United States (c. 1874–1951)
William Edmondson was born in 1874, to former slaves working as sharecroppers on a plantation in rural Davidson County. In 1979, the family relocated to Nashville, where Edmondson would eventually work in the railroad industry and, following an injury, as an hospital orderly. With the advent of the Great Depression he became unemployed, and in 1931 experienced a vision in which God commanded him to carve tombstones: "I looked up in the sky and right there in the noon daylight He hung a tombstone out for me to make."
Using a chisel to shape discarded blocks of limestone, Edmondson filled his Nashville yard with pared-down yet lively carvings depicting neighborhood residents, African-American heroes, and Biblical personae, and a range of animals.