Category: St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery (Spring Hill)

  • Blendinger Monument, Spring Hill Cemetery

    Hope holds her ever-present anchor and points upward. The statue is only fairly good, but the Gothic base is really splendid, wealthy in well-harmonized detail.

    The Blendingers had five children who died before their parents, the oldest one at ten or eleven.

  • Christian Zies Monument, Spring Hill Cemetery

    A fairly lavish monument for a German hilltop cemetery. The style could be described as Victorian Corinthian. Christian Zies died in 1874, and that may be about the date of this monument; but it could also be a bit later.

    Satanists (which is to say drunken giggling teenagers) have vandalized this and a few other monuments in the cemetery, but the stone will long outlast their paint, which is wearing off.

  • Flügel Monument, Spring Hill Cemetery

    An exceptionally beautiful barefoot mourner decorates this fine German monument. The inscriptions are damaged, but enough remains to give a probable  date of 1874 and the names of the husband and wife: Heinrich Flügel and Anna Maria Engels Flügel.

    Would-be Satanists have vandalized some of the monuments in this cemetery, but the paint wears off soon enough.

  • Katherina Rentzel Tombstone, Spring Hill Cemetery

    There are some splendid examples of German vernacular stonecutting in the Spring Hill Cemetery, and this stone from 1881 is certainly one of them. It was cut in 1881, when it would have been almost impossible to find a tombstone of this sort in English that did not come from a factory.

  • Prell Monument, Spring Hill Cemetery

    Monuments have stories to tell; sometimes they gossip, and sometimes they proclaim the achievements of the deceased. Every once in a while the story is unbearably sad. Here, on this unusually splendid zinc shaft, is one of those stories.

    Edward and Elizabetha Prell had a daughter Sophia, whom they must have loved very much. In 1874, while Elizabetha was well along in her pregnancy with a younger sister for Sophia, the little girl died at the age of five. A month and a half later, the baby was born, and named Sophia again, in honor of her so recently departed sister.

    In 1876, three days before the colossal celebrations that marked the hundredth anniversary of American independence, the second Sophia died, a month shy of two years old.

    A week later, on July 8, Elizabetha died as well. She may have been carried off by the same disease that killed her daughter. Or she may have, as the Victorians would say, died of grief; and who can blame her?

    The monument makes the best possible use of the standard panels in the “white bronze” dealer’s catalogue. What could be better than the image of Christ welcoming the little children? Two angels are also appropriate. And the clasped hands…well, they were in the catalogue, too.

    The statue of Hope (we presume; she has lost her symbolic attribute, probably an anchor) bolted to the top of the monument seems to be of a different material.

    This is actually the first German-language “white bronze” monument old Pa Pitt has run across. The German-speaking population was huge in the late 1800s, so it made good sense for monument-makers to have stock epitaphs in German.