Sextons & Years of Service
1822 – 1846 Alpha Kingsley
1847 – 1848 Smith Criddle
1849 – 1854 Benjamin Clements
1855 – 1862 Martin O. Cotton
1862 - T. M. McBride
1862 – 1865 George W. Norvell
1868 - James W. Pratt
1874 – 1879 Daniel M. Martin
1880 – 1888 William T. Perry
1889 – 1911 Daniel M. Martin
1912 – 1917 John B. Norman
1918 – 1937 Charles H. Wallace
1937 – 1944 Delbert C. Puckett
1948 – 1955 Robert I. Taylor
1956 – 1974 Douglas A. Pardue
1977 – 1978 Wesley Paine, Metro Board of
1979 – 1982 Naomi Levia, Metro Board of
1982 – present Metro Historical
List of Sextons prepared by Carole Bucy.
Sexton. The job of the Sexton at
the City Cemetery was difficult. He was
in charge of arrangements for all
burials, in having the graves dug prior
to funerals and filled after interments,
in keeping the Interment Books and in
collecting the fees for burials. During
periods of Epidemics this was unending
work. We must be grateful to the
endeavors of the Sextons in faithfully
keeping the Interment Books at the City
Cemetery so that we have knowledge of
the many people who were buried in this
cemetery. Today of the 19,745
burials in the Interment Books, only a
fraction have tombstones. Of the 3,000
tombstones in the cemetery, in 2006,
only 2000 tombstones had legible
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Undertakers and Funeral Homes
Cole & Garrett
Combs, M. S. & Co.
Cornelius, C. R.
Finley - Dorris
Grooms, R. H.
Grooms & Combs
Peters & Pisen
Roach, John C. & Co.
W. R. C. & Co. (W.R. Cornelius & Co.)
Glossary of Ancient Diseases
Abscess: A localized collection of pus
buried in tissues, organs, or confined
spaces of the body, often accompanied by
swelling and inflammation and frequently
caused by bacteria. See boil.
Addison's disease: A disease
characterized by severe weakness, low
blood pressure, and a bronzed coloration
of the skin, due to decreased secretion
of cortisol from the adrenal gland.
Synonyms: Morbus addisonii, bronzed skin
Ague: Malarial or intermittent fever
characterized by paroxysms (stages of
chills, fever, and sweating at regularly
recurring times) and followed by an
interval or intermission of varying
duration. Popularly, the disease was
known as "fever and ague," "chill
fever," "the shakes," and by names
expressive of the locality in which it
was prevalent--such as, "swamp fever"
(in Louisiana), "Panama fever," and
Ague-cake: A form of enlargement of the
spleen, resulting from the action of
malaria on the system.
American Plague: yellow fever
Anasarca: Generalized massive dropsy.
Apoplexy: paralysis due to stroke
Aphthae: See thrush.
Aphthous stomatitis: See canker.
Ascites: See dropsy.
Asthenia: See debility.
Bad Blood: Syphilis
Bilious fever: A term loosely applied to
certain intestinal and malarial fevers.
Biliousness: A complex of symptoms
comprising nausea, abdominal discomfort,
headache, and constipation--formerly
attributed to excessive secretion of
bile from the liver.
Blood Poisoning: Septicemia
Boil: An abscess of skin or painful
inflammation of the skin or a hair
follicle usually caused by a
staphylococcal infection. Synonym:
Brain fever: See meningitis, typhus.
Bright's Disease: Glomerulonephritis
Bronchial asthma: A disorder of
breathing, characterized by spasm of the
bronchial tubes of the lungs, wheezing,
and difficulty in breathing air
outward--often accompanied by coughing
and a feeling of tightness in the chest.
Camp fever: See typhus.
Cancer: A malignant and invasive growth
or tumor. In the nineteenth century,
cancerous tumors tended to ulcerate,
grew constantly, and progressed to a
fatal end and that there was scarcely a
tissue they would not invade. Synonyms:
malignant growth, carcinoma.
