by Curt Kovener
There isn’t anything funny about the cemeteries around Jackson and Scott Counties. At one time though there was prose etched onto tombstones. Today it is a name and a beginning and ending date separated by a dash.
And there is a lot of living represented by that little dash.
But at one time, short poems would capsulize th deceased’s life. And often times their sense of humors remains long after their body had returned to the elements of the earth.
Take as example some of these tombstone epitaphs:
•On the grave in East Dalhousie Cemetery, Nova Scotia:
Here lies Ezekial Aikle
The Good Die Young.
•In a London, England cemetery:
Here lies Ann Mann
Who lived an old maid
But died an old Mann
Dec. 8, 1767
•Playing with names in a Ruidoso, New Mexico cemetery:
Here lies Johnny Yeast
Pardon me for not rising.
A gravestone in a Uniontown, PA cemetery memorialized a car accident:
Here lies the body of Johnathan Blake
Stepped on the gas, Instead of the brake.
•In a Silver City, Nevada cemetery:
Here lies Butch,
We planted him raw.
He was quick on the trigger,
But slow on the draw.
•A lawyer’s epitaph in Engalnd on the tombstone of Sir John Strange:
Here lies an honest lawyer.
And that is Strange.
•Someone was determined to be anonymous in Stoew, Vermont:
I was somebody.
Who, is no business of yours.
•Lester Moore was a Wells Fargo Company station agent in Naco, AZ in the literally wild west days on the 1880s. He’s buried in Boot Hill Cemetery in Tombstone Arizona:
Here lies Lester Moore
He took four slugs from a .44
No Les No More.
•John Penny’s epitaph in the Wimborne, England cemetery:
Friend if cash though are in want of any
Dig 4 feet deep and thou wilt find a Penny.
•In a vemetery is Hartscombe, England:
On the 22nd day of June
Jonathan Fiddle went out of tune.
•Anna Hopewell’s grave in Enosburg Falls, Vermont has an epitaph that sounds like something from a Three Stooges movie:
Here lies the body of our Anna
Done to death by a banana
It wasn’t the fruit that laid her low,
But the skin of the thing that made her go.
•More fun with names with Owen Moore in Battersea Cemetery in London England:
Gone away owin’ more than he could pay.
•On a grave from the 1880’s in Nantucket, Massachusetts:
Under the sod and under the trees
Lies the body of Jonathan Pease.
He is not here, there’s only the pod.
Pease shelled out and went to God.
•The grave of Ellen Shannon in Girard Pennsylvania is almost a consumer tip or vengeance for false advertising:
Here lies Ellen Shannon
Who was fatally burned March 21, 1870 by the explosion of a lamp filled with R.E. Danforth’s Non-Explosive Burning Fluid.