Thursday, September 22, 2011

Straw Man Deeds

While working through deeds I found in Nebraska, I found 3 transactions:
  • Henry sold land to his son Elisha
  • Elisha bought land from a neighbor
  • Elisha sold both parcels of land to the neighbor
So, the net effect is that Henry sold land to the neighbor.  After a bit of reading, I conclude that this was a straw man transaction...but why?  These transactions occurred over several days and would have required 3 registration fees, so it must have seemed like a good idea.  I wonder what they were trying to achieve...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Vienna Cemetery

One interesting stop in Vienna last week was the cemetery, Zentralfriedhof .  Our guide was interested in showing us the showpiece markers, like this one for Beethoven

but I kept hopping out to take pictures of the normal people sections, like this one

It's an interesting cemetery.  Firstly, it's huge; apparently a far-sighted city leader decided that the cemeteries around the city's churches were filling up and somewhat unhygienic, so they extrapolated out the number of residents they would have for the next century and established a cemetery out on the projected outskirts that could handle everyone.  While they were establishing it, they created some zones in the center for luminaries, especially the musicians, and moved their graves to the new cemetery.  There's a marker for Mozart, although the actual location of his body is unknown.  It's much more densely filled than many I visit in the U.S.

And remember the scene in the movie Amadeus where Mozart's body is dumped out of a reusable casket?  The scene gave viewers, particularly Americans, the sense that his was a pauper's funeral.  According to our tour guide, this is wrong -- that same leader had decided that burying nice caskets was wasteful and decreed the use of these reusable ones; it was too radical an idea for the time, so the practice didn't last, but it was used for a while.

For more information about this cemetery, check out Wikipedia or the official website (in German).

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Gaylord Cemetery

This cemetery is just south of Smith Center, Kansas.  It's a bit tricky to find, because you have to drive through the tiny town of Gaylord. Do NOT trust any computer map that shows a road running directly east-west from the cemetery to the highway -- it's just a rut in a field and is not a road at all.

It's very well kept, but I didn't find a directory.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Athol Cemetery

There's not much left of the town of Athol, in Smith county, Kansas, but they have a lovely cemetery.  I've seen it referred to as the Athol Cemetery, Pleasant View Cemetery, and Meyers Cemetery.  There's a good directory.

After Googling for directions, I found myself on a little dirt road, driving through a corn field.  As I came over the hill, I saw an incredible panorama view which included a lovely cemetery.

As it turns out, there was a shorter route, but it wasn't nearly as picturesque!

This cemetery had the Moore and Frazier families.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Scandia Cemetery

In the tiny town of Scandia, Kansas, is what may be the prettiest cemetery I've seen -- the Riverview Cemetery sits on top of a bluff overlooking the Republican River.

I didn't see an index, but found my Hays/Sigsbee marker easily from the road.