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Old Cemetery Inscriptions.1

By Charles D. Elliot.
The land for the Old Milk Row Cemetery, which is now known as the ‘Somerville Cemetery,’ was deeded May 17, 1804, by Samuel Tufts to the following persons, viz.: Timothy Tufts, Nathaniel Hawkins, Samuel Kent, Samuel Shed, John Stone, and their associates, ‘on the express condition that the same be improved for no other purpose than for a burying place,’ etc. It was a part of the grantor's farm, and there is no reason to suppose that it had been used as a place of burial previous to 1804.

The following inscriptions were copied from its tombs and headstones in 1857 by Miss Clariana Bailey. From a casual examination which I made in the yard in 1900, I should say that more than one-half of these grave stones are gone, and all traces of the resting-places of the persons whom they commemorated are now obliterated. I have reason for thinking that in many cases this removal of headstones was intentional and for the purpose of providing places for new burials, as the cemetery for many years prior to 1893 was unsightly, uncared for, and almost an open lot. Samuel Tufts Frost, who was grandson of Samuel Tufts, is said, after the death of the original owners, to have assumed the charge of the burial ground and issued permits for graves. It is also said that any citizen of the town could obtain a lot free of cost, upon the condition that he fence and properly care for it.

In 1892 the Somerville Improvement Society petitioned the City Government, asking that the city take control of the cemetery, which petition received a favorable consideration, and resulted in an act of the Legislature in 1893 (Chapter 104) authorizing the City Council to ‘vote such sums as they may [43] judge necessary for the enclosing, care, and improvement of the burial ground on Somerville Avenue,’ etc.; under this act the city fenced and now has charge of the Cemetery.

It was through the efforts and petition of this ‘Improvement Society’ that the granite tablets marking the many historic sites in Somerville were erected by the city. This Society, of which J. O. Hayden was President, may be said to have been the forerunner of the Somerville Historical Society.

Inscriptions in the Milk Row Cemetery copied by Miss Clariana Bailey in 1857:—

Tomb No. 1Samuel Tufts1805
Tomb No. 2Timothy Tufts1805
Tomb No. 3John Tapley
Jotham Johnson
Ambrose Cole
Reuben Hunt1817
Tomb No. 4John Ireland
Benjamin Hadley
Daniel Major1850
Tomb No. 5Samuel Cutter
Edward Cutter
Moses Whitney
Fitch Cutter
Ebenezer F. Cutter1852
Tomb No. 6John TuftsMay 1, 1852
Tomb No. 7The Heirs of Samuel
Frost's tombSept., 1832
Tomb No. 8John Tailor
Oliver Tailor
John B. Fisk1838


Sacred to the Memory of Rhoda Kent, wife of Samuel Kent, who was born in West Cambridge, Jan. 2, 1763, and died Dec. 28, 1840, aged 78.

The Faithful Mother.

Sacred to the Memory of Samuel Kent, who was born at Charlestown, Nov. 21, 1760, and died April 4, 1835, aged 75 years.

The Good Father.

Mr. Jonathan Kent, died Sept. 14, 1833, aged 35.

Stay, gentle stranger, for one moment stay,
     The crushed hope of a widowed heart lies here;
Wife! Mother! lift thine heart to Heaven and pray;
     That bleeding heart may find a Saviour near.

In Memory of John Fellows, who died Feb. 3, 1845, aged 25 years, 3 months.

In Memory of William Kent, son of Mr. Samuel & Mrs. Rhoda

Kent. He died Sept. 19, 1807, Aged 19 years. The sweet remembrance of the just.
In Memory of Mr. Benjamin Tufts, who died June 1, 1825, Aet 43.

Beneath these sods, in peaceful sleep,
     His mortal body lies;
Surviving friends forbear to weep,
     For virtue never dies.

[Emblem, chain with broken link.]

Parted Below
United Above<

Nathaniel Mitchell, died Sept. 15, 1851, aged 46 y'rs.
Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.

Thomas Rand, died Mar. 12, 1850, aged 90 y'rs, 1 mo, [45]

In Memory of Widow Anna Rand, who died May 11, 1831, Aet 94.

In Memory of Mrs. Hannah, wife of Mr. Thomas Rand, who died Nov. 22, 1823, Aet 45.

Erected to the Memory of Martha, dau'tr of Captain Edward & Mrs. Elizabeth Cutter, who died Oct. 6, 1818, Aetat 3 years.

Happy Infant, early blest,
Rest in peaceful slumber rest,
Early rescu'd from the cares
Which increase with growing years.

Sacred to the Memory of Mr. Samuel Cutter, who died April 12, 1820, Aged 62 years.

Just in the last distressing hour
The Lord display'd delivering power,
The Mount of danger is the place
Where we have witness'd surprising Grace.

In Memory of Mrs. Susan Tufts, wife of Timothy Tufts, who died June 17, 1827, Ae 37.

Miss Mary Ann, daughter of Timothy & Susan Tufts, who died Oct. 19, 1827, aged 17 years.

They've fled this world of cares
For brighter realms above.

Sacred to the Memory of Timothy W. Tufts, who died Feb. 24, 1837, Aged 23 years.

Also Susan W. Tufts, who died April 20, 1838, aged 29 years. Children of Timothy Tufts.

Sacred to the Memory of Timothy Tufts, who died Mar. 11, 1839, aged 52 Yrs.

Also Charlotte C. Tufts, daughter of Timothy Tufts, who died June 30, 1839, Aged 19 years.

Also Lydia N., daughter of Timothy Tufts, who died Mar. 4, 1846, Aged 22 Yrs. [46]

George F. Tufts, died Oct. 23, 1853, in his 39 year.

Mary P. Torrey, Died Nov. 2, 1853, aged 69 yrs.

In Memory of Edward S., died May 15, 1842, aged 5 yrs. 5 mos. & 24 ds.; Luther 2d, died Jan. 20, 1846, aged 9 yrs. & 2 mos. Children of Mary L. & Nathaniel Mitchell.

In Memory of Mary L., wife of Nathaniel Mitchell, who died Nov. 14, 1841, aged 29 yrs. & 9 ds. Also their child, Mary Frances, died Oct. 11, 1841, aged 1 yr. & 3 mos.

Mrs. Mary Ann, wife of Mr. Luther Mitchell, died Dec. 11, 1836, Aet 28. Also their Infant child.

Sacred to the Memory of Mrs. Mary Fenley, wife of Captain Charles Fenley, who died Jan. 13, 1822, Aet 33.

Oh, thou who sleep'st within this narrow bed,
     Untimely fall'n beneath the fatal blow,
Accept the tear thy once lov'd friend would shed,
     The sacred tear that oft for thee shall flow.

In Memory of Elbridge Harrington, who died Oct. 6, 1824, Aet 18.

Farewell till we shall meet again
In Heaven to dwell, with Christ to reign,
Where all our joys will be complete,
There we shall rest, it will be sweet.

James McClune, died July 6, 1854, aged 27 years.

Sacred to the Memory of Lucy Ann, daughter of Moses and Sarah F. Young, who died August 19, 1837, aged 6 weeks. Also of a Son, who was still-born.

Sleep on, sweet babes,
     And take your rest;
God calls you home,
     He thinks it best.


In Memory of Harriet S. Thorp, daughter of Ira and Catharine Thorp, died July 2, 1837, aged 13 years 7 mos.

In memory of a gentle child
     Parental love has reared this stone;
Hers was a spirit meek and mild,
     We weep not, for to Heaven she's gone.

In Memory of Edwin H. Thorp, son of Ira and Catharine Thorp, died Sept. 14, 1837, aged 3 years 6 mos.

With humble trust in Him who said,
     ‘Let little children come to me,’
We rear this, to the early dead,
     Believing we our child shall see.

Josiah Munroe, born at Lexington Nov. 25, 1789; died in Charlestown, Aug. 20, 1837.

A remarkable incident occurred on his return from Liverpool to Charleston, S. C., in the winter of 1829. He was seasick to such a degree that he lost his memory of past and present events, and also the power of standing or walking without help, but still he could converse on past and present affairs with apparent correctness, but it was all lost to his mind when the conversation ended. He was highly esteemed by those who knew him for his honorable and open manner in all his transactions.

Mary Adalade, daug. of George H. & Ann S. Day, died Jan. 18, 1847, aged 1 year & 10 months.

In Memory of George S. Clark, who died Oct. 23, 1844, aged 23 years 11 months 10 days.

Weep not, my spirit's passed away,
And left this tenement of clay,
And soared on high, to dwell in love
With God, my faithful friend above.


Susan Maria, daughter of Horace & Hannah Chick, died July 13, 1846, aged 1 year 6 mos.

In Memory of Lydia, wife of Oscar F. Bennett, who died Oct. 20, 1844, aged 20 years 7 months.

Eva Adaline, daug. of Josiah & Adaline Peirce, died May 3, 1845, aged 6 mos. & 29 ds.

Ezra Herbert, died Aug. 10, 1847, Ae 1 yr. 16 dys.

Hannah Howard, died June 24, 1850, Ae 1 yr. 11 mos.
Children of Joseph & Eliza Hayes.

We miss them, ah! in every place,
And sometimes feel the unbidden tear,
We cherish every fading trace,
But never, never wish them here.

In Memory of Priscilla, widow of John Norris, who died May 6, 1856, aged 79 yrs. 3 mos.

She sleeps in Jesus.

In Memory of Levi Orcutt, Jr., who died May 21, 1853, aged 25 yrs. 6 mos.

A holy solemn stillness reigns
Around this lifeless, mouldering clay;
Nor pain, nor grief, nor anxious fears
Can reach the peaceful sleeper here.

Can sighs recall the spirit fled?
Shall vain regrets arise?
Though death has caused the altered mien,
In Heaven the ransomed soul is seen.

In Memory of Albert Tufts, who died May 8, 1845, aged 36 years.

Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

[To be continued.]

1 Bead March 3, 1908.

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