Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Tree Shaped Tombstones - Father and Sister

- Note: One of my rules of thumb is that you never find just one of these "Tree Shaped Tombstones in a cemetery.  There are always at least a couple.  But on a fall road trip I ran across a bunch of exceptions to this rule.  Here is "One Off Week".

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Mineral Point Wisconsin is a great place.  Scenic.  Lots of history.  It was at the center of the early, pre-statehood lead mining rush.  I expected to find tree shaped tombstones a'plenty.  Nope.  The three cemeteries in town have a total of two examples, each - in the theme of the week - standing all alone.  One was pretty standard stuff but the other....

Reverend Francis Weinhart has a rather imposing tombstone.  Nicely done in the "Rugged Cross" format.  Appropriate for a man of the cloth.  Great detail too, look at the nails that hold the cross together.



I had expected that the "book" part of the monument would have a verse from Scripture.  The line up above VIEMENTO is a bit of Latin portmanteau that translates to "remember the life".


Occupational references on tombstones are always nice to find.  They say something about the deceased and also show the degree of creative latitude given to the monument carvers.  Here we have a Communion chalice and wafer.


Francis Xavier Weinhart was of course a Catholic priest.  He came to Mineral Point relatively late, in 1871.  That was when the German speaking members of the Catholic community decided they should have their own parish.  

If Priests were sort of the "rock stars" of the Catholic world, nuns had a different status.  Respected, in the case of school children sometimes even feared.  But they were decidedly less visible.  Here is an understated tombstone I ran across in Portage Wisconsin:



Perhaps the designation SIS could be interpreted variously but the key is in the other part of the inscription.  Fading and partially covered with lichens...In His Holy Name.


2 comments:

nycguy said...

If you look carefully, the inscription is MEMENTO, the imperative of memini to remember, not VIEMENTO. It makes more sense that way too.

Tim Wolter said...

Ah. Thank you.

Odd that actually making my list of regrets from a much younger phase of life is that I decided not to take Latin in High School.

TW