Graceland Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois

Photo by Michael Kleen

Established in 1860 by Thomas Bryan, Graceland Cemetery, at 4001 N. Clark Street in Chicago, Illinois, is the city’s premier burial ground. Approximately 45,000 people are interred in these 121 acres, including many of Chicago’s most prominent former citizens, including Cyrus McCormick, George Pullman, John Altgeld, and Allan Pinkerton.

Remnants of the Only Delight

This lovely neoclassical bronze monument is dedicated to department store mogul Marshall Field (1834-1906). Field rose from farmer’s son to wealthiest man in Chicago when he got into the merchandising business and eventually established Marshall Field and Company. Marshall Field and John D. Rockefeller founded the University of Chicago in 1890. The statue of a sitting woman holding oak leaves (symbolizing courage), called “Memory”, was designed by architect Henry Bacon and sculptor Daniel Chester French.

In the Hands of Storm

This Granite knight, designed by Lorado Taft and called “Crusader”, commemorates Victor Fremont Lawson (1850-1920), Norwegian-American publisher of the Chicago Daily News. Lawson ran the Daily News for 29 years. His monument is unmarked, except for the epitaph: “Above al things truth beareth away the victory.”

Unwritten

Memorial to Inez Clarke, daughter of John and Mary C. Clarke, sculpted by Andrew Gagel in 1881. Inez was six years old when she died, and not much is known about her life. Helen Sclair, a local cemetery expert, believes Inez Clark is not buried at that location, and that the statue was a gift to the Clarkes from the sculptor to showcase his work. Another researcher believes the statue is of Inez Briggs, the daughter of Mrs. Clarke from a previous marriage.

Eyes of the Black Flame

A bronze statue of a cloaked figure, designed by Lorado Taft and called “Eternal Silence,” marks the burial place of Dexter Graves (1789-1844). Graves is an old family dating back to Thomas Graves, who arrived in the American colonies in 1645. Dexter Graves owned a hotel and was counted among Chicago’s first 500 residents. According to legend, visitors who look into the face of the cloaked figure will be granted a vision of their own death.

Conditio Humana

John Kinzie (1763-1828), a fur trader from Quebec, Canada, was the first white settler in what would become Chicago. He arrived in 1804 and escaped the 1812 Fort Dearborn Massacre. That same year, he murdered an interpreter and fled to Indian territory, but later returned. His remains were moved to several cemeteries before ultimately ending up at Graceland Cemetery.

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Author: Michael Kleen

Michael Kleen is an author, raconteur, and occasional traveler. He has a M.A. in History and M.S. in Education. He enjoys studying military history, folklore, and philosophy.

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