Iron and Stone

When Kim and my nephew Travis did the exhausting and time consuming task of investigating our genealogy they uncovered and discovered some lasting and beautiful family history. The old stone church pictured here is part of our history and story. Located in the middle of nowhere outside of the town of Leoti Kansas is the Beulah Cemetery. Across from that cemetery is the old stone church. You literally drive out on an old dirt road to find the Beulah cemetery and there it is marked with a simple metal sign, it is not fancy but it is maintained. Kim and I drove out there and we wandered and wondered if we would even find the spot, finally between two wheat fields was the grave site we were looking for. Our mission to locate Eliza and Ebenezer our great, great Grandparents and early settlers and pioneers to Kansas. We walked in the front and starting looking for headstones and to our surprise their headstones were the very first ones we came to. Although weathered by time we could still read their names and piece together a little of their story. We then saw an older couple decorating graves and so Kim and I went over to speak to them. It was awesome that through a conversation we determined we were all distantly related and the older gentlemen proceeded to tell us that the land we were standing on was actually the property of Ebenezer and Eliza. You see they had left Tennessee back in the late1800’s for the promise of free farm land in Kansas and well this was their dream. The gentlemen then went on to say that EB had donated the property for the cemetery and also given land across the street for the old church to be built on. They did not have an easy life, Eliza dies at forty nine from TB and leaves EB with seven motherless children. I was struck by Eliza’s headstone, it is different than his, it is older, weathered white and so beautiful, tall and ornate. The Words on it …E.T. Wife of E.B. Couch, born 1849, died 1890. The E for Eliza, The T for the Tennessee she left behind her but kept dear to her heart and part of her name. Underneath her name these words… Sleep my beautiful and rest no more pain and no more sorrow. I have a picture of EB my Dad had in the old family bible, I unfortunately don’t have one of her. I know she was one of twenty two children and I know little details from her life in Tennessee. I am grateful that I do have enough details of their life that I am honored to be an extension of who they were. Through simple words and dates I hold dear and surmise the following. They met young and married at eighteen years of age, they made a family and they had the courage together to want a new and better life for them all by moving to Kansas. They were married 23years and EB showed his love for her through the endearing words he placed on her headstone a beautiful monument and legacy of love he left in stone. Over one hundred and twenty years after her passing her great, great granddaughters stood together and put flowers on her grave that day. Kim whispered you mattered and I said thank you for bringing us this far. Thank you for being made of faith, love, iron and stone. Thank you for living through the hard and difficult and having the courage. determination and character required to be an early pioneer. All lives and stories matter, share yours. take the time to know yours, take the time to make stories that become what you leave behind for others to find. You just might find out that the cloth you are cut from is strong as stone and lasting as iron. That leaving a legacy of family, bravery, commitment, handwork, exploration, love and faith is the best inheritance we can leave for generations to come. All lives matter and deserve to make a story…


2 responses to “Iron and Stone”

  1. So beautiful Diana. We have an old barn which was built in 1903. I was sweeping and dusting cobwebs from the rafters I could reach. I thought to myself I wonder if the men who built it thought of someone caring for the barn in 2022! I was honored to be the one


    1. Oh girl l love this, honoring and appreciating the lasting craftsmanship of others is truly beautiful .. I know you are cut from a strong cloth indeed ..: ☝️


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