Thursday, August 11, 2016

"Every Picture Tells a Story" - Prompt 16/21

"A picture is worth a thousand words"...

And after I get started with this prompt, it may end up being a thousand words!

Every picture tells a story...

If we look at a picture long enough, a story will formulate in our minds!  That's what I did last January when I found a picture of steps leading up to a stone doorway; I wrote a short story about that picture and what I would find once I walked through that door.  Read that story here.

I pondered what picture I would use for this challenge:  something really fun?  Something unusual?

Perhaps something that had me searching for more information a few years ago?

During the summer of 2007, my husband and I were on a mission:  Find historical churches in our area.

We originally planned a trip to Palatka, FL because of the historical and local landmarks; but finding a list of 12 churches older than 100 years in and around the Palatka area had us intrigued.  We expanded that list as we visited the churches and they were checked off the list.

While driving along State Road 100 in Putnam County that day, headed from one location to another small town, we spotted a sign on the side of the road:

Photo taken by B. London

Of course we turned around and headed back to check it out; the church fit the "over 100 years old" criteria, but was not on our list!

As we drove down the sandy road to the parking area beside the church, I became excited about what we might find.

Coming into our view was a small white church with a cemetery beside it, surrounded by beautiful azaleas and dogwood trees.

Wandering around the cemetery, we  found many graves and headstones, some dating back to the mid-1800's.  I was drawn to one because of the child/angel that was attached to the headstone, the words filling my heart with sadness:

"Owen Worth Wall
Born Nov. 3, 1898
Died Mar. 26, 1902
Papa's and Mama's"

This child was not even four years old when he died!

I had to know more...

But, all I could find at that time was information about the church and cemetery.  So, I documented what I had found, and added it to my photo album.

When I decided this was the perfect picture for the prompt for the "21 Days of Journaling in July" challenge, I pondered the story I could write about this little boy...

How did he die?  How would the story go?  Who were his parents; did he have any brothers or sisters?

I had to know more; it wasn't enough for me to write a story...I had to know the story!

So, I went back to the Internet; and this time, I was not disappointed!

Owen Worth Wall was born in Putnam Hall, FL on November 3, 1898 to the Honorable John P. and Nancy L. Wall.  He was the youngest - the "baby" of the family - with eight brothers and sisters.

I can imagine the happiness in that family!  The joy and excitement to welcome another little one into their household; they already had eight children...what was one more for them to love?!

On March 24, 1902 Owen was bitten by a mosquito on his finger, which developed into blood poisoning.  Two days later, on the 26th, this precious little one was gone.

According to the obituary that appeared in the Palatka News, Owen (actually called "Worth") was "an unusually bright child and the sunshine of the home."  Surely the family was devastated to lose this little one.

Nov. 3, 1898
Mar. 26, 1902

People in all parts of the county will feel a sincere sympathy in the bereavement which has come into the home of the Hon. and Mrs. John P. Wall of Putnam Hall, in the sudden death, on Wednesday of last week, of their little 8-year old son Worth, from blood poisoning. The trouble originated from a mosquito bite on the finger on Monday before. The little fellow was an unusually bright child and the sunshine of the home. (Palatka News Obituary dtd Friday, 3 Apr 1902.) 

Paran Baptist Church Cemetery
Putnam Hall
Putnam County
Florida, USA

Created by: 
Donna McPherson
Record added: Jul 12, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 39377038

It would be ten more years before John and Nancy Wall lost another of their children, and he was in his thirties when he died.

But, their mother, Nancy L. Wall died in 1903.  The only information I could find was that she is also buried in the same cemetery as is her husband who died in 1921.  I was unable to find an exact date of death for Worth's mother, or why she died...

But, I feel it would be clearly possible that she grieved so much for her precious little one that she died of a broken heart.

There was more information on the family; the founder of Putnam Hall where they lived; the Wall Family Cemetery; and the church we had discovered.

But, for this prompt and the picture I am writing about, I found what I originally could not discover:  more information about a precious little one who died before he had a chance to live...

The other information will be added to the photos; and I will be making another trip to the cemetery to find the graves of the other family members.

Perhaps another story will be added once I learn more information; but for now, that is all the story I will tell about "Papa's and Mama's" precious little boy.

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