A visit to Oakwood

I recently visited Oakwood Cemetery in Troy and took of few pictures of tombstones and monuments that caught my eye.  Oddly, I did get through without visiting Oakwood’s most popular grave site, that of Uncle Sam Wilson.  I thought I’d share a few, and what background I’ve scrounged up since.

This first monument is the grave site of Robert Ross.  I’d never heard of him, but wondered what the story  was since it is such an impressive grave marker.  I didn’t have to google too hard, the New York Times archive turned up quite a story.  He was murdered during an election riot, and citizens of Troy honored him with this memorial.

This monument is far larger than it appears in this photo, and is on a hill as well.  Again, the name was not familiar to me, but this is what I found, and it’s quite interesting.  General John Ellis Wool served as an officer three U.S. wars: the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, and the Civil War.

This one would have caught my stepfather’s eye for certain–the iron fence is quite impressive.  This belongs to Henry & George Vail.  They were brothers, successful in the mercantile business in Troy.  Henry also served one term as a U.S. congressman in the 1830’s.  He was born, by the way, just 6 years after the ink on the Declaration of Independence dried.

I drive down Tibbits Ave. every single day, and thought once about looking up the name, but never did.  This small chapel is dedicated to George Tibbits, and to his grandson Badger Tibbits.  Here’s what I found (too much to type here).

I really took this picture not for the impressiveness of the monument itself, but for the inscription.  It says along the top railing of the pew, “I am the Resurrection and the Life.”  I actually did find this info on Leonard House Giles, however:

Leonard House, eldest son of Henry Godkin and Harriet (House) Giles, was born at Rome, New York, May 23, 1841. He was educated in the common and high schools of that city, and at Rome Academy. After the family removed to Troy he studied law for a year, but abandoning the idea of a profession he entered the hardware store of J. M. Warren & Company, remaining with that firm until 1866. He then became associated with his father in the manufacture of stoves, as H. G. Giles & Son. In 1888 he established his present business, nickel plating and manufacturing, being senior partner of Giles & Nielsen, with a plant in Troy. He is a member of the First Particular Baptist Church of Troy, the Chamber of Commerce, and through a patriotic ancestry gains membership in the Sons of the American Revolution. Politically he is an independent Republican.

This chapel was in a beautiful setting and was built during the first year of the Civil War in honor of the Warren family.  No information on the cemetery’s site about family.

These are all photos of details of the main chapel/crematorium which was built by Hannah and William Earl in memory of their son who died an early death in 1887.  It has eight stained glass windows from Tiffany’s (yes, that Tiffany’s), which unfortunately I didn’t see, it was locked up tight.

I couldn’t figure the sphere on top of this one out.  The family name is Durkee, I found nothing about them, though.

This photo I took for the inscription as well: “I know that my Redeemer liveth.”

This one was interesting, too.  Family name is Paine.

Sometimes simple says it best.

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4 Responses to A visit to Oakwood

  1. Bill says:

    Wonderful. I was thinking today that it would be interesting to do the same thing at Albany Rural Cemetery. I am not sure the photos would have been as impressive and I may get lost in there……

  2. James says:

    I know I’d get lost in Albany Rural, but it would be an interesting place to explore. Only problem is, it could take a week!

  3. Dave says:

    It’s a very nice cemetery to visit and find a lot of historical figures from the Troy area.I know you have a lot of books in your to-read list, but I have a book that. gives more insight surrounding his death. It’s called” The trial of Bat Shea by Jack Casey. Casey is a local lawyer based in Troy. It seemed like a good read but I haven’t finished yet.

  4. Lauren says:

    Thank you for the great picture of the Giles monument. Leonard is actually my great-grandfather and I’ve been doing some family history research. It is nice to see a picture!

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