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05 January 2014

To Bury Six Children

It's an unthinkable thought. So I doubt James Williams, originally from North Carolina, foresaw the heartache that would befall him when he purchased the lot in Rose Hill Cemetery about a year after it opened.

James William Lot
Central Avenue Division East, Rose Hill Cemetery

James and his wife Catherine Arnett had to make the trek to the cemetery over and over again. Six times. Seven times for Catherine, since she outlived her husband as well. I can only imagine the scene. Entering the cemetery and following the main road until it starts to slope downward. Then turning right and climbing up a slight elevation. Unfortunately, the path likely became well known and worn. No thought was required for the direction of their steps.

Funerals were held in the spring, summer, and winter. And they lost children at ages ranging from 17 months, to 15 and 29 years. No rhyme or reason is apparent.

Little Catharine Arnett, Mary Jane, Sarah Mason, and Henry James.

In addition to the four mentioned in the caption above, there was also James E., aged 15 years, and Felix A., who was a railroad fireman before his death.

Sarah Mason
Daughter of James & Catharine Williams
Died 28th July 1841
Aged 18 months & 26 days

Henry James
Son of James & Catharine Williams
Died 7th May 1859
Aged 17 Months and 25 days

In Christ He Sleeps
James Williams
Born in Edgecombe Co, North Carolina Feb 10, 1795
Died in Macon, Ga Oct 17, 1871

Catherine Williams
Wife of James Williams
Born Nov 4, 1805
Died Sep 8, 1882

The last lines of Catherine's epitaph are especially poignant, and I hope they are true --
Sweet be thy rest, Till He bids thee arise.

All photos © 2014 S. Lincecum.

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