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mike reeves (#47684672)
 member for 2 years, 6 months, 12 days
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Bio Photo My family interests are in the Reeves of Newton County, Mississippi, and Joneses of Elmore County, Alabama. "This do in remembrance..." of them in a biblical sense, if you will. Local historical interest in Talladega County, Alabama, formed in 1832 from land purchased from Creeks at Treaty of Cusseta.

Antebellum planters and Victorian era farmers had family burial plots upon their own land. Pioneer church consecrated ground lay fallow after congregations moved. Alabama law, Act 2007-4008, allows access to grave sites by family members and researchers who provide reasonable notice to property owners. Land owners normally accommodate polite requests to photograph gravestones without an impolite citation of state law. Code of Alabama Section 13A-11-12 states any person who willfully defaces or removes a gravestone has committed a misdemeanor. The disturbance of buried remains is a felony. Statute of limitations laws stipulate a one year period for misdemeanor offenses.

The oldest marble headstones and slabs in Talladega County, dated from 1834 to 1860, were sometimes inscribed with the name of the local quarry or agent. The Herd Brothers and Richard Miller were the first marble quarriers in the county. Dr. Edward Gantt purchased the Sylacauga quarry subsequently named after him from John Herd in 1845. H. P. Oden & Co. were successors to the Herd business in Winterboro in 1855, following the death of the eldest Herd, George. An "A. Herd & Bros." receipt from 1855 reflects the cost of a 6 1/2' by 3' slab to have been $35, with clasped hands sculpted for $5 and letters cut at 5 cents apiece, to be paid within 12 months.

African American marble headstones during the 1914 thru 1930 period were most often from the Mosaic Templars of America (MTA), of Little Rock, Arkansas. These "Chamber" stones are approximately 28" in height and 16" in width, with a rounded and forward sloping top. The MTA symbol, encircled letters "M","T","A" and "3V's" in relief spaced within crossed shepherd staffs, is cut into the upper face of the stone. The staffs represent the biblical exodus led by Moses and Aaron, with "3V's" for "Veni, Vedi, Veci"; I Came, I Saw, I Conquered. MTA members, many of whom endured slavery and witnessed emancipation, paid an annual tax for their stones.

Those insured from 1890 thru 1930 by the Woodmen of the World (WOW) Life Insurance Society of Omaha, Nebraska, received distinctive marble tree stump markers which were normally 4'-5' in height. Although initially free to WOW policy holders, by 1900 a $100 rider was required to cover their expense. The stones were discontinued in 1930 due to having become cost prohibitive. These monuments, also seen in the form of stacked cut logs, have the WOW logo with symbolic axes, scrolls on a rope, and "Dum Tacet Clamet"; Though Silent, He Speaks.

Cenotaphs, grave markers placed in honor of deceased individuals whose remains lie elsewhere, are present within family plots in public cemeteries. Veterans Administration (VA) headstones for state soldiers of the Civil War have also been used for this purpose.

An in-the-ground interment, marked or otherwise, is no longer the cultural norm in our society. National Funeral Directors Association data reflects the cremation rate in this country rose from 3.5% to 43% during the past fifty years, with almost 20% of Alabamians in 2012 electing "ashes to ashes".

Compilers of published tombstone records in Talladega County, Carolyn Lane Luttrell and Joseph W. & Francis S. Upchurch, observed decades ago that stones had already "...disappeared through erosion of time, vandalism, and bulldozers."

Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme;
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone, besmear'd with sluttish time.

