Souls Take Flight

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MORRISON

BORN

APL. 9, 1850

DIED

MARCH 6, 1859

THOMAS BORN

JAN. 11, 1855

DIED

FEB. 15, 1859

MARY

BORN

SEP. 16, 1856

DIED

FEB. 13, 1859

STANLEY

BORN

MAY 17, 1853

DIED

FEB. 12, 1859

STANLEY & MARY A. MATTHEWS

 

STANLEY MATTHEWS

DIED

MARCH 22. 1889

AGED 65 YEARS

— —

MARY A. MATTHEWS

WIFE OF

STANLEY MATTHEWS

DIED JAN. 22. 1885

AGED 62 YEARS

Stanley Matthews was a prominent Ohio native. Matthews was got his start at Kenyon College graduating at the young age of 16—he passed the bar at 18 and started his law practice in the Queen City—Cincinnati. From there he worked as a newspaper editor, judge, Ohio state senator. Matthews got a big break when President James Buchanan appointed him as the United States District Attorney for Southern Ohio. When the Civil War started he resigned his post as District Attorney to join the Union Army as a lieutenant colonel in the Twenty-third Ohio Infantry. In that same unit served two future presidents—Rutherford B. Hayes and William McKinley. Matthews was later promoted to Colonel. He began a political a national political career when Matthews ran for a United States Senate seat and won. In 1881, Matthews was nominated by President Hayes to an associate justice seat on the United States Supreme Court. His nomination was considered controversial and the Senate took no action on the nomination. After James Garfield became president, Garfield re-nominated Matthews. Matthews was confirmed by a single vote. He served as an associate justice until his death in 1889.

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In spite of Matthews’ soaring political career that peaked in the highest court in the land, his white-marble monument does not extoll any of his political accomplishments. The focus of the symbolism on his monument is about four of his eight children. In 1859, Stanley and Mary Matthews suffered a great tragedy. Within two weeks in February and March 4 of their children died: Stanley, a little over 5 years old, died February 12, 1859; Mary, just over 3 and a half years old, died, February 13, 1859; Thomas, just over 4 years old, died February 15, 1859; and Morrison, nearly 9 years old died MARCH 6, 1859.

On the face of the gravestone is a bas-relief of a winged angel with one arm raised and pointing to the Heaven and one arm cuddling a small child. Three angels fly toward Heaven. The symbolism is clear—the angel is taking flight with the souls of the Matthews’ children giving them her protective care.

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