Atheist Obituary From 1889

Bo Gardiner dug up a fascinating obituary from the May 9, 1889 edition of the Mississippi Clarion Ledger reporting the death of a local atheist, Gus M. Setzer.

An Infidel’s Grave

Gus. M. Setzer died a few days ago at China Grove, Rowan county, N.C. He was a pronounced infidel, believing in neither God nor a future of any kind. Two weeks before his death, knowing his demise to be imminent, he went to a tree near the yard and under it marked a place for his grave, giving instructions as to how it should be dug and his mode of burial. He wanted a layer of cedar brush at the bottom of the grave, to be filled up with dirt. He said that when decomposition set in the sap of the tree would draw him up the limbs and he could perch on the top of the tree and view the surrounding scenery for ages to come.

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