Friday, April 23, 2010

Miss Carrie Ella Barney

Miss Carrie Ella Barney, daughter of George and Caroline Barney, died on March 17, 1873, at the age of 18. An obituary for Carrie, which appeared in the March 21, 1873 issue of the Sandusky Register, does not state her specific illness, but shares these words about Carrie:

"Always of slender frame and poor health, the mind of Miss Carrie was unusually developed, particularly in the direction of literature. Many of her poetical productions have been published in this paper and universally admired for the genius they displayed."

Several poems written by Carrie Ella Barney were published in the Sandusky Register between 1870 and 1872. One entitled "Grey Hairs" is especially poignant.

While we cannot be absolutely positive, I believe that the three graves which Carrie mentions in the second stanza of her poem refer to the graves of her younger sister and brother, and niece, all who died in infancy. I think that the person whose hair turned grey is Carrie's own dear mother, Caroline Stebbins Barney, who would outlive all but one of her five children.

Carrie's tombstone is in the shape of a tree stump, which is symbolic of a life cut short. Her stone also is adorned with a cross entwined with ivy.

Miss Carrie Ella Barney is buried with many of her extended family members in the Barney lot at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.

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