T.O.T.E.

IMG_4597

THOMAS BAKER

BORN

NOV. 13 1847

DIED

JAN. 18 1896

Farewell my wife and

Children all. From you

A father Christ doth call.

FRANCIS T.

Son of

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.

IMG_4598

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.”

Posted in Symbolism | 2 Comments

Supermodel Muse

Melvin Brothers Memorial, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, Massachusetts

Melvin Brothers Memorial, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, Massachusetts

ASA HEALD MELVIN

BORN SEPTEMBER 26, 1834

KILLED IN BATTLE BEFORE PETERSBURG VA

JUNE 16, 1864

JOHN HEALD MELVIN

BORN JULY 27, 1841

DIED IN A MILITARY HOSPITAL AT

FORT ALBANY VIRGINIA

OCTOBER 13, 1863

SAMUEL MELVIN

BORN APRIL 9, 1844

TAKEN PRISONER AT HARRISS FARM VA

MAY 19, 1864

DIED AT ANDERSONVILLE GA.

IN MEMORY OF THREE BROTHERS BORN IN CONCORD

WHO AS PRIVATE SOLDIERS GAVE THEIR LIVES

IN THE WAT TO SAVE THE COUNTRY

THIS MEMORIAL IS PLACED HERE BY THEIR SURVIVING

BROTHER HIMSELF A PRIVATE SOLDIER IN THE SAME WAR

“I WITH UNCOVERED HEAD

SALUTE THE SCRED DEAD

WHO WENT AND WHO RETURN NOT”

IMG_0907

When James Melvin came back from the Civil War after serving in the 6th Massachusetts Infantry, he was not joined by his brothers, Asa, John, and Samuel. They had all served in the 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery unit which took heavy losses throughout the war. John was the first to perish—he at a military hospital in Fort Albany, Virginia. Asa died on the battlefield during an assault on Petersburg, and Samuel, who had been captured, died at the infamous and reviled Andersonville prison.

IMG_0908

James, the fourth and youngest brother, later became a successful businessman and commissioned Daniel Chester French to design a memorial to his three fallen brothers. Daniel Chester French was arguably the most noted sculptor of his day, creating such monumental works as Minute Man at Concord, Massachusetts, the Marshall Field Memorial in Graceland Cemetery at Chicago, and his most famous work—the Seated Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial at Washington, D.C.

To create what he titled, Mourning Victory, French hired Audrey Munson to model for the sculpture. Though, Munson, is not a household name like Cindy Crawford, Gisele Bundchen, or Christy Brinkley, some say, Munson was America’s first supermodel. Her likeness can be found today in statues in New York, Wisconsin, California, and as far away as the Netherlands. Audrey became the model of choice for acclaimed artists, such as, Alexander Stirling Calder, Karl Bitter, Sherry Edmundson Fry, Adolph Alexander Weinman, and of course, Daniel Chester French.

Audrey Munson in the silent film, Heedless Moths, 1921

Audrey Munson in the silent film, Heedless Moths, 1921

Not only was she a model to be found on statues from coast to coast, but she posed for the Walking Liberty dollar designed by Adolph Alexander Weinman. It is believed, she is the model for the Liberty Dime, too, which he also designed.

Walking Liberty Dollar designed by Alexander Weinman

Walking Liberty Dollar designed by Alexander Weinman

Her likeness can be found on magazine covers of the time and she also worked in the fledgling movie industry appearing in four silent movies—Inspiration in 1915, Purity in 1916, The Girl o’ Dreams in 1916, and Heedless Moths in 1921. Audrey Munson was the first actress to appear fully nude in a film—Inspiration.

Sunset magazine, (October 1915) her image in a sculpture by Alexander Weinman

Sunset magazine, (October 1915) her image in a sculpture by Alexander Weinman

The sculpture by French for the Melvin Brothers Memorial is titled Mourning Victory. It features a woman as the allegorical figure of victory. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, which has a replica of the statue in marble in their collection, describes the statue, “The massive figure of Mourning victory emerges from the block of stone projecting two moods: melancholy, in her downcast eyes and somber expression, and triumph, in the American flag and laurel she holds high. French captured the sense of calm after the storm of battle, which must have referred to the pride, after the sorrow of grieving, felt by the surviving brother.”

The monument is a tribute not only to the Melvin Brothers and to the soaring talent of French, but to Audrey Munson, who was the muse for so many artists of her day.

StarASC[1]

In 1922, Munson attempted suicide. Nearly ten years later, her Mother petitioned to have Munson committed to an insane asylum, which is where she spent the last 65 years of her life—dying at the St. Lawrence State Hospital in Ogdensburg at the age of 104 years old. Munson is buried in the New Haven Cemetery at new Haven, New York, in an unmarked grave. Her image, however, lives on.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

His Last Trip

IMG_4540

Killed at New Albany

North Y. while on duty for the

Monon R. W. Co.

EMORY L.

SON OF J. N. & E. A.

TITZEL

BORN

SEP. 15. 1880

DIED

DEC. 20. 1902

HIS LAST TRIP

C. R. Salyards of Orleans, Indiana, carved the train on top of the gravestone for Emory Titzel in the Mount Carmel Cemetery at Stinesville, Bean Blossom Township, Monroe County, Indiana.

IMG_4551

Emory Titzel was a brakeman on the Monon Rail Way Company when he was killed in a accident.

In addition to the intricate carving of the train engine, there is a glassed compartment in the center of the gravestone that housed the flowers from the funerals. The flowers have long since decomposed.

