Friday, February 13, 2009

Salem Cemetery update, dumpster-diving, etc.


I've added content to Lot No. 40, occupied by Elisabeth (Ross) Hickerson, members of the Noah Roberts family and perhaps an unnamed Hawk infant over at the Salem Cemetery site (which links out of the sidebar at left). Elisabeth is one of the few at Salem whose reason for being there I can't figure out (yet). She was 40 and single, living with her parents, when she married a younger (by a good many years) coal miner named John W. "Jack" Hickerson in 1881 and they seem always to have lived in Chariton until her death in 1899. These were poor people in monetary terms, so it is a sign I suspect of Jack's affection for her that she has such a nice tombstone.

Jack, who sustained serious injuries during 1901 and 1902 in the mines out north of Chariton, entered a disastrous second marriage to a woman some 30 years his junior in 1904, divorced her for desertion in 1909 and then vanishes from the Lucas County record --- but he apparently is not buried at Salem. The only possibility I can think of so far is that Jack may have purchased the Salem lot when his father-in-law, Joseph Ross, died at 77 in 1887 at the Lucas County Poor Farm. A note in the poor farm records states that Joseph was "buried by his children," rather than in the poor farm cemetery, but doesn't say where. Now I've got to go take a look again and see if there's room for additional graves on one or the other side of Elisabeth, which initially I didn't think there was. The Ross family was living outside of Chariton in Lincoln Township, perhaps not far from Salem, when the 1880 census was taken.

There also are additional photos on the Marcus L. Evans lot (No. 30) and the Daniel Ragsdale lot (No. 31). Plus it's finally occurred to me that I should link directly from names in the index to the lots where these people are buried --- a time-consuming and continuing project.

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On the up side of getting ready to move and having plenty of time to do it is the fact items you've misplaced surface as you gradually sift and sort. Yesterday, my Fire-baptized Holiness Association file surfaced and so now I can write about it with notes at hand.

As unlikely as it sounds, a major U.S. pentecostal denomination --- the denomination that produced Oral Roberts --- traces its origin to camp meetings held early in the 20th Century at Olmitz out in Pleasant Township. This was the original Olmitz, by the way, located some distance north of Zion Cemetery; not the "new" and later Olmitz, the legendary mining camp a couple of miles south down in the valley.

The difficulty is the fact I'm not very solidly based in pentecostal theology and quite frankly am struggling with the Wesleyan view of sanctification and the pentecostal concept built upon it of a third "gift," baptism by the Holy Spirit that was experienced as fire (as well as speaking in tongues and other manifestations of pentecostal fervor). But I'm working on it --- not baptism by fire but understanding what it was about.

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The down side to disposing of mountains of paper is that here in Mason City much of it must be shredded before it hits the dumpster that serves this apartment building because the dumpsters along our alley are patroled regularly and nothing goes to waste. Garbage bags are slit open (primarily in a search for recyclable cans) and potentially useful items taken away.

I disposed of what once had been a useful plaid shirt jacket the other day --- but the zipper had broken and it was too old and worn to justify repair. When I drove down the alley about an hour later, one of the dumpster-divers had removed it from its bag, held it up for examination from all angles, then put it in his own garbage bag and carried it away.

A bulky floor fan with little or no thrift shop appeal placed in the dumpster Wednesday was gone by the end of the day.

I don't mind the dumpster-divers --- nearly all of them look as if they need whatever they can find. If it were just a hobby, fine and welcome to it. But the thought that there are folks who need to do this to survive in this still-affluent although somewhat beleaguered state of ours, is disconcerting.

1 comment:

Ed Abbey said...

Back in my college days, we lived above some dumpster divers and more than once, I would see things that I had thrown away in the backseat of their car. I was happy for things to be recycled but it made me careful about what I threw away.