Cleaning the Headstone of Louella Hinkle

March 19, 2023, Friendship, Ohio – After having spent the winter working on digitizing records, researching, and preparing to get back out into the field this spring we caught a nice day, albeit a little overcast. So we hit the road to visit Friendship Cemetery, in Friendship, Scioto County, Ohio.

While not the oldest cemetery in Scioto County or even the smaller jurisdiction of Nile Township, it is easily one of the most accessible and with winds reaching a gale we picked the safest option of staying out of the woodline. Friendship Cemetery’s open layout also affords lots of sunlight to help the D/2 Antibiological Solution to do its thing.

We chose this marker not because of its name or anything other than it was on a solid base, largely undamaged, and wholly unreadable. Marble markers at this cemetery seem to be plagues by a black mold that roots deeply in the marble surface. While doing our walk around of the cemetery we noticed that several marble markers and their sandstone bases had been aggressively cleaned with a power washer. While it did remove the blank mold it also largely removed a large percentage of the engravings relief. It is not approach that is recommended. Having treated other marble markers at this cemetery we’ve learned that initially cleaning a marker and then following up several weeks later with yielded the best results. The goal of the initial cleaning is to remove large deposits such as grass clipping build-up, bird droppings, moss, lichens, and mold.

This initial cleaning, as seen in the timelapse video, is achieved by copious amounts of water applied by an extremely low-pressure garden sprayer, the use of soft plastic paint scrapers, D/2 anti-biological solution, and soft bristle brushes.

After cleaning the monument we still could not discern the name or vital information on this marble marker, and decided to revisit in a few weeks to use a mirror to cast light perpendicular to the shallow inscription. However, while editing the video we could discern several letters in the given name and a complete surname. Using a previous survey of the cemetery, when the marker was more likely more readable, we were able to surmise that the marker belonged to Louelle Wright Hinkle.

While information about Mrs. Loulla Wright Hinkle has been scant we do know the following details:

Louella V. Wright, was born about 1865 in Ohio; the daughter of Willis Wright and Mary M. Cole, who were married in Scioto County, Ohio, in 1861. Louella was the second child of this marriage with Adelia Mariette Wright being the eldest child and Cora and Frank Wright, being younger.

On October 19, 1881, she married William C. Hinkle, son of Hansford “Harry” Hinkle and Evaline Williamson, in Scioto County, Ohio. From their marriage was born Maurice “Morris” Wilk Hinkle on July 16, 1883. Morris died at the Logan Sanitorium in Ross County, Ohio, on September 23, 1944, of pulmonary tuberculosis.

According to the earlier reading of the marker it appears as though Louella died on July 25, 1884. No record has yet been located to support this, but research is ongoing, however, it is likely accurate as William remarried to Mary Emily Murphy in Scioto County, Ohio, on October 1, 1888.

We will follow-up with Louella’s marker in a few weeks with another D/2 treatment, and hopefully by then we will have additional information to share.