A Cemetery Paved with Good Intentions

It was a little disconcerting, but I was impressed. While I was photographing headstones for Find A Grave at Riverside Cemetery in Black River Falls Wisconsin, I was being watched. Not from afar, mind you. The same pickup truck meandered through the very sections I was in at least a dozen times in two hours. I didn’t…

We Miss Thee Everywhere

John Gillis’ obituary appeared on page 8 of the Chicago Daily News on March 5, 1892: “GILLIS-JOHN, beloved husband of Adelaide Lee Dunbar Gillis and father of Grace and Sedric Gillis, aged 52 years. Funeral Sunday, March 6, at 2 p.m., from his late residence, 2952 S. Canal-st, by carriages to Oakwoods. We miss thee…

Hexagon Headstone in Wisconsin

This beautiful hexagon headstone is in Forest Hill Cemetery and Mausoleum in Madison Wisconsin. Six members of the extended Whitaker family are interred here. Mary Whitaker Sandford 1910-1952 Bessie Sayles Whitaker 1880-1951 Henry Charles Whitaker 1874-1930 Robert Charles Ellis Sr. 1895-1981 Dorothy Whitaker Ellis 1907-1957 and Henry Whitaker Ellis 1939-1990. All have been memorialized on Find…

A Surplus of Surnames

I’ve been climbing my family tree since the days of writing letters and reading microfiche. And while I’m still interested in dead people, in 2015 I focused less on the ones related to me [1] and more on those buried in various Midwest cemeteries [2]. Which means my ancestors have been gathering dust. Well not them exactly, but the files…