Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922, May 05, 1912, MAGAZINE, Image 21

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    Sunday Bee
7; FA&TTH&ZE i
MAGAZINE -
PAGES 03TS TO FOTJi
" PAST THBIE
MAGAZINE
pages osi to roirs :
The
Omaha
VOL. XLI-XO. 46.
Ashes
awaaBsw "4
Idi) W-s-r2L terHtPf f4Wr'' v.vC':.: u .r
. m- w . .."t- tj fT . ajl : f i i. ii i -rr - into is itn mm v . i a
REMATION of the dead, practiced by
the ancient la the antl-Chrlstlan era,
and employed to reduce again to
. aahes the body of Omaha' merchant
prince, Emll Brandels, is finding
more and moret faror with the peo-
x pie aa the yeara pasa and encounter
lug leaa opposition from the church.
Prior to 1863 there were no crematories In
either Europe or America," but in agitation . for
, them was beginning, following disclosures of disease,
and death in the vicinity of cemeteries whee thou
sands had been, buried and whose slow decay was
aa ever-present danger to the living.- -
T Following the crucifixion of Cnrtst the custom
of burning the dead on funeral pyres fell gradually
- into disuse, although the custom had been general
and in places and at times imperative. Only Egypt, '
Judea and China had held to Inhumation of the
body, burying it in the earth, the tomb or 'the
sepulcber.
"Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom
of God; neither can corruption Inherit incorrup
Jon," said Paul, and this wss an influence that
.brought about the first incineration in the United
' States, although men of the medical profession bad
een denouncing the graveyard as a menace to the '
' living and a mistreatment of the dead. Cremation,..
'.however, first arose out of necessity. It Was in
the Trojan' war where Homer describes such a
, . frightful earnage that the funeral pyre waa the
only method of disinfecting the field of battle and
r removing the bodies from the blood-soggy field
where they were being torn and eaten by the wild
. beasts and the birds of prey. - '
1 Bylla, who had committed a most sacrilegious
profanation on the body of Harius, directed that his '
own body be burned so that he might escape a )lke
posthumous vengeance. It waa from this incident
; that cremation among the patrieiana of Rome dated.
' Frequency of burials alive baa also contributed
to cremation. In Iowa several years ago beao-
' Uful girl was bailed while is a trance. Relatives
laterfeaired to remove the body and exhumed it.
The girl waa found lying on her face, her features
- distorted almost beyond recognition, her clothes
torn and her hands clutched in her hair. She had
awakened, realised what had occurred and taming "
. in her coffin frantically endeavored to force the
damped cover from her bier before she suffocated.
Dr. F. Julius Le lioyne and Prof. Samuel D.
, Cross were among the earliest advocates of crema
tion in America. In 1874 a crematory society had
been Wganiaed in England and the process ases
cessfully demonstrated, la 1871 Le Morse built
at Washington. Pa-, the first crematory in the
I and employed to reduce again to 'Xjfcy- ttSfe. Jt. CU S fJ L I ij I
a aahea the body of Omaha, merchant SAl&S "VV lA.i 711 "k, Zl II I
frgCl Prince. Emll Brandels, is tindlnf . VrTiW .K1!! -- ' I I
V3GfitZl more and moret faror with the peo- , ,' lOMf - MI I ,
to Ashes Becomes Literal Fashion
: fl iV
Cnlted State, and the first man cremated was Baron
de Palm. The second one built In tbia country was
also in Pennsylvania, at Lancaster.
.Today there are forty crematories In the United
States and others are being rapidly completed. In
Europe the following countries have built them:'
England, S; France, S; Italy, 27; Switzerland, t;
Germany. I;' Denmark, 1; Sweden, 1. There Is one
at Montreal, Canada, and a society called "Die
Flamme" will build one at Vienna, Austria, having
but recently organised.
California has built five and New York has con
structed a like number. Nebraska will have one
. before the year is out, ss the Forest Lawn Cemetery
association is now erecting a $30,000 structure. A
law waa passed through the legislature authorizing
cremation here before the cornerstone of the first
crematory waa laid. - Cremation baa been approved
' by many prominent men and. women of America.,
. Among those who have spoken or written their ap
proval are: Phillips Brooks, Charles A. Dana, Dr.
William A. Hammond, Andrew Carnegie, Edward
Everett Hale, Ella Wheeler Wilcox, William Wal
dorf, Astor. Marshall P. Wilder and Frances E.
Willard. Omaha men attempted to form a crema
tory association here fifteen or twenty years ago,
, but failed in securing sufficient financial assistances
Many Omaha residents, however, have set the prec
edent, followed by Emll Brandels, who had re
quested hi brothers to see that hie body was In
cinerated. . ,
, Henry Pnndt was one of the first Omshana to
be cremated. He was a wealthy resident in the early'
daya and lived in a large brick house where the
Brandela theater building now stands. He went to
Europe, sickened and died in Hamburg, where his
body wss burned, the ashes placed In an expensive
atone urn. and forwarded to Omaha. The urn waa
held np for duty by the easterns otlfcisla of New
Tork and a delay of several days occasioned.
" George W. Linlnger, who died in 1907, was
first burled here and tn 1(08 exhumed, sent to
Davenport, la., and cremated. His ashes were
given to the Masonic Home at Plattsmouth, Neb,
and now rest in an urn In the basement of that
Institution, to which ha had been a generous donor.