Sonnet 55
Wm. Shakespeare (1564-1616)
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Messages left for mike reeves (105)[Leave Message]
Henry at Oakhill
Thanks, Mike. That's a lot of helpful information and solves several questions.
Added by Ray on Jul 07, 2014 12:11 PM
RE: Wright Cemetery
Yes, that would be wonderful and I would appreciate the assist. If this cemetery is where I am thinking it is then it does have a name, but if it isn't the same one then I should show you where the other one is and maybe we could figure it out. There are a lot of Bittles' missing and I am having a difficult time with them but they are all kin I am sure. Thank You for offering your time most of all.
Added by Penny on Jul 05, 2014 11:52 PM
Wright Cemetery
Mike, I was trying to locate where this is on my map but have no way of looking at GPS coordinates on my home computer. With your photos, this looks like a description of where my Aunt Cora told me that my great grandmother was buried. Its hard to tell without being able to pinpoint on a map. I am wondering why Elizabeth Bittle would be the only "Bittle" buried there though. This headstone was not a cheap one for the days it was done. I am wondering if there are any more in that cemetery that are hidden or broken up like this one. Something I do in tend to check on when I go back in the fall. I definitely want to visit this sight. Thank you.
Added by Penny on Jul 05, 2014 11:56 AM
J.B. Bittle
Mike I will take a look at that because I am very interested in this for sure. THanks for the tip.
Added by Penny on Jul 03, 2014 9:48 PM
I have a couple photos of Oxford Memorial Gardens
and the graves I photographed. Would this be
of interest to anyone? Or do I wait until a request
is made?
Added by carusa on Jul 02, 2014 9:32 PM
Robert Bryant Jarman, Sr.
My photos
Sure u may use my photos
Added by Robert Bryant Jarman, Sr. on Jun 28, 2014 9:10 AM
Bittle Family
I emailed Cheryl Rossi. I also gave her my phone number for her to call me. Hopefully she reads her email before she heads out to locate this cemetery. It can be confusing! LOL Thanks for all your help!
Added by Penny on Jun 05, 2014 1:15 AM
Hallie Bittle or Biddle or Bitdell

I am from California and traveling through Oxford, AL for the sole purpose of finding my grandmother's roots. I will be there Thursday June 5 and Friday June 6. I just found this information today or I would have contacted you sooner.

My grandmother claimed to be an orphan and none of her surviving family members know who her mother or father might have been. I have searched in vain through I do have some facts and I am hoping there might be a slim chance that someone may have a story to tell. I am the closest living family member to her.

Here are the facts: Hallie Bitdell (maiden name she used)
I have reason to believe she was either Hallie Bittle or Hallie Biddle because she was born in Silver Run, Alabama around 1874. The spelling Bitdell is non-existent in any of the data bases I have searched, so I think she changed Bittle to Bitdell.

She claimed that she was raised in Oxford by a man named Robert P Thomason, her "guardian", who was quite active in the community at the time. She attended Peabody Teacher's College and became a teacher. I know nothing past 1900 when she was approximately 22 years old and listed as "daughter". She used the names Hallie Bitdell and Hallie Thomason interchangeably until she married my grandfather in 1907. I discovered the Silver Run birth place on a passport application my grandfather had filled out around 1920. Hallie left Alabama around 1902 for Arizona, married my grandfather and died in California in 1965. My father
buried her in Forest Lawn next to my grandfather. Her
headstone reads Hallie Bitdell Moore, because he did not realize that she also used the name Thomason prior to her marriage. I discovered it myself on a few years ago.

Would anyone know if Hallie Bitdell is related to the Bittle names in the Silver Run/Oxford areas? She has been dead since 1965 and I was very close to her.

I am sorry this is long and also that it is public, but I am hoping that someone may see this and shed some light on it.
My email address is
Added by carusa on Jun 02, 2014 9:21 AM
Robert Martin & Dwight Nelms
Francis Martin
thanks so very much for your time in placing the information on Francis Martin memorial #11001159.
You are appreciated very much.
Robert Martin
Added by Robert Martin & Dwight Ne... on May 24, 2014 6:38 PM
Jim Semple, Jr.
Jesse Barhite
Your Message: Appreciate the information on Jessie Barhite; Do you know where his parents are buried ? His mother, Georgia Mae Reeves, was my grandaunt and I've created a memorial for her with an unknown cemetery location...would really appreciate learning where their final resting place is, Thank's!

Mike, this is the only way (public message) I know to contact you, you are welcomed to contact me at my email address anytime at

I am connected to Jesse through his 2nd marriage, therefore I have not researched or know any info on his parents burial. Preliminary search has not revealed any more info on your request. I'm glad you set up the memorial as I was able to LINK Jesse to his mother. I personally have many memorials setup of unknown burials like you have stated so I could link related connections hoping to discover the grave site sometime or by someone else. Thanks for your contact. If I learn of any info, I will let you know. Jim
Added by Jim Semple, Jr. on May 24, 2014 12:34 AM
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