The Mather "Mother" Matter
Southeast of the Homestead, across Brookside Avenue, is the Mather Cemetery. Stephen Mather’s father, Joseph Wakeman Mather is buried there. Joseph’s sister and his three brothers are buried there as well.
To your right as you enter and proceed southward you’ll pass the gravestone of the eldest brother, David Banks Mather (16 Oct 1817-13 Dec 1876) and his wife, Julia Everett Mather (15 Jan 1819-15 Jun 1906).
You’ll then pass the grave of Sarah Jarvis Mather Vail (16 Sep 1818-15 Feb 1841) who died less than a month after giving birth to her only child, Sarah Vail.
Further on, is the grave of Joseph Wakeman Mather (13 Jan 1820-21 Aug 1905) and his two wives, Maria Augusta Mahan Mather (14 Feb 1833-16 Mar 1859) and Bertha Jemima Walker (31 Mar 1844-19 Aug 1899), Stephen’s mother.
After that, the grave of Henry Burritt Mather (30 Apr 1825-28 Jun 1880). The headstones on either side are Henry’s two wives, Rachel Ann Weed Mather (26 May 1829-6 Feb 1860) and Elizabeth Carter Mather (26 Mar 1838-25 Jan 1886)
Finally, at the far end is a stone which, unlike every other stone, has been turned 180° so that the inscription cannot be seen from the path. This is the gravestone of William Francis Mather (13 May 1829-2 Jan 1921*) and his wife, Emeline L. Gregory (18 Feb 1829-27 Sep 1912). The inscription?
WILLIAM F. MATHER
MAY 13, 1829 JAN 12, 1921
MELINE L. GREGORY
FEB 18, 1829 SEP 27 1912
Did the stonecutter have a bad day and MATHER became MOTHER? Why is this the one stone turned 180°? Perhaps, like the Homestead attic, the Mather Cemetery holds more stories and secrets for us yet to explore.
*State records have death as 2 Jan; headstone reads 12 Jan.