NOV. 13 1847
JAN. 18 1896
Farewell my wife and
Children all. From you
A father Christ doth call.
T. & M. E. BAKER
BORN FEB. 23 1874
DIED OCT. 10 1874
God seized the precious treasure
To us so lately given
He took the lovely flower
And planted it in Heaven.
The gravestone of Thomas Baker, in the Mount Carmel Cemetery at Stinesville, Indiana, has hatchet, more specifically a tomahawk, with the initials T. O. T.E. carved into it. The tomahawk marks the grave of a member of the Improved Order of Red Men (I.O.R.M.), which claims its beginnings with the patriots who were in the Sons of Liberty during the American Revolution.
The society models itself after the Iroquois Confederacy councils. In fact, some of the markers display images of Native Americans because the society based their organization on the rites and rituals of the Native Americans.
The initials T.O.T.E stands for Totem of the Eagles. According to their Website, the IORM “promotes patriotism and the American Way of Life, provides social activities for the members, and supports various charitable programs.”
A bit of a shock to see this one as my name is Tom Baker!
No one ever wants to see their name on a gravestone–of course, few do since it usually happens AFTER one dies and the stone is engraved. Hope this one didn’t give you too much of a start!