Monday, May 29, 2023

William Rockhill Nelson Chapel


William Rockhill Nelson , 1841 - 1915, founded the Kansas City Star in 1880.  Nelson is buried in Mount Washington Cemetery in a grand mausoleum.   Once a year, on Memorial Day, the doors are opened for visitors.   Nelson, his wife, daughter, and son-in-law are buried here. 

                                         Nelson is buried in this vault which is below floor level.

          Above, Nelson's daughter's resting place.  Below, the four people buried in the mausoleum. 

Looking West Young Man

        Above,  view of the West Bottoms and Kansas City, Kansas from West Terrace Park and Quality Hill. 
                                                   Below, Strawberry Hill from the same location.  

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Elmwood Cemetery - Leaving No Stones Down

 On August 14th, 1877, Cornelia Francis Haight Bancroft passed away at the tender age of 30.  She was buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Northeast Kansas City, Missouri.  The Cemetery was only 3 years old at the time.  She was buried next to her son Charles who died in 1875 at only 4 months of age.  Her daughter Charlotte Bancroft Tromblee was buried next to her  in 1939.  Her Husband John Davis Bancroft remarried and moved to California where he is buried.   

In late 2019 or early 2020 her tombstone fell over ( natural causes ).  The new Board of Trustees at Elmwood is undertaking a complete restoration of the cemetery and part of that entails repairing stones such as Cornelia's.   It's a difficult process with larger stones like hers, but here is how it's done.

Brad, Zachary, and Simon all undertook the endeavor. 

First a triangular structure is put in place to hold the block and tackle.  The stone weighs in excess of 700 pounds.  Brad had previously leveled and repaired the base.  
                            The stone is first pulled upright and placed on a wooden base.  

Once the stone is upright, the chains are loosened and the block and tackle relocated to be perpendicular to the base.  

The stone is then moved from the first platform to a second one adjacent to the base of the monument. 

Sealant is then put on the stone and an aluminum post is inserted in one of the holes.  The other hole used what was left of the existing pole.   Small pieces of lead are placed at each corner to raise the stone up just slightly. 

The final step is relocating the hoist one more time and raising it high enough so the stone will clear the pole and it can be lowered back on to the base.

                                    Getting the stone lined up just right is a two-man job. 

                                 The stone is lowered into place and excess sealant is removed.

The stone had been laying face down on the ground for two years plus so it was quite dirty. Brad did a first round cleaning of the stone and it made a huge difference.  Another cleaning will follow.  

It says at the top "Beloved"  then " Cornelia F Haight Wife of J.D. Bancroft Born March 23, 1847 Died August 14th 1877  Nearer my God to Thee, Nearer to Thee.  
                                                   Perfectly restored ...  Many more to go. 
For more information on Elmwood Cemetery  ( it's an all-volunteer operation ). Use the link below.