Some people say they would like to become a tree when they die. The Woodmen of the World used to give you a memorial marker that looked like a tree.
Some of the most outstanding markers in Albuquerque’s Historic Fairview Cemetery are those of the Woodmen of the World fraternal insurance company.
The markers look like tree trunks, or stacked logs. Many of the stones are carved to feature bark, plant leaves, ferns, and flowers, as well as saws and hatchets. The Latin phrase “Dum Tacet Clamat” is frequently seen on Woodmen of the World memorial markers. This translates to English as, “Though silent, he speaks.”
There are about 70 Woodmen of the World burials in Historic Fairview Cemetery, starting in 1895 and ending in 1944. There are Woodmen burials in several places in the cemetery.
This organization was founded in 1890 on June 6, 1890, when Joseph Cullen Root founded Woodmen Life in a small hotel room in downtown Omaha, Nebraska. Root had the simple idea of making life insurance available to everyone. Woodmen Life is a not-for-profit fraternal benefit society, based in Omaha, Nebraska, that operates a large privately held insurance company for its members.
These monumental headstones were a benefit of the insurance policy members purchased. The height of the marker was determined by the level of officership held in the organization. This memorial marker benefit was phased out by World War II.
Historic Fairview Cemetery is run by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to share the history of Albuquerque represented by the people buried there. Learn more at www.HistoricFairviewCemeteryABQ.org.
The cemetery will be the beneficiary of a portion of ticket sales for the Before I Die New Mexico Virtual Festival, being held online October 30 to November 2, 2020. Learn about all of the events and buy tickets here.