This doesn’t belong to one of my ancestors but I wanted to share it with you all. I ran across Catherine Amos’ grave while searching the Walnut Grove Cemetery for a tombstone to fulfill a Find-A-Grave photo request. I was struck by it’s beauty and sadness.
Evidently, the stone was chosen with love. What looks to be a bouquet tied with ribbon is engraved in the top. It’s surrounded by perrennial flowers and a tree is growing next to it. There is a footstone (not pictured) that says Mother. Someone tended this grave for a long time. It now appears neglected to a degree.
Where is the person that lovingly cared for this grave? Have they passed on? Does someone tend their grave with the same diligence?
I decided to do a bit of research just to see if I could find any information with only a name and dates of birth and death. My first resource was the Madison County Cemeteries Volume III, published by the Madison County Genealogical & Historical Society. “She was the 1st person in this cemetery to be embalmed.” Wow!
The book references the 1910 United States Federal Census, Valley, Madison, AR in which she was living with her daughter Katrina and son-in-law Eugene Martin. I found that census and it also includes 15 year old Clark Martin. After searching for the latter three’s burials, I found only Clark (Martin, Clark Ira). He died in June of 1910 after “jumping from a moving train.” His grave is unmarked but the book refers to his obituary which was published several times:
“Ira Martin, a 15 yr old boy living near Crosses, this county, in jumping from a moving train at the above named place last Sunday, fell or was knocked under the cars and instantly killed, his head being mashed to a pulp and his body horribly mutilated. It appears that he had boarded the train while the crew were setting cars on the side track and jumped off, landing on his feet with one hand holding the car behind and rolled under the train with the above results. The boy’s father was drowned in White River near Thompson a few years ago by a boat capsizing and Ira lived with his mother and stepfather. This accident is a sad warning to boys who practice boarding moving trains.”
An additional note states “he was living with foster parents Eugene & Katrina “Kitty” AMOS Martin at the time of the accident.”
With a bit more research I located Catherine Amos in the 1880 and 1900 Census; she resided in Missouri with her husband Charles. Apparently, after Charles’ death she moved to Arkansas to live with her daughter Katrina. Did Katrina care for her grave? Where are Katrina and her husband buried?
It’s not as if I don’t have mysteries of my own ancestors to unravel but this lonely looking grave piqued my curiosity and I couldn’t resist.