Banner photograph of St. Thomas Episcopal Church Cemetery, Bath, North Carolina - Taken by Judith Richards Shubert October 2008

There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.
- Thornton Wilder

Friday, December 19, 2008

Roses Abound in Texas Cemeteries

In my short time as a graveyard rabbit, I have taken several photos of tombstones adorned with images of flowers. The rose appears over and over in our Texas country cemeteries. In researching this and other symbols I came across the great resource, “Texas Graveyards, a Cultural Legacy,” by Terry G. Jordan. At the time of its publication in 1982 Jordan was a professor of cultural geography at North Texas State University.

According to Jordon the rose is an ancient symbol of the Magna Mater (the great Mediterranean mother goddess). Frequently appearing on markers commemorating mothers, roses often with thorny stems attached, can be found on very early commercial stones as well as those made at the present time. “Clearly, the inspiration for this symbol came most directly from the Southern and British folk custom of planting roses in graveyards.”

Ruth dau. of / A. L. & Katie Sloan

Born Jan 22, 1897

Died Aug 12, 1900

“Our darling one hath gone before

To greet us on the blissful / shore."

West End Cemetery, Lingleville, Erath Co., Texas

Belvin R. / Son of

H. E.(?) & F. M. / POWELL

Born / Mar 25, 1899

Died / July 29, 1899

“Sleep on sweet babe

And take thy rest,

God calls away when

He thinks best.”

Ramsey Cemetery, Lingleville, Erath Co., Texas

Lela Ann


Dec. 29, 1903 / Dec. 19, 1978

Ramsey Cemetery, Lingleville, Erath Co., Texas

W. G. (Buster) Tidwell

Oct. 9, 1908 - Apr. 5 1959

Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Tolar, Hood Co., Texas



Aug. 28, 1913 / Mar. 19, 1990



Oct. 4, 1919 / May 26, 1993


West End Cemetery, Lingleville, Erath Co., Texas


Bertha “Bertie”

Oct. 4, 1894 / Dec. 20, 1907

Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Tolar, Hood Co., Texas

DeAnna Rene Noland

Oct 28, 1964 / Feb. 13, 1992

“Love Lives”

West End Cemetery, Lingleville, Erath Co., Texas

Found at the foot of a grave in
Mount Pleasant Cemetery
Tolar, Hood Co., Texas


Willie Laura

June 21, 1894 / Nov. 2, 1966

John Robert

July 17, 1890 / Jan. 24, 1975

Whitt Cemetery, Parker Co., Texas

This is my father’s parents, my grandparents. They lived the last several years of their lives in Lingleville in Erath Co., Texas close to my father and step-mother.

Photographs taken by Judith Richards Shubert, Copyright 2008


Texas Graveyards, Terry G. Jordan, 1982 by the University of Texas Press

Accessed from North Richland Hills Public Library, December 2008

Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Hood Co., Texas

Ramsey Historical Cemetery, Hood Co., Texas

West End Cemetery, Erath Co., Texas

Whitt Cemetery, Parker Co., Texas

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