Katharina F. Wilbert Monument, Mount Lebanon Cemetery

This is almost certainly a marble pedestal for a large urn, now missing. By the style it looks as though this monument dates from about the time Katharina Wilbert died in 1875, which is a quarter-century before the foundation of the cemetery; so old Pa Pitt suspects it was moved here from another site. German inscriptions, common elsewhere, are unusual in the upper-middle-class Mount Lebanon Cemetery.

KATHARINA F.
WILBERT
NÉE HAAS
BORN APRIL 15, 1832
DIED SEPTEMBER 24, 1875

Some Amateur Tombstones in Brush Creek Cemetery

HERE
RESTETH IN GOD
CHRISTINA WEGL
WAS BORN 23 MAY 18—
DIED 23 DEC. 1811

[The birth date is obscured in the picture. Sorry about that.]

Is “amateur” the word we are looking for? There are tombstones in the Brush Creek Cemetery that are remarkable works of folk art—and then there are these, some of which appear to have been made by craftsmen who were quite good at scratching letters in stone, but none of which seem to rise to the level of professional stonecutting.

There were a fair number of Germans among the early settlers. Some of the families have some of their tombstones in English and others in German. Father Pitt earnestly solicits corrections to his German translations.

J. W.
B. 1718
D. 1802

The plaque gives the name of this Revolutionary War veteran as John Wagle; he is buried near Christina Wegl, and Wagle and Wegl are almost certainly different ways of spelling the same name.

IN
MEMORY
OF
PHILIP SMITH
HE WAS BORN 1743
AND DIED 1824
AGED 76

HERE LIES
LUDWIG KAEMMERER
DIED JANUARY
21ST 1808 AGED
90 YEARS

Old Pa Pitt is assuming that the line over the M indicates a doubled letter.

HERE LIES
MAGDALENA
KAEMMERIN DIED
JUNE 12th IN THE
YEAR 1794 AGED 26

If this was installed when Magdalena died, then this is one of the earliest legible tombstones in the area.

IN
MEMORY
OF
LUDWIG
KEMERER Junr. HE
WAS BORN AD 1749
DEPARDET THIS
LIFE 1817 AGE —

This seems to be the work of the same stonecutter—perhaps a family member—who did the two German stones above. Note the different spelling of “Kemerer” in English.

HERE LIES
J. CONRAD SCHIDLER
HE & ELISABETH HIS
WIFE BORE 10
CHILDREN HIS PARENTS
ANDREAS & MARGARET
HE DIED APRIL 20th
1796 AGED 58 YEARS
Text John Chap. II V. 25

PAUL EBERHART

ELISABETH
LINSENBIGLER

The Inverted Torch

Since Roman times, the inverted torch has been a symbol of death. Here are two examples from the Smithfield East End Cemetery, in both of which we note that the torch keeps burning upside-down in a most unlikely manner. Both couples have German names, both were probably members of the same Reformed congregation, and the stones are nearly contemporary and side by side; but we note that one of them is English and one is German—an indication of how thoroughly bilingual the more prosperous parts of the German community in Pittsburgh were at the beginning of the twentieth century.

William H. Krauth Monument, Prospect Cemetery

A splendid bilingual zinc monument—German on one side, English on the other. As usual with zinc monuments, it is as legible now as it was when it was put up. This is style no. 156 from the Monumental Bronze Company, with an interesting choice of panel inserts.

Father Pitt was not able to find this poem anywhere on line. His attempt at a translation follows the transcription, but anyone who knows German better is invited to correct it:

Liebe Eltern ich muss scheiden,
Denn mein Jesus ruft mir zu;
Nun erlost von allem Leiden,
Gönnet mir die susse Ruh.

Tröstet euch, wir seh’n uns wieder,
Dort in jener Herrlichkeit,
Singet ihm die frohen Lieder,
Bleibet doch mit Gott vereint.

Dear parents, I must depart,
For my Jesus calls to me;
Spared by good fortune from all suffering,
He allows me sweet repose.

Be comforted; we shall meet again,
There in that glory,
Sing joyful songs to him,
Linger still united with God.