Where's the smallest tombstone in the world? According to Ripley's Believe It or Not, it's in Missouri. Just about a 90 minute drive from Sedalia.

A photo view of the tombstone of Linnie Crouch, located in the Oak Hill Cemetery, just east of the Bates County Courthouse Square, in Butler Missouri. Ripley's Believe It or Not states that this is the smallest tombstone in the world. The tombstone measures only 4.25 inches wide, 3 inches high, and 2.25 inches thick. Designed to look like a small book, the tombstone is mounted by a metal rod which runs through the spine. The metal rod is mounted to a wooden board which sits at ground level. The tombstone pivots on the metal rod so that it can be flipped over to view the opposite side. The backside of the tombstone reads: "Died Apr. 25, 1898."

Notices published in the April 28, 1898 edition of the Bates County Democrat of Butler, Missouri identify Linnie Crouch as a "bright little colored girl, niece of Mrs. Geo. Ford." Her fathers' name is listed as Frank Crouch with no mention of her mother. She was fourteen years old and died of an ongoing lung problem. Six boys and six girls, schoolmates, served as her pall bearers. Two additional Crouch tombstones are located next to this grave, both of which are infants.

Kristy Churchill
Kristy Churchill


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