Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: Death by Suicide

Abel RICE and wife Betsey by midgefrazel
Abel RICE and wife Betsey, a photo by midgefrazel on Flickr.

Abel Rice and his two wives named Betsey
The above photo was taken in May, 2013 in preparation for the Rice Reunion 2013. I felt it was an excellent example of the heartbreak of broken gravestones. I decided that it would be a "stop on the tour". I did basic research on Abel and his family and found a lot of real heartbreak in their lives.

Notice that this was a tomato staked marker on the tour. As I was explaining about cemetery restoration and the heartbreak of broken stones, one member of the group remarked on the plant that was growing up in between the broken parts of the stone. As you can see, it was only visible in part of the photo in May but by September it was in full bloom making berries. When I explained that Abel committed suicide in 1855, it was discussed whether the plant was deadly nightshade. (I really have no idea. What do you think?)

Plants in the older cemeteries often grow unchecked as they were placed there many years ago and no living descendant is aware of this planting. The city or town just mows the grass and gathers the broken tree limbs. There isn't much foliage in this cemetery.

Abel had two wives named Betsey. His first wife was Betsey Hunt and his second was Betsey Howe. Three of his children by his second wife, died and are buried nearby with a single gravemarker. 

Photo by Brian Rice, 20 September 2013, used with permission
I don't know when the stone was broken but it certainly need fixing.

1 comment:

bill kooper said...
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