Thomas Goodale Casey’s Headstone
Caseys through the generations chose sculptors and designs with care. Thomas Goodale Casey (1796 – 1855) was interested in architecture and added the piazza to the farm house among other improvements, though he lived most of the year in New York. He has a tall marble stone carved by Robert Launitz, a sculptor who contributed the New York plaque to the Washington Monument. It is likely that his nephew and heir, Thomas Lincoln Casey (who later oversaw the engineering of the Washington Monument), chose or even made the design. The oak wreath denotes strength, the poppies in the pediment connote sleep, and the fan-like anthemion motif in the pediment is from timeless Classical architecture. The epitaph reads, “An ear ever ready for the tale of sorrow / A hand always open for the deeds of charity / A heart warm for the love of his fellow men / His happiness was in the joy of others.” Mid-nineteenth century stones were often carved from marble and included sentimental words that could be chosen from national publications.