Category Archives: Prospect Cemetery

A pleasantly sloping site at the top of the hill in Brackenridge is filled with interesting monuments and a couple of fine mausoleums. Although the cemetery was founded in 1863, a number of earlier burials were moved here, so there are older stones to be found. Just at the entrance is the Brackenridge Circle, where Henry Marie Brackenridge and his family are buried.

William H. Krauth Monument, Prospect Cemetery

A splendid bilingual zinc monument—German on one side, English on the other. As usual with zinc monuments, it is as legible now as it was when it was put up. This is style no. 156 from the Monumental Bronze Company, with an interesting choice of panel inserts.

Father Pitt was not able to find this poem anywhere on line. His attempt at a translation follows the transcription, but anyone who knows German better is invited to correct it:

Liebe Eltern ich muss scheiden,
Denn mein Jesus ruft mir zu;
Nun erlost von allem Leiden,
Gönnet mir die susse Ruh.

Tröstet euch, wir seh’n uns wieder,
Dort in jener Herrlichkeit,
Singet ihm die frohen Lieder,
Bleibet doch mit Gott vereint.

Dear parents, I must depart,
For my Jesus calls to me;
Spared by good fortune from all suffering,
He allows me sweet repose.

Be comforted; we shall meet again,
There in that glory,
Sing joyful songs to him,
Linger still united with God.

Brackenridge Circle, Prospect Cemetery

Henry Marie Brackenridge, son of the famous Hugh Henry Brackenridge, founded the borough of Brackenridge, and his family has an honored place in the middle of the circle at the entrance to Prospect Cemetery.

The obelisk once bore a number of inscriptions, but they are almost obliterated by time.

Henry Marie’s own grave is marked by a very modest headstone. Father Pitt was not able to read the epitaph, although it might be clearer in morning light.

Cornelia Brackenridge McKelvy, on the other hand, who died in 1882 at the age of 29, has a very expensive grave with a life-size statue. Is it meant to be a portrait of the deceased?

 

John C. Hill Monument, Prospect Cemetery

A bilingual zinc or “white bronze” monument for a native of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (now part of Thuringia): English on one side, German on the other. Unusually it gives us two dates: the date of death (1877) and the date the monument was erected (1880).

Kisselbach is a very small town: Wikipedia gives its current population as 586.

The epitaph seems to be from an old folk song. Father Pitt appends his own attempt at a translation, but anyone who knows German better is welcome to improve it.

Lebe wohl du mutterliche Erde,
Nimm mich auf in deinen kühlen Schoos,
Dass mein Herz nach kummer nach beschwerden,
Ruhen möge unterm kühlen Moos.

Farewell, thou motherly earth,
Take me in thy cooling lap,
So that after all my trials and pains,
My heart may rest under the cooling moss.

This particular style of monument is the Monumental Bronze Company’s Design No. 8.

Dr. G. T. Jacoby Mausoleum, Prospect Cemetery

A small but rich-looking mausoleum in a kind of classicized Gothic style, topped by Hope clutching her anchor. The bronze doors are particularly worth looking at. The mausoleum and statue are nearly identical to the J. P. Ober mausoleum in Allegheny Cemetery, with only very slight alterations in the details.

Gideon Miller Tombstone, Prospect Cemetery

This is one of the earlier burials that were moved from nearby churchyards to Prospect Cemetery in Brackenridge, and it is probably the most artistic early-settler tombstone Father Pitt has yet found in this area. The style is a close and extraordinarily skillful imitation of nineteenth-century decorative penmanship styles, so we shall call this craftsman the Master of the Brackenridge Flourishes. And although Father Pitt admits to using the title “Master” a bit facetiously for some of the other local craftsmen, it is entirely deserved here.

In Memory of
GIDEON MILLER
Who departed this life,
February –th, 1820
in the –th Year
[Of his Age]

[Epitaph]

The stone may be later than its 1820 date, but it is almost certainly not later than the 1840s. A matching stone beside it, obviously by the same artist, is too badly damaged to read.