Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Finding Eli's Grave

Here is a funny story about our quest to find the headstone of my great great grandfather, Eli C Ownby. We knew the stone exists because we had seen photos of it and we knew where it was but we couldn't find it. And here is the rest of the story (along with an album of the headstone repair)
In the summer of 2000, during a heat wave of 110+ and one of the worst draughts in Texas history, (and for you non Texans, THAT'S BAD). I decided to find my great-great-grandfather's grave. Eli Craig Ownby was buried in 1892 at Pilot Grove Cemetery, which is only about 15 miles from my home. My husband, Darrell, grew up even closer to the cemetery and "knew" all about it.
One hot August afternoon we took a ride over there and started walking the stones. We found Eli’s daughter Elizabeth Nancy Taylor's, grave but couldn't find his. I had a picture of the grave stone which was about 5 foot tall taken around 1980 when another researcher was visiting from Tennessee We walked the cemetery twice and couldn't find it. Finally Darrell said, "Maybe it's really at Cannon" (about 3 miles down the road). So we drove to Cannon Cemetery.
Walked it twice and couldn't find it. I was determined.......I knew it existed, just where? We went back to Pilot Grove, Darrell laughed and pointed to a little used side road (one he had used for "Parking" back in the olden days) and said "Maybe he's buried in the Black Cemetery". I said "no, he's buried here".....sooooooooooo....we walked that sucker again.
By now we were both sun burned and almost dehydrated and very smelly. Finally on the verge of tears with frustration, I told him "Let's try the Black section". (Remember....this is 1892 Reconstruction Texas terminology we are referring to). We went down the hill and there is this beautiful cemetery with tall massive headstones. We start walking the rows and I found 3 Ownby's immediately but no Eli. I even found (lying on the ground) Eli's wife Nancy Carol Winstead Ownby. I kept saying over and over "he's got to be here".
Remember it is 110 in the shade but I'm determined. I was saddened by the fact that Nancy Carol was lying in the dirt and also confused, because she had died in 1861 during the Civil War in TN. The family moved to TX in 1881. Why was she buried in TX. Did they dig her up and move her bones or something? We kept walking and looking and finally, out of desperation, (because he was hot and tired and thirsty) Darrell reached down and flipped (that's an understatement) Nancy's stone over and guess what?
There was Eli Craig lying face down in the dirt. It bothered me for nearly a year and Darrell and our son, Stuart, planned to go over there and fix the stone but weather wouldn't cooperate, so, in May of 2001, we went and dug a hole and poured concrete for a pad. We let the concrete set up and went back 3 days later and set the stone upright and glued the pieces with epoxy so that finally Eli and Nancy can get up out of the dirt and stand proudly as they deserve to.
I later found out that when Nancy died during the war (another story another time) she was buried in an unmarked grave on the family farm so, when Eli died here in Texas, his children had a stone erected with her memorial written on the opposing face of her husband, who never remarried.
We never solved the mystery of why Darrell had been told that this was the "Black Cemetery", when actually it was just the "Old Pilot Grove Cemetery". Now that we have the stone erect again you can read the inscriptions.
Nancy's inscription reads,
"Dearest loved one we have laid thee in the peaceful graves embrace,
But thy memory will be cherished til we see thy Heavenly face".
Eli's inscription reads,
"Tis hard to break the tender cord when Love has bound the heart,
Tis hard, so hard, to speak the words, Must we forever part".

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I LOVE the 1930's  The fashions were so soft and feminine.  I always think of Myrna Loy in the Thin Man

or Jean Harlow in Hold Our Man with Clark Gable

Now you can re-create these wonderful feminine fashions for yourself.

Browse my Pinterest Board for lots of examples of 1930's fashions  

Sunday, July 22, 2012

John Thomas Hudson shuffled off this mortal coil in Fannin County, Texas leaving a widow and five children.  The family couldn't afford a marble stone so a rough piece of cement with his name and dates was placed on his grave at Belmont Cemetery just south of Ector, Texas.

The stone states simply J T Hudson Born Jan 8 1851 Died Apr 7 1916

We have been there several times in the past 20 years and were glad to find the stone and always intended to have a more permanent marker made.  Through the years we've taken several of JT's grandchildren and great-grand children to see his burial spot.

As you can see the grass and grounds were manageable.  Although not golf course manicured they were acceptable for a small country cemetery.

Imagine our surprise this morning when we went to place the new marble marker and found this:

Not only could we not find my great-grandfathers modest stone, but several of the larger ones were covered in rough growth and the entire cemetery cant' be navigated to do a thorough search. 

THIS is a total shame and no reason for it to be this way.  I don't know who is in authority over the cemetery or even who owns the land.  But am on a search to find out.  I certainly don't mind helping with a general clean up and I know there are others in the Grayson-Fannin area who would be willing.

So come on folks......  There is no excuse for neglecting this beautiful old cemetery.  Let's have a little respect for our ancestors.

UPDATE:   Feb 2013 .....   Winter has killed the grass so we went back today to find the original stone and set the new one.  SUCCESS!!!

We were able to find the stone and as we dug around it we also discovered an added line scratched into the bottom of the stone, "In God We Trust".

We straightened the stone and used the new granite stone to prop it so perhaps the cattle grazing in the spring will not do more damage than is already done.

 Born Jan 8 1851 Died Apr 7 1916

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Boho Faux Fur Shawl to keep you warm this winter

 I know that I blogged this luscious shawl when I had it listed, but it's been a couple of years ago and I can't find it now.  Soooooooo  I really think it bears repeating, since I have found the crochet pattern to make this lovely.  That was the question I received numerous times while I had it listed, and before it went to a new and loving home.

Shaggy Faux Fur Shawl to Crochet

As you can see, the one I had wasn't quite as shaggy and fluffy as the one in the photo, but that is due to the type yarn that was used.  I do believe that the maker can do what they wish and have it extremely full or less so.

1971 Revisited The Hippie Peasant Dress

When I found this pattern in my stash the other day it brought back so many memories......   The summer and fall of 1971.  I had this dress and wore it to death....literally, until it was a rag.  

It was so comfortable and appropriate to wear anywhere at anytime of the day. 



This was another favorite of mine that year.  Both the long and short version.  Perfect as a cover up for the pool or beach or to wear anywhere.

Simplicity 9415 Super Jiffy Wrap Dress

As a matter of fact I think I just might need to make both of these to wear next summer.  Think I can pull it off again?  LOL