Out With the Old, In With the New

In May of 2012 I started a blog that I titled: The Aroma of Bread. A Place for our family to gather and share memories of Marie’s kitchen. It began with scanning recipes from the cookbooks that we found in the utility room cupboards. Cookbooks falling apart, but many pages where we found handwritten notes about whether a recipe was “good” or where she was going when she made the dish. It didn’t really take off, so I stopped after a while. Now I would like to delete that blog, but will archive the posts. 

Archived post from “The Aroma of Bread,” first published 13 February 2016.

1942 – Outside the Fassbender home in Hollandtown

Marie met Butch when she was just 19 years of age, and as her brother states, she was in her “hyper faze.”

My in-laws met in June 1941 at the wedding of Butch’s brother, Hubert (Cub), to Dolores Wenzel. It was a small ceremony, taking place in the pastor’s chambers. Butch was standing up for Cub, and as a long time friend of Dolores, Marie had been asked to stand up as Dolore’s witness. The two girls had become friends when Dolore’s father worked as a hired hand on the Campbell farm, and the Wenzel family lived in a small house located on an edge of the Campbell farm. Marie agreed to be Dolore’s attendant, never imagining that her life was about to change.

Following the marriage of Cub and Dolores, the two couples remained friends. When Butch and Marie married in 1946, Dolores attended Marie as a bridesmaid, and Cub was a groomsman. It was into their home in Dundas, that the newly wed Butch and Marie moved, while their own home was being constructed in Hollandtown.

But about Butch and Marie. Shortly after they met, they started dating, and Marie loved to tell this story about herself from that period in time. Although she had met and was dating Butch, she was keeping her options open, and continued dating other men, specifically a

Couple unidentified, but a great shot from the drive of the farm, and both the front and side porch. Notice how close the porches are to each other.

man named Bill. On one particular day, she was visiting with Bill in the living room at the farm. They were having a great time, and Marie lost trackof the time, almost forgetting that Butch would soon be arriving to pick her up for an evening out. That is until she heard his car pull into the yard. As he headed to the front door, Marie began rushing Bill out the side door – or vice versa, I never thought to ask. Her father, Walter, met Butch at the door, stalled him a bit so that Bill was out of the house, and Marie could catch her breath, then let him in.

The next day, Walter sat Marie down and said that enough was enough, she had to make a choice, as he was not going to go through all that drama again. She made her choice, and for the next five years she and Butch dated, getting married at St. Mary’s in Hilbert on May 7, 1946. They would have celebrated 70 years of marriage this year!

Marie’s Chicken Dumpling Soup

from Wende

Chicken Broth

* 1 cup up fryer chicken

* Celery, cut into chunks for broth

* Salt and pepper

* Carrots

* Celery for soup

* Noodles, cooked

Put chicken in a pot with just enough water to cover it. add the celery and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Remove chicken from broth and cool. When cool, bone the chicken, and skim the fat off of the broth. Season the broth with salt and pepper, or Nature’s Seasons. Add carrots and celery to the broth, cook for five minutes, keeping the broth at a low boil.

Dumplings

* 5 eggs

* 3/4 tsp salt

* 2 cups flour

Mix all ingredients. Using a spoon, drop by small spoon full the dumplings into the low boiling broth. Cover the pot, cook the dumplings for 15 minutes ( do not take the cover off the pot).

After the dumplings have cooked, add the chicken and cooked noodles to the pot. Cook for 5 more minutes before serving.

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Company C, 10th Infantry, Wisconsin State Guard

As I continue to go through files, I continue to be surprised by what I am finding hiding inside of them. Interesting things, printed in the early days of information being uploaded to the internet. My recent find was a printout stating that my great-grandfather had, at the age of 40, enlisted in the newly formed Wisconsin State Guard on August 23, 1917.  

