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mike reeves (#47684672)
 member for 2 years, 8 months, 1 day
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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, less than ten 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 stone. The staffs represent 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 stones were discontinued in 1930 due to having become cost prohibitive. These monuments, also seen with stacked cut logs, have the WOW logo with symbolic axes, scrolls on a rope, decorative ivy and flowers, 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 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 describing "burial pits arranged in rows" visible at Ft. Williams on the Coosa River in 1925, a decade after Lay Dam was constructed downstream. An inscribed marble boulder and VA headstones for over seventy slain Tennessee Volunteers 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 electing "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 (118)[Leave Message]
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
Tom Glowacki
RE: Bradley's
I do the same thing where I lvie
Added by Tom Glowacki on Aug 26, 2014 5:24 PM
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
Eric Watson
RE: Ft. Williams Military Cemetery
Hi Mike,

I know for certain the current site is very new by comparison. The second site which I photographed was a disaster. People had been shooting at the markers and broken glass was everywhere. The gentleman I talked to had lived in the area his entire life. It appears his parents or grandparents originally owned most of the property in the area. He noticed me walking around within minutes of my arriving at the Third site and was wanting to know why I was there. Very protective of it. The houses were under construction when I first went there. The second time I needed to find the new site. He showed up again very quickly. I think he lives across the street where he can see the newest Third site all the time. Unfortunately I do not remember his name and I live a LONG ways away.

He seemed very knowledgeable of the details of what had happened to the original site. If you look up 390 Polo Ln up on google maps. The picture was taken standing basically in the driveway looking south west toward 102 Polo LN.

The Third Memorial site is now located at 400 Gen. Jackson Memorial Blvd. all in Sylacauga.

The First Cemetery I was told was underwater in the V formed with the Coosa River south of 390 Polo LN.

I was also told there were no bodies found when the cemetery was moved to its current location.

I am not sure any of this really helps you, I hope it does.

Regards, Eric
Added by Eric Watson on Aug 12, 2014 12:25 PM
Eric Watson
RE: Ft. Williams Military Cemetery
Hi Mike,

I do not have a lot information, It took me a while to actually find the site I took pictures of, it is at the end of the road the current site is on. It was the second location for the memorials. The remains were never moved to the second site from the original site. The original site was flooded years ago as part of a flood control project. I got this information from the contractor who was building the new homes. He lives very near the current location for the memorials, across the road away from the lake/river to the north if I remember right.

Regards, Eric
Added by Eric Watson on Aug 12, 2014 9:09 AM
Patricia Williams Curry
Bethlehem Methodist church Cemetery
Thank you so much for the photo of the marker of John W. and Louisa Camp McKibbon. I think pictures make memorials so much nicer as well as adding verification to the location of burial. I appreciate you help and your dedication to those who have gone before us. Pat in Texas
Added by Patricia Williams Curry on Aug 06, 2014 6:59 PM
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