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Did this carving (on the backside of a headstone from 1903, in the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, IL, USA) have some particular meaning at that point in time? I ask because the family at the time was very poor, and I would be surprised if they spent the money on extra carving if they didn't feel very strongly about it ...

Back Side

Front side:

Front Side

  • Could it be that they simply looted the stone from a ruined church or similar old structure, and had a blank side engraved? – SPavel Jan 16 '18 at 17:25
  • I found nothing in a list of common headstone symbolism, which might make it personal. Her maiden name appears to have been Schneider, which in German is an occupational name indicating tailor or sometimes woodcutter. Perhaps it represents some form of cuts of cloth. – justCal Jan 16 '18 at 18:32
  • Good thought SPavel, but there aren't too many ruined churches lying around Springfield, IL (a fact I didn't include in my initial post and have now updated) :-) – Betty Crokker Jan 16 '18 at 19:39
  • I found a blog here which discusses the general marker style, which is not unique. None of the 30 images collected there has your grooved surface in conjunction with the stone cairn however. The other elements such as the scroll, cross and fern are repeated as a theme on many of the other markers shown. – justCal Jan 16 '18 at 21:02
  • Reminds me of the headstones provided by Woodmen of the World: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WoodmenLife#/media/File:Woodman-stone.jpg So they probably had a life insurance policy with a burial benefit. – Peter Diehr Jan 17 '18 at 20:56

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