Newspaper Article

Nov. 12, 1903 Page 7

The Center Grave Yard

This grave-yard is located five miles northeast of the city of Cambridge, on the Steubenville grade road.

At this season of the year when the dust has subsided there is no more beautiful drive then from the city to the now almost abandoned town of Centerville, which is about a mile beyond the grave-yard.

It has not the postoffice name of Midway which mean between the city and Winchester, an old town of the county, now almost lost in the postoffice name of Winterset, an incongruous name, that is meaningless, winter neither rises nor sets.  winter is the cold season, an arbitrary name the opposite of summer.

If for postal reasons the change must be made, why not have given it some historic name, such as Bratton or Bonnell or Tedrick?

But we have run away from the grave-yard, which is beautifully located on the crown of a hill and on the south side of the grade road.  The old part of the yard was not well laid out in plats and walks yet considering that it was open for the use of everybody for burial purposes, it has been reasonably well kept and with time given to search among its tombstones, with the assistance of some old nearby resident, much interesting history could be written among the old tombs’ history to which this old stanza is applicable:

“Hark! from the tombs, a doleful sound,

Mine cars, attend the cry:

Ye living men, come view the ground

Where you must shortly lie.”

As we passed through it we noticed many beautiful and costly monuments and many old tombstones of the style of the years of the past.  We were impressed as we passed the grave of a lately interred child.  The grave had been carefully raked and dressed, and around it were placed open mussel shells, emblematic of the broken shell beneath.

We found among the tombs the names and ages of the pioneers of that section.  There were the two Stout Pattersons, Daniel Jonathan and James Patterson, all having lived past the allotted time of three score and ten.  We found also the Hill families, old and young, the early Baptists connected with the old log church.

There also in a plat were most of the family of Daniel Ferbrache, a pioneer at Cambridge in 1806.  His remains rest there.  His wife, Judith Sarchet, rests by the side of her brother, Thomas Sarchet, in the old Cambridge grave-yard.  There is a stone marking the graves of John S. Ferbrache and wives.  He was born in 1804, died in 1887, and also one to William Walters and wife, Nancy Ferbrache Walters.  He was born in 1808, she is 1809.  There is also a stone at the grave of Elizabeth Underhill Forbrache, wife of Jacob N. Ferbrache. He is buried in the South cemetery of Cambridge. A stone marks the grave of Thomas Ferbrache. There is a beautiful stone erected to the memory of James Ferbrache. He was a babe in his mother’s arms in 1806, when the first Guernsey settlers left their native isle to settle in the wilderness at Cambridge. He died aged eighty-nine years, and had the distinction of being the first baby at Cambridge. The stone also marks his two deceases wives, Casandra and Mahalah Shrivers: Casandra born in 1808, died in 1838; Mahalah born in 1818, died in 1848, both being at death aged 30 years. On the stone is also inscribed the name of Elizabeth Hopper, born in 1824. She is his present widow. A space is loft to inscribe the year of her death.

A stone marks the grave of Eliza Hutchison Black, aged 75 years. She was the mother of C. N. Black and wife of Joseph Black, Esq.  He is buried in the old Cambridge grave-yard.  There is a large plot of the family of Thomas Stewart, aged 74, and wife Elizabeth, aged 43, and stones also mark the graves of seven children. A beautiful stone marks the grave of the late Thomas McKahan, Esq., who was a prominent member of the Center Baptist church.

There is a monument to William Bonnell, a costly stone to John A. Johnson. William Eagleton has created a beautiful stone to the memory of his wife, Elizabeth Eagleton, on which is inscribed William Eagleton, born 1824, died ____, space for year of death.  He has also erected a stone in memory of Jane Walter, aged 74 years   She was an orphan, raised by his mother and lived with her until her death, and afterward lived with him until her death.  This act of Esquire Eagleton is a very commendable one. It breathes out the true brotherly love and affection for one not a relative, but who for long years was one of the family. There are also stones marking the graves of Esquire Calvert, James McDowell and many others.

Near the entrance to the grave-yard are stones to Elder Hugh Broom, Sen., and Ellen, his wife, and one to John Reed and Ellen Broom, his wife.  Elder Hugh Broom was one of the pioneer Baptist ministers, and through his labors a Baptist church of hewn logs, primitive of its day and the graveyard were established, opposite the church which was on the north side of the road,  This old Church served its day and generation, and was used both by Baptist and Methodists. The second, the present church, is located in the graveyard, on the south side of the road, and is a monument to his spreading the gospel. With his own hands he laid the foundation stones and as he worked he could sing:

“Behold! the surc foundation stone,

Which God in Zion lays;

To build our heavenly hopes upon,

And His eternal praise.

The foolish builders, scribes and priests

Reject it with dismain.

Yet on this rock, the church shall rest.

And envy rage in vain.”

A few years ago had any person in life erected a tombstone to his own memory, with name and date of birth, with a space left on which to inscribe year of death, he would have been declared demented. At this day it is very common. Why should not a person prepare a monument for himself before his death, as well as to prepare an autobiography of his life?

What is needed at most of the graveyards is a record of those buried in them. Monuments and tombstones tell who are interred beneath, but hundreds rest in the silent grave and no one knows the place of their sepnicher.  To the writer a graveyard is not a repulsive place, a place to be shunned and to be visited only when called to follow a relative or friend to their last resting place after life’s fitful fever is over; but to the thoughtful mind the monuments, tombstones and unmarked graves bring back memories of the past and in thought the life acts of those at rest pass before us and we live again in the realms of the past and commune again with the unseen.

And above all comes the important thought, “Shall these dry bones live again?”  The stones show us the “gates ajar,” the index finger pointing to the gate, and we think “death reigned from Adam to Moses:” but John saw a new heaven and a new earth where there is to be no more death, nor sorrow nor sighing. It is entered only through tribulation and being washed.                “S,”