Janis Suggs Dyson author of Turning Clay into History: The Story of W. D. Suggs Pottery and sister Linda Wood visited Lamar County, Alabama May 5, 2017, a cold, blustery day, doing research for a new book on Loyd grave markers.
Left to right: Linda Wood, Annette Otts, Janis Dyson
“The Patented Loyd Marker was unique for both its style and its blue glaze. The shape of the flat headstone was simple, a rectangle topped by a triangle. A clay cylinder was installed below ground to hold a clay tab piece on the bottom of the headstone, according to the patent.
The markers found in Alabama cemeteries were likely mass-produced by the Suggs pottery works in Marion County, Ala., which was licensed to make the Loyd headstones, according to the book, “Itawamba County” by Mona Robinson Mills. The headstones made by the Loyds differed slightly from those made at the Suggs shop, she wrote. The Suggs markers are typically stamped “Patented June 10, 1879.”
“Markers produced directly by the Loyd family can be distinguished from the mass-produced, licensed versions,” Mills wrote. “An original Loyd grave marker almost always contains a leaf or flower drawn either at the top of the tablet of sometimes at the base.”
Left to right: :Linda Wood, Annette Otts, Barb Carruth