Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mystery Solved!

     In our last blog visit to the cemetery, we were pondering whether Elizabeth Israel's husband was ever laid to rest beside her or if he had been interred away from his beloved wife.

     I am happy to report that I received a reply to my question from a genealogist whose husband is related to the Israel couple. 

     She shared that they had been told that Alexander died while visiting his sister in St. Louis, but that they had discovered a receipt for his burial next to Elizabeth. The receipt had the payments broken into monthly payments, so it may be assumed that the engraving was too expensive for the family to undertake at the time.

     I am so grateful to know that the couple is together. I don't know about you, but these situations can make me grieve a bit for those involved, even if they are no relation to me. Yes, people interred in cemeteries are "real" people who led very real lives. I would rather find out about them than read a fictional account of someone who never actually existed.

     I've added Alexander's name and information to the Findagrave database for anyone who has the same question in the future.

     I was also glad to be able to share a bit of fun information about Alexander with our informant, as well. Although her family knew that he had a registered patent for a washing machine, they had not yet seen a picture of it. Here it is:

     Alexander was quite ingenious, and surely his blacksmithing skills came into play with the design. 
The description of the machine is in Alexanders own words, so it gives an insight into his engineering skills.
     "…the clothes are thoroughly washed or scoured and boiled at the same time. The clothes are thoroughly cleaned without danger of injuring or tearing the same, and the machine is adapted for washing the finest fabrics - lace curtains and the like. The water is kept constantly boiling by the heater and s continuously circulated throughout he revolving drum an brought into contact with the clothes contained therein. The clothes are constantly carried upward and dripped by means of the radially-disposed ribs and are at the same time subjected to the scoring or rubbing action of the rotary washboard."

     It actually sound quite like our washing machines today!

     Thanks to Jan for solving our mystery.


  1. What a shame he did not try to produce that. There would have been plenty enough money to finish that headstone. You's situations like this that I wished I had a few thousand to throw away. I would have the other side engraved, but in the same font to match her's.

  2. Agreed, Sussie. If only I had unlimited funds...