A cold November wind blew across the Verona Cemetery as we searched for the McPherson Gravestone. "Can't miss it." echoed in our ears as we traversed the hillside, back and forth and up and down. From the Sexton's description, I was looking for an older, more imposing stone. However, once found, this McPherson Family gravestone presented it's own secretive history.
The side facing the Verona Cemetery gates was inscribed:
James P. McPherson
Wife of James P. McPherson
I had known that James had died and was buried in Verona; also that Mary had died in Lisbon, North Dakota and was returned Verona to be buried beside her husband. However this stone a even more stories to tell as we circled around back. The back of the gravestone had names of three of the children of James P. and Mary B. McPherson; Harriet, who died at 3 years of age; Elizabeth, who died at age 11; and the couple's first born, William B., who died at the age of 73. Harriet and Elizabeth died when the family lived on the farm in Springdale, so I thought it was unlikely that they would have been buried in Verona. I was also surprised that William shared the grave plot with his parents and younger sisters, as he was the head of a rather large family of his own.
Finding the gravestone of my great-great grandparents made my heart sing in the cold blustery Wisconsin wind -- but my head was a buzz with questions about Harriet, Elizabeth and William. Questions for a day, when I am warm and toasty in my office.
The inscription on the back of the McPherson Family gravestone: