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Good Mourning Augusta! 10/4/19

Ever wonder why so many tombstones are made to look like trees? Some cemeteries look like they're a forest!

Crescent Hill / Augusta Memorial Park has many great examples of these popular stones and the explanation is actually simple. You'll notice on closer inspection that most of these (not all) have an inscription from "Woodsmen of the World".

"Woodmen of the World is the largest fraternal benefit society with open membership in the United States. It is an insurance organization founded by Joseph Cullen Root in Omaha, Nebraska on the 6th of June, 1890.

The first certificate of membership was issued to William A. McCully of Independence, Kansas on the 29th of December, 1890. Six months later, Woodmen paid its first death claim on the life of teenager Willie O. Warner who drowned on the 14th of June, 1891, in Niles, Michigan.

Early Woodmen of the World policies provided for a death and a monument benefit. Gravestones were originally furnished to members for free and later were offered to those who purchased a $100 rider.

During the 1920s the Society stopped providing markers to members when the cost of gravestones increased and cemeteries began prohibiting above-ground memorials for maintenance reasons. For many years after that, members and lodges arranged for markers and monuments on their own.

According to the Woodemen of the World website, although the monument benefit is no longer included, the Society does not let graves go unmarked." -

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