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GRAVESTONE INSCRIPTIONS,

LEE, MASS.

INCLUDING

ALL EXTANT OF THE QUARTER CENTURY

1801—1825.

Carefully Reproduceit.

LEE, MASS.:
PRESS OF THE VALLEY GLEANER,

1901,

?IBRARY

10336.93

US 1882 1.10.15

1903 Briqur Fund

NOTES.

The following printed inscriptions represent the lettering and its arrangement on the gravestones as well as possible with ordinary type. The exact orthography, including carets and letters interlined, and also the raised letters of abbreviations with the marks under them, so much used at that period, are preserved. As the in. scriptions were carefully copied, and after being put in type, were compared with the originals and corrected, their accuracy is assured. Several inscriptions on the plates are not very distinct, owing to the difficulty of obtaining good photographs from the stones. The lower lines on a few of the stones which have been broken and reset are hidden below the surface so that a spade is required to bring them to view.

The town records inform us that the north graveyard was fenced and cared for as early as 1803, and that considerable attention has been paid to it ever since, also that the south graveyard was likewise fenced and cared for at an early date; so it is probable that few, perhaps none of the early gravestones have been lost, although from disintegration by water and frost, especially at their junction with the ground, some may have fallen and become covered with earth or broken to pieces and removed-something most likely to happen to the small and thin stones at childrens' graves.

In the center cemetery there are 186 stones, and in that at South Lee 20, bearing the memorials of 219 persons who died during the first quarter of the last century.

The following, buried here among kindred or friends, were not residents of the town: Mrs. Adah Eells, Mrs Abigail Hamblin, Nathaniel Hanı blin, Jr., Mrs. Betsey Thatcher, Mrs. Lucinda Bill, William Clark Davis, Eliza Judd, Mrs. Anna Prichard, and probably, Margaret Van Deusen. Jonathan Tuttle, whose memorial appears, was doubtless buried at Redfield, N. Y. , where he died.

The death records of the town were not systematically kept by its clerks until 1804, but a very accurate record was kept by Dr. Hyde, pastor of the Congregational Church, during his entire pastorate from June 6, 1792 to the time of his death in 1833. His record gives 413 deaths in town during 1801—1825, of whom 9 were non-residents. To these should be added that of David Blossom, of Lenox, found dead by the roadside in Lee, and of three infants shown by the gravestones, but not recorded, which make a total of 417. The records give also, the names of 7 residents who died out of town; only one of whom-Jonathan Thacher—seems to have been buried here. Dr. Hyde also records the deaths of 4 members of his church who were residents of Lenox, and of a child of a Mr. Hale of Tyringham.

The population of the town was 1267 in 1800; 1395 in 1810, and 1384 in 1820. The average annual mortality of the town during the 25 years under consideration was something less than 12 in the 1000. At that period a large majority of the people living here was of the farmer class.

Strangely enough dates on gravestones are often wrong: as witness those below from the followng inscriptions. In each case the records of the town clerk and Dr. Hyde agree, and are undoubtedly correct.

Date in records.

Date on stone.
Lanson Crocker died Nov. 3, 1808 Nov. 4, 1807
Philander Crocker

Nov, 12, 1818 July 22, 1818
Son of Sylvanus Foot Feb. 25, 1817 Feb. 11. 1817
Relief Hall

Aug. 28, 1804

Aug. 28. 1805
Horace H. Lewis

Dec. 27, 1824 Dec. 27, 1825
Milton B. Nye

Apl. 21, 1815 March 20, 1815
Sarah Smith

March 20,1815 March 19, 1814
Harriet Spencer

Aug. 9, 1816 July 1817

[blocks in formation]

There is a calm for those that weep,
•A rest for weary pilgrims found,
And while the mouldering ashes sleep,
Low in the ground;
The soul of origin divine,
Gods glorious image freed from clay,
In Heavens eternal sphere shall shine,
A star of day.

Sleep on sweet babe & take

thy rest Gol call'd thee home he saw

it beft

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