Cancrum otis: A severe, destructive,
eroding ulcer of the cheek and lip. In
the last century it was seen in
delicate, ill-fed, ill-tended children
between the ages of two and five. The
disease was the result of poor hygiene.
It was often fatal. The disease could,
in a few days, lead to gangrene of the
lips, cheeks, tonsils, palate, tongue,
and even half the face; teeth would fall
from their sockets. Synonyms: canker,
water canker, noma, gangrenous
stomatitis, gangrenous ulceration of the
Canker: An ulcerous sore of the mouth
and lips, not considered fatal today.
Synonym: aphthous stomatitis. See
Catarrh: Inflammation of a mucous
membrane, especially of the air passages
of the head and throat, with a free
discharge. Bronchial catarrh was
bronchitis; suffocative catarrh was
croup; urethral catarrh was gleet;
vaginal catarrh was leukorrhea; epidemic
catarrh was the same as influenza.
Synonyms: cold, coryza.
Chlorosis: iron deficiency anemia
Cholera: An acute, infectious disease
characterized by profuse diarrhea,
vomiting, and cramps. Cholera is spread
by feces-contaminated water and food.
Major epidemics struck the United States
in the years 1832, 1849, and 1866. .
Cholera infantum: A common, noncontagious diarrhea of young
children, occurring in summer or autumn.
It was common among the poor and in
hand-fed babies. Death frequently
occurred in three to five days.
Synonyms: summer complaint, weaning
brash, water gripes, choleric fever of
children, cholera morbus.
Chorea: Any of several diseases of the
nervous system, characterized by jerky
movements that appear to be well
coordinated but are performed
involuntarily, chiefly of the face and
extremities. Synonym: Saint Vitus'
Colic: Paroxysmal pain in the abdomen or
bowels. Infantile colic is benign
paroxysmal abdominal pain during the
first three months of life. Colic rarely
caused death. Renal colic can occur from
disease in the kidney, gallstone colic
from a stone in the bile duct.
Congestion: An excessive or abnormal
accumulation of blood or other fluid in
a body part or blood vessel. In
congestive fever the internal organs
become gorged with blood.
Congestive Fever: malaria
Consumption: A wasting away of the body;
formerly applied especially to pulmonary
tuberculosis. Synonyms: marasmus (in the
mid-nineteenth century), phthisis.
Convulsions: Severe contortion of the
body caused by violent, involuntary
muscular contractions of the
extremities, trunk, and head. See
Coryza: See catarrh.
Croup: Any obstructive condition of the
larynx (voice box) or trachea
(windpipe), characterized by a hoarse,
barking cough and difficult breathing
occurring chiefly in infants and
children. In the early-nineteenth
century it was called cynanche
trachealis. The crouping noise was
similar to the sound emitted by a
chicken affected with the pip, which in
some parts of Scotland was called roup;
hence, probably, the term croup.
Synonyms: roup, hives, choak, stuffing,
rising of the lights.
Debility: Abnormal bodily weakness or
feebleness; decay of strength. This was
a term descriptive of a patient's
condition and of no help in making a
diagnosis. Synonym: asthenia.
Diphtheria: An acute infectious disease
acquired by contact with an infected
person or a carrier of the disease. It
was usually confined to the upper
respiratory tract (throat) and
characterized by the formation of a
tough membrane (false membrane) attached
firmly to the underlying tissue that
would bleed if forcibly removed. In the
nineteenth century the disease was
occasionally confused with scarlet fever
Dropsy: A contraction for hydropsy. The
presence of abnormally large amounts of
fluid. Congestive heart failure
Dysentery: A term given to a number of
disorders marked by inflammation of the
intestines (especially of the colon).
There are two specific varieties: (1)
amebic dysentery (2) bacillary
dysentery. Synonyms: flux, bloody flux,
contagious pyrexia (fever), frequent
Eclampsia: A form of toxemia (toxins--or
poisons--in the blood) accompanying
pregnancy. See dropsy.
Effluvia: Exhalations. In the
mid-nineteenth century, they were called
"vapours" and distinguished into the
contagious effluvia, such as rubeolar
(measles); marsh effluvia, such as
Emphysema, pulmonary: A chronic,
irreversible disease of the lungs.
