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  • Patricia Fanning

A Soule in Old Parish Cemetery

Simon Gould (c. 1765-1823)

Hannah Gould (1768-1818)

Joel Everett (1785-1810)

According to the research of Jim Blachowicz (who wrote the magisterial two-volume From Slate to Marble), stone carver Coomer Soule II (1777-1861) came from a family of stonecutters who did most of their work in the Worcester area. Coomer II, was the eldest son of Beza Soule and was likely named for his uncle, Coomer Soule, who died a month before the younger Coomer was born. Beza became an itinerant carver and sold stones in towns throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut. In a similar fashion, the work of Coomer II is scattered throughout New England. Between 1815 and 1826, however, it seems that Coomer Soule II spent time in carvers’ shops in Quincy, Canton, and Stoughton, as most of his stones from this period can be found in Canton, Stoughton, Sharon, and Norwood.


Among the stones carved by Soule in Old Parish Cemetery are three which the Old Parish Preservation Volunteers discovered were marked with prices. Although each price was found below ground, they were revealed when the stones were being cleaned and reset.


The grave stones of Deacon Simon Gould (1762-1823), who was born in Sharon, and his first wife, Hannah Sumner Gould (1768-1818) of Dedham, are simple, without much ornamentation. The base of each was marked $8.00 ($165 in 2021 dollars).



The gravestone of Joel Everett (1785-1810), who was the son of Captain William Everett and his wife, Sarah, however, contained an early urn and willow motif on its tympanum and a lengthy, rather ominous verse. The stone reads:


In memory of

Mr. JOEL EVERETT.

who died Oct’r 9th

1810.

in his 25th Year.


Young men while in your greatest strength,

Think not yourself secure,

But be prepared while you have’st health

To meet a dying hour.


The price tag on this work of art was $9.73 ($207 in 2021 dollars).



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