Listed in the 1850 Census as a thirty-year-old Stone Cutter from New York, Henry A. Dean worked in the river city of Madison, Indiana. He was living with his wife, Amy and their infant daughter Mary. The carver wouldn’t have come to my attention, had it not bean for a beautifully carved marker in the Spring Dale Cemetery in Madison, with a carver’s signature on the lower left front side, “Dean.”
I assume that Henry Dean produced the large sandstone slab for Hannah Lanham, who passed way in 1845, just one month before her 40th Birthday. The marker has a deeply carved relief at the top of a urn with a veil draped over it.
Because of the common practice of backdating, it is hard to know when this stone was carved. However, if Henry Dean was the carver, he probably crafted the stone while still in his early thirties, and was already an impressive stone carver.
When I went looking for Dean in the census records, he did not pull up in the database search for Ancestry Library Edition, this was because the script of the census taker was very loose and the “D” was hard to read. However, I found the listing in on www.myindianahome.net which had a transcribed version from the National Archive. I searched for another name from the provided list, which took me to the census page an found the below entry.
I would love to find more stones carved by this early Indiana Artisan. Let me know if you know where one is.
*CENSUS YR: 1850 STATE or TERRITORY: IN COUNTY: Jefferson DIVISION: The City of Madison PAGE NO: 50A REFERENCE: 2 Oct 1850; David Stiver, Ass’t Marshal