Enteric fever: See typhoid fever.
Epilepsy: A disorder of the nervous
system, characterized either by mild,
episodic loss of attention or sleepiness
(petittnal) or by severe convulsions
with loss of consciousness (grand mal).
Synonyms: falling sickness, fits.
Erysipelas: An disease. Synonyms: Rose,
Saint Anthony's Fire (from its burning
heat or, perhaps, because Saint Anthony
was supposed to cure it miraculously).
Fatty Liver: Cirrhosis
Flux: See dysentery.
Furuncle: See boil.
Gangrene: Death and decay of tissue in a
part of the body--usually a limb--due to
injury, disease, or failure of blood
supply. Synonym: mortification.
Glandular Fever: Mononucleosis
Gleet: See catarrh.
Gravel: A disease characterized by small
stones which are formed in the kidneys,
passed along the ureters to the bladder,
and expelled with the urine. Synonym:
Grippe: an old term for influenza
Hectic fever: A daily recurring fever
with profound sweating, chills, and
flushed appearance-- often associated
with pulmonary tuberculosis or septic
Hives: A skin eruption of smooth,
slightly elevated areas on the skin
which is redder or paler than the
surrounding skin. Often attended by
severe itching. Also called cynanche
trachealis. In the mid-nineteenth
century, hives was a commonly given
cause of death of children three years
and under. Because true hives does not
kill, croup was probably the actual
cause of death in those children.
Hospital fever: See typhus.
Hydrocephalus: See dropsy.
Hydrothorax: See dropsy.
Icterus: See jaundice.
Inanition: Exhaustion from lack of
Infection: In the early part of the last
century, infections were thought to be
the propagation of disease by effluvia
(see above) from patients crowded
together. "Miasms" were believed to be
substances which could not be seen in
any form--emanations not apparent to the
senses. Such miasms were understood to
act by infection.
Inflammation: Redness, swelling, pain,
tenderness, heat, and disturbed function
of an area of the body. In the last
century, cause of death often was listed
as inflammation of a body organ--such
as, brain or lung--but this was purely a
descriptive term and is not helpful in
identifying the actual underlying
Jail fever: See typhus.
Jaundice: Yellow discoloration of the
skin, whites of the eyes, and mucous
membranes, due to an increase of bile
pigments in the blood. Synonym: icterus.
Kidney stone: See gravel.
Kings evil: A popular name for scrofula.
The name originated in the time of
Edward the Confessor, with the belief
that the disease could be cured by the
touch of the king of England.
Lockjaw: Tetanus, a disease in which the
jaws become firmly locked together.
Synonyms: trismus, tetanus.
Lung Fever: pneumonia
Lung Sickness: Tuberculosis
Malignant fever: See typhus.
Marasmus: Malnutrition occurring in
infants and young children, caused by an
insufficient intake of calories or
Meningitis: Inflammation of the meninges
characterized by high fever, severe
headache, and stiff neck or back
muscles. Synonym: brain fever.
Milk Sick: poisoning resulting from the
drinking of milk produced by a cow who
had eaten a plant known as white snake
Neuralgia: Sharp and paroxysmal pain
along the course of a sensory nerve.
Paristhmitis: See quinsy.
Petechial fever: See typhus.
Phthisis: See consumption.
Plague/Black Death: Bubonic Plague
Pleurisy: Inflammation of the pleura,
the lining of the chest cavity. Symptoms
are chills, fever, dry cough, and pain
in the affected side (a stitch).
Pneumonia: Inflammation of the lungs
Potts Disease: Tuberculosis of the
Putrid fever: See typhus.
Putrid sore throat: Ulceration of an
acute form, attacking the tonsils
Pyrexia: See dysentery.
Quinsy: An acute inflammation of the
tonsils, often leading to an abscess.
