James McKown Tombstone, Bethany Cemetery

The 1840s were a time when the old art of tombstone-cutting was dying out, and new styles came into vogue—styles that, in many ways, imitated the styles of engravings of the era. Here is a good example: a large tombstone from 1848 that looks very much like an engraved title page of the same era. It no longer has the handmade look of even the best local craftsmen’s work, and it is executed in more expensive stone that turned out to be much less permanent. With some difficulty, we can make out most of the inscription except the epitaph:

JAMES McKOWN
DIED
Feb. 25, 1848
In the 60th year
of his age

The surname “McKown” is damaged, but there are several other McKowns buried in this graveyard, so there is little question about the reading.

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