Casefile Clues

17 September 2007

How Long Does a $50 Tombstone Last?



This entry is from the estate settlement of Mimke Habben, indicating his tombstone cost the estate $50.00. The burial was in 1877 and based upon the estate records, it seems reasonable that the stone was erected within a year or so after his death in Prairie Township, Hancock County, Illinois on 11 February 1877.

Habben was buried in the Barnes Cemetery, Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois. This small cemetery hasn't had a burial in decades and is located south of the much larger (and still used) Moss Ridge Cemetery. I was there on Sunday and had not seen the stone in over ten years. It was a good thing I transcribed the stone years ago when I first learned of its existence.

The inscription was very weathered and the stone had fallen off its mounting. It was laying right next to the mounting. The stone of Habben's wife Antje (who died in 1900) had met a similar fate. It too was resting next the mounting.

Transcribe those stones before it is too late. No source lasts forever.