Synonyms: suppurative tonsillitis,
cynanche tonsillaris, paristhmitis, sore
Scarlatina: Scarlet fever. A contagious
Scrofula: Primary tuberculosis of the
lymphatic glands, especially those in
the neck. A disease of children and
young adults. Synonym: king's evil.
Septic: Infected, a condition of local
or generalized invasion of the body by
Ship fever: See typhus.
Softening Of The Brain: cerebral
Spotted fever: See typhus.
Summer complaint: See cholera infantum.
Suppuration: The production of pus.
Teething: The entire process which
results in the eruption of the teeth.
Nineteenth-century medical reports
stated that infants were more prone to
disease at the time of teething.
Symptoms were restlessness, fretfulness,
convulsions, diarrhea, and painful and
swollen gums. The latter could be
relieved by lancing over the protruding
tooth. Often teething was reported as a
cause of death in infants. Perhaps they
became susceptible to infections,
especially if lancing was performed
without antisepsis. Another explanation
of teething as a cause of death is that
infants were often weaned at the time of
teething; perhaps they then died from
drinking contaminated milk, leading to
an infection, or from malnutrition if
watered-down milk was given.
Tetanus: An infectious, often-fatal
disease caused by a specific bacterium
that enters the body through wounds.
Synonyms: trismus, lockjaw.
Thrush: A disease characterized by
whitish spots and ulcers on the
membranes of the mouth, tongue, and fauces
(the passage between the back of the
mouth and the pharynx) caused by a parasitic fungus.
Synonyms: aphthae, sore mouth, aphthous
Trismus nascentium or neonatorum: A form
of tetanus seen only in infants, almost
invariably in the first five days of
Typhoid fever: An infectious, often-fatal
disease, usually occurring in the summer
months--characterized by intestinal
inflammation and ulceration. The name
came from the disease's similarity to
typhus (see below). Synonym: enteric
Typhus: An acute, infectious disease
transmitted by lice and fleas. The
epidemic or classic form is louse borne;
the endemic or murine is flea borne.
Synonyms: typhus fever, malignant fever
(in the 1850s), jail fever, hospital
fever, ship fever, putrid fever, brain
fever, bilious fever, spotted fever,
petechial fever, camp fever.
Winter Fever: pneumonia
Yellow fever: An acute, often-fatal,
infectious disease of warm
climates--caused by a virus transmitted
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Purifiers and Nerve Tonics left few
claims out if the list of ailments they
could cure. Dr. Green's for example for
example, listed scrofula, Rheumatism,
Neuralgia, Kidney Complaint, Liver
Complaint, Lung Trouble, Salt Rheum,
Constipation, Piles, Jaundice, Loss of
Appetite, Female Weakness, Dyspepsia and
Nervousness. And testimonials from happy
users added yet more.
roots, barks and other natural products
were sold by the Shakers to support
their communities. Capitalizing on their
reputation, the A. J. White Company
launched several products using their
name, the Shaker Soothing Plasters being
a representative example. Plasters today
are infrequently used, but still are an
effective means of providing counter
cocaine has some positive medical
indication, it is doubtful that its use
in toothache drops is one of them.
Lloyd's Toothache Drops were registered
in 1885 and must have been a quick
success, for shortly thereafter the firm
stated that the product's "wonderful
properties are fully demonstrated by the
many recommendations it is daily
and after pictures are natural
illustration for proprietary medicines,
and this 1872 card for Hamilton's Buchu
and Dandelion is a classic example. The
ingredients, buchu and dandelion, have
excellent diuretic properties, giving
patients evidence of some activity, but
this does not necessarily mean that they
are good for "all diseases of the kidney
H. H. Warner made his first
fortune as a pioneer in the manufacture
of safes in Rochester, New York. His
company later became part of the Mosler
Safe Company, and because of his
background, Warner felt it appropriate
to use the name "safe" in several of his
products, including the Rheumatic Cure.
Undoubtedly this word in the title aided
reason Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup was
effective in calming teething children
was that it contained morphine,
prompting some physicians and
journalists to call it a "babykiller."
In the nineteenth-century, the British
public was better protected that the
American, since their labels for this
product had to be marked "Poison."
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