I spent a little over a week in Wisconsin this summer. Not enough time to get to the historical society or the county library to do some record pulling. It was just too beautiful for that. Sunny and warm...but not too warm...so my boys and I relaxed and played with my in-laws. I did take two afternoons to head to St. Martin's Cemetery in Tonet and St. Joseph's Cemetery in Champion. I photographed every grave that had a semi-legible tombstone for BillionGraves. Then at night I spent time making sure that there was a FindAGrave memorial and/or photo for each as well. It was more time consuming than I expected, but well worth it.
Both of these cemeteries (and their respective churches...although St. Martin's is closed now) are only a few miles apart, down the same stretch of road. In between them on that same stretch of road is the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help. Another Catholic Church although this one has quite the interesting history. I've blogged about it before. It's the only Church-acknowledged Marian Shrine in the U.S. (although some will argue that point).
|Philippe's tombstone is too difficult for me to make out|
much...even in person!
I'm always struck by how things play out. You think of someone that you haven't thought of in years and you get news of them, or perhaps a Facebook friend request soon after. The gentleman asks who I'm looking for and they turn up a couple tombstones down from where I was. It's just coincidence, but it's a lovely one.
The tombstones are difficult to read. I must go back there in the winter when the leaves are off the trees and bring a mirror to reflect light. I haven't actually attempted using a mirror before, but I've heard it recommended several times. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!
|Seeing a ceramic photo on Mary Therese's tombstone was|
"M. Therese Francar
wife of Philip Laurent
born Aug. 16 1850
died June 21 1916"
Philip's tombstone wasn't really possible for me to read even in person. I was able to make out whose tombstone it was, but not too much more. Maybe that mirror will (ahem) bring to light what my tired eyes could not see. As of right now all I know of Philip was that he was born around 1838 in Belgium and died between the 1905 Wisconsin state census and the 1910 Federal one. I may have to contact St. Joseph's in the meantime. I may burst not knowing and don't know if I can wait until December.
|Mary Therese's tombstone is much easier to read|
than her husband's
I was able to upload photos of M. Therese and Philip's tombstones to memorials already created on FindAGrave. I was even more thrilled when contributor, Lori Lyon, transferred both of their memorials to me!
So until December when I can revisit St. Joseph's and get a better picture (or just stubbornly get my face up close enough to figure out what Philip's says) I'll end here. Rest in peace, Philip and M. Therese!