After a little bit of internet and newspaper searching, I learned that on July 9, 1917, an announcement was made in Madison, that a state guard would be formed to take the place of the Wisconsin National Guard which would leave the state in August of 1917. This new guard would be comprised of men too old or too young for the WWI Draft. It did not exempt the men from the draft once they became of age, or the draft reached out to men age 31 to 45, which it did with the third draft registration, on September 12, 1918. ((“Wisconsin’s Military History,” database, Wisconsin State Guard (www.b-1-105-us/history/wsg/htm\#tables : accessed 10 Feb 2018).))  Lewis H. Cook, County Clerk of Marathon County appeared that day at the local draft board in the 1st Ward of the city of Wausau, to register for the draft. He was noted to be of Medium height, Medium build, with blue eyes and light hair. 

The new organization was to serve as a Home Guard Unit, and would be called upon in emergencies such as floods, large conflagrations, riots, etc. or whenever the police force of the community needed to keep order, or to meet a situation. ((“Wisconsin Guard Is Formed Here,” Wausau Daily Record-Herald, 24 Aug 1917, Friday Evening, p. 1, col. 3, digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 10 Feb 2018).))

By this time Wausau had already organized. Following the declaration of war with Germany on April 6, 1917, the men of Wausau came together and organized as the Citizens’ Training camp of Wausau. The purpose was to drill “young men who might be eligible as soldiers of the U.S. army, to foster patriotism and to do police duty if any emergency demanded.” A petition was created and circulated on April 9th, just three days after the declaration of war. It was “quietly signed in two days.” The following Sunday they met, elected a board of governors, and the Citzens’ Training Camp “soon came into being.” “We were a motley array of citizens that met for the first drills, and we knew little about drill work. But all were fired with a zeal to be of service in any small way, that might help our country to bring to a successful issue the mighty tragedy into which we had all been thrown.” “Out of the 293 that have entered the ranks, eighty-one enlisted in the regular army.” Many immediately being “taken from the ranks to become corporals and sergeants as soon as it was learned that they had had military training.” The men of the Citizens’ Training Camp ranged in age from nineteen to fifty-five years of age, and they drilled nights and Sundays. ((“Company C Club To Meet Yearly,” Wausau Daily Record-Herald,  20 Apr 1920, Tuesday, p. 1, col. 7, digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 14 Feb 2018).))

Lewis Cook, 1918 Camp Douglas ~ No. 168 in the Cook Photo Book

On August 23, 1917, when Colonel H. M. Seaman, inspector general of the Wisconsin State Guard, arrived in Wausau, enough men from this original training camp enlisted in the new guard to form Company C, 10th Infantry. The Wausau company was the 5th in the state following Milwaukee, Green Bay, Stevens Point and North Milwaukee. ((Wisconsin Guard is Formed Here,”)) Fifty-two men signed the role that night, ((“Short News Items,” Wausau Daily Record-Herald, 27 Aug 1917, Friday Evening, p. 1, col. 3, digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 10 Feb 2018).)) and formed a line to respond to roll call. The roll call for forty-six of the fifty-two men were listed in the Wausau Daily Record-Herald published August 24, 1917, ((“Wisconsin Guard is Formed Here”)) but unfortunately my great-grandfather’s name was not one of the forty-six. The full roster was published by the coordinator of the Marathon County Rootsweb site, but as of today, Rootsweb is down so I cannot access the information that I printed September 13, 2006.  The names included on the webpage were compiled from the actual service records for the 10th Separate Company, Company C, 10th Wisconsin State Guard. These papers (at least at that time) were located at the Marathon County Historical Society. The entry for my great-grandfather states:

Name: Cook, Lewis H. ~ Born: Gravesville, Calumet County, WI, ~ Age at enlistment: 40y 9m ~ Date of Enlistment: 8/23/17 ~ Married ~ Occupation: County Clerk. ((“Marathon County State Guard WWI,” (www.rootsweb.com/~wimarath/10thstateguard.htm : accessed 13 Sep 2006).))

