Name: George Huntington MUMFORD
Burial: Mt. Hope Cemetery, Rochester, New York, United States
One monument in Mount Hope Cemetery that stands out with its interesting carved symbols is the George Humphrey Mumford family monument in Section V, just north Of the Ellwanger monument. It is the first large memorial encountered inside the iron fencing. George Huntington Mumford (1805-1871) attended Hamilton College and then Union College, where he received an A.B. degree in 1824. He came to Rochester in 1825 to practice law with his brother William Woolsey Mumford, married Anne Elizabeth Hart in 1836, and was a prominent local attorney, who was also active in community affairs, an officer Of several banks, and helped to finance the start Of Western Union Telegraph Company.
His oldest son was George Hart Mumford (1840-1875), who received his law degree from Harvard University in 1861 and from 1862 served in the Civil War as a 1st lieutenant in the 18th New York Light Artillery. After the war, his father sent him to California to work in the Western Union office there. He married Sarah Dana in San Francisco in 1867. At the age Of 26, he became president Of the California State Telegraph Company and superintendent Of their telegraph lines. At the time Of his death at age 35 years, he was vice-president and superintendent Of the eastern division Of Western Union. He died while on a business trip in Paris.
The Mumford memorial also commemorates five additional children Of George and Anne Mumford: Helen Elizabeth, Charles Elihu, Mary Louise, Frances Isabel, and Henrietta Saltonstall Mumford.
On the four sides Of the Mumford memorial, at about eye level, are four interesting symbols:
Bellflowers tied in a ribbon symbolize constancy, steadfastness in loyalty, and faithfulness.
Butterfly represents the resurrection Of Christ and, by extension, the regeneration Of human life and a new life that is more complete and beautiful in heaven. This carving is not a particularly realistic representation Of a butterfly, but despite the carver's stylization, it is still thought to be Of the order Lepidoptera, which includes butterflies and moths.
Winged Hourglass has for many ages been used as a message Of man's fleeting time on earth and the uncertainty Of our mortal future. As we say in Latin, "tempus fugit," time flies.
Snake with its tail in its mouth. The snake is often associated with death, but a snake with its tail in its mouth is the symbol Of eternity. Here, the serpent, representing death, is combined with the circle, which means no beginning and no end, eternity, resurrection.
Anne Elizabeth HART