Simon & Hannah Gould's $8 Gravestones
Simon Gould (1762-1823)
Hannah Sumner Gould (1768-1818)
Simon Gould was born on June 5, 1762 in Norfolk to Samuel and Mary Pettee Gould. On December 3, 1790, he married Hannah Sumner who was born on February 2, 1768 in Dedham, and was the daughter of George Sumner and Margaret Lewis Sumner.
Simon and Hannah Gould had four children: Peggy, Simon, Lewis (who died in infancy in 1802) and Lewis, born in 1803.
Simon Gould became a Deacon of his Church. Elected by their peers, a Deacon would assist the Pastor, who led the congregation. A Deacon might visit the sick, bring aid to the poor, or offer counsel to those facing difficulty or uncertainty. While they did not outwardly proselytize, Deacons might draw new members to the church through their example. Thus, Deacons were usually men well-known in the community and respected for their honesty and faith.
Hannah Sumner Gould died on March 6, 1818 at the age of 50.
On February 22, 1820, Deacon Simon Gould married Nancy Morse Fisher. It was the second marriage for each.
Deacon Simon Gould died on January 4, 1823 of tuberculosis.
The slate gravestones of Simon and Hannah Gould were carved by Coomer Soule II (1777-1861), who came from a family of stonecutters. While the family did most of their work in the Worcester area, between 1815 and 1826, Coomer spent time in carvers’ shops in Quincy, Canton, and Stoughton. Many of his stones from this period can be found in Canton, Stoughton, Sharon, and Norwood cemeteries.
The grave stones of Deacon Simon Gould and his first wife, Hannah Sumner Gould are carved with simple urns and willow branches. It is interesting to note that when Old Parish volunteers cleaned and reset the stones, they discovered that each was marked with the price of $8.00 at its base.