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mike reeves (#47684672)
 member for 5 years, 21 days
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Bio Photo Ancestral interest in the Reeves and Joneses of Butts and Troup Counties, Georgia, respectively. Progeny also related to the Blackwoods and Fords, lately of Talladega County, Alabama.

Talladega County was formed after the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and Treaty of Cusseta in 1832. Compilers of published county cemetery records, Carolyn Lane Luttrell and Joseph W. & Francis S. Upchurch, observed decades ago that stones had already "...disappeared through erosion of time, vandalism, and bulldozers." As lamented of the Marble Springs Church site by E. Grace Jemison in "Historic Tales of Talladega": "There are now only a few people who have so much as a memory of the once sacred spot".

Antebellum planters and Victorian era (1837-1901) farmers often had 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 researchers who provide reasonable notice to property owners. State law stipulates any person who defaces or removes a gravestone has committed a misdemeanor.

Early headstones of marble, state rock of Alabama, may bear a quarry name such as Herd Brothers and/or Richard Miller, first quarriers in the county. In 1845 Dr. Edward Gantt purchased the Sylacauga quarry subsequently named after him from John Herd. A 4' by 2' block of Gantt Quarry marble, marked "J. M. N. B. Nix & Co., Wetumpka, Ala.", was placed in the Washington Monument in Washington D.C. in 1851. An "A. Herd & Bros." invoice from 1855 reflects the cost of a 6 1/2' by 3' marble slab to have been $35, with clasped hands sculpted for $5 and letters cut at 5 cents apiece, for a total cost of $56.10 due within a year. Historian Kenneth M. Stampp recounted the annual wage of textile workers in the South during 1860 to have only been $145. After the death of the eldest Herd brother, George, in 1855 their business in Winterboro went to his partner, H. P. Oden. Captain Henry Oden died at Vicksburg in 1863. Marble markers with quarry marks in the Reconstruction era were few, some "J. A. Bergin, Talladega, Ala." and "J. T. Nix & Co., Hopkinsville, Ky."

African-American headstones from the Victorian era are rarely encountered, less than a dozen at the oldest public cemeteries, Oakhill and Westview, in the city of Talladega. Vermont marble headstones were provided from 1914 thru 1931 to members of the Mosaic Templars of America (MTA), a black fraternal organization with members in half the states of the nation. Many of these MTA members, formed in local "Chambers", had endured slavery and witnessed emancipation. Chamber stones are approximately 27" in height and 16" in width, with a rounded and forward sloping top. "M","T","A" and "3V's", spaced within crossed shepherd staffs and encircled, is cut in relief upon the upper face of the stones. Shepherd staffs symbolized the Exodus out of bondage led by Moses and Aaron, and "3V's" stood for "Veni, Vedi, Veci"; I Came, I Saw, I Conquered.

Those insured from 1890 thru 1930 by the Woodmen of the World (WOW) Life Insurance Society of Omaha, Nebraska, received marble tree stump markers which were normally 4'-5' in height. Initially free to WOW policy holders, by 1900 a $100 rider was required to cover their expense. These sculpted stones were discontinued during the Great Depression due to their cost. The monuments are also seen with, or as, stacked cut logs. The WOW logo, ivy, and symbolic axes and wedges were carved onto the stone trees. Scrolls with names are often depicted, suspended on ropes or attached to the trees, and "Dum Tacet Clamet"; Though Silent, He Speaks.

Sandstone from local quarries, such as at S. M. Jemison's farm on Kelly Creek, was used for headstones and obelisks from 1845 to 1875. Fieldstone and flagstone markers, some with etched names, are in rural and urban plots. Cast zinc and iron markers were used in the late Victorian era. Cement slabs, headstones, and curbing have been used since about 1900. Whitewashing of the cement produced an ersatz marble.

Cenotaphs are memorials in honor of deceased who lie elsewhere, such as the fourteen roadside Veterans Affairs (VA) headstones at the Oden-Bledsoe-Kelly "Mountain Spring" plantation house or the seventy-five VA stones at Ft. Williams Military Memorial Park. The April-May 1926 edition of "Arrow Points" noted the chartering of the Fort Williams Memorial Association; "... to do honor to the Tennesseans long buried at old Ft. Williams on the Coosa". That was a dozen years after the construction of Lay Dam downriver of the fort and its "burial pits arranged in rows." An inscribed marble boulder and VA headstones for eighty soldiers were placed at the site during 1932-1937 and, in 1976, it was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks. Nevertheless, in 2006 land developers said the cemetery was devoid of any graves and an "eyesore". Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) scans and trenching failed to disclose bones beneath the stones, which when moved allowed for construction of private estates with docks on Lay Lake.

Skeletal remains of soldiers do actually lie beneath the "Battle of Talladega" (a.k.a. "Jackson Pyramid") monument at Oak Hill Cemetery. Half the remains of a score of Tennessee volunteers slain were recovered from their burial pit by the Andrew Jackson Chapter of the DAR and reinterred there in 1900. The sixty-four "Unknown Confederate Soldier" VA headstones in two parallel rows at Oak Hill also mark the burial places of soldiers, although they weren't unknown at the time of their deaths. Soldiers who died in the local hospital or conscript camp were buried with wooden markers identifying them, but the neglected grave markers deteriorated in time until those beneath were "Known but to God".

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

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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African American Victoria... (23)
Antebellum Planters (22)
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Messages left for mike reeves (192)[Leave Message]
Dolores J. Rush
Battle of Talledega
I found the list online of the fallen:
Added by Dolores J. Rush on Jan 14, 2017 6:04 PM
Rebecca Martin
RE: Memorial transfer request
Thank you, Mike.
Rebecca Martin
Added by Rebecca Martin on Jan 09, 2017 8:53 PM
Rebecca Martin
Memorial transfer request
Hi, Mike,
I would like to manage my Grandfather's sister's memorial so I could add information. Her name is Daisy Newsome McKinney # 101492566.
Thank you,
Rebecca Martin
Added by Rebecca Martin on Jan 09, 2017 3:27 PM
Wrong Way Dave
Burgess Cemetery
Thanks for the memorial transfers.
Added by Wrong Way Dave on Dec 12, 2016 9:12 PM
Dorothy Tuck
RE: Family Photographs
I'm included to say, "yes," I'll manage the sites, Mike. What does managing them entail.
Want to make sure I don't overcommit. Most of
them should be my relatives anyway though.

Dorothy Tuck
Added by Dorothy Tuck on Dec 12, 2016 10:52 AM
Old Waco
Fraternal orders
Thanks for your adventure to the Hudson Family Cemetery. You have preserved their memory!
I like the photo of the grave shelter / grave shed as I've heard them called around here on your FG page.
See these markers:
Memorial# 6950540
Memorial# 81599135
Memorial# 81600261
There are others at this cemetery, but these are a few. Have you sent FG links to the MTA museum? I did several years ago because they don't have lots of membership records.
Thanks for your help!
Added by Old Waco on Dec 10, 2016 11:37 PM
Old Waco
Mosaic Templars of America
There is one MTA marker at First Street Cemetery in Waco. Also there are several fraternal grave markers for the Knights and Daughters of Tabor. Have you seen those in your area? I can send links if you want to see them. Ever seen this info:
Added by Old Waco on Dec 10, 2016 9:19 PM
Old Waco
"Hudson Family Cemetery" in Talladega County, Alabama
Dear Mike,
Thanks for this wonderful Hudson family information. Ike Hudson was my great-uncle. His wife, Neva Willis, was my grandfather's sister. I wish I could help you with the markers at the Hudson Family Cemetery. A distant Hudson relative sent me those photos from the family Bible.
A question: would you like for me to place this material on Ike's memorial or do you want to place it on the memorials for those who had markers moved?
I appreciate your time and information!!
Bradford Willis
Waco, TX
Added by Old Waco on Dec 10, 2016 8:43 PM
Wrong Way Dave
RE: R P Roberts
I just saw your email. Thank you VERY much for the info.
Added by Wrong Way Dave on Dec 10, 2016 6:43 AM
Wrong Way Dave
R P Roberts
Mike, You added a memorial for R P Roberts in Burgess Cemetery in Talladega. How did you come about this information and do you know where Burgess Cemetery is located? I'm looking for Pinkney and Julie Garing Roberts and think this may be Pinkney's grave. Thanks.
Added by Wrong Way Dave on Dec 09, 2016 12:39 PM
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