Monday, February 21, 2011

Walkin' the East Side #2

It's all cemeteries this time.  Photos start after the break:

These are in reverse order, 'cause that's how the computer served 'em up to me.  Not that it actually makes a difference in any way, save for a bit of the lighting.

These first photos are from City Cemetery #3.

This was the largest tombstone in a small family plot.  It was heartbreaking to look at.  There were five graves, apparently all of them siblings.  Miss Cecelia here lived the longest by far, and 32 isn't a long life at all.  The others were Louise, who was four when she died, Filomena, who died at 8 months of age, Julian Bellinger, who was a bit more than a year old, and Joseph Bellinger, who was only 12 days old at the time of his death.  Cecelia wasn't their mother as I had initially assumed; the others were born from 1912 to 1919.  The parents were nowhere to be found, although there was room in the plot.  According to this, she had another four siblings who lived; that same source says she died of a "paralytic stroke".

This is common to all of these cemeteries: the beautiful view of the Tower of the Americas.  This isn't the last sunset photo of it you will see.  It is two or so miles away, with several neighborhoods, an interstate freeway, and a bunch of businesses in between, but it looks just the other side of the fence, doesn't it?

A lot of the older stones have either fallen or been knocked over.  Bobbie pointed these out to me; the deceased were twins.  I can't make out the month Clinton died, but they passed within days or months of each other, at only a few months old.  I can imagine how scared and yet hopeful their parents must have been after the first boy died.

I've never seen  a grave like this before.  It seems as though it belongs on the coast, rather than nowhere near even a river.  I cannot make out the first name, or I'd do a Google search to try to find out who this is.  Note that there's a hole toward the center where something was broken off; possibly a vase but the diameter of it put me in mind of a flagpole instead.

The rest of these photos are from St. Mary's Cemetery.

There actually aren't a whole lot of statues in these cemeteries, though there are a few.  This is one of the nicer ones, the memorial of Fannie and George Burns.  Fannie died at nearly age two in January 1888, and George was born a few months later, in August, but died himself at about 2.5 years old.  The rest of the Burnses seem to have all lived quite some time.

I took this photo because the stone is, rather improbably, standing in spite of being in horrible condition.  These cemeteries are situated in the midst of the poorest side of town, and I reckon that has something to do with it.

This is Lorenzo de Zavala's granddaughter.  (He was the first VP of the Republic of Texas.)  She is known as one of the saviors of the Alamo; according to the historical marker beside her grave, she not only "secured funding from philanthropist Clara Driscoll for the purchase of the [long barracks], but she also barricaded herself inside the military quarters in February of 1907 because she feared the building was to be razed."  (So for those of you outside the city, yes, this means we almost did not maintain that building for which we are best known; although the long barracks isn't the chapel we all know as the Alamo, it is part of the site which may be visited.)

It's Mr. Graves's grave.  I am easily amused.

The gorgeous statue at the center of the cemetery.  It's worth noting that although the date on this is 1908, there are graves in the cemetery which are much older.  So either this was originally named something else, or this is merely the date of the statue itself.

Part of what we did on this particular walk (last Thursday) was to look for the graves of some of my kinfolk.  My paternal great-grandparents (along the father's line), the first of the family to come over here from Germany.  Frederick William Geissler, Sr. and his wife.  I know the grave is in one of the cemeteries which front New Braunfels, but I'm not certain which.  In open defiance of how this city markets itself these days, there are enough Germans to fill up two cemeteries (well, not everyone in them is of German extraction, but the bulk certainly are), with spillage into all of the cemeteries in this area.  I saw some Gesslers that day, and earlier today saw some Geisses, but no Geisslers.  I am certain the info is somewhere online, so I'll find it sooner or later.  It's not a family plot by any means; my paternal grandparents are buried in the Sunset cemetery that's over at Eisenhauer & Austin Highway.  And even then it's not a family plot; my aunt Linda, who died as a child, is buried in a different part of the cemetery.  (It's one with an area set aside specifically for small dead children; none of these I've walked lately have been set up that way.)


suz said...

Somewhere in Minnesota, there's a cemetery with a "Graves" family marker facing the road...

Great photos, and interesting commentary.

AlanDP said...

My paternal great-grandmother is buried in the country cemetery of Marcelina (near Floresville), but no one is exactly sure where anymore. Back when she was buried, they didn't keep maps of the plots, and she never had a heavy stone marker. When my dad was a kid, a tornado ripped through there and destroyed/misplaced many of the markers. He showed me roughly the place where he remembered it, but he was only 5 or so the last time he saw it, so he's not exactly sure.

Somehow her husband ended up being buried in Gonzales.