haysrose2.jpg (5815 bytes)           

 

Echoes of Sorrow:
Inscriptions from the Cemeteries of Old St. Stephens

hays_f1.jpg (5815 bytes)
 

Here is a collection of inscriptions from cemeteries within the boundaries of St. Stephens Historical Park. These inscriptions are touching tributes preserved on stone by the families of men and women, many of whom died in the blossom of youth. The inscriptions provide an intimate glimpse into the lives of inhabitants of the town of Old St. Stephens. 

Every effort has been made to reproduce the inscriptions faithfully, including the original spelling and format.

 

S.T. Brown places this monument over the
grave of her whose virtues whilst she lived,
brought to him the truest happiness and whose
death has left a melancholy void in his bosom,
that Earth can never again fill.

In life thou were fairest and fondest to me
In death my lone heart shall be buried with thee.

IN MEMORY OF
MRS. CAROLINE MEDORA
wife of
SAMUEL THOMPSON BROWN
and daughter of the
HON. WILLIAM CRAWFORD, ST. STEPHENS ALA.
BORN APRIL 20TH 1823
DIED APRIL 29, 1841

Rest, fair one, Rest. Thy pang of death is past-
Unknown inall, save it is the last:
Thy infant slumbers on thy heaveless breast-
Rest, Mother-Infant-Blissful spirits, rest.

Thou art gone, but we will remember thee:
Morning shall tell us of thy purity and brightness, and
Evening breathe into our hearts the music of thy voice:
Thou art gone, but we will not forget thee: thy gay and
Artless innocence may cheer us no more but the memory
of thy virtue shall remain graven on our hearts forever:
This marble may not tell how devoted thou were to thy
Husband, how dutiful to thy Parents, how affectionate
To thy Friends: but all who knew thee, loved thee, and
The Tears of the stranger fell on thy grave.

This is possibly the most remarkable of all the memorials in Old St. Stephens. This inscription was taken from the large obelisk in the center of the Crawford Family Cemetery. It is located near the entrance of the St. Stephens Historical Park, and may be visited.

shays4.jpg (24582 bytes)

A memorial in the Hays Family Cemetery.

Here lies the Body of
SARAH MARIA HAYS
Wife of
Henry H.B. Hays
Daughter of
Coln George Fisher
She died on 16th of April 1818
Aged 19 Years 8 Months and 11 Days
In the same grave is deposited the body of
an Infant Son who was born and died
on [illegible] of April of the same Year
This monument is erected by a disconsolate
Husband as a testimony of his love for
the best of wives and whose memory
will be always dear to him
Requiescant in pace
["Rest in peace"]

 

 

The remaining stones shown on this page are found in the Old St. Stephens Cemetery, on a hill not far from the town. These inscriptions come from the five remaining markers. There are also many unmarked grave depressions, and several collapsed brick and stone vaults.

 

Sacred to
The
Memory
~of~
MARTHA ROBESON
Wife of
JOHN ROBESON
Who Departed this Life
December 10th 1817
AGED 28 YEARS

Happy are they who Privileged by Fate
Short of [illegible] & Light of Weight
Receiv'd Yesterday the gift of breath
& ordered tomorrow to return to Death

grave-robeson2.jpg (43503 bytes)

 

grave-mayhew.jpg (33941 bytes)

 

SACRED
To
the Memory of
DAVIS H. MAYHEW
(a native of Massachusetts:)
Who departed this life,
on the seventh day of
September 1822, in the 40th
year of his age.

CORNELIUS M. VAN PATTEN
BORN
in Schenectady County, New York,
March 7th 1814;
DIED
in St Stephens, Alabama
Jan. 15th 1840.
THIS MONUMENT
is erected to his memory by his
surviving BROTHER

We were two who hand in hand
Were strangers journeying in the Land
Though parted now we'll meet again
Far from this world of care and pain
In that pure region of the soul
Where the shining planets roll
Far from this dark...
[at this point
the inscription becomes illegible.]

 

grave-vanpatten.jpg (34817 bytes)

grave-dougherty.jpg (25870 bytes)

 

 

Sacred
To the memory of
Dr MIDDLETON DOUGHERTY,
of Charlotte N.C.
who died July 16th 1835,
while on a visit to Alabama

He was skilful as a physician,
exemplary as a Christian
and beloved as a man.

SACRED
to the memory of
GEORGE RASER
born in Philadelphia 7th April 1801
died at St. Stephens Alabama 8th
August 1829 aged 25 Years
and 4 Months

grave-raser1.JPG (38381 bytes)

 

For more information, please visit The Malone-Sartin Family Genealogy site, which also records the inscriptions found on the gravestones in the Old St. Stephens Cemetery under their Cemetery Listings Page, and contains even more information about the Old St. Stephens Cemetery. It also lists other cemeteries in Texas and Louisiana. A valuable resource for genealogists and historians.

 

 

 

For information concerning park hours, prices, and availability please contact sshc@alabama.gov
The Old St. Stephens website was created and is maintained by Sarah Mattics
Copyright © 2007 by the St. Stephens Historical Commission.
We welcome your comments.

haysrose3.jpg (5876 bytes)

haysrose4.jpg (5814 bytes)