Trip Report to the Zachariah Dutton Discussion Group: Friendship Cemetery

[Originally published at his website, and mirrored here with his permission]

On Dec 27th, 1999, Betty (maiden name Dutton) and her husband Woody dropped by Decatur, AL, to visit Joseph Richardson, and to receive a tour of the cemetery containing his and her Dutton ancestors. Betty and Woody were on their way back to the central US from a family Christmas gathering in Orlando, FL.

We were guided by Joseph to the Friendship Church cemetery near Danville, south of Decatur, after we met at a Waffle House in Decatur and talked for a bit.

We had stayed the previous night in a Days Inn described as “the historic downtown area”. Although a nice hotel, we realized too late that “historic” was a euphemism for “wrong side of the tracks”. However, the hotel was near the beautiful historic homes beautifully decorated with Christmas lights. We should have stayed in the other Days Inn 4 miles south.

The Tour

Edmond Dutton graves
Joseph Richardson, our leader, providing the tour for Betty. Betty is looking at the grave sites of her gggparents. Friendship Church is in the background.
Edmond and Margaret Dutton graves
Obviously, the original stones were replaced by these.
Edmond Dutton graves 2
Betty contemplating seeing the grave sites of her gggparents and other ancestors for the first time.
Edmond Dutton graves 3
Always looking for rocks, Betty is wondering if she can take this one home.
Friendship graves 3
Recall seeing those huge buildings fall? She took too many rocks and bricks from them.

Friendship graves 4

Friendship graves 5
Our Dutton Ancestors seem to be the dominant occupants of the cemetery.
Dan Dutton grave
Rev. Dan M. Dutton (stone shown here) was Joseph’s great-grandfatther.
Old graves
We had difficulty taking pictures of the markers due to their age. Joseph reached into his sack for chalk to add contrast to the inscriptions.
Thomas Dutton 1
Betty is also her own cousin, thanks to Stephen Penn marrying his cousin Thomas’s daughter.
Thomas Dutton 2
The chalk made a drastic difference in legibility, and in ability to take a good picture.
Old section wide
The following is a wide angle shot from the southeast corner of the cemetery. The left side looks west by southwest, and the right side looks north. My digital camera and its software can do a neat trick of taking two or
more pictures and blending them together in a single wide angle picture.
Ancestors 2
More of Betty’s
ancestor line.
Frances Dutton
When Frances died, Stephen Penn went back and married Frances’s sister.

Elisebeth Dutton

William Dutton homeplace 1
After viewing Friendship cemetery, Joseph took us by this now unoccupied home. This was the home of Joseph’s great-grandfather Rev. Dan M. Dutton, his gg-grandfather James Zacahary Dutton, and his ggg-grand father William Dutton.
William Dutton homeplace 2
Same place, another view.
Neel view
On the way back to town, Joseph said this was one of his favorite views of the area. So we jumped out and took a picture.
Sunset, Key West
“As the sun pulls away from the shore, and the boat sinks slowly in the west …” (from a 1940s Spike Jones record.)
Anyway, that is the end of the tour. We are very appreciative of Joseph’s tour, his hospitality, and his knowledge.
Picture taken in Key West, FL, during Christmas, 1999. This is the furthest point south in the continental US.

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