Rinehart Family History

Sarah's Gravestone

A white obviously old, gravestone came into a recycle yard near La Grande, Oregon in the fall of 2003. It came in with a load of other debris from a farm outside of Elgin. Dave, the proprietor of the yard, sensed that this is something a family somewhere would really like to have only if he could just find the family.

He secured the help of a history buff who had done a great deal of research of Elgin area people. The name on the tombstone was Sarah E. Rinehart, wife of John Rinehart. Soon she had discovered the Rinehart Family web site. Dave now had to try for a possible family connection.

Dave sent an E-mail and his message was received: " We have a head stone from the grave of Sarah E. Rinehart. She died in 1886 at the age  of 58 years and 25 days. If there are any of her descendants with any knowledge about her and any interest in the head stone please contact us."

The E-mail was forwarded to Lois Smith and with very little checking in the family history book she knew this was Sarah (Edwards) Rinehart, the mother of all the John Branch! Before Lois could say John Branch she contacted Dave. Yes he said, come and get it. He was just happy to re-unite the unusual "find" with it's family.

Soon Russ and Lois, and Crum Branch cousins, Gerald and Donna Backen, traveled to La Grande and loaded the head stone in the back of their auto. It is 14" by 20" and 4" thick.......very heavy! It was too heavy for Lois to lift and Gerald carried the stone.  Lois hopes to bring it to the reunion to share with all.

There is a very nice, tall monument stone for John and Sarah at the Summerville Cemetery. Several years ago the family reunion was held in Cove, Oregon and a number of the " John" branch visited the cemetery and photographed the monument.

Lois's guess is that when John passed away a few years after Sarah the children discarded the small stone at her gravesite placed there by John and was replaced with the large stone that stands there today.

Our thanks and with deep appreciation to Dave the proprietor of a recycle yard who cared enough to find us and gave us the family stone.

Also a huge thanks to Lois, Russ and Gerald recovering the stone and their appreciation of the family history.

Dave with the gravestone

Lois Smith and Gerald Backen

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