The William August Starke monument in the Forest Home Cemetery in Milwaukee features a seated angel. The bronze sculpture is 69 inches high and 62 inches wide, resting on a light rose-colored unpolished granite base that is 44 inches high, 63 inches wide and 53 inches deep. The angel has Calla lilies laying in her lap, recognized as a symbol of marriage.
The sculpture was created by Robert Ingersoll Aitken in 1921—signed in the lower left corner of the bronze plinth, “AITKEN FECIT”—Latin for “Aitken made it.” Aiken was born in San Francisco (1878 – 1949). He studied art and sculpture at the Mark Hopkins School of Design in San Francisco and in Paris before returning to the United States. His most famous work includes the sculptures he created for the West pediment of the United States Supreme Court Building in Washington D.C.
The seated angel was created as a memorial for William A. Starke, a Milwaukee businessman and entrepreneur. Starke was an immