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mike reeves (#47684672)
 member for 2 years, 8 months, 23 days
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Bio Photo My family interests are in the Reeves of Newton County, Mississippi, and Joneses of Elmore County, Alabama. "This do in remembrance..." of them in a biblical sense, if you will.

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 1831 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. Dr. Edward Gantt purchased the Sylacauga quarry subsequently named after him from John Herd in 1845. H. P. Oden & Co. were successors to the Herd business in Winterboro in 1855, following the death of the eldest Herd, George. An "A. Herd & Bros." bill from 1855 reflects the cost of a 6 1/2' by 3' 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 would be approximately $1,560 in today's dollars.

African American marble headstones from the late Victorian era are seldom seen, approximately a dozen at the two oldest public cemeteries, Oakhill and Westview, in Talladega. From 1914 until 1930 marble headstones were provided, after payment of an annual tax, to members of the Mosaic Templars of America (MTA) of Little Rock, Arkansas. Many of these MTA members, formed in local groups or "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 bas-relief upon the upper face of the stones. The staffs represent the biblical exodus led by Moses and Aaron, with "3V's" for the Latin phrase of " 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 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 of symbolic axes, mallets, and wedges is carved onto the stone trees. Scrolls are depicted, as well as " 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 1865. 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 Cemetery. Fieldstone and flagstone markers, some with etched names, are in rural and urban plots. Cast cement slabs and headstones, ersatz marble when whitewashed, have been commonly used since the early 20th Century.

Cenotaphs are memorials placed in honor of deceased who lie elsewhere, which include some Veterans Administration (VA) headstones. J. Wellington Vandiver published an open letter in The Birmingham News in 1925 describing "burial pits arranged in rows" visible at Ft. Williams on the Coosa River, a decade after Lay Dam was constructed downstream. An inscribed marble boulder and VA headstones for over seventy Tennessee Volunteers slain during the Creek Indian War of 1813-1814 were placed at the site during 1933-1937. "Fascinating Talladega County", by Rev. Randolph F. Blackford, and some newspaper articles over the next seventy years reported the actual burials were covered in backwaters of the dam. The site was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks in 1976. However, the cemetery was said be an "eyesore" and devoid of any graves by developers in 2006. Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) assessment of the site followed by hand and backhoe trenching failed to disclose any human remains. Developers then moved the monument and stones to a memorial park and improved the site with lakeside estates on Lay Lake.

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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Messages left for mike reeves (121)[Leave Message]
Townsend-McClellan Cemetery
Mike can you tell me anything about this cemetery in Talladega, Alabama? There are 6 internments of which 5 are my descendants. The email for the person who created the memorials is no longer valid so I am turning to you for a little history since there are no headstones.

Added by WILLIAM W ROBERTS on Sep 17, 2014 6:20 AM
RE: Homer Aston Carmack
Thanks Mike - I'll keep searching for Irene.
Added by *SWM* on Sep 07, 2014 11:30 AM
Homer Aston Carmack
Hi Mike,
Just have a question for you. The Homer Aston Carmack buried in Montgomery Memorial Cemetery. Is he the same Homer A. Carmack who first married Irene Preddy February 25,1912 in Lee County, Alabama? I'm trying to research Irene. If you can help me out with any info that would be great. Sheila
Added by *SWM* on Sep 06, 2014 5:27 PM
Dominique Potier
RE: Elroy Geter
Thanks Mike ;-)

Hope to see you one day on Toccoa ;-)

Added by Dominique Potier on Sep 01, 2014 12:36 AM
Dominique Potier
RE: Elroy Geter
Hi Mike,
I didn't see the airborne patche ... Pfc Geter was at the 551PIB my favorite Outfit ... I suppose he was transfered to the 501PIR after the Bulge where the 551PIB was annihilated .
You are an Airborne !!! like ma in the Belgium Army . I drive WW2 US vétérans through Belguim and Normandy . Next october I'm taking part wiith the 505RCT and 508PIR reunion in Dallas TX .
Added by Dominique Potier on Aug 28, 2014 10:25 AM
Dominique Potier
Elroy Geter
Thanks for your picture, unfortunately I can't tell if he was a 101st airborne during the WW2 . I'm pretty certain he is the hero I look after , same name, same Birth year, same state ... If one day you find his obit could you contact me ?


Added by Dominique Potier on Aug 27, 2014 12:27 AM
Kim Johnston
Talladega County McElderry Family
Hi Mike,
I would love to talk to you for my upcoming book on Talladega County. I'm hoping to include the story of the McElderry family but would like to know other interesting stories from the area that you've come across. I am also interested in your pictures. From what I've been told, the McElderry place is covered by brush/trees these days. If you can help, email me at Thank you!
Added by Kim Johnston on Aug 26, 2014 9:25 AM
RE: John V. Compton
Hi Mike,

Just wanted to let you know that John V. Compton's wife, Jane H. Compton, and at least one of their children, Martha, is buried in the Seay Family Cemetery, which I think is also in Ironaton. I don't know if they are close in proximity or if this helps at all.

Added by Anonymous on Aug 24, 2014 10:28 AM
RE: John V. Compton
Mike, thank you so much! I don't travel much any more and you are truly a blessing. I look forward to hearing from you.

Doleen Wilbur
Added by Anonymous on Aug 21, 2014 1:44 PM
John V. Compton
Mike, thank you so much for the directions to my great grandfather's grave! I wish I knew what the "V" stood for :)

Many thanks!!

Doleen Wilbur
Added by Anonymous on Aug 21, 2014 12:19 PM
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