52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks: Tombstone

Exhausted, stumbling, he fell to the ground that November, 1893 day. Passersby carried the ill gentlemen to his home. He was fragile and physically broken from life’s journey. Placed into a sick bed, he spent his final hours with his wife and several of his adult children.He passed into Eternity on Saturday, November 18. His funeral was held that Sunday with many in attendance. Amos Howell Boultinghouse was known in Osborne County, Kansas, as a homesteader, Civil War veteran, and Godly man.

A mere mention of his passing was covered in the weekly edition of the county newspaper. Neither a formal obituary noted his life’s summary, nor a tombstone noted his final resting place. Fifty years would pass before this pioneer, family man, and veteran would be honored with a marker.

When his beloved wife Mary died in 1901, she was buried beside Amos. Side by side, they rested in unmarked graves by the fence of the Bloomington Cemetery. Family members laid flowers on the graves and visited to remember these parents, grandparents, great grandparents. Stories were told and retold about the man who came from Illinois with his French bride all those years ago. Tales were told and retold about courage, resilience, and faith in God. Committed to memory, family noted the spot where Amos and Mary laid.

In 1943, Amos’ son Lafe applied for a tombstone for his father…tombstones were available for military veterans in unmarked graves through the government. The tombstone arrived on the train that passed through the town. Lafe would be responsible for transporting it to the cemetery and installing it.

Now, Amos had a proper resting place that honored his memory and service to the his country.

What about Mary’s memory? Eighty years after her passing, second great grandchildren put their funds together. “Grand B is buried by the fence, ” they recounted. A granite tombstone was commissioned and placed by their graves. Now, their memorials were complete…but had always lived on in family’s hearts.

Final note: When Lafe applied for the tombstone for his veteran father, he applied for another one. Lafe’s own son, Edward Ralph Boultinghouse, was a veteran of World War I. He lay in an unmarked grave in Osborne Cemetery. On another day, Lafe met again a delivery at the railroad station.