Saturday, April 24, 2010

Woodmen of the World Tombstone--Vernando Hilton Nicely

I found a most interesting article in the recent Graveyard Rabbit Journal Woodmen of the World: The Society & Their Tombstones by Stephanie Lincecum. While reading the blog something clicked in my mind and I vaguely remembered that I had photographed a Woodmen of the World tombstone in the Bellevue Cemetery, Bellevue, Ohio this past August. When I first saw this tombstone and the WOW on a metal marker beside it, I had no idea what it meant. I thank Stephanie for the well researched article which gave me the information I needed.

The name on the tombstone is Vernando Nicely 18?? to 1913. A search on the Family Search website gave me Vernando's death certificate. He was born on August 8, 1871 in Ohio and died June 30, 1913 in Graton, Erie County, Ohio. His full name was Vernando Hilton Nicely and his parents were Aaron Nicely and Margaret Elmira Moore.

I found an obituary for Vernando out on FindAGrave:

V. D. Nicely Died at His Home, North of Town, Monday Evening After an illness from typhoid fever, extending over a period of seven weeks, V. D. Nicely, a well known and highly respected farmer, died Monday evening at five o'clock at his home two and one-half miles north of town, aged 40 years.

The deceased was a son of Mr. and Mrs. A. Nicely, and was born at Defiance, where he grew to manhood and was married. A year ago last March, the family moved to the Geo. Smith farm north of town, where they have since resided.

It is believed that the death of Mr. Nicely is due to the flood of last March, when the farm upon which they live, was partially inundated, the house and buildings being surrounded by water for a period of five weeks. It will be remembered the family was rescued from their home by a boat which overturned, throwing the occupants into the water.

Mr. Nicely's health failed from that time and the constant worry over the loss of his crops also. It is believed, hastened his death.

He is survived by his widow and three small children, ranging in age from 9 to 2 and 1/2 years. He also leaves his aged parents, Mr. and Mrs. A. Nicely, of Defiance, one brother, and three sisters: C. A. Nicely, of east of town; Mrs. M. B. McCollister, and Mrs. I. K. Phillips, of Bellevue, and Mrs. Hattie Smith, of Defiance.

Mr. Nicely was an industrious farmer, a model citizen, a kind husband and father, and his untimely death called forth expressions of sorrow and the bereaved family have the sympathy of all in their affliction.

Funeral services will be held at the house this afternoon at 2 o'clock, conducted by Rev. H. C. Colburn. Internment will be in Bellevue Cemetery.

© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser


  1. That stone is different from ones I've seen in my area. Thanks for posting it, and thanks for the kind words about the article. :-)

  2. The township where he passed away is most likely Groton Township seen in this Google Map.