Posted by: marthabernie | June 10, 2015

Long Lane Cemetery – Dallas County, Missouri – 1997 and 1955

scan0071I took this photo in 1997 when my niece and I visited Missouri.  These six plots were purchased when the Shank family (Eli and Inez, my grandparents) lost their first baby in 1900, after Inez had had an earlier miscarriage.  They lost three other babies, two being also born prematurely, and the last baby, born in 1921, Joseph Merle, being born two months prematurely and dying after less than a month of life.  Then 6 or 8 weeks later, mother Inez also died.  Her headstone is the tall one on the left.

Originally, the babies’ headstones were flat markers and after many years, they sank into the ground during wet and rainy winters and springs.  The siblings got together and replaced them with the four stones that you see at the right of the tall stone.  My mother always swore that they got them wrong…the end stone on the right is marked as Joseph Merle, 1921, but in fact, she said her mother told her that the first premature baby was buried there and was named Francis (Frank) after her mother.  My mother swore that her mother took her to the cemetery when she was small (about 4) and told her where the babies were buried.  Wherever these tiny souls are buried, they are permanently commemorated with the modern stones.  The stone on the far left is for a Shank cousin, daughter of Eli’s brother, Ed (Banty) Shank, Hazel Collier Shank.  Photo below shows the plots in 1955 when the four babies’ graves were marked with the flat, sunken stones.

scan0072That’s my grandfather, Joseph Eli (ELI) Shank, on the left, my brother Richard, my mother and me on the right, standing where the babies are buried.

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