Unlike any other state guard, the companies of Wisconsin were trained, and equipped by the state, rather than rely on the War Department for the donation of surplus equipment. The companies were paid an allowance for Armory rent, and an allowance for the upkeep of clothing and for general expense. They were issued uniforms that were different in appearance than those worn by the Wisconsin National Guard and the United States Army. The men were armed with arms issued to the State by the War Department, specifically for this purpose. ((Wisconsin. Adjutant General’s Office, Biennial Report of the Adjutant General, State of Wisconsin (University of Minnesota, 1910, digital images, Google Books (www.books.google.com, digitized 29 Mar 2011 : accessed 13 Feb 2018).))

It was determined that all guards attend a week long training camp the summer of 1918. The Wisconsin State Guards met at Camp Douglas, Juneau County, for week long camps during the weeks between July 6 to August 2, 1918. It was a strenuous week of exercises for the infantry field camp. The Wausau guard, part of the Tenth Regiment, with headquarters in Eau Claire, and which included the guards of Wausau, Superior, Menomonie, Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls, Ladysmith, Neillsville, Mauston and LaCrosse, attended camp during the week of July 27. The schedule for each day kept the guard busy from 6:00 a.m. with First Call, till Taps at 10:30 p.m. Each regiment was required to do guard duty, and spend one morning on the rifle range. ((“Solid Week of Military Life,” Wausau Daily Record-Herald, 25 Jun 1918, Tuesday Evening, p. 1, col. 5, digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 12 Feb 2018).)) The members of Company C, First Battalion, and the Tenth Infantry band arrived home in Wausau on August 2, 1918, riding the 4:45 p.m. Northwestern train. They then marched to their quarters at the Y.M.C.A. where they disbanded. The band went on to their headquarters at the Armory, where they also disbanded.

The Wausau guard was honored with a historic guard mount that reads: “Special orders, No. 6, General King, Wisconsin’s foremost soldier, has been pleased to make the following memorandum in a note to the commanding officer, which is published for the information of  all concerned: Company C at guard mounting eight a.m. scored next to perfect. It was the finest performance clear through to the posting of the first relief I have ever seen on these grounds. So far as I can recollect and I can recollect pretty well My yearly book will show. The words of commendation from the general are the highest compliment a company can receive. The splendid exhibition was made possible by the earnest hard work done by Captain Becker and C company at the home station and in this camp. No further comment is necessary. By order of Col. Cousins.” Governor E. L. Phillip had this to say about the men of the Wisconsin State Guard at the conclusion of the camps: “These men are not toy soldiers. They come from the rank of the busy men and come here for military training and have made good use of every minute during their stay. There probably is no better training ground than Camp Douglas, dry and healthful, splendid water, in fact just the place to give men real pep.” ((“Band and Guards Come Home Today.” Wausau Daily Record-Herald, 2 Aug 1918, Friday Evening, p. 1, col. 7, digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 13 Feb 2018).))

A second camp was held the following year, again in July. Company C maintained its position as one of the leading companies of the regiment during this second week of hard work, and hard play. 

The Wisconsin State Guard as a whole was called out 3 times. The first was September 16-18, 1918 in Clark County to assist in the search for draft dodgers. (Look for the next post for details about the search for the draft dodgers). The second time was August 20-24, 1919 as guards during the Cudahy riots. The final time they were called was September 9-12, 1919 when troops were assembled in the armory at Manitowoc as strike riots at Two Rivers started to escalate, but they were not used. 

On July 11, 1919, it was reported that Governor E. L. Philipp had ordered for the reorganization of the Wisconsin National Guard. Included in the order was the offer to “Every officer of Wisconsin state guard who passes the examination required by the national defense act and will take the oath of service prescribed by the act, will, on approval by the war department, be also commissioned in Wisconsin National guard reserve.” ((“Issues Orders for Re-Organization,” Wausau Daily Record-Herald, 11 Jul 1919, Friday Evening, p. 1, col. 1, digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 13 Feb 2018).))

