs. Saide Leham (sic) of Camden,  N.J.

This is probably where the similarities will end, however. Times have changed and expectations differ in the 21st century. My grandmother was expected to fit into society, have Bridge parties as her mother did, belong to the DAR, and all the proper societies. Stephanie, on the other hand, plans to continue her schooling and be a supportive wife of a husband serving his country in the US Coast Guard.

Grandma Nellie’s life took a turn for the worse as the Depression affected the family and a downward spiral sent the family first to New York City, then San Francisco where the only available jobs could be found. Her “Papa” continued to write and spoil his Nellie who eventually spent her waning life engulfed in that terrible Alzheimer’s disease. We called her, affectionately, “Grandma Forgetful.”

She died in Riverside, California on 30 April 1976 and her ashes were sent to Shippensburg, Pennsylvania to be placed in the same grave with her mother. A small ceremony was held with about 10 people present and she was laid to rest with flowers placed on her grave. Until I moved to Pennsylvania, I doubt that anyone remembered her or her mother on those special occasions such as Mother’s Day or Memorial Day. We remember her each year with fresh flowers even though she didn’t remember us for years before her death, thanks to that dreaded disease.

We remember her as a beautiful bride, a talented artist and most of all a loving and caring grandmother.

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Rev. Jeremiah Mark Carvell, Ph.D., the name alone impresses. At least it does me, but then it should. You see, he was my great-great grandfather.

He was born on the 3rd of March in 1843 near McKees Half Falls, Pennsylvania, not even “full” falls,  but “half” falls, whatever they may be, to Joseph Britton Carvell and his wife, Rebecca Mark Carvell. His mother died when he was only 4 years old, leaving his father with 3 small children. Within two years he had a new mother, and would eventually have at least 10 more brothers and sisters.Headstone in Springhill Cemetery, Shippensburg, Pennsylvania

According to his 2 column obituary found in Shippensburg Pennsylvania’s The News on 7 September 1894:

In addition to his common school education,

  • he attended, in 1861-62, the Millerstown Academy, and after his second term of enlistment had expired completed his studies in the academy at Markleysville
  • In 1866, without any further collegiate or theological training, he entered the ministry of the Church of God, beginning his labors in Perry County.  Upon entering the ministry Mr. Carvell discovered that his most serious deficiency was his partial training for the work.  He at once became a student. 
  • Under private tutors he made commendable progress in scientific, philosophical and classical studies, taking up to some extent Latin, Greek and Hebrew. 
  • Later he began a post-graduate course at Wooster University, Ohio, a having previously been honored with the degree of A.M. from Bates College, Lewiston, Ma. 
  • Of scholarly tastes and habits, he gradually accumulated a library of valuable literary, theological, scientific, philosophical and classical works of a standard character second to few, if any, in the Church.  He was a man of high ideas in education, morals, aesthetics and religion, which he was often but too conscious of failing to realize.  His abilities and singleness of purpose, his purity of character and power of intellect were fully recognized by his associates in the ministry, so that the Church repeatedly honored itself by promoting him to places of greater usefulness. 
  • He was for years a member of the various boards and standing committees of the East Pennsylvania Eldership.  He had also been a delegate to the General Eldership of the Church a number of times and served on its Board of Publication and Board of Education.  
  • he became one of the incorporators of Findlay College, Findlay, Ohio, on whose board of trustees he also later served for nearly two terms. 
  • He took an active part in the organization of the Pennsylvania Chautauqua, at Mt. Gretna, and was a member of the Executive Committee. 
  • He was also a member of the Dauphin County Bible Society
  • He held prominent positions in different orders, being Chaplain of the Grand Lodge Royal Arch Masons of Pennsylvania, a member of I.O.O.F. and the Valley Encampment and Grand Army Post of Shippensburg; past master of Big Spring Lodge of Masons at Newville, P.H.P. of No. 71 Royal Arch Chapter at Carlisle, P.E.C. of St. John’s Commandery at Carlisle”
Very impressive accomplishments for a long life, aren’t they? Well, they would be, but he died when he was just 51 years of age! and that obituary didn’t mention that he enlisted not once, but twice in the Civil War ~ the first enlistment he was a foot soldier, the 2nd time he had a horse!

When Jeremiah got out of the service he met a young widow with a daughter, and married Mary Jane Ziegler Gantt on 2 August 1866 in Dauphin, Pennsylvania. The couple would have 4 children, with only one, my great-grandmother, living to adulthood. Mary Jane died when Jeremiah was a pastor in Philadelphia, leaving him with two daughters to care for him. In the Family Bible, started by him is a pressed flower, and I am assuming it was from flowers from her funeral. There is a piece of fabric with it and it was with their Wedding Certificate.  (Yes, I have the Bible, all filled out in his hand, with births and deaths of each child and his beloved wife)

According to his Civil War Pension file, he died from injuries associated to a gunshot wound. The last months of his life he was confined to his bed in the household of his step-daughter and her husband. He died in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania on 1 September 1894 and is buried in Springhill Cemetery which was once at the edge of town. This headstone cost $90 according to his inventory  filed with Cumberland County. (The original Inventory w/the county stamp was in that wonderful Bible!)

The man with humble beginnings in Perry County Pennsylvania was a true man of God and took advantage of everything he could to better himself in order to serve the Lord and his fellow man. This is why I’ve decided to honor him as

Linda’s Headstone of the Week for Week #9.

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Wha-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-at?   Yes, I attended an ongoing Funeral on Friday evening in the heart of Lancaster! There was a Hearse (one of those old fancy ones!) with a casket in it . . . that makes it a funeral, doesn’t it? Of course, I don’t know who (or what) was in that casket . . .I think this was just a small “Family Cemetery” since I couldn’t find a name anywhere and I did check Find A Grave, to no avail!. . . and right in the middle of the preparations, a train went whizzing by. Stopped those gravediggers and their backhoe momentarily, but the people didn’t seem to mind. It was as though they were just standing there in shock.

I bet I didn’t fool you, though! I bet you figured me out!

Last Friday night was “First Friday” in Lancaster. Amanda and I went out to see a couple of sights and have a bite to eat and were going to finish up the evening at LancasterHistory.Org for their first appearance “on the circuit,” so to speak. We, however, got side-tracked by a Model Railroad exhibit on the 2nd floor of the Citizens Bank building, right next door to the Historical Society, and we weren’t disappointed! Neither were a lot of little children, who just couldn’t move and stood there with their mouths wide open! It was wonderful – the display and the reaction of the children!

I know it’s been there several years and find it surprising that there is very little mention of it on the internet. It is free to the public and operates on donations. I was delighted to have a chance to donate so children (and adults like me!) can enjoy what these men and women seem to enjoy sharing with the community!

If you happen to be in the Penn Square area of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, be sure to stop by and see it! It is truly a work of art . . . and love!

But I still don’t know if there is anybody or anything in that casket!

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I am cleaning out, organizing and going thru boxes of many things I’ve collected over the years. Auctions have always been a favorite pastime and I love buying boxes full of paper ~ things people save and their kids put to auction when they inherit them.
I am going thru just such a box and whomever had it saved old newspapers. Entire copies of old newspapers, some dating back to 1915. I love going through the and reading accounts of local doings.
In going thru the issue of Monday January 13 1919, I came across the following and thought it might be of interest and help to somebody.

Page 9, column 4:
East Petersburg Mennonite Cemeter Burial Record.

