P. W. Cullen, MD, Yellow Fever Warrior

We can see clearly even now, in the third image below, that Dr. Cullen’s initials were P. W. and not the R. W. recorded by the 1936 WPA volunteers. They must have had a very tedious job copying and then typing these, often faded, inscriptions. Or maybe they brought typewriters into the graveyard. In any case, it is not difficult to find errors in their work (duteiful, medicial, forfitude), in spite of which we are very thankful for the work they did.

Cullen Grave Marker
Epitaph As Recorded in 1936 by the WPA
Sample of the Epigraph

We don’t know much about Dr. Cullen. He died a young man and probably never married or had children. There is this record in the 1850 census of a Patrick W. Cullen, age 23, oldest of four children, and son of Thomas and Bridget Cullen. If this is our P. W. Cullen, he might have been in medical school in 1850. Any ideas on what the census says his occupation was?

And there is this record of a Thomas Cullen, age 25, immigrating from Ireland in 1825.