Clayton, Ohio: Sun Dial Grave of Baseball's Jesse Haines

Baseball player Jesse (Pop) Haines really liked the sun dial he received when he retired, so before he died he had it made into his tombstone.

Bethel Cemetery

Address:
Phillipsburg Union Rd, Clayton, OH
Directions:
Bethel Cemetery. On the north side of Phillipsburg Union Rd just east of its intersection with Diamond Mill Rd. Enter the cemetery at the west entrance, closest to Diamond Mill Rd. Haines' grave is almost in a direct line between the cemetery drive and the cemetery entrance gate further east along Phillipsburg Union Rd. The grave is not large and is closer to the cemetery drive than to the road.
Admission:
Free
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Sundial grave.

Sun Dial Grave of Baseball's Jesse Haines

The sun dial grave is in good shape in a well-kept cemetery. Interesting story.

[cydav, 10/05/2015]

Short version: Jesse was given the sun dial when he retired from baseball, and he liked it so much that he ordered it placed on his grave -- 46 years later.

Haines grave.

Sun Dial Grave of Baseball's Jesse Haines

Although right-handed knuckleballer Jesse (Pop) Haines (1893-1978) got into Cooperstown on the Veteran's vote in 1970, he was undeniably a valuable member of the Gas House Gang for the St. Louis Cardinals, where he played from 1920-1937. He was also the winning pitcher in the 1926 World Series deciding game, pitching 6 2/3 innings before his bleeding knuckles forced a hungover Grover "Pete" Alexander into relief to win the game.

Haines was born in the Village of Clayton but lived most of his life in nearby Phillipsburg. He is buried at Bethel Cemetery in Clayton. After Haines retirement from baseball, he was elected county auditor for Montgomery County (county seat, Dayton) for 28 years - seven consecutive terms.

Upon Haines' retirement from the Cardinals, the organization presented him with a simple but beautiful sundial, which was in the yard in his home on State Street in Phillipsburg until a few years before his death. Haines had the sundial placed on his gravestone, where it can still be seen today at Bethel Cemetery.

Haines made his major league debut for the Cincinnati Reds in 1918. He never lived anywhere but Phillipsburg and when the Cards played the Reds in Cincinnati, he would drive home to Phillipsburg. He was devoutly religious and would never allow his wife and daughter to travel in the train car with the players because they might use bad language or play cards. The only time they saw him play on a Sunday was when he was honored on his birthday at the end of his career. He told them, "It's my job to work on Sunday, but you don't have to go to those games."

"Jesse" is always pronounced "Jess" - NEVER "Jessie!"

[Martha Hardcastle Guthrie, 11/08/2008]

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In the region:
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