I'm pretty sure my sister and I inherited the "undertaker gene." It's not a thing because, as far as I know, I just made it up. But it would explain our love of visiting cemeteries and, in particular, photographing headstones of famous people.

And when I've traveled, that pastime has come along for the ride. On a trip to western New York State in 2013, I took a picture of Lucille Ball's headstone in Jamestown. And in 2021, I got one of the Muhammad Ali memorial at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville.

Dave Spencer/Townsquare Media
Dave Spencer/Townsquare Media

Sometimes, I happen upon great discoveries. That was case in Paducah KY several years ago. We were there on a day trip, so I just decided to see if any famous people were buried in the city's Oak Grove Cemetery. And, sure enough, I learned that John Scopes, the defendant in the famed Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925 in Tennessee (the basis for the play Inherit the Wind), was buried there.

Dave Spencer/Townsquare Media
Dave Spencer/Townsquare Media

But I did not learn, on that day, that Dollie the Mule was ALSO interred at Oak Grove. So I've done a little digging about what was once an invaluable employee in Paducah. The first paragraph from Dollie's obituary--from Kentucky Kindred Genealogy--is a doozy:

The death of ‘Old Dollie,’ the graveyard factotum, and beast of many municipal burdens, deserves more than a passing notice, for ‘Dollie’ was an odd character – an animal as faithful as she was perennial.  ‘Dollie’ was as indispensable to Oak Grove as sugar to a good toddy, and now that she is dead, and laid to rest amid the trees and shrubs and flowers that for sixteen years were so familiar to her, it is but just that poor Dollie’s history should be given to the world as a last tribute to her memory.

The inscription on her headstone is almost as long:

Dollie was 37 when she passed, and she is now immortalized along with all the other faithful Paducah servants in Oak Grove Cemetery.

May she continue to rest in peace.

Missouri's Most Hospitable Place to Stay Full of Mules & Catfish

Gallery Credit: Entire guesthouse hosted by Donna, Airbnb

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Stacker compiled a list of the counties with the highest unemployment in Kentucky using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Counties are ranked by unemployment rate in November 2023.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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