Once upon a time I told you about the mysterious statue of six-year-old Inez Clarke (1873-1880) in Chicago’s Graceland Cemetery. Well, just a bit north is another Victorian cemetery called Rosehill where another beautiful monument can be found. It is the grave of Frances Pearce Stone. Depicting a reclining mother and baby, most people believe Frances died in childbirth, but that is not true. Frances was only 19 when she died in 1854, her daughter, also named Frances, was eight months old. Because records were burned during the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, we do not know exactly what caused their premature deaths.
Frances’ husband, Horatio, commissioned a sculpture from noted artist Chauncey Bradley Ives, who lived and worked in Rome (his name is engraved on the bottom of the monument) to memorialize his wife and child. Ives’ work, completed two years after their deaths in 1856, was shipped to Chicago and placed in what was then the City Cemetery. But just a few years later the buried remains were relocated to Rosehill Cemetery (something about all those dead bodies being too close to downtown and the lake). When it was moved, the sculpture was covered with a glass enclosure to protect it from Chicago’s cold, wet weather. And thank goodness it was covered, because 160 years later this beautiful marble monument looks as good as new.