Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Stotler plot at Crown Hill Indianapolis

A couple months ago I wrote to Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana and requested cemetery records and photos of the Stotler plot. They were very prompt in sending a detailed response and even waited until the grass was green to before taking the digital photos I paid for. The photos and records confirmed the information I have for Dr. George Henry Stotler, but also created a further mystery.

As you can see in the above photo there is a main stone that says Stotler and has the "Woodmen of the World" seal on it. I mentioned this stone in a previous post last October.There is also a smaller stone that says G. Henry Stotler M.D. 1865 - 1902. This matches the information I have for Dr. George Henry Stotler. Apparently George preferred to go by the name Henry.
Dr. G. Henry Stotler

The cemetery provided me with 3 detailed maps to assist in locating the plot, which is in section 36, lot 47. If you're look at this post in blogger you'll see I've pointed to the approximate location in the "location" field below. The records Crown Hill provided state that Mrs. Emma Stotler and John H. Stotler purchased the north 1/2 of lot 47 on Feb 19, 1902 for $200. My records indicate the G. Henry Stotler died the day before, Feb 18, 1902. Emma was G. Henry's wife (of just under 4 months) and John was his brother. G. Henry and John Stotler were the brothers of Mary Hay (Stotler) Ross, my 2nd Great Grandmother.

The cemetery records also listed the interment time as 2:00, February 20, 1902. Date of death, Feb 18, 1902 age 37, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Cause of death was listed as "Nervous Prostration", which apparently is equivalent to a serious nervous or mental breakdown of some sort. Those are all interesting details and except for the cause of death, I already had most of that information. So far so good, right? Not quite.

Hiram Stotler

The second burial location in the Stotler plot should be G. Henry's father, Hiram Stotler, at least according to the information I have. Unfortunately, cemetery records don't match that, so I have some conflicting information. Their records say that G. Henry's brother John H. Stotler was buried in the second spot, grave 8, lot 47, section 36 on June 14, 1920. They also provided a copy of the lot interment order that says the same thing. Unfortunately, there is no headstone for the plot, so there is no information that can help.

I've mentioned John H. Stotler before, he is somewhat of a roadblock for me. There was some indication that he died in a flood in Columbus Ohio, in 1913, but that was apparently not the right John H. Stotler. So I'm stuck with only the 1900 Census record for Rev. John Harrison Stotler and his wife Anna (Perry) living in Wabash County, Illinois. After that, I can't find much on John, though apparently his wife died in 1910 in Columbus, Ohio. Beyond that, I'm stumped on John H. Stotler.

Family history passed down to me indicates that Hiram Stotler died June 10, 1920 in Rockwell City, Iowa. His body was shipped to Indianapolis, and he was said to be interred at Crown Hill Cemetery, with his son. These dates match up with the interment dates listed by the cemetery, only the name doesn't match.

So what does all this mean? Well, my guess is that the cemetery records are misleading. Since the records say that John H. Stotler owned the lot, I'm guessing that they just put his name on the 1920 record. I don't think Hiram died a wealthy man, so my working theory is that he was buried in John's lot and for whatever reason, the paperwork did not match. It is a bit troubling to me that my 3rd Great Grandfather is basically buried in an unmarked spot, under the wrong name, but there isn't much I can do about that. I'm certainly not in the position to prove who is actually buried in that location. I'm still not any closer to figuring out what happened to John H. Stotler, perhaps he died prior to 1920.

I'm open to alternative theories and documentation, so let me know if anyone has anything on John Harrison Stotler or proof that Hiram was buried at Crown Hill.