Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Eva Leona Waynick's tombstone

This is the principal stone marking Eva Leona Waynick's grave

I can't tell you much about little Leona. Her death escaped the attention of newspaper editors whose issues survived until 2005, so there is no obituary. Because she is buried alone, it seems likely that her parents moved on. Even the inscription on her tombstone is so badly eroded it's almost impossible for a casual visitor to read it. I'll rely on the inscription as recorded by Lucas County Genealogical Society volunteers prior to publication of their 1981 "Lucas County, Iowa, Cemetery Records." According to that volume, the inscription reads: "Eva Leona, Daughter of G.C. & M.A. Waynick, Born May 5, 1876, Died Feb. 11, 1880."

This smaller stone is located at the base of the larger stone.

The mortality schedule attached to the 1880 federal census of Lucas County States only that Eva died of scarlet fever, but does not identify her parents.

Her tombstones tell us, however, that she was a much-loved little girl and that her loss was profoundly felt. The main stone is another example of sculpted marble, a tiny relative of the maiden atop the B.F. Bates tombstone, mentioned earlier, and from the same era. It is located on the north side of the drive leading straight west from the Chariton Cemetery's main entrance, about three quarters of the way to the west end. The once-sparkling white marble, however, has turned gray as 125 years have passed, and so it's easy to overlook.

I do not know where Eva Leona fits into the larger Waynick family, one of Lucas County's oldest. I'm not related to the family, and so have never really bothered to sort it out. Wyatt Waynick and his brother, D.W., arrived out in Cedar Township, out near where Bethel Church and Cemetery now are located, during May of 1848, and other Waynicks came soon thereafter, all settling in the immediate vicinity of Chariton. Most of them are buried in Waynick Cemetery (also known as Holmes), southeast of Chariton, but there also are quite a number of family members in the Chariton Cemetery. So presumably these were little Leona's relatives.

One touching thing about this little stone: For so long as I've been looking at it, someone has always kept a small bouquet of flowers in the crook of sculpted child's arm. I have no idea who, but it's nice that Leona hasn't been forgotten.

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