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mike reeves (#47684672)
 member for 5 years, 4 months, 25 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 descendants of the Blackwoods and Fords 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 "...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 family and 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." invoice 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. 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 the "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 received marble tree stump markers approximately 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 sawn and stacked logs. The WOW logo, ivy, axes, and wedges were carved onto the stone trees. Scrolls with names are often depicted, hung 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 curbing, slabs, and headstones have been used since just prior to 1900. Whitewashing of the cement produced an 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 "Mountain Spring" 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 and trenching failed to disclose bones beneath the stones, which when moved allowed for construction of lakehouses 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 (197)[Leave Message]
Shane
RE: Blackwood Family
I know that part is so Otis and Florence adopted him so basically he would be their son by paperwork
Added by Shane on May 17, 2017 12:16 PM
Shane
Blackwood Family
Why isn't Billy listed with other children of Otis and Florence. Born 1944 Died 2017
Added by Shane on May 14, 2017 2:45 PM
memento mori
re: Gravemarker Photos
Thanks for the excellent gravemarker photos for Clarence Johnson, James Johnson, and Ola (White) Johnson. They provided valuable information.
Added by memento mori on Mar 09, 2017 7:37 PM
Jenifer Huey
Allen Elston 1860 Cemetery
I'm a descendant of Oliver H. Elston through his daughter Mary Alice and John M. Huey. My brother and I will be visiting the Talladega/Eastaboga area in March to look for their gravesites. We'd like to visit this cemetery and house while we are there. Do you have contact info for the current owners and any info about their rules/preferences regarding visitors?

Alice Elston Huey died in 1889 in St. Clair County and John McMurray Huey died in 1900 in Birmingham. Both are supposedly buried in Eastaboga, but I have no idea where. Can you suggest resources? Maybe the Alabama Room at the public library in Anniston or the Geneaology Room at the public library in Talladega? Any information or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
Jenifer Huey
Added by Jenifer Huey on Feb 08, 2017 3:22 PM
S Belyeu
S? Arvie Anderson
I was delighted to see the beautiful photo you took for Arvie Anderson! Thanks for making this available to the public!
Added by S Belyeu on Jan 21, 2017 5:07 PM
Caroline Feist
Thank you
Thank you for letting me know.
Added by Caroline Feist on Jan 17, 2017 9:38 PM
Dolores J. Rush
Battle of Talledega
I found the list online of the fallen: http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cmamcrk4/crkwr4b.html
Added by Dolores J. Rush on Jan 14, 2017 6:04 PM
Rebecca Davis Martin
Memorial transfer request
Hi, Mike,
I would like to manage my Grandfather's sister's memorial so I could add information. Her name is Daisy Newsome McKinney # 101492566.
Thank you,
Rebecca Martin
#4255347
Added by Rebecca Davis Martin on Jan 09, 2017 3:27 PM
Wrong Way Dave
Burgess Cemetery
Mike,
Thanks for the memorial transfers.
David
Added by Wrong Way Dave on Dec 12, 2016 9:12 PM
Dorothy Tuck
RE: Family Photographs
I'm included to say, "yes," I'll manage the sites, Mike. What does managing them entail.
Want to make sure I don't overcommit. Most of
them should be my relatives anyway though.

Dorothy Tuck
Added by Dorothy Tuck on Dec 12, 2016 10:52 AM
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