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  • Writer's pictureLawrence Lore

A Perfect State of Preservation

When the Historical Society offered a tour of Sumner Cemetery in 2013 they discovered many interesting stories. Some of these can be found on a video, produced of that event, called Stone Angels that can be seen on our YouTube channel.

One was about George Stout. At age 73, George set about disposing of his property by executing a Last Will and Testament. Since some of his relatives had been buried in locations of which he didn’t approve, he gave specific directions for his executor to buy a large lot in the Sumner Cemetery and remove the bodies of certain family members buried at Wagner Cemetery near Chancey, and rebury them beside him in Sumner Cemetery.

Sophia Beckwith Cotterell was another person who was not allowed to rest in her initial burial location., On Friday, March 25, 1887, her husband, Abram Cotterell of German Township, in Richland County, disinterred her body which had been buried fourteen years previously in Leech Cemetery in Lawrence County, and had it reburied in Amity Cemetery in Richland County.

The newspaper account at the time, noted that “At the time of the first interment, the body was placed in an airtight, metallic case, furnished by Mr. George Lutz and when taken up, was found to be in a perfect state of preservation, even to the clothing, while the coffin box and vault were said to be full of water.”


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