12 June 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - Mystery Solved!

Countless times through the years, people have asked why a particular grave in the Monmouth Cemetery has an ornate iron fence surrounding it. Stories have been told that the lady that was buried there was a
wealthy widow woman. Others say that she was someone famous. Kids like to tell that she was a witch and the fence was put there to keep her in the grave. Actually my great, great, grandfather put the fence
around the grave because as he liked to tell it - she was so mean, he was afraid that she would come out and get him while he was sleeping. (Side note: They were divorced in the late 1800's).....

The truth, while rather amusing, isn't nearly as exciting as the stories. My uncle, Lawrence A. Baker, great-great grandson of the lady buried inside the iron fence, told the true story as follows:

When great-great grandma Sabrina was dying, she told her family, "I want you to put up a fence around my grave so the cows can't stomp all over me!" Now, you might ask, "Why would cows be in a cemetery, stomping on graves?" Well, in 1887, when Sabrina died, many residents of Monmouth, Indiana, Adams Co., IN, owned a family milk cow. These animals would often be staked out in vacant lots, small fields, or the cemetery. The cemetery was free pasture and the cows helped keep the weeds and grass mowed down. The downside of this was that the animals often knocked over the tombstones.

I hope that great-great-great grandma has slep well in her grave for over 117 years, knowing that no cows ever stomped on her grave.

Sabrina Benson Lord McChan

12-29-1812, New York State
3-9-1887, Root Township, Adams County, Indiana
**Headstone photo's by co-contributor Jim Cox.

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