CEMETERY-MAURY COUNTY TENNESSEE-CAMPBELL STATION
Kerr Memorial-(A Memorial restoration effort)
KERR, William, died 2 Dec 1853.
(Age 72 yrs.; b. 1781 in Orange Co., N.C.; lst married Kate Ross. Kate died in
1826 and is believed she is buried in Williamson County, 2ndly he married Mary K.
Crafton who is interred next to him. It is known William fathered and
reared at least 18 children,
11 by the first wife Kate and at least 7 more by Mary Crafton. Only three of his children
are known to be interred in Shane Cemetery. Many of the rest moved off to West
Tennessee, Texas and possibly elsewhere. The children interred in Shane are Andrew Ross and Joseph
Bunyan & Louisa J. Hobbs. A third son John B. has a memorial put there in 1990 by his descendents, but he is actually
interred in lost grave in West Tennessee where he died of an infectious disease. We
think that is Obion or McNairy County.
I am told by significant Kerr researchers that land records show that William Kerr donated the plot of ground for Shane
cemetery. There was also a nearby church known as Shane Methodist Meeting House.
Read: Fred L. Hawkin's "Maury County Tennessee Cemeteries" for more information
on that history.
This stone as of 7/6/2002 was broken at the base and shattered into hundred of parts, The above is a photo of the partially reassembled stone.
It was photographed and touched up on the computer to resemble the
original. The actual stone now is reassembled from hundreds of parts glued
& set together to create the illusion of one piece. I have restored the
stone with the use of Epoxies, Concrete and the latest UV resistant plastic
fillers, In spite of my efforts the stone will need to be replaced very soon,
probably within 10 years.
One can read here most of the epitaph that reflects traditional stone work and
once graced the Shane Cemetery with William's deeply
religious faith. It says: "SACRED TO the memory of WILLIAM KERR, died Dec 2nd 1853. Aged 72 YEARS.
Princes this clay must be your bed In spite of all your towers; The tall, the
wise, the reverend head Must lie as low as ours" Our thanks to Laura
Lewallen a Kerr descendent who lives in Texas as a result of a Kerr migration
about 1870. She knew the whole poem & I will share her thoughtfulness:
A funeral thought.
Hark! from the tombs
a doleful sound;
My ears, attend the cry;
"Ye living men, come view the ground
Where you must shortly lie.
"Princes, this clay must be your bed,
In spite of all your towers;
The tall, the wise, the rev'rend head
Must lie as low as ours!"
Great God! is this our certain doom?
And are we still secure?
Still walking downward to our tomb,
And yet prepare no more?
Grant us the powers of quick'ning grace,
To fit our souls to fly,
Then, when we drop this dying flesh,
We'll rise above the sky.
This picture of the
William Kerr stone is from a low
resolution image made with a VHS Camcorder in 1992. The stone was fallen on
the ground at that time but still readable and contained most of the lettering.
photo of the William Kerr stone is what I found
in June 2002. It appears to me a portion of the damage is from a lawn mower
running over the stone. As you can see the
face containing all the lettering has peeled away. The pieces including the ones
containing the inscription were scattered over a large
area. We carefully collected those and set to work reassembling them.
Pictured here is the
newly renovated stone of William Kerr as it looks after the restoration. The
stone was photographed just after resetting it in the cemetery during May of
green paint will fade and the lettering should remain clear. Also at the bottom
the concrete absorbed the sealer leaving a shiny appearance. Bondo was
used where the lettering was lost completely. These
are the pinkish areas in the upper left area of the stone. The temporary marble
marker was attached with cement just in case it outlasts the original stone.
Evidently Squirrels thought the upper left corner of this stone was something to
eat as a visit in 2007 found the upper left corner of this stone chewed away.
The letters Will are gnawed away and not visible today.