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mike reeves (#47684672)
 member for 4 years, 11 months, 10 days
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Bio and Links
Bio Photo Ancestral interest in the Reeves and Joneses of Butts and Troup Counties, Georgia, respectively. Progeny also related to the Blackwoods and Fords, lately of Talladega County, Alabama.

Talladega County was formed after the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and Treaty of Cusseta in 1832. Compilers of published county cemetery records, 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 Church 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 (1837-1901) farmers often had 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 researchers who provide reasonable notice to property owners. State law stipulates any person who defaces or removes a gravestone has committed a misdemeanor.

Early headstones of marble, state rock of Alabama, may bear a quarry name such as Herd Brothers and/or Richard Miller, first quarriers in the county. In 1845 Dr. Edward Gantt purchased the Sylacauga quarry subsequently named after him from John Herd. A 4' by 2' block of Gantt Quarry marble, marked "J. M. N. B. Nix & Co., Wetumpka, Ala.", was placed in the Washington Monument in Washington D.C. in 1851. An "A. Herd & Bros." bill from 1855 reflects the cost of a 6 1/2' by 3' marble 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 due within a year. Historian Kenneth M. Stampp recounted the annual wage of textile workers in the South during 1860 to have only been $145. After the death of the eldest Herd brother, George, in 1855 their business in Winterboro went to his partner, H. P. Oden. Captain Henry Oden died at Vicksburg in 1863. Marble markers with quarry marks in the Reconstruction era were few, some "J. A. Bergin, Talladega, Ala." and "J. T. Nix & Co., Hopkinsville, Ky."

African-American headstones from the Victorian era are rarely encountered, less than a dozen at the oldest public cemeteries, Oakhill and Westview, in the city of Talladega. Vermont marble headstones were provided from 1914 thru 1931 to members of the Mosaic Templars of America (MTA), a black fraternal organization with members in half the states of the nation. Many of these MTA members, formed in local "Chambers", had endured slavery and witnessed emancipation. Chamber stones are approximately 27" in height and 16" in width, with a rounded and forward sloping top. "M","T","A" and "3V's", spaced within crossed shepherd staffs and encircled, is cut in relief upon the upper face of the stones. Shepherd staffs symbolized the Exodus out of bondage led by Moses and Aaron, and "3V's" stood 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 marble tree stump markers which were normally 4'-5' in height. Initially free to WOW policy holders, by 1900 a $100 rider was required to cover their expense. These sculpted stones were discontinued during the Great Depression due to their cost. The monuments are also seen with, or as, stacked cut logs. The WOW logo, ivy, and symbolic axes and wedges were carved onto the stone trees. Scrolls with names are often depicted, suspended on ropes or attached to the trees, and "Dum Tacet Clamet"; Though Silent, He Speaks.

Sandstone from local quarries, such as at S. M. Jemison's farm on Kelly Creek, was used for headstones and obelisks from 1845 to 1875. Fieldstone and flagstone markers, some with etched names, are in rural and urban plots. Cast zinc and iron markers were used in the late Victorian era. Cement slabs, headstones, and curbing have been used since about 1900. Whitewashing the cement produced ersatz marble.

Cenotaphs are memorials in honor of deceased who lie elsewhere, such as the fourteen roadside Veterans Affairs (VA) headstones at the Oden-Bledsoe-Kelly plantation house or the seventy-five VA stones at Ft. Williams Military Memorial Park. The April-May 1926 edition of "Arrow Points" noted the chartering of the Fort Williams Memorial Association; "... to do honor to the Tennesseans long buried at old Ft. Williams on the Coosa". That was a dozen years after the construction of Lay Dam downriver of the fort and its "burial pits arranged in rows." An inscribed marble boulder and VA headstones for eighty soldiers were placed at the site during 1932-1937 and, in 1976, it was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks. Nevertheless, in 2006 land developers said the cemetery was devoid of any graves and an "eyesore". Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) scans followed by trenching failed to disclose bones beneath the stones, which were then moved to allow for the construction of private estates with docks on Lay Lake.

Skeletal remains of soldiers do actually lie beneath the "Battle of Talladega" (a.k.a. "Jackson Pyramid") monument at Oak Hill Cemetery. Half the remains of a score of Tennessee volunteers slain were recovered from their burial pit by the Andrew Jackson Chapter of the DAR and reinterred there in 1900. The sixty-four "Unknown Confederate Soldier" VA headstones in two parallel rows at Oak Hill also mark the burial places of soldiers, although they weren't unknown at the time of their deaths. Soldiers who died in the local hospital or conscript camp were buried with wooden markers identifying them, but the grave markers deteriorated in time until those beneath were "Known but to God".

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 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 (182)[Leave Message]
Judy Faye West
Willie Mae Greene
Thank you so much for taking the photo of her grave. She was the wife of a cousin and I am searching for her descendants. Again, thank you from a grateful findagrave fan. Judy
Added by Judy Faye West on Oct 24, 2016 11:04 AM
Patricia Cronin
Green Hills Memorial Gardens
Good morning, Mike, and thank you for the photos of the tombstones of James Barnett Matson and his wife, Gloria Amelia Armbrester, and Joseph Archibald Armbrester, Sr, and his wife, Thelma A Willingham. Really appreciate your help in documenting their dates of birth, death, and final resting place. Pat Cronin
Added by Patricia Cronin on Sep 13, 2016 4:40 AM
Ann Day
RE: Charles Roby
Thank you for your extra effort. We were trying to get a possible DAR member proof for her Roby line.
Added by Ann Day on Aug 26, 2016 2:12 AM
Graham Baker
Thanks for the transfer and for your commitment to others. May the Lord bless you always.

Added by Pam on May 29, 2016 8:17 PM
Clyde Lewis Hay
RE: Wm. & Virgina Matson at Pilgrim Rest Cemetery
I would love to be able to manage their memorials Mike.

Clyde Lewis Hay (#47392000)
Added by Clyde Lewis Hay on Apr 30, 2016 2:59 PM
C Woodcock
Walker Reynolds
I am very interested in the portrait you posted of Major Walker Reynolds. He is my great great grandfather. My family has two other portraits of the Reynolds family, and I believe they were done by the same artist at the same time. Could you tell me more about this portrait?

Added by C Woodcock on Apr 13, 2016 9:44 AM
Rebecca Martin
Sunnyside Cemetery
Hi, Mike,
I have always known the cemetery where my relatives (McElhenney) are buried as the Jemison Cemetery, but could not find it in Find A Grave, so I took it upon myself to document, not only my relatives, but all I could find there. Later, I found the connection to Sunnyside Cemetery as being one in the same. I noted the connection in my Jemison Cemetery heading page so others could go there to find more information that I wasn't able to give. I appreciate the heads up and hope no one is offended at my attempt to add information for others to see.
Sincerely, Rebecca Martin
Added by Rebecca Martin on Apr 12, 2016 2:07 PM
Frances B Maddox
Mary Hendrick
Thank you Mike, I didn't realize there was already a picture until I had sent it.

The Stringer House at 203 Margaret Street was built for Roland Lee Stringer, my grandfather. We sold it to Bliss/Waller and they are only the second owners. I have noticed some pictures of homes on the find a grave site. The other is the McMillan Home on McMillan Street which belonged to James White McMillan and wife, Laura Anne Hendrick, I think they were the second owners. and they were my great grandparents. Mary Lurena McMillan was my grandmother and the only grandparent I knew. I lived in the Stringer home during WW11 with my mother, Frances Louise Stringer Bennett and sister, Margaret Bennett-Cianciola. Talladega and the Ritz Theater where I went many times during my childhood are fond memories of mine along with other people I knew. My dad, Archibald Bennett was in the Army and served overseas and he was in WW1 as he was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1896 and came to America in 1925.
Thanks for all your work and contributions,
Frances Bennett Maddox
Added by Frances B Maddox on Mar 26, 2016 3:08 PM
John & Linda Russell
Mary Russell
To answer your question about the photo for the grave of Mary Russell. My wife and I spent about a week in Alabama (about 25 years ago when we lived in Texas)going to as many cemeteries as we could find in Talladega and Dallas Counties. We used the Upchurch book and one for the Dallas County cemeteries as a guide. We did the best we could at the time but have since found many more family members that we missed. We now live in California and aren't able to travel much. We recently came across some of the photos we took and added them to the Find-A-Grave Memorials.
Regards - John
Added by John & Linda Russell on Mar 16, 2016 4:49 PM
Doni Wright
Edgar Heacock #159032173
Mike, again I wish to thank you not only for the transfers of my Heacock family tree, but for placing them on the internet. I am truly grateful for websites like Find-a-Grave, I joined it early on, and actually would duplicate my efforts of placing my family on-line with multiple websites back then, not knowing which one would survive. Find A Grave has been excellent. If you know of any other Heacocks, please transfer, and I'll find out about them and offer each a history of their lives.

I have transferred Edgar to Riser Family Cemetery as you suggested below. He had been at Mt Zion.

Thanks so much, Doni

I didn't move his memorial to the Riser Family Cemetery before transferring it, but he is indeed interred there-as opposed to " Riser's Chapel Old Cemetery" as the cemetery compilation had him listed.
Added by Doni Wright on Mar 11, 2016 2:06 PM
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