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mike reeves (#47684672)
 member for 3 years, 4 months, 26 days
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Bio Photo My family interests are in the Reeves of Newton County, Miss. and Joneses of Elmore County, Ala., who migrated out of Georgia during the 1850-1880 period.

Local historical interest in Talladega County, Alabama, formed in 1832 from land purchased from Creeks at Treaty of Cusseta. Compilers of published cemetery records of 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." As lamented of the Marble Springs Presbyterian Church Cemetery 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 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, which has a one year statute of limitation. The disturbance of buried remains is a felony.

The oldest marble headstones and slabs in Talladega County, dated from 1830 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. In 1845 Dr. Edward Gantt purchased the Sylacauga quarry subsequently named after him from John Herd. After the death of the eldest Herd brother, George, in 1853 their business in Winterboro went to his partners, H. P. Oden & Company. An "A. Herd & Bros." bill 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 to be paid within a year. The relative cost of that finished stone today would be about $1,560 dollars.

African American marble headstones from the late Victorian era are seldom seen, less than a dozen at the two oldest public cemeteries, Oakhill and Westview, in Talladega. From 1914 until 1930 marble headstones were provided after an annual tax to members of the Mosaic Templars of America (MTA) of Little Rock, Arkansas. Many of these MTA members, formed in local "Chambers", had endured slavery and witnessed emancipation. 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" spaced within crossed shepherd staffs, is cut in relief upon the upper face of the stones. The two staffs represented the biblical exodus led by Moses and Aaron, with "3V's" 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 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 sculpted stones were discontinued in 1930 due to having become cost prohibitive. These monuments are also seen with, or as, stacked cut logs. The WOW logo with symbolic axes, mallets, and wedges are carved onto the stone trees. Scrolls 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 the one at S. M. Jemison's farm on Kelly Creek, was used for headstones and obelisks from 1845 thru 1870. This "mustard colored" stone was said to have been attractive when first cut. Sandstone blocks, one inscribed "1862", were used to build the wall enclosing Sunnyside, aka "Jemison", Cemetery. Fieldstone and flagstone markers, some with etched names, are in rural and urban plots. Cast zinc, "white bronze", and iron markers were used in the latter 19th Century. Cast cement slabs, headstones, and curbing have been commonly used since the early 20th Century. Whitewashing of the cement produced ersatz marble.

Cenotaphs are memorials placed in honor of deceased who lie elsewhere, such as the fourteen roadside Veterans Administration (VA) headstones on private property near Cook Place (aka "Taylor-Cook") Cemetery and the seventy-something VA stones at Ft. Williams Military Memorial Park. "Arrow Points", monthly publication of the Alabama Anthropological Society, noted the chartering of The Fort Williams Memorial Association "... to do honor to the Tennesseans long buried at old Ft. Williams on the Coosa" in their April-May 1926 edition, a decade after Lay Dam was built downriver. An inscribed marble boulder and VA headstones for over seventy soldiers slain a century before were placed at the site during 1933-1937. In the 1950's, Rev. Randolph F. Blackford reported in "Fascinating Talladega County" that the actual burials were covered in backwaters of the dam. The site was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks in 1976. Joseph and Francis Upchurch said the site lacked actual burials in their county cemetery compilation published in 1989. Then, in 2006, land developers said the cemetery was devoid of any graves and an "eyesore". Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) scans followed by hand and backhoe trenching failed to disclose human remains. Monument and stones were then moved to a local park and the site improved with private estates on Lay Lake.

Skeletal remains of soldiers do actually lie beneath the "Battle of Talladega" (aka "Jackson Pyramid") monument at Oak Hill Cemetery. Over half the remains of a score of Tennessee volunteers slain were recovered 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 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 in this country 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)
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Messages left for mike reeves (149)[Leave Message]
Mrs. Bee
RE: Cemeteries you have photographed in Talladega County
Thank you! I always ask. Most of the time, people like you graciously give me permission. For those who don't, I don't use the pictures. Thank you again for your permission.
Added by Mrs. Bee on May 18, 2015 7:00 AM
Mrs. Bee
Cemeteries you have photographed in Talladega County
Mike, You have photographed tombstones of several of my relatives. May I have your permission to use them on I will, of course, give you credit for the photos.
Added by Mrs. Bee on May 17, 2015 9:46 PM
Lori Hartman Hegar
Thornhill Cemetery Talladega
I will be in Birmingham on Wednesday and I am planning a trip from there to Talladega to visit my family cemetery. I've noticed that you have taken several photos there. Is this cemetery on private property? Do you know who I might need to contact to visit it?
Thank you for your help
Lori Hartman Hegar
3rd great granddaughter of William Spence and Helen Hardie Spence
Added by Lori Hartman Hegar on Apr 06, 2015 8:36 PM
Lane Chapel Cemetery-Talladega
Mike the correct name is Lane Chapel Cemetery not Lanes Chapel CME Church Cemetery. Sorry but I did not see the correct name for this cemetery on find a grave and began posting graves with the correct name. Either you can move your names to Lane Chapel Cemetery in Talladega or I will move my names to you when you correct the name. I also called the church to verify this information. Thanks for all of the info that you have posted on Find A Grave. Ellen
Added by Ellen on Mar 08, 2015 7:09 AM
Kitty Walker Lennard
Thanks , I will see if they are related and transfer mine.

Added by Kitty Walker Lennard on Feb 18, 2015 8:18 AM
Pam B
Baker Dulaney
Thanks for posting the photos! It's sad to see that his marker is broken. I need to see if there is anything that can be done before it goes missing.

Thanks again!
Added by Pam B on Feb 17, 2015 6:30 PM
RE: John V. Compton
Mike, thank you and your son so much for all of your efforts. I really appreciate it!
Added by Linda on Feb 08, 2015 9:52 AM
Kitty Walker Lennard
Duplicate Cemetery
I noticed that We have a duplicate cemetery now for Plum Springs and it is in Calhoun Co.

It would be impossible to try to merge the cemeteries and put all graves in proper place. So I thought I would take a stab at getting folks to transfer the memorial's to correct cemeteries and them maybe get out the duplicates and get the extra cemetery deleted.

I believe this memorial is down the road from the Church and should be in the # 2 Cemetery

# 116922851 - A. Maxwell Dulaney

Added by Kitty Walker Lennard on Jan 21, 2015 3:32 AM
Faded Genes
You are so right. Eliza Boteler Philpott was born in 1821. Col Thomas McElderry and Eliza Boteler married in 1822. The other one that we could not read may possible be his wife. I think I have made the corrections, if not let me know. Somewhere I remember a Philpott Family Bible. Do you have a copy?
Added by Faded Genes on Jan 17, 2015 10:52 PM
RE: John V. Compton
Hi Mike,

Following up to see if you had any luck finding John V. Compton's marker? The weather hasn't been particularly cooperative.

Best regards,
Doleen Wilbur
Added by Linda on Jan 03, 2015 2:34 PM
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