DORSA, LON - Vernon County, Missouri | LON DORSA - Missouri Gravestone Photos


Deepwood (Includes Hopkins Graveyard) Cemetery
Vernon County,

1871 - 1897

Vernon County
Missouri, USA

Frederick Lon Dorsa was only twenty six years old when he was struck and killed by a bolt of lightening.
His wife was desolate at the loss of her young husband.
Advertisements placed by Mrs. Dorsa appear in old city directories, offering her services as a seamstress. It may have been by this means that she paid for the most unusual of monuments for her husband's grave.
She placed an order with the Brophy Monument Company of Carthage, Missouri for the largest block of limestone ever shipped to Nevada.
The block occupied a whole railroad flatcar and when it arrived at the station instead of being delivered, it was left sitting in the railroad yards, or 'spotted' on a siding.
A local stonecutter, Tom Berrigan, worked on the huge slab of limestone for thirty-two successive days. He worked away at the block right there on the flatcar with mallet and pointing chisel, hollowing it out until enough weight was removed for the huge stone to be moved from the railyard.
When the vault was finished it looked like a huge stone bathtub with a heavy, vaulted lid. It was, in principal, like some of the ancient tombs of the pharaohs of Egypt.
Mrs. Dorsa wasn't yet satisfied. She had a large hole cut into the lid of the vault and a huge stone Bible placed over the opening. The coffin inside was covered with a glass top. The Bible was equipped with a lock and when unlocked would pivot to the side so that Mrs. Dorsa was able to commune with 'my dear husband' as the inscription reads.
When eventually the remains of her husband started to surrender to time, her family had the monument firm remove the pivot and lock and cement the Bible in place, preventing the 'viewing' of the remains of Lon by his grieving widow.
On October 11, 1983 vandals struck. Prying off the stone Bible, they broke the glass underneath and took the skull of Lon Dorsa.
For a time Lon's remains lay open to view, his bony arms crossed over his chest.
Police soon recovered his skull and returning it to the cemetery officials, it was buried somewhere on the lot.
The Bible, damaged beyond repair was replaced with a plain stone slab, cemented down.
A porcelain likeness made from a photograph of Dorsa once filled an oval socket on her husband's vault front, but it too was broken and the pieces lost over time.
The vault of Mr. Dorsa is still there underneath the large pine tree.
A nearby grave is marked, Flora M. Dorsa, (1880-1902), she is the sister of Lon.

Contributed on 3/7/13 by silver-b
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Record #: 738054

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Submitted: 3/7/13 • Approved: 3/14/13 • Last Updated: 4/20/18 • R738054-G0-S3

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