Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Daughters of John and Sarah Prentice


Last week's walk through the North Ridge on the way to Dianna Mingo's grave yielded quite a few wonderful surprises, especially in areas explored many times before.

Marble headstones with sleeping infants are fairly common, but usually they are quite tiny with the reclining figures being no large than small dolls.  So, this peaceful child was almost startling as it is nearly life-sized.  Beside it, a small headstone depicts a young child kneeling.

Located just beyond the fenced Hallenbeek lot where the hillside slopes down towards the Kromme Kill ravine and an old path called Dell Side Avenue, the lot features two poignant headstones marking the graves of Sarah and Jane Ann Prentice.

Sarah died April 13, 1860.  She was just twenty-nine days old.  Her monument is the reclining infant.  Beautifully detailed, it shows the sleeping child dressed in a thin nightdress that is almost invisible due to erosion of the stone.  Beneath her blanket, there is a cushion with tassels.  One end of the headstone reads "Gone Home."


Jane Ann died on September 5, 1857 at the age of one year, four months, and seven days.  Her headstone shows a child kneeling amid what appear to be cushions.  Her face is eroded, but one tiny hand points toward Heaven.  The top of the stone is decorated with carved flowers.


 As with many early burial records, there is no cause of death given on their index cards. 

John F. Prentice, identified in census records as a schoolteacher, died only a few years after his little girls.  He passed away on April 30, 1862.  He was only thirty-two.  His widow, Sarah Lansing Prentice, survived him for many years.  She died of asthma on November 10, 1904 at the age of seventy-six.  Both John and Sarah are buried in the same lot as their children, but their gray granite headstone has toppled from its base.


Both Sarah and Jane Ann's gravestones are signed by their maker, Tuckerman & McClelland located on Lydius Street (now Madison Avenue)  Below is an advertisement for the Marble Works from Albany Argus in 1860.

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