The following are the burials which took place at the East Petersburg Mennonite Cemetery during the year 1918, recorded by A.L. Hershey, from January 1 to April 1, and by Harry Hostetter from April 1 to January 1, 1919:

  • January 9 – Alice R. Vogel, of Fruitville, aged 28 years, 5 months and 21 days.
  • February 2 – Annie M. Hess, of Oreville, aged 73 years, 7 months and 26 days.
  • February 11-Benjamin H. Kreider, of Mountville, aged 50 years, 3 months and 9 days.
  • February 17-Fianna Baseler, of East Petersburg, aged 82 years, 4 months and 28 days.
  • March 2- Elizabeth Hottenstein Diffenderer, of Cincinnati, Ohio, aged 45 years, 1 month and 27 days.
  • March 6-Mary S. Koser, of Sporting Hill, aged 69 years, 5 months and 3 days.
  • March 14-Aldus H. Kauffman, of near Neffsville, aged 9 months and 8 days.
  • March 28-Samuel Swarr, of Kissel Hill, aged sixty-seven years.
  • April 26-Barbara Ellen Knight, of near East Petersburg, aged 65 years.
  • May 17-Scott A. Kiehl, of Lancaster, aged two weeks.
  • June 28-Martha M. Hershey, of East Petersburg, aged fifty years.
  • July 5-Peter S. Grabill, of near East Petersburg, aged 58 years.
  • July 18-Amanda Miller, of East Petersburg, aged 72 years.
  • August 17-Henry M. Landis, of near Lititz, aged seventy-eight years.
  • September 14-Mary Leakway, of Bamford, aged 5 months
  • October 4-Helen Virginia Breneman, of Lancaster Junction, one year, two months and six days.
  • October 13-Susanna Snavely, of Fairland, 65 years, 2 months and 7 days.
  • October 14-Elsie C. Swarr, of East Petersburg, aged twenty-nine years.
  • October 17-Ralph H. Gochnauer, of East Petersburg, aged 35 years, 11 months and 15 days.
  • October 17-Elizabeth E. Lang, of Harrisburg, aged 54 years.
  • October 19-Leslie H. Fulmer, of East Petersburg, aged 18 years.
  • October 22-Barbara Hershey, of near Neffsville, aged 21 years.
  • October 23-Daniel M. Eitnier, of Columbia aged 24 years.
  • December 4-John Decker, of Neffsville, stillborn child.
  • December 17-Lizzie Dussiger, of near East Petersburg, aged 53 years, 7 months and 29 days.
  • December 23-Carrie Long, of near Landisville, aged 30 years.

I found it interesting that they spelled the age in some instances, but in most of the entries, they were numerals.

Hopefully this will be of help to somebody!

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9:30 AM comes pretty early on any Monday morning, but for some reason it didn’t seem that early on this particular day.  This was the day a lot of people have been anticipating.   This was the day the Cpl McEvoy was finally going to have a stone to mark his final resting place!

Jim and I arrived at Woodward Hill Cemetery about 9:15 and found that people were assembling.  Chairs were set up for the family in front of the gravesite, chairs for the dignitaries next to the gravesite, State Troopers were lining up, Bagpipers were assembling and cameras were being focused by a TV station and the State Trooper Organization.  It was busyness with family greeting one another, State Troopers introducing themselves to the family and final details were being ironed out.  Before we knew it, the ceremony began with the State Troopers marching in from the right.  What an impressive site!IMG_0009
There were two different Honor Guards, one from the Lancaster City Police and the other from the Pennsylvania State Troopers. The one pictured below is from Lancaster.IMG_0013
. . . and the State Trooper’s Department Ceremonial Unit Members which did the Presentation of Colors.IMG_0017After the National Anthem was sung and Invocation was given, Trooper Kelly A. Osborne-Filson (yes, this is Trooper Kelly I’ve referred to in all the posts) read Cpl McEvoy’s biography.  Seated behind Kelly is Chaplain Grover G. DeVault, Pennsylvania State Police Chaplain and Lancaster City Police Chief, Keith Sadler.IMG_0022Captain Brenda M. Bernot, Commanding Officer of Troop J spoke of Cpl McEvoy’s sacrifice and presented the new headstone along with Terry McEvoy, grandson of the deceased McEvoy.   Mr. McEvoy then placed the Memorial Wreath, which was provided by the Pennsylvania State Police Academy Civic Association,  next to the new headstone.  The headstone was donated by Haldy/Keener Memorials, a division of Gingrich Memorials.IMG_0023 Members of Pennsylvania State Police Troop J made up the Firing Detail which fired 3 rounds (see the smoke??) and Trooper Louis P. Gober of Troop M played Taps. IMG_0032The amazing Chester County Emerald Society Pipe Band gave a simply amazing rendition of, what else but, Amazing Grace!  There really is nothing like a bugle playing Taps and a group of bagpies playing Amazing Grace to make goosebumps pop up at a Funeral or a Memorial Service.  This one had both!

