One of this blogpost’s readers, Phyllis, solved the mystery. The metal marker connected to this grave represents the Switchmen’s Union of North America which was a labor union founded in 1894 and included members in the United States and Canada. Thank you, Phyllis, for doing some digging into the buried man’s history and solving the mystery!
Many graves are not only marked by a tombstone but also accompanied by a metal marker. These metal markers usually are a display of the deceased’s membership in a fraternal organization such as the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks or the Loyal Order of the Moose. Sometimes they mark military service and indicate a branch of service such as the Army or Navy, or often the war in which the deceased served, such as the Revolutionary war or the Civil War, or a more recent war—Korea, Vietnam, or the Gulf War. But this marker found in the Woodland Cemetery in Jackson, Michigan, has me stumped. Any ideas?