.Mr. Samuel Brown, a sister of Herman
Koestx. died fa April. 1801, and was cremated at
Davenport. Other Omahaas who have
OMAHA, SUNDAY &IORXLNG, ? MAY 5,
' cremated there and their ashes brought back,
scattered to the winda or burled are: Alice Egnert,
George . Mittauer, Caleb i. Gregg, Mrs. Maud
Fellner, Mary E. Chapman, Edwin F.' Jacobi and
Mra. Henrietta Brooks. Severs! Omshsns have
been sent to Minneapolis, where they were cremated:
Mrs. A. I Rawltser. wss one of these. Her hus
bsnd, the president of the Omaha Tent and Awn
ing company, had her ashes brought back to this
city. Two years ago J. W. Holmes died and hla
body waa reduced to aabee by the quicker methods
of the crematory. J. E. Baum's body was shipped
to Denver, being one of the few cremations of
Omsha people done in that city. Judge Ferguson
and William H. Wymsn were also cremated.
Frits Wallburg, a Germs actor who had apent
. much time In Omaha and was well known and bad
" many friends here. died In October, 1(09. ' His
body waa aent to Davenport for cremation. Miss
Bessie Hofmelster waa a victim of death In 1908
and her relatives sent her remains to Davenport
and had the ashes returned. Few undertakers of
the city but have been requested to burn and not
bury the body of tbe dead. Many of these under
taker have been converted to the quicker method
of disposing of the dead and openly approve it, but
others still maintain earth burial la better.
There are. those who believe cremation la a
violation of the sentiment of the scriptures and
look upon the process with horror, but may believe
- it is the aafest and aanest wsy of disposing of the
remsin of loved ones, grown doubly dear in death.
"Between burial and burning there la no difference
' In the final result. The difference is tn the process.
' The inevitable change is wrought In the on case
quickly, in the other slowly; in the one by the
action of dean flame, In the other by the action
of the damp earth." ,
Brought Into the chapel of a crematory the
body la wheeled noiselessly after the service Into
the sarcophagus, the retort sealed and the oil jet
opened and lighted and Incineration secured by
burning sprays- of atomised petroleum, by which
a temperature of S.000 degrees' Fahrenheit can be
obtained. There in no amok, no flame and nothing; ,
obnoxious in the process, Within an hoar tte
1912.
cremation la complete. All that remain Is from
three to five pounds of whit aahes. Only asfie
of the bone remsin, all else. Including the structure
of the casket, haa dlssppeared in light ash or
gaseous product Tn spirit hss laid off its "over-
cost of clay;" the body and that ethereal some
thing called the spirit have been "purified aa by
fire." ;
Omabana who have witnessed the incineration
of the dead say there is an absence of the shock
usually accompanying burial In ths earth. One has
thus described the process:
7 "I have stood before the threshold of .the
' crematory with a faltering heart I have trembled
at the thought of using fire beside the form of one
i whom I had loved. But when, In obedience to hla
own dying request, I saw the door of the clnerator
taken down. Its rosy light sbln forth, and hi
peaceful form enrobed In white, laid there at rest
amid the loveliness that wss simply fassclnating to '
the eye snd without a glimpse, of flames or fire or
coal or smoke, I said, and aay so still, this method,
beyond all methods I have seen, la the most pleas
ing to the senses, the most charming to the Im
agination, and the most grateful to the memory." ;
i Not sentiment but unpleaaant facta have led '
medical men to proclaim against the graveyard and ,
our present manner of conducting funerals aa a
"tissue of horror dropped aa a curtain at the end
of each human life." But, from a sentimental
standpoint, they maintain It la much better to dis- '
aemble the flesh quickly into ita original elements
by the clean power of fire, rather than give it to the
earth for worms and putrefaction to slowly make
of It a thing of ghastllness and danger.
Better by far, they say, reduce the lifeless form,
once so full of the essence of life, a bubbling
energy, to a pile of odorless ashes than to allow the
thing "made In the Image of God", to become a
noisome exhalation, a grotesque mummy, a shape
less compound of pitch, resin and perfume.
few cemeteries exist longer than a century.
In England tombstone that nave marked the last
resting places of the loved, the lover, the stranger -and
the friend have, in instances, been torn down .
after-several decade and the granite gravestoaa '
SINGLE COPY FIVE CENTS.;
with Cremation
converted Into material to pay long stretches of J
roadway. Other case are en record where cities
have been built upon graveyards, less dangerous to
the living only than the custom among the
aborigines of Interring their dead beneath their
own homes where they became tutelary deities.
Manhattan waa once a graveyard. Beautiful parka,
vthe playground of th children of the modern world
of progress, have bees at remoter times ghostly;
cities of the head, where white gravestones stood aa
sentinel la mute witness to the dissolution that la
inevitable.
Even upon an economical basis. It la claimed cre
mation must eventually displace the ancinet custom
or burial in the ground. Hundreda of acres, fertile
and fair to look upon, have been converted into
graveyards. '
Ministers of the gospel of all creeds and sects
have pronounced cremation sanitary, proper and
not In conflict with Biblical precept .Dr. A. Bue
cellattl. a Catholic priest and prefessor of theology!
st th university of Pavla, a learned eccleslesUo of
Italy, writing to Prof PoUl at Milano, said:
"Ton enquire of me In what relation crema
tion stands to religion. As a reasoning Catholic,
free from any prejudice, I do not hesitate for s
moment' to openly declare that cremation, aa you
and your colleagues understand It la not iacoa
sistent with the teachings of religion."
Rabbi Abram 8lmon of th congregation of
B'nal Israel of Sacramento, Cal.. ha said:
"I have no hesitancy In declaring that, to my,
mind, cremation will be the future method of dis-'
poaal of th dead. It la the necessary method; It
U rational; it la expedient: It t desirable."
Rev. George Hodges, dean of the Episcopal
Theological school of Cambridge, bellevsa in tk
method of cremation and thinks it would revive,
aa old and cherished custom.
"Cremation will make possible a revival of th
old custom of laying the dead away in the church.
There would be no more removal ot the relic ngletj
away, put of our alsois , - - ,