In March 1920 the order was given for Company C, Wisconsin State Guard to be mustered out of service. The company commanders were directed to issue honorable discharges to all men of their commands. The order stated: “The state military authorities desire to express appreciation of the loyal, patriotic and efficient service rendered by the officers and enlisted men of the Wisconsin State Guard during the period of emergency.” ((“Company C to be Mustered Out,” Wausau Daily Record-Herald, 10 Mar 1920, Wednesday, p. 1, col. 6, digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 14 Feb 2018).))

On the night of April 19, 1920, the men of the Citizens’ Training Camp, and later the Wisconsin State Guard, gathered for a celebratory dinner, to reminisce, and to honor the work that they had done. Following the suggestion to meet occasionally, it was decided to meet annually as the Company C Club. A. P. Woodson stated that “he had formed many friendships as a member of the unit that he would not have made otherwise.”

Henry C. Smith, made the closing remarks: “The life of Company C draws on to its close. If we have helped in any little way and in a workmanlike manner the duties that have been assigned us, we have been fully recompensed. Let us cherish the memories of these three years we have had together, and resolve to profit by the discipline we have received during these dark days of the world’s most tragic period.”

“At the close of the singing of ‘America’ the party ended and the members of the company departed.” ((Company C Club to Meet Yearly))

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Riverside Cemetery

“Beautiful Riverside! Silent city of the dead wrapped in the somber mantel of dreamy autumn, how sweet seems the slumber of those dear to our hearts who now live but in our memories, and rest enshrinek in those boundaries. In straying through its silent pathways, stopping here and there to study the name, date of birth and death of someone, who in years past bustled near us on the busy mart of life, what sermon these slabs preach to us, on the uselessness of much we crave for, or the blindness that hides from our vision so much that we should see in order to reach this final goal where life casts aside the burdens of its toil,” October 8, 1891. ((“Beautiful Riverside,” (Appleton) Appleton Weekly Post, 8 Oct 1891, Thursday, p. 1, col. 4))

I love newspapers. What I love about newspapers is the stories that I find. Not only as they pertain to my family, but to the communities in which they lived. I am in the process of taking my research paperless. Anything that is easily replaced or available online is being digitally attached to my Legacy Family Tree database. In my purge, I have re-discovered two articles that were editorials aimed at the trustees of Riverside Cemetery. The cemetery is located in Appleton, Outagamie, Wisconsin.

Here is a brief glimpse of the history of Riverside Cemetery. The cemetery was founded in 1870 by Joseph E. Harriman, but it wasn’t until 1872 that the Appleton Cemetery Association was formed to take charge and make it a reality. The need for a new cemetery was great, as the original city cemetery founded in 1850 was located in downtown Appleton, sat on poor soil, and allowed no room for expansion. This cemetery was located on what is now known as the Post-Crescent block. In those days Franklin Street was known as Fisk Street, and Washington Street was known as Edwards, but the block is still recognizable.

Appleton City Cemetery

The land today

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On August 24, 1872, the new Cemetery Association took charge of the twenty acres of land on the Fox River that had been set aside for a new cemetery. (see the deed from Volume 30, page 171 at Family Search. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-95N6-9VZZ?i=181&wc=M6LQ-SM9%3A43295501%2C44209601&cc=1463639.) On November 25, 1872, Rev. T. W. Orbison, a pioneer and Methodist minister, was the first to be interred. In 1877 a Greenhouse was constructed on cemetery property, and in 1905 was moved into a new building across the street. The location was later known as Riverside Florist, which closed in 2015.

