Though August Loewe died 120 years ago, his long lost tombstone just recently settled back into its final resting place at Eagle Cliff-Miles Cemetery in Monroe County.
A couple from Affton, Mo., discovered Loewe’s tombstone about 30 to 35 years ago in a creek at the edge of their property.
Though they do not wish to be named in this article, the pair began the search to find Loewe’s rightful resting place.
Their house is close to as many as 10 cemeteries, but they had no luck after searching and talking to the police.
Though they don’t know how the tombstone got there, they assumed that vandals had moved it many years ago and simply dumped it in the creek.
“We looked in the papers and death notices trying to find the name of a relative,” the husband said.
For many years, the couple gave up their search and moved Loewe’s stone to the porch, thinking they would never find where it belonged.
Each year, the couple and their family even celebrated Loewe’s birthday on June 20.
“Occasionally on spring and fall evenings, I would have a glass of wine with August and think of him and his ancestors,” the husband said.
When their grandson had to do a school project to trace his ancestors, the couple realized they could probably use an ancestral website to find Loewe’s family and thus find where the rest of his relatives are buried.
After tracing Loewe’s family and coming across a recent Republic-Times article on the restoration of Miles Cemetery, the couple was able to contact cemetery trustee Dylane Doerr and finally return the tombstone to the cemetery.
After all these years, Loewe’s tombstone has been returned to its final resting place: at Eagle Cliff-Miles Cemetery, next to other members of the Loewe family.
The Affton couple worked with trustees Charlotte Hoock, Harry Reichert and Doerr to get the tombstone transported and reinstalled.
On Monday, the couple visited the cemetery for the first time.
They were able to see where Doerr had placed Loewe’s tombstone the day before and tour the cemetery.
Hoock said they had records of a foundation and a footstone at the cemetery for someone with the initials “A.L.” Now, that mystery has been put to rest.
Loewe was only 35 years old when he died in 1893, and is now buried next to his mother and a few other Loewes.
The inscription on his tombstone reads: “Farewell my wife and children all, From you a father Christ doth call.”
“I could not have hoped for a happier ending,” the husband said. “After such a long time, August has come home.”
The state of Illinois recently issued a license for burials at the historic cemetery overlooking the American Bottoms. Located at 7749 D Road, the cemetery consists of 4.5 acres that began as an Indian burial ground on the cliff below the mausoleum.
For additional information about the cemetery or burials, call Hoock at 281-3189, Doerr at 618-781-4764, or Reichert at 281-5635.