Friday, April 24, 2015

The Dead and Beautiful Rest (cont.): Platypus Travels Part LXVI

The final curtain falls over a neo-classical funerary urn worthy of Eteocles.

The Sheltons, as befitted one of the first families of a Connecticut hill town, produced numerous "doctors of physik" over the years.  With epidemic disease being a common place, many of these doctors' ends were less than enviable.

This is the modestly-ornate grave of Doctor William Shelton (1767-1819).  Dr. Shelton graduated from Yale, a mere morning's ride away from home, in 1788 and took up the scalpel in 1790.  The official doctorate didn't come until 1817, two years before he was cut down by the typhus fever of 1819 at the age of 52.  An inscription at the base tells us that the stone was commissioned by his surviving children "to the memory of the best of fathers".  With a Yale degree, I am sure that there were other places William Shelton might have gone.  Instead, he chose a life of service to the community he was raised in and died as he lived.  That's worthy of a stone of remembrance.

Here I raise my ebeneezer, hither by Thy help I've come, and I hope by Thy good pleasure safely to arrive at home... 

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