Commemorative Plaques & Flagholders
Woodmen of the World
Subj: Burial Customs-Woodmen of the World
Date: 11/11/2001 6:31:03 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Raul Garza)
LENEROS (WOODMEN) BURIAL CUSTOMS
Hispanic Customs in Kingville, Kleberg County, Texas
By: Raul G. Garza
Woodmen since Aug. 1941
NOTE: I did not know until I was a mature Adult that in this area of the United States the Woodmen Fraternity was divided into two sections: The White and the Mexican. I should have expected this since my town was segregated into the White, Mexican and Black Communities.
A great Majority of the Hispanics wee insured in the WOW early in life. You will find many men and women in their 70"s and 80"s who are still Woodmen; and have been Woodmen for 50-60-70 years. Origninally the majority of the people in this area were Catholic so burial rituals were closely connected to the church. This is what i remember from my early childhood experience because my mother passed away when i was about 5 or 6 years old.
Hispanics did not take their deceased ones to a funeral home.
The wake or evening service was held at the deceased's home. The
biggest room, usually a cominbation living room anbd bedroom was used.
The Funeral Home provided the old type wooden folding chairs. If
the deceased was a female Woodman Lady, the Woodmen women would take
over all necessary things; i.e.preparation of the body after it was brought
in from the funeral home; preparation of the food, conducting the Rosary,
helping the priest at the services at home. The Male Woodmen would
be in a khaki type uniform. with a web belt and their Wooden Axes. The
men would stand guard by the coffin on an hourly shift. The
following day they would accompany the coffin to the church and the cemetery
the following day. They would form in pairs and the coffin would
pass by them to the final burial place. As soon as the coffin passed
the first pair they would all raise their axes in unison. When the
coffin was placed on the burial pedestal, the men would place their axes
in front of them like an honor guard does today. They would keep
this position until the rituals were completed. The last ritual
was by the Field Representative which we called "The Secretary."
The arch was formed again while he passed by to say the rituals from the
WOW Manual. The last people to pass under the arch was the family
as they left for home.
In many cases if the home was close to the church and the cemetery, the Male Woodmen would form the procession and walk to the church and the cemetery. If these two places were far, someone would have a stake truck and load all the men there. Then only the honor guard type rituals were conducted.
The only difference between a female Woodman's and a male Woodman's
funeral rituals were that the men would also post two honor guards at the
to the house and march back and forth; they also acted as greeters into the room where the body lay in state.
This was a very impressive ceremony; the men were somber faced, in respectful behavior, and took their break only when relieved. For men the guard ritual lased all night until the end of the funeral the next day. For women, the ritual of the honor guard usually ended at midnight. You must remember that the wake service at the homes was a customary practice before Hispanics were able to have services at the Funeral Homes.
Subj: W.O.W. Monuments
Date: 8/5/2001 5:55:53 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: email@example.com (Billy J.Foster)
Read with interest about this monument. There is at least one
of this type located in the Old Simpson Hill Cemetery located near Glass,
Obion Co., Tn. another of a different type also a Woodman marker
in the same cemetery.
The one is of a Richard Wright and I have a picture of about 100+ people gathered for it's unveiling cir.1913. There are men in uniform and others holding what appear to be wooden axes.
I have been attempting to contact the local Woodman rep to possibly learn more about this event.
For more information about this cemetery, look under Simpson Hill Cemetery at the Obion Co. cemetery website.
Billy J. Foster
|Introduction on Flagholder Section
|Warning on Sale of Cemetery Memorabilia
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Published On Tri-Counties Site On 06/05/2003
By Joyce M. Tice
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