In October 1891, there was more on the mind of the Appleton Weekly Post’s editor, E. P. Humphrey, than the beautiful grounds of the cemetery. While he had been ‘rambling through our beautiful city of the dead,” “admiring its sylvan beauty,” it “occurred” to him that there was an important piece that was missing from the cemetery, “a vault capable of offering accommodation for the temporary keeping of the dead.” He felt that this was much needed as a “place to hold the dead while it was impossible to excavate a grave in the middle of winter, or if the family wished to wait till family living far away could return home.” Or in “instances when doubt is entertained as to whether life is really extinct in persons we regard as dead. What a boon to place such in a vault until the living are absolutely positive that their loved ones are not interred alive.” He goes on to tell this story, which I feel is what touched his heart, and was the reason for writing this editorial: “But a short time ago it happened that a child in this city died of diphtheria at 11 o’clock in the morning and at 2 o’clock the same day that child was buried. No matter how contagious a disease may be, there is not a mother on the face of the earth but would object to such heartless, inhuman proceedings. It is against human nature, and could have been avoided if there had been a vault to receive the body of that mother’s darling and the funeral taken place, as is the custom, three days after death.” While he implored, “have the trustees of the Riverside Cemetery Association ever thought of this matter? Is it not about time some thing in this line was undertaken?” it was not until 1910 that the large stone entrance to the cemetery was constructed. The entrance includes a chapel, office space and winter storage for bodies, from the time when it was impossible to excavate a gravesite in winter. ((“Beautiful Riverside, p. 1, col. 4))

A year later,  on September 10, 1892, one of the Ryan brothers, James or Samuel, editors and proprietors of The Crescent, was enjoying a walk through the cemetery, and felt compelled to write an editorial about what he had experienced. He reported that “the walks and drives are free from every thing that would be unpleasant, the grass is clean shaven and the trees and shrubs neatly trimmed, the mounds of flowers look beautiful, and the graves kept in good condition.” In the north part of the cemetery “tile under-draining” had been installed, thus allowing for “many new and cheaper lots” to be sold at prices ranging from $25 to $35. The greenhouse that had been erected in 1877 was yielding a “handsome income.” His one complaint, and the reason for the editorial, was to ask the common council to “contract with the Riverside board of trustees to remove all the remains from the old cemetery, and get rid of that blot upon the fair fame of this city.”He concluded his editorial with this statement, “All the people will rejoice over its accomplishment.” ((“Riverside Cemetery,” (Appleton) The Crescent, 10 Sep 1892, p. 2, col. 3)) According to the History page of the cemetery, www.riversidecemeteryappleton.com, all of the bodies from the original city cemetery were to have been moved by 1884, but unfortunately bones were still being discovered as late as the 1930s.

Riverside Cemetery has grown to nearly ninety acres of beautiful landscape overlooking the Fox River. It not only shelters our city’s dead, but has always been a welcome place for a Sunday stroll. The large trees have been labeled, and on any given day, you can find students wandering the paths, looking for leaves to finish a school or scout project.

When we visit, we start at the large stone entrance, and make our way east along the river, strolling past a Cook cousin, Leslie Lloyd and his wife, Winnefred Cook. Then we follow the path north to the main lane and into St. Joseph Cemetery, where many family members are buried. St. Joseph Cemetery was founded in 1878, and has 25 acres of developed land, and 12 acres of undeveloped land. With over 127 acres of shaded paths overlooking the river to meander through, it is the perfect place to spend an afternoon. Among “those dear to our hearts who now live but in our memories, and rest enshrinek in those boundaries.”

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A Lasting Impression

A few weeks ago Gary went on a lead for bathroom remodel. As they were reviewing the potential client’s needs and wants, and chatting a bit, Gary learned that she had worked at Rennes Health & Rehab Center here in Appleton. He mentioned that his father had been at Rennes after his stroke, and she replied “Butch?”

On December 30, 1998, Butch suffered a debilitating stroke, he was 86 years old. Upon leaving the hospital, he was moved to Rennes with the hope that with some rehab, he would regain his strength, some use of the left side of his body, and hopefully be able to speak again. Sadly, this hope was not meant to be, and he would live his remaining days at Rennes. He passed away Thursday, October 16, 2003.

