Tho. J. LEWARK
Sept. 2, 1850
Aged 40 Y’rs 11 mos.
& 10 Days.
THOMAS J. NEWARK
Dec. 19, 1862
55 Years & 29 Days
My friends forbeare to mourn and weep
While in this grave I sweetly sleep
A toilsome world I leave behind
A better world in hope to find.
Two gravestones in the landscaped East Hill Cemetery at Rushville, Indiana, commemorate the graves of a husband and a wife—Betsy and Thomas Lewark. The wife’s gravestone leans to the left. It almost looks as if her gravestone is nestled next to his much like a wife might lean her head on her husband’s shoulder.
JAMES M. &
Thomas J. & Betsy
Died Sept. 16,
Aged 2 Weeks
Next to the gravestones of Thomas and Betsy Lewark is the square-top gray marble gravestone of their twin infant sons, who died exactly a fortnight after their mother died. Though Betsy’s gravestone doesn’t say what she died of, it was most likely complications of childbirth. The risks to mothers was high in the 19th Century; every pregnancy was a potential death sentence. It is also a reminder that the infant mortality rates were quite high. In the 1850s, the mortality rates for children under one year, were estimated at over 200 deaths per thousand, with much higher mortality rates for children under 5.