Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Alpheus Smith in Medfield MA

Alpheus B. Smith (1802-1940) was one of my 3rd-great-grandfathers. I believe that his gravestone stands in Vine Lake Cemetery near the center of Medfield, and is probably next to or near that of his wife, Elizabeth (Dill) Smith. I received this photograph from a friend in the early 1990's (thank you, Linda T!):

The stone has an interesting symbol on the top - it looks like the back of a head, but it probably symbolizes something I'm unaware of. The text reads:

B. Smith
who died
Jan. 12, 1840:
aged 37 years.

Farewell my wife & children too,
I can no longer stay with you:
My portion in heaven I wish to share,
Prepare for death & meet me there.

B. Smith was born 19 May 1802 in Medfield, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, the son of Aaron and Mercy (Plimpton) Smith. He married Elizabeth Horton Dill on 30 November 1826 in Dedham MA. As far as I can tell, Alpheus lived his entire life in Medfield, Norfolk County, Massachusetts. Alpheus and Elizabeth (Dill) Smith had two children - Lucretia Townsend Smith (1828-1884), who married Isaac Seaver in 1851; James Alpheus Smith (1833-????), whom I cannot find after the 1850 census.

I do not know what Alpheus Smith's middle initial - B. - stands for.

There are a number of photographs of tombstones standing in Vine Lake Cemetery in Medfield at http://www.gravematter.com/cem-ma-medfield.asp, courtesy of Bill Boyington.


Cindy said...

The symbol almost looks like it has a baboons face features carved just to the right and below the center. Otherwise, I'd say it looks like large mounds of hay.

brian said...

It's a willow tree with an urn- it's actually a pretty standard feature of early New England gravestones.

Midge Frazel said...

I agree with Brian, it is a weeping willow bending over an urn. That means mourning.