One of the effects of the stroke was that he was unable to swallow well enough to get the nutrition he needed to live. We could offer him small tastes of some of his favorite foods, but not too much, or he would choke. Because of this, he relied on a feeding tube for his daily nutrition.

The feeding tube required regular maintenance to keep it clean, and it was this task that our potential client was in the process of completing, when the planes struck the World Trade Towers the morning of September 11, 2001. She told Gary, that just as people remember where they were when Kennedy was shot, she will always remember that she was with Butch that morning of the attack on our country.

She went on to say how much she enjoyed spending time with him, and how the staff loved to see the enduring love that he had for his wife, Marie, and she for him.

Living in a nursing home is never easy. Knowing that your loved one can never come home is not easy. But it is nice to know that even after 15 years, your family is remembered with fondness, and has made a lasting impression on those who worked at Rennes in the years 1999-2003.

 

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The Smell of Baked Goods

In May of 2012 I started a blog that I titled: The Aroma of Bread. A Place for our family to gather and share memories of Marie’s kitchen. It began with scanning recipes from the cookbooks that we found in the utility room cupboards. Cookbooks falling apart, but many pages where we found handwritten notes about whether a recipe was “good” or where she was going when she made the dish. It didn’t really take off, so I stopped after a while. Now I would like to delete that blog, but will archive the posts. 

Today as we mark the sixth anniversary of the day after her passing, this post came to mind. So I will start here. 

Archived post from “The Aroma of Bread,” first published Saturday, 16 Jun 2012.

Time is moving so quickly. Here it is another Saturday, another weekend. A moment when life can slow  down a bit, and we can think about a leisurely breakfast as opposed to a quick bowl of cereal as everyone runs out the door. Or maybe a special dessert to serve at dinner.  

It has been almost a month since our family gathered to honor Marie with an “Irish Wake,” and it was five months yesterday since her passing. Time passing.

Marie was known for her baked goods. I mean, she was KNOWN for her baked goods. People looked for her donations at church functions and funeral lunches. A testament to this, is a photo we found. It was taken by the Van Abels in March 1977 when Helen Baumann died. Baked goods, so prized that they found time to take a photo of them. 

My strongest memory of her baked goods occurred the day after she passed away. Gary was already down in the kitchen making coffee when I headed down the stairs. I was almost to the landing when the most amazing aroma came wafting out of the kitchen – sweet rolls! As I hit the landing and turned to go down into the kitchen, I said to Gary, “I smell baked goods!” Gary looked at me in amazement, and said, “You smell it too!!?” We took that as a sign that Marie was home, and as we later joked with the cousins, baking for her first Newcomers Meeting.

What is your favorite memory of the wonderful baked goods that came out of her kitchen? We would love for you to share your story.

 

“made for Rolf Funeral” ~ “very good”

Marie’s interpretation of doubling this recipe

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The Tapper Monument

It has been many years since I last had the opportunity to stop at Hammond, Lake County, Indiana to visit the graves of my grandparents and great-grandparents. In fact, the last time was in 1999, and on our way home, Mom and I stopped in Tomah, Wisconsin to pick up our new miniature schnauzer puppy, Gretchen. Today in 2017, as we drove home from moving our son to Rhode Island, my husband and I did not have the luxury of time to stop as we drove by the exit, as we had to get home in order to pick up our 4 month old miniature schnauzer puppy, Lizzy, from where she was being boarded during the move.