Appreciating the music is a granddaughter of Cpl.  McEvoy.

IMG_0045 The service closed with a benediction and closing remarks by Lt. William P. White. He led the Troopers (and anyone else who desired to) in the “Call of Honor,” the Pennsylvania State Trooper’s creed, motto or whatever the term they use for the . . .

Call of Honor

I am a Pennsylvania State Trooper; a soldier of the law.  To me
is entrusted the honor of the force. I must serve honestly, faithfully,
and if need be, lay down my life as others have done before me,
rather than swerve from the of duty  It is my duty to obey the law
and to enforce it without any consideration of class, color, creed,
or condition. It is also my duty to be of service to anyone who may
be in danger or distress, and at all times so conduct myself that the
Honor of the Force may be upheld.

After the service, photo opportunties  were taken advantage of!  The first and most important?  Why it is the family and Kelly around the new stone!  Kelly is the one in the State Trooper uniform (as if you the reader couldn’t figure that one out!)

The girl behind the headstone in the black dress and white sweater is the great-granddaughter of Cpl. McEvoy.  Hallie Romanowski, is wearing her grandmother’s dress (Cpl. McEvoy’s daughter, Martha) and brought Martha’s scrapbook.  That scrapbook was full of wonderful family information.  Martha even kept a copy of the original report of the accident that took McEvoy’s life.

I’d love to put names with the faces, but all I know are Hallie’s, Terry McEvoy on the far left, and his sister, Vicky , in the black, next to Hallie.IMG_0057

A wonderful photo op would be the next photo. Terry McEvoy and the flag that had been presented to him is in the middle behind his grandfather’s new headstone. He is surrounded by the Ceremonial Unit Members. Isn’t this a great photo??IMG_0059

This chapter would not be complete with a picture of Trooper Kelly standing next to the headstone that would not be there today if it were not for her!  Corporal Ben F. McEvoy will now be remembered through the ages, thanks to one Pennsylvania State Trooper who just would not give up!  It was her sheer determination that brought us all together at Woodward Hill Cemetery on that overcast Monday morning in September.IMG_0047

The morning ended with what else but food and socialization at the Troop J, Lancaster Headquarters.  The Pennsylvania State Police really know how to honor their own, and in doing so has shown a family that their ancestor was just as important to others as he was to them!  It was a great morning and a beautiful ceremony.  This was a fitting end to the final chapter in honoring

Cpl. Ben F. McEvoy, Pennsylvania State Trooper.

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The blogs dealing with this story from the very beginning can be accessed at the following links:

http://tr.im/mCly
http://tr.im/mWSR
http://tr.im/o0Eg
http://tr.im/yV3t

Thank you for following the story.  It’s been a pleasure being the “storyteller!”


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PostCard

While killing time in an Antique Mall a couple of weeks ago, I came across this postcard and just had to get it!  I just cannot imagine anybody buying this card to send to a friend, which is why it was probably never mailed!

It reminds me of a joke I just read:

I gave my mother-in-law a cemetery plot for Christmas last year.
This year I gave her nothing.
When she asked why, I told her she hadn’t used last years’ gift yet.
. . and that’s when the fight began”

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MillerWm

I found this headstone in Woodward Hill Cemetery, right around the corner from James Buchanan’s wonderful burial spot.  I was amazed that even though it was broken in four pieces, they all stayed together and I could actually read the name of WILLIAM MILLER on it.  The death date of  July 31, 1859 is another story.  For that date, I had to go to Find-a-Grave, and since I knew the section I found the stone in, the rest was easy!  The grass seems to be a bonding agent and has kept all these pieces together.   I was impressed and the reason it is

Linda’s Headstone of the Week; Week #37

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