In my last post, I introduced you to Knoxville’s Asbury Cemetery. My focus was on the Kreis family, including the death of racecar driver A.J. “Pete” Kreis. But now I want to return to the Pickles. Or Pickels. Take your pick. Different people chose different spellings of it over the years. So you might see it both ways, even within the same family. As I mentioned before, Asbury Cemetery used to be called Pickle/Pickel Cemetery. Again, spellings varied.
“The Icy Arms of Death“
It’s not that common for a person’s cause of death to appear on their marker. But in the case of mother and daughter Sally and Eveline Pickle, both of their monuments share some details about how they died.
Born in 1807, Samuel Pickel was a native Tennessean. A farmer, he married Sarah “Sally” Dowell on Feb. 14, 1828. They had a daughter, Eveline, in 1832. She would be their only child. Eveline died on Oct. 21, 1852. After reading the inscription on her monument, it’s my guess that she died from tuberculosis or possibly pneumonia.
Eveline’s inscription reads:
She was a kind and affectionate daughter, kind to the afflicted, zealous in the pursuit of knowledge, loved and esteemed by all who knew her. She loved the Lord Jesus Christ and through faith in Him was enabled to cry victory even in the icy arms of death. Her parents therefore do not sorrow as those who have no hope. Though they have been bereaved of an only child they bow in submission, knowing well that she is is in a happier time than this. The desease(sic) which terminated her earthly career was the hemorrage of the lungs. She was confined to her room for five weeks during which time she suffered intense pain which she bore with Christian patience and resignation.
At the top of her monument are two doves with the words “Only One & Dearly Beloved”.
Eveline’s mother, Sally, would die only four years later on Sept. 28, 1856 at the age of 49. If you read her briefer inscription, you might wonder if part of what led to her death was grief for her beloved daughter.
She honored her Christian profession by her general walk,but especially also by the patience she manifested in enduring the most painful sufferings during the last 4 years of her life.
I do find it interesting that Sally’s monument has a lamb on top of it. I would have thought the younger Eveline’s monument would have been more appropriate for that symbol, not the two doves.
Samuel Pickel remarried on Aug. 2, 1857 to Cornelia Armstrong, who was 30 years his junior. Together, they had six children. At least three lived well into adulthood. Samuel died in 1883 at the age of 76. He is buried not far from his first wife and child. Cornelia remarried to Samuel Giffin in 1884 and died in 1887 at age 42. She is buried beside Samuel.
Samuel’s epitaph reads:
Amiable and beloved husband, farewell. Thy years were few but thy virtues were many. They are not recorded on this perishing stone but on the book of life and in the hearts of thy afflicted friends.
Mother and Child
I photographed the grave of one of Samuel’s grandchildren, Alva Mae Pickel. Born on Dec. 28, 1895, Alva was the daughter of Charles and Minnie Pickel. At age 23, she married farmer Ben Neubert in April 1919.
One March 6, 1920, Alva gave birth to a stillborn daughter that she and Ben named Gladys Elaine. The death date on her marker is damaged but I was able to find it on her records.
Alva died only three days later on March 9. According to her death certificate, the cause of death was “acute myocarditis.” She may have been suffering from peripartum cardiomyopathy, a rare type of heart failure. It occurs during pregnancy or not long after delivery. She was only 24.
Ben remarried to Leona Williams. They would have five children together. Ben died in 1972 and is buried with Leona in Roseberry Cemetery in nearby Mascot, Tenn.
Tragedy on the Tracks
There are 12 Huskissons buried at Asbury Cemetery. Two of their markers stood out to me. The first belongs to George Washington Huskisson, born on April 19, 1874 to John Wiley Huskisson and Mary Armstrong Huskisson. John would die at the age of 43 in 1890.
George married Eliza Huffaker in July 1893. They had two children, John and Miles. George found work with the railroad. That profession would eventually cost him his life.
George was working as a fireman on the Knoxville & Ohio (K & O) Railroad on Jan. 8, 1899 near Elk Valley when a freight train had a head end collision with a mixed local passenger train at 11:30 a.m. The collision was blamed on the freight train not “side tracking” for the oncoming passenger train as a result of engineers misreading their time cards. Regardless, five men died that day. George was pulled alive from the wreckage and taken to the hospital. But he died the next day from the serious burns he received in the crash.
George’s monument includes a locomotive engine with the number 157 on it. Perhaps this was an engine George had ridden and worked on during his life. One article I read noted that George was a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, who assisted his wife, Eliza, after his death.
Eliza remarried to Samuel Felts in 1902. She died in 1956 at the age of 81 and is buried in Asbury Cemetery with Samuel, who died in 1955. Eliza and George’s two sons, lived well into adulthood and are buried in other states.
Tools of His Trade
George’s uncle, Alfred Patrick Huskisson, also has an eye-catching monument as Asbury Cemetery. He was in the monument trade for much of his life, which is reflected in his own marker.
Born on Aug. 1, 1854, A.P. Huskisson married Lucinda “Lucy” Barlow around 1880. They had one daughter, Cora, born in 1886. A.P. was employed as a stone cutter for none other than G.W. Callahan & Bro. for some years. I wrote about George Callahan recently in my post about Calvary Cemetery.
Sometime around 1901, A.P. entered into a partnership with W.F. Berne in Augusta, Ga. to become cement sidewalk contractors. The next year, Cora and Lucy joined him in Augusta. He died on Oct. 25, 1905 at the age of 51.
A.P.’s body was returned by train to Knoxville and he was buried at Asbury Cemetery. His monument is in the shape of a tree, a very popular trend at the time. But I don’t think I’ve seen on that ever had stone mason’s tools at the base as this one does. It is a testament to his profession and his craftsmanship.
Lucy did not remarry and died in 1946. She is buried in Knoxville’s Lynnhurst Cemetery. Cora married Charles Mauk in 1907 and died in 1978. I was unable to find out where she is buried.
As I left, this sign did make me curious. In the Victorian era, cemeteries were known destinations for picknickers who would visit their loved ones before tucking into some lunch nearby on a blanket. I occasionally buzz through a drive-thru for a snack to eat at a cemetery. But I usually eat it in my car before walking around. Not on the grass.
Then again, maybe the sign is aimed more at folks loitering with less than honorable intentions. It’s possible they’ve had issues with vandalism or leaving trash. It’s a sadly common cemetery problem.
Next time, I’ll be stopping by Concord Masonic Cemetery.