My great-grandparents are buried in Oak Hill Cemetery. In 1909 Anton Tapper placed a large, well massive, granite monument in the cemetery, the TAPPER monument. This monument, reported to be the largest monument in Oak Hill Cemetery at the time, weighs 17 tons, stands over 8 feet tall, and sits on a base that is 8 X 5’6.” Cut by the Rossi & Casellini Company of Barre, Vermont, it was delivered and placed by the Ernst Wunderlich Granite Co., of Joliet, Illinois. It was “put in position without damage to a single shrub in the cemetery.” ((“Among the Dealers, Trade Changes and Work Being Done. Joliet, Ill,” The Reporter, August 1909, 9, p378 pdf; digital images, Google, Google Books (books.google.com : accessed 2 Jun 2012).)) Anton was reported to have paid $1,500 for the stone to be cut and placed. ((”The Rounder Says,” The Hammond Times, 12 Aug 1908, Wednesday, p. 2, col. 5-6; digital images, NewspaperARCHIVE (www.newspaperarchive.com : accessed 26 Feb 2016).)) I find it interesting that the stone was described as being “a plain monument,” but even more interesting, was the statement that “in the lot will be placed several concrete receptacles for the bodies which will repose there in the future.” “When the coffin is placed in these receptacles they will be hermetically sealed with concrete several inches thick so that the bodies could only be removed by blasting away at the concrete.” ((Ibid.)) I wonder what his reasoning was for this? Grave robbers?

According to records at the cemetery, Anton purchased 14 grave sites, with the monument covering three of them. I am not sure when he purchased the plot, but the cemetery records show that six graves have been filled: Gretje Tapper, his mother; Lois Tapper, his daughter who was born pre-mature at 6 months, and living just one day; his wife, Louise Tapper; his grandson, stillborn child of his daughter Alice; and himself. There is one remaining grave that is occupied, but not noted as to who is buried there. Two people come to mind as to who it might be, and obviously further research needs to be done. It could be his step-father, Edzard Heinrich Tapper, who died 22 Dec 1881, or it could be his brother, Folkert Tapper who passed away 18 May 1888. The cemetery was established in 1885, so Folkert would be a likely candidate. So we circle back to the question of when the plot was purchased, and by whom. It is likely that a couple of lots were purchased by Gretje when Folkert died, but at this point it is only speculation.

When Anton designed the monument, he chose very specific images. There has been much written about the symbolism of carvings on a tombstone, gravestone or monument. While I am sure that many choose what symbols to decorate these eternal stones from the standard catalogue and meaning, I believe that these symbols can also have a different, or secondary meaning.

  • Included on the stone are these images:
    An Anchor, traditionally a symbol of hope, or eternal life. I love the idea that early christians used it as a disguised cross.
  • A Cross, traditionally a symbol of faith and eternity.
    Alternately: A Cross and Anchor, which refers to Christ as “hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sincere and steadfast.” (Hebrews 6:19). ((http://www.memorials.com/Headstones-Symbolism-information.php : accessed 19 Mar 2017.))
  • A Column traditionally symbolizes the noble life of the head of the family.
  • Ivy, traditionally a symbol of eternal life.
  • Ferns, traditionally a symbol of humility and sincerity.
  • A Lily traditionally symbolizes purity or resurrection. In this case the flower is below the leaves, it could represent a broken flower, meaning pre-mature death.

Putting myself in my great-grandfather’s shoes, I believe that he took all of this into consideration, but also looked at it from a slightly different angle.

  • The Anchor and Cross. Anton was the son of a sea captain, his father having died at sea when he was just two years old. He lost his brother when he was six, and his younger brother died either on the voyage to America, or shortly after landing. I wrote about this in my blog post titled “Strength at Christmas.” His only remaining brother, Folkert, died at the age of 21 in 1888. The anchor and cross, symbols of hope, faith, eternal life, and a symbol of his father, the captain of the Three Sisters.
  • The Column. The noble life of the head of the family – his mother. A strong and determined woman, who did all she could to create a good life for her family.
  • Ivy and Ferns. Again hope for eternal life, with humility and sincerity.
  • A broken lily. Pre-mature death. He certainly experienced enough pre-mature death.

The reason for his choices have been lost in time, but the monument stands, tall and solid. A testament to the strength and endurance of this pioneer family of Hammond, Indiana.

 

 

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