IMG_4542

Even though the train marked the untimely death of Emory Titzel and his “last trip” on the Monon, other children of Joseph Newcomer and Edwina Ann (Williams) Titzel are memorialized on the stone:

MARY

FAY

MATTHEW

BORN APR. 22

1898

DIED AUG. 23

1909

IN

DENVER

COLO.

 

SALLIE E.

DAU OFN. & E. A.

TITZEL

BORN

FEB. 1. 1875.

DIED

SEP. 5. 1875

IMG_4553

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The Bride in the Mist

IMG_2116

FILOMENA BUCCOLA REMEMBRANCE OF MY DAUGHTER

JULIA AGE 29 YRS.

questa fotografia

presa dopo 6 anni morta

BUCCOLA

IMG_2117

On moonless nights when there is a gentle rain, there have been reports in the Mount Carmel Cemetery at Hillside, Illinois, of a mist with a faint light emanating from the haze. Inside the mist is the apparition of a bride hovering above the ground—always looking downward as if she has lost something—or someone. Upon investigation the visage is almost always spotted near the gravesite of Julia Buccola Petta and her stillborn son. Julia Petta is legend here, known simply as the Italian Bride. Her macabre story is one of heartbreaking sadness and mystery.

The story starts in 1909, when Enrique Buccola immigrates to Chicago to join his brother, Giuseppe from Palermo, Italy. Both brothers work in the fashion industry—Henry as a tailor and Joseph as a clothing designer.

Because of the brothers’ success, they bring over other members of the family to join them. Rosalia was the first sister to join them. In 1913, their mother, Filomena and their sister, Julia, immigrate to America, too.

On June 6, 1920, Julia married Matthew Petta at the Holy Rosary Parish. Nine months later, on March 17, 1921, Julia died giving birth to a stillborn son, Flippo. Julia was buried in her wedding dress with her son in her arms. Her mother, Filomena, was beside herself with grief.

Filomena began having dreams that her daughter was still alive. The dreams went on and were so vivid and real to her that after six years, she mustered the courage to have her daughter’s body exhumed so she could see once and for all that the dreams were not real—that Julia and her son had died.

The casket was opened and to the surprise of everyone, Julia’s body was nearly as she was buried—still with rose-colored cheeks and soft supple skin except where her son lay. He had decomposed. Many believed that Julia’s preserved body was a sign that she was a saint.

To honor her daughter, Filomena talked one of her sons into paying what was reported to be an astronomical sum at the time for an elaborate monument to be sculpted in Julia’s likeness. Julia stands atop the base in the wedding dress she had been married in and eventually buried in.

IMG_2118

On the face of the stone is a porcelain photograph of Julia not only in the dress, after which the sculpture was modeled, but also a porcelain photograph of Julia on the day her body was exhumed after six years of being entombed.

IMG_2119

The stone has the inscription:

FILOMENA BUCCOLA REMEMBRANCE OF MY DAUGHTER

JULIA AGE 29 YRS.

questa fotografia

presa dopo 6 anni morta

BUCCOLA

Of note, is the fact that Julia’s married name, Petta, is not mentioned on the gravestone. Also the epitaph, written in Italian, reads:

questa fotografia

presa dopo 6 anni morta

Which translates roughly into English as:

this photograph was

taken 6 years after she died

The story became a local sensation. It was not long after that people told stories of seeing the apparition of the bride in the flowing white wedding gown in the cemetery. Even to this day, there are reports of the bride in the mist.

IMG_2121

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Hope

 

IMG_4143

DR. OSCAR SCHULTZ

NOV. 9, 1848

FEB. 11, 1890

LOUISA HIS WIFE

MAR. 9, 1850

MAR. 6, 1903

IMG_4146

The representation of Hope can be easily found in American cemeteries.  Hope is most often portrayed as a woman standing and leaning against an anchor.  In the example above, from the Bellefontaine Cemetery at Mount Vernon, Posey County, Indiana, the allegorical figure of Hope is holding a chain that connects to the anchor.

The anchor is an ancient Christian symbol that has been found in early catacomb burials.  The anchor was used by early Christians as a disguised cross.  The anchor also served as a symbol of Christ and his anchoring influence in the lives of Christians.  Just as an anchor does not let a moored boat drift, the anchoring influence of Christ does not allow the Christian life to drift.

IMG_4149

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tribute to the Doughboys

IMG_6793

A TRIBUTE TO

THE MEN OF MONROE COUNTY

WHO IN THE SPIRIT OF LOYALTY

SERVED THEIR COUNTRY

IN THE WORLD WAR 1917 – 1918

AND LOVING MEMORY OF

THOSE INSCRIBED BELOW

WHO MADE THE SUPREME SACRIFICE

Memorial Day is a time to stop and remember the ultimate sacrifices that American soldiers gave for the freedom of their fellow citizens. Tributes to those soldiers can be found in town squares and cemeteries all across a grateful nation.

IMG_6796

The tribute here is honoring soldiers from Monroe County, Indiana, who fought in World War I. In 1923, the memorial in the Rose Hill Cemetery at Bloomington, Indiana, was commemorated depicting “The Spirit of the Doughboy.”

IMG_6794

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Spanish-American War Veterans

IMG_5238

Erected by

Public

Donations

In memory

Of the

Veterans

Of the Spanish-

American

War 1896 – 1902

Dedicated

9-26-1926

IMG_5239

The Spanish-American War monument in the Bohemian National at Chicago, Illinois, was designed by Theo Ruggles Kitson. The eight-foot statue weighs a whopping 600 pounds. The statue, dubbed the Hiker stands atop a 25-ton boulder.

IMG_5242

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment