~ Last updated on Oct 7, 2021 ~
This interesting headstone was featured in Ripley’s Believe it or Not and is possibly one of the most visited graves in the area of Clayton, if not the state of Alabama.
William T. Mullen’s Whisky Bottle Gravestone
The story goes that his wife told him that if he drank himself to death, that she would make his headstone an alcoholic bottle. Apparently, she wasn’t lying about what she said she would do.
Writers with the Works Progress Administration (WPA) recorded the story during the Great Depression:
…Mullins was a heavy drinker and his wife an ardent teetotaler. In her efforts to lead him away from this bad habit she tried everything – cajoling, nagging, threats. Finally she lost all patience and told him to go ahead and drink himself to death. She threatened to put a whiskey bottle tombstone at his grave and did.
There are actually two whiskey bottle monuments on Mullen’s grave. The larger of the two stands at the head and a second at the foot. Visitors often leave a few coins in the bottle tops to help the man buy a drink in the afterlife!
The Whiskey Bottle Tombstone is located in the Clayton City Cemetery on North Midway Street, Clayton, Alabama. The arched entrance is between the First Baptist Church and the First United Methodist Church. As you enter the cemetery, the tombstone will be just ahead on your left.