Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Good Doctor and His Dog

Photo by Brenda Young, from Findagrave, 3/28/2011
Photo by Michelle Woodham, from Findagrave, 3/25/2009

While we are on cemeteries and nosing around Copiah County, I decided to present these photos today, lifted from Findagrave and de-colorized, for I favor the feel of black and white photos when it comes to history. (Note: these photos may be subject to copyright, and are presented here for educational purposes only.) 

I first stumbled upon these pictures on a Flickr stream and read much speculation in the comments section as to whom this gentleman may have been.  One man offered up an oft-told tale that Lockwood was a homeless man who panhandled about town with his dog and when he and the dog died tragically, shocked shopkeepers felt awful, took up a collection and had this memorial erected in his honor.

The skeptic in me started Googling and I soon found out that this man was not homeless, but a young surgeon, the son of Dr. Theodore Prentiss Lockwood, a prominent physician who was born near Crystal Springs in 1839.  

Himself the son of a prominent doctor, Theodore Prentiss Lockwood, who had a pedigree dating back to the founding of this country and mentions of Yale graduates in his family tree, married Olivia Emma Patton in 1869, and they had three children, the eldest of which was Benjamin Mott Lockwood.  (Their other two children were William B. and Olivia Genevieve.)

I could find little as to the cause of Benson Mott's untimely death, but it appears he died at the age of 26, "and at the time he was one of the most brilliant and promising young physicians in the state." He was graduated from Beaumont Medical College of St. Louis, MO -- from Mississippi: A Contemporary Biography, edited by Dunbar Rowland. 

Young Mott was in his father's medical practice at the time of his death. He left a wife and a young son, Benson Miller Lockwood. 

Further research showed that their son, Benson Miller, born on Nov. 1, 1894, died on Dec. 14, 1907, at age 13.  His cause of death is also unclear, and he is buried in the same cemetery as his father and grandfather, in Crystal Springs.

Close-up from Michelle Woodham's photograph
Note the stones placed on the pedestal in the first photograph -- a lasting sign that more than one person has been there to pay their respects.

If anyone knows more about this captivating memorial and the Lockwood family, feel free to leave a comment here or on my Facebook page.

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