Stories under the Stones

Albert W. Schroeder and his wife Julia are buried in Chicago’s Mount Olive Cemetery. Their headstones were among 600+ photos I took for Find A Grave in that cemetery in April. The emblem on Albert’s headstone intrigued me. If the dates on his headstone are correct, Albert was only 19 years old when the Spanish-American…

Stone Chairs

One can only imagine the heartache felt by Sarah Hickling when her beloved husband William died. William had referred to Sarah as his “darling girl”. Apparently their togetherness didn’t end with William’s passing. Sarah had stone chairs made to face the memorial she had erected in William’s honor. She may have gazed at the nearby pond…

Siblings Share a Headstone

Auntie died on this day in 1973. Six months later, her younger brother passed away. Auntie and Unkie lived together nearly all of their lives. It was fitting that these siblings should remain together even after death. Their headstone comes to mind every time another Find A Grave contributor asks me to link people as spouses. We can not assume…

The Train Engineer

Legend has it that Gale Cramer gave his life to save the lives of the passengers on his train. His sacrifice was memorialized in Chicago’s Oak Woods Cemetery: You can read a little of his story here. But why isn’t there a news story about this crash online?

No Mention of the Children

“The many friends of Mrs. Mary E. Schmitt will learn with regret of her death, which occurred at her home, on Calhoun street, early yesterday morning. Mrs. Schmitt was the daughter of the late John Kauffman, the brewer, who founded the Kauffman Brewing Company, and wife of Emil[e] Schmitt, general manager of the concern. She…

Who Was Miriam?

She lived just seventeen years. Miriam was laid to rest in the Mauston [Wisconsin] Cemetery. The monument marking her grave bears the sentiment of someone who must have loved her very much. Yet with no surname on her headstone, Miriam’s story feels incomplete. A guess has been made. But we should know, shouldn’t we? Who…

Harry Wilhelm Tolf

Born 07 April 1884 in Batavia, Kane, Illinois Died 06 Feb 1964 (Chicago, Cook, Illinois) From the Chicago Tribune, Friday 07 February 1964: “TOLF – Harry W. Tolf, husband of the late Judith; father of Earl, the late Donald, and Harriet Walton; three grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; brother of Katherine and Raymond Tolf. Resting at Edgar-Anderson Funeral…

A Tale of Two Sisters

When the two sisters traveled from France to America with their mother and seven of their siblings in 1854, Elisabeth was seven and Christina was just five years old. Hailing from the Lorraine region of France, both girls spoke German. They both attended church and school in their new hometown of Cincinnati Ohio, and both girls were young…