He Took It to The Grave
By Elaine Rathmann
grandfather, Cornelius M. Bell, was born in 1863 and raised in Shelby county,
Missouri, where he married and raised his first family. In the early 1900s,
several years after his first wife died, he moved with his children to
Muscatine, Iowa. There he started a concrete monument and headstone business
and eventually met and married my grandmother. After many successful years in
this business, he retired and moved to Davenport Iowa in 1932. His wife, my
grandma, Mary Edith (Raff) , always said that it was he who had invented the
concrete grave liner, but he never saw the need to get it patented.
Unfortunately, years after he had been selling them, someone else patented the
idea. Alas, the family fortune was lost before it was made.