June 11, 2013

Joseph Haven Sanborn, Loudonville, Ohio

Joseph Haven Sanborn Loudonville Ohio Clara Sanborn

Loudonville Cemetery is the final resting place of many members of the Sanborn family, who migrated to Loudonville, Ohio from New Hampshire before 1840. This stately gravestone marks the burial place of Joseph Haven Sanborn, born 13 January 1831 in Plymouth, New Hampshire, to parents Jeremiah B. Sanborn and Clarissa (Smith) Sanborn. Joseph was a railroad ticket agent for many years. He died in Loudonville, in Ashland County, on 24 August 1895, at the age of 64.

The marker, which bears the inscription "Blessed are the Dead, who die in the Lord," honors Joseph’s wife and daughter as well. Clarissa Annah “Clara” Smith (who usually went by Clara, possibly to avoid confusion with her mother-in-law) was born 6 January 1838 in Loudonville. She outlived her husband by many years, until 30 December 1913. The couple’s little daughter, Laura Clarissa Sanborn, was born 22 August 1870 and lived only five months, dying on 25 January 1871. Like her father and mother, she has her own little marker showing her actual location in the family plot.

Joseph H. and Clara Sanborn had three other children, who all lived to adulthood: Haven Levant Sanborn, Mary Asenath Sanborn, and Gilman Stanton Sanborn. None of them are buried in Ashland County.

Loudonville Cemetery sits on a hill not far from the center of town, and is well tended. It’s a pleasant spot in which to reflect on some of my husband’s early Ohio ancestors on a summer day.


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  1. What a peaceful and loving description of this family and these stones. I've found traces in my family line of so many children who died in their first few years of life. Is it possible to counter anguish with a sense of peace? There's a book by Julian Barnes, "Nothing to Be Frightened Of," about that question -- a friend just recommended it to me. Thanks for this loving post.

  2. I haven't heard of that book before, Mariann--I'll have to check it out. It's always sad to learn about a baby or child who died, even one so long ago. In this case, Laura's memory was preserved by the family. Her sister Asenath, very late in life, wrote a short family synopsis that included Laura's name. Asenath was 2 years old when Laura was born and died, so they must have talked about her over the years.

    The cemetery did give me a sense of peace. Thanks for reading and taking the time to leave such a thoughtful comment--it's much appreciated.


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