|Joel Covington, Sr|
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|Photo caption: "MR. AND MRS. COVINGTON VISITING THEIR OWN GRAVES."|
"DUG COMFORTABLE GRAVES FOR WIFE AND HIMSELF
"Then Joel Covington Laid Down and Tried It and Built Headstones for Both—Found No Hard Luck in It."
"CLIO, S. C., June 2.—In the presence of bystanders at the recent completion of his tomb, Joel Covington, aged farmer, lay down at full length in the grave he had built and found it comfortable. His wife's grave adjoining was not tried in that fashion.
"At a public dedication there were eulogies of the couple by prominent citizens and a few simple exercises. When he was 68 Mr. Covington first decided that he wanted to be buried the way he is going to be. he and his wife have their burial clothes ready also. Here is what he says about his tomb:—
"By Joel Covington.
"'Hebron cemetery is a beautiful place to look upon by the passerby, but the cemetery is very level with no outlet for rain water to pass off. Therefore, many are sleeping there in a watery grave. From my youth I have been blessed with a good feather bed to rest on from the hardship of farm life. Therefore I did not feel that my wife and I should be buried any way after our years of hard work. Therefore, about ten years ago I dug out a place large enough to fix water tight with good brick, with a wall about 18 inches thick between the two graves, and ordered marble slabs to cover the same with our names on them.
"'When I was commencing to dig our graves, bystanders begged me not to. Their excuse was that I would soon die. But the reverse has happened. They have been dead many years and I am still living, and having a good time listening to good speeches made at my tomb.
"'I am in my 76th year and my wife in her 68th year, and we look to having many a good time yet before the marble slabs are slipped aside for our interment.'"
"Dug Comfortable Graves for Wife and Himself; Then Joel Covington Laid Down and Tried It and Built Headstones for Both—Found No hard Luck in It." Syracuse Journal. June 2, 1906: 10 cols 5-7.
Thanks to Tom Tryniski of fultonhistory.com for scanning so many newspapers and rendering them searchable for free!
Perhaps some other newspaper might have a better-resolution image of the photo, or some newspaper morgue might have an original print or negative ("morgue" is the term for newspapers' own archives, appropriately enough).
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