In Part II last week, I highlighted several of Wyuka’s outstanding memorials for 9/11, the Holocaust and Nebraska firefighters. Today, I’m going to stick with gravestones (and an airplane propeller, but more about that later).

Over in Section 5, this marker stood out.

Jane "Jennie" Bell added "Ringer" to her name when she married her husband, Frank Ringer.

Jane “Jennie” Bell added “Ringer” to her name when she married her husband, Frank Ringer. He died in 1920, leaving her a fairly young widow. She died in California in 1975.

Jane “Jennie” Bell married Frank Ringer, a veteran of the Spanish-American War and a prominent Lincoln businessman. After Frank died in 1920, she went back to school and got her Doctor of Chiropractic and Doctor of Chiropractic Philosophy degrees. Dr. Bell-Ringer practiced for several years before passing away in California.

WyukaBellRinger2 The story goes that Jennie won a baby contest in the late 1870s. At her wedding, she learned something surprising from her new brother-in-law, John Dean Ringer. He teased her that the only fault he had to find with her is that she had taken first prize away from him at that baby contest, making him come in second.

In Section 17, I found the small marker for Helen Mary Sargent. Born in Massachusetts, she got her degree at the University of Nebraska and entered Army service as a Red Cross nurse September 4, 1918. She was assigned to Fort Slocum, N.Y., where she died of illness Oct. 23, 1918 (most likely the Spanish flu that was raging there at the time).

Nurse Helen Sargent got her degree at the University of Nebraska. Her father, Charles Sargent, is considered the founder of Garrison, Neb.

In 1928, the Lincoln Women’s Club dedicated Memorial Drive in Antelope Park to fallen World War I troops with a monument naming all the “Lancaster County Boys Who Gave Their Lives.” Two female nurses, including Helen Sargent, were listed among the “boys.”

Another marker in Section 17 is for a young man who also lost his life during World War I. His grave is one of the handful at Wyuka that features a portrait on a porcelain plaque.

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A Russian immigrant, John Bohl had worked as a machinist before enlisting in the U.S. Army.

A Russian immigrant, John Bohl had worked as a machinist before enlisting in the U.S. Army.

A native of Russia, Bohl enlisted in the Army and was placed with the 58th Infantry, Company H. Only 25, he was wounded in action in France and died post-Armistice on Christmas Eve 1918.

Up to this point, everything we’d seen at Wyuka had been fairly traditional in terms of style and materials. Corel Sherwood’s monument changed all that.

Sherwood's unique monument is made from a wooden airplane propeller with a copper-covered tip. His name and dates are hammered into the copper and carved onto the shaft of the wooden blade.

Sherwood’s unique monument is made from a wooden airplane propeller with a copper-covered tip. His name and dates are hammered into the copper and carved onto the shaft of the wooden blade.

Sherwood befriended the legendary aviator Charles Lindbergh when they attended Lincoln Flight School together. Lindbergh often helped him work on building his airplane. They were such good friends that Sherwood loaned Lindbergh enough money to leave Lincoln when he was short of funds.

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In 1925, Sherwood was a mechanic for Lincoln Aircraft Corporation, one of two airplane manufacturers in the area during the 1920s. One day while giving brief plane rides, Sherwood crashed in February 1925 near Ellis, Neb., killing his 50-year-old passenger, Dan Camp. Sherwood died the next day.

An aluminum podium features a letter Corel Sherwood received from friend and fellow aviator, along with Sherwood's portrait.

A podium features a letter Corel Sherwood received from friend and fellow aviator Charles Lindbergh, along with Sherwood’s portrait.

Mounted on a podium next to Sherwood’s unique marker is a copy of the letter Lindbergh wrote to him when he re-payed his loan.

Then we caught a glimpse of an eye-catching bronze not far away from Sherwood’s grave.

The grave of Lois "Toots" Pegram is marked with a beautiful bronze of a young woman holding a peacock.

The grave of Lois “Toots” Pegram is marked with a beautiful bronze of a young woman holding a peacock.

Unfortunately, I don’t know who created the bronze but I did find Lois “Toots” Pegram’s obituary. Twice widowed, Lois was a pioneer business woman in Lincoln, owning multiple businesses at one time while being active in local politics. She was a restaurateur, antique dealer and avid antique doll collector, and owner and operator of rental and farm properties. I wish I could have met her because she sounds like she was a real pistol.

I think there's a fresh, ethereal quality that transcends time about this statue. I took photos of it from several angles.

I think there’s a fresh, elegant quality that transcends time about this statue. I took photos of it from several angles.

Around this time, we were making our way into the center of the cemetery. It isn’t often I find a port-a-john ensconced in a PVC pipe arbor in a cemetery. I wish more cemeteries provided something like this, because both Christi and I were happy we didn’t have to drive back to the office to use the restroom there.

It may not be much but this portable toilet was a welcome sight after a few hours of cemetery hopping.

It may not be much, but this portable toilet was a welcome sight after a few hours of cemetery hopping.

After our pit stop, we got back to business. Circled on the map by me was the Kimball monument.

The Kimball family was well known in Lincoln for their successful monument business.

The Kimball family was well known in Lincoln for their successful monument business.

The Kimball Brosthers were leading monument makers in Lincoln from the 1880s through the 1930s. William R. and Frank B. Kimball established the business in Lincoln in 1887, having come from Albia, Iowa.

Here’s a closeup.

By 1890, the Kimballs had installed more than 20 monuments the year before, averaging $1,500 each. Their own family plot features the pink granite seen in many of their major monuments.

Frank Kimball’s monument for the Thompson family is similar to the one made for his own family, although the Thompson one has a more ornate granite setting.

Frank Kimball was a respected and talented sculptor in the monument business.

Frank Kimball was a respected and talented sculptor in the monument business.

David E. Thompson and his wife, Jeanee, were society leaders in Lincoln. In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed Thompson as the U.S. envoy to Brazil and in 1906, appointed him to the ambassadorship of Mexico. Jeanee died in Mexico City in 1911.
Here's a closer look.

Here’s a closer look.

After Jeanee died and his term as U.S. ambassador was up, Thompson returned to Lincoln for a few years before moving to California, where he spent the rest of his life.

As I've mentioned before, I have a fascination with hands and feet on sculptures. Frank Kimball definitely knew what he was doing.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have a fascination with hands and feet on sculptures. Frank Kimball definitely knew what he was doing.

Here’s you one more example of Frank Kimball’s work. The monument for Swedish immigrants Olof (as the guide book spells it) and Clara Palm is not a bronze but it’s become one of my favorite monuments at Wyuka.

WyukaPalm1Olof and Clara Palm were Swedish immigrants who established an insurance agency in Lincoln, with Olof as the president and Clara as the vice-president. He helped found the North Star Relief Society, a Swedish fraternal group. Clara died in 1931 at 70, and Olof was 75 when he died eight years later.

The stark contrast of the dark green moss against the white marble brings K

Once again, you can see Frank Kimball’s skill. The Palms commissioned him to do this monument.

Try as I could, I cannot finish my series on Wyuka with three parts. There’s simply too much beauty and history here that I have to keep going.

Next week, I’ll finish up with Part IV. I’ll be featuring more monuments along with the tragic story of a spree killer who is buried only a few hundred feet from some of his victims.

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