Scioto County Infirmary

Infirmary Grave #22: Susan Browning

The original grave marker, No. 22, and the supplementary marker for Susan Browning, before the original marker was raised and repaired and the supplementary marker set. A line was anchored the length of the row to keep the markers in alignment.

The last entry for Susan Browning in the Scioto County Infirmary Superintendent’s Record of Inmates was made August 5, 1895, noting that she was buried at Grave #22. Over the years she had been received by the County Infirmary many times; she often stayed for several weeks, and was then discharged or left of her own volition. Her last admittance was July 3, 1895. Of interesting note: while her name and township of residence, Bloom Township, never changed, her age was variable, often within a range of four years. At the time of her death she was listed as being 39 years of age.

Additional research into the origins of Susan Browning’s admittance into the Scioto County Infirmary has yielded few results.

The sod and earth removed from in front of the original marker to allow for placement of the supplementary marker. The original broken marker was placed aside so the bottom portion of the tablet could be excavated.

The sod behind the marker was scored and pulled back to allow for good visualization on the bottom portion of the original broken tablet. Plastic trowels and paint scrapers were used when in close proximity to the tablet to minimize risks of chipping the stone.

A view of the compact earth that surrounded the bottom portion of the tablet. Often tablet markers are mortared into wide bases which while keeping the marker upright also slows the process of a marker sinking into the soil. The soil at the cemetery is a mix of loam and clay, and without a base the tablet had slowly sank from sight.

After the bottom portion of the tablet was retrieved it was placed with the top portion. The dark line approximately 2″ beneath the inscription is were the monument was at ground level. This proximity to the surface exposed the brittle inscription to line trimmers and lawn mowers as evidenced by the chipping on the edges. The cause of the tablet being broken is not currently known, but it appears to have been broken for quite some time.

The earth that was removed was replaced with aggregate beneath both the supplementary marker and the original grave marker to allow for drainage, and both stones leveled.

The top portion of the original tablet was affixed to the bottom portion with a knife-grade epoxy and then temporarily braced according to the manufacture’s specifications. The immediate area around the marker was filled with aggregate to further stabilize the markers.

A rear-view of the the original tablet marker after the bracing had been removed. The break is very evident from this angle.

The newly placed marker for Susan Browning alongside the marker for George Mustard that was placed earlier this summer.