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William 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 inscription which 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. 

This 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 2003. The 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.