«

»

May 07

Tombstone Tuesday–Catharine and William Fowler

Catharine & William Fowler, Greenbriar Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2013 photo by Karen)

Catharine & William Fowler, Greenbriar Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2013 photo by Karen)

These are the tombstones of Catharine and William Fowler located in row 7, Section 1, Greenbriar Cemetery, Willshire Township, Van Wert County, Ohio. The markers are inscribed:

Catharine
wife of
Wm Fowler
Died
Oct. 26, 1888
Aged
50y, 5m, 21d

William Fowler
Born
Jan. 15,1831
Died
Feb. 24, 1889
Aged
58y, 1m & 9d

 

Greenbriar Cemetery is located at the intersection of Willshire-Ohio City Road and Glenmore Road, Section 13 of Willshire Township, about 3 ½ miles west of Ohio City. There is an old frame church next to the cemetery. And it was in this cemetery that we had an exciting find last week.

Catharine Fowler (1838-1888). (2013 photo by Karen)

Catharine Fowler (1838-1888). (2013 photo by Karen)

William Fowler (1831-1889). (2013 photo by Karen)

William Fowler (1831-1889). (2013 photo by Karen)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

William Fowler married Catharine Stripe on 2 November 1856 in Fairfield County, Ohio. [1]

By 1860 William and Catharine Fowler were living in Pleasant Township, Van Wert County, Ohio. Their household in 1860: William, 30, born in Ohio; Catharine, 22, Ohio; Sarah A., 1/12, Ohio. [2]

The Fowlers still resided in Pleasant Township in 1870. Their household in 1870: William, 35, Ohio, farmer, real estate value $3000, personal property value $500; Catharine, 32, Ohio, keeping house; Sarah A, 10, Ohio; Emma Stripe, 25, Ohio; Charley Moore, 1, Ohio. [3]

The last census enumeration that the Fowlers were recorded in was the 1880 census, Pleasant Township. Their household in 1880: William, 57, Ohio, farmer, father born in England, mother born in Pennsylvania; Catharine, wife, 42, Ohio, keeping house; Sarah, daughter, 21, Ohio, school teacher; Charles Moore, 10, nephew, attends school; William J. Lee, laborer, 24, Indiana, father born in Pennsylvania, mother born in Ohio. [4]  

According to the 1872 map of Van Wert County, W. Fowler owned 80 acres of land in the west half of the southeast quarter of Section 32 in Pleasant Township, Van Wert County. Their farm was at the south end of Pleasant Township and bordered Liberty Township. It was about 4-5 miles from the Greenbriar cemetery and church.

Greenbriar Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2013 photo by Karen)

Greenbriar Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2013 photo by Karen)

Daughter Sarah A. Fowler married the laborer William J. Lee on 15 October 1883 in Van Wert County. [5] Emma Stripe and Charles Moore were living with the Fowlers in 1870. Perhaps Emma Stripe was Catharine’s sister. The 1880 census tells us that Charles Moore was William and Catharine’s nephew.

Marble Photo Cover, Catharine Fowler tombstone.

Marble Photo Cover, Catharine Fowler tombstone.

Catharine Fowler memorial photo.

Catharine Fowler memorial photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Friday was a beautiful spring day so Joe and I decided to spend the day visiting some local cemeteries. We had never visited Greenbriar Cemetery and stopped there to photograph a specific tombstone. Unfortunately the cemetery is in very poor condition with many sinking and broken stones. I found the tombstone I was looking for and as we were walking through the cemetery, looking for unusual markers and inscriptions, Joe noticed something different on the two Fowler markers. On each tombstone was a screw holding a thin flat marble cover/plate and when he slid the cover to the side we saw a memorial photo underneath.

I have seen quite a few modern memorial photos on tombstones but never any old ones, and I have been looking for quite some time. Needless to say, we were thrilled to discover these. Catharine Fowler’s photo is still in good condition but William’s is very faded. We noticed another tombstone at Greenbriar that was broken and laying on the ground. It also had an insert for a photo but unfortunately the photo was gone.

Catharine Fowler memorial photo.

Catharine Fowler memorial photo.

William Fowler memorial photo.

William Fowler memorial photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memorial photos were popular in the late 1800s and have become somewhat popular again. How exciting to find two old tombstones with memorial photos, allowing us to put faces to the names on the markers.

Catharine and William Fowler could never have imagined that 125 years after their deaths their photos would be seen around the world on something called the Internet.

 

[1] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1994,” index and images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 5 May 2013), FHL film 295269, Fairfield Marriages Vol. 2:134, 1851-1868, for marriage of William Fowler and Catharine Stripe.

[2] 1860 U.S. Census, Pleasant, Van Wert, Ohio, p. , line 9, dwelling 294, family 287, William Fowler; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 May 2013); NARA microfilm M653, roll 1045.

[3] 1870 U.S. Census, Pleasant, Van Wert, Ohio, p. 323A, line 7, dwelling 198, family 200, William Fowler; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 May 2013); FHL film 552774, from National Archives microfilm M593, roll 1275.

[4] 1880 U.S. Census, Pleasant, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 149, p. 321B, line 7, dwelling 77, family 90,

William Fowler; digital image by subscription, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 May 2013); FHL film 1255073, from National Archives microfilm T9, roll 1073.

[5] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1994,” index and images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 5 May 2013), FHL film 1015861, Van Wert Marriages Vol. 6:282, 1880-1885, for marriage of William J. Lee and Sarah A. Fowler.

1 comment

  1. Waldo

    Amazing to think about what our death rituals have become. What does a tombstone really mean? What is its intended value? Ironically it would appear to be useful for geneologists, but why did the family put it there. Adding a picture seems to be even more honest about the intent. Why would one put their picture on a tombstone? Granted it is interesting and cute now, but what was the purpose? Do not tombstones and pictures on tombstones (not to mention caskets, vaults and embalming) fly in the face of Christian beliefs? Are we trying to prevent “dust to dust, and ashes to ashes?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>