Thursday, October 22, 2015

Zinc Tombstone of S.J. Crowell

One tombstone stands out from the others in a Crittenden County, Kentucky cemetery. It is of a light blue color and the engraving is easy to read, even though it is over 110 years old.  It is made of zinc and was white when first cast, but, turned blue as it aged. 

Zinc tombstones were made from about 1870 until after 1910. If you tap on the tombstone, there is a hollow sound ... because it is hollow. Zinc tombstones are constructed in panels  and screwed together at seams. These monuments were inexpensive and can last a long time, but after a time, they may become brittle and, if hit with any force, will crack or come apart at the seams. These tombstones were inexpensive, but were never as popular as marble or granite tombstones.

An example of the zinc tombstone can be found in Tosh Cemetery.  It is that of Susan J. Crider, who married James E. Crowell 20 November 1865 Crittenden County.[2] 

In Memory
S.J. Crider
Wife of
J.E. Crowell
Born Oct. 23, 1848
Feb. 13, 1904


Dear Mother, N Earth's thorny Path
How long thy feet have trod
To find at last the peaceful rest
Safe in the arms of God.

Zinc tombstones aren't rare, but are not as common as those made of other materials and certainly never became as popular as monuments made of granite and marble.

[1] Untitled filler, Evansville Journal, 23 April 1885, p. 6.
[2] Brenda Joyce Jerome. Crittenden County, Kentucky Marriage Records Vol. 1 1842-1865 and Abstracts of Wills Book 1  1842-1924, (Evansville: Evansville Bindery, 1990), 113.

Published 22 October 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

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