The magnificent white-marble memorial sculpture to Inez, the daughter of John N. and Mary C. Clark, in the Graceland Cemetery at Chicago, Illinois, who was born September 20, 1873, and died August 1, 1880, is a stunning example of sculptures that were created to memorialize children in the Victorian Era. In this example, which has been protected from the weather by glass, the seated girl holds a parasol, her dress is layered eyelet lace, a hat casusally hangs around her neck, and she wears a locket.
She is seated on a chair that is carved to look like it was built from tree limbs with the bark still attached in an unfinished but natural look that was part of the rustic movement of the mid-nineteenth century. It was characterized by designs that were made to look like they were from the country. Elegant and slim curved lines in furniture gave way to bulkier and heavier. Homes, cabins, and garden houses were designed in the rustic style eschewing classic designs. In decorative furniture this often took the form of chairs made from rough tree limbs curved to form arms and chair backs, chair legs made from tree roots growing upwards. In cabins, railings and the siding were made from unhewn logs with the bark still in place.
Many Websites claim that the monument to Inez Clarke is a mystery and that, in fact, Inez did not really live; the monument was merely a sculpture created as an advertisement from a monument company. Others claim that Inez did live and that her spirit is still embodied in the sculpture. Some claim that the monument is often missing during the night as she walks the cemetery and that it reappears in the morning. Cemetery staff have confirmed that there was a little girl name Inez Clarke buried in that spot, however, they did not comment on the paranormal activities attributed to the monument.
We crossed 59th street to admire General Sherman’s sculpture by Augustus St. Gaudi. St. Gaudi was a premier sculptor of the nineteenth century, and he also created the Memorial Arch at Prospect Park’s Grand Army Plaza. In glowing bronze, re-gilded when the Trumps owned the Plaza, the goddess Nike led Sherman while his horse trampled a Georgia Pine. The monument’s motion was captivating. As wind rustled the Callery Pear trees of Fifth Avenue, Nike’s tunic billowed ahead of Sherman’s ruffling garments.
No, there is no Inez Clarke buried any where in the cemetery. What has been shown is that Inez Briggs, the daughter of Mary Clarke from an earlier marriage to a man named Briggs, did die on Aug. 1, 1880 from diphtheria. John Clarke is her step-father and the Rothrocks buried in the adjoining graves were her grandparents (Mary Briggs Clarke’s parents). The person buried there is almost certainly Inez, daughter of Mary Briggs Clarke.
That may well be the case but the gravestone reads: “INEZ, Daughter of J.N. & M.C. CLARKE, Born Sep. 20, 1873, Died Aug. 1, 1880.”
Yes, I know what it reads. John Clarke was her stepfather and Mary Clarke her natural mother. I am supplying information in my previous comment that clears up the mystery of why there is no Inez Clarke listed in the Graceland cemetery records, which caused all the fuss about just who this girl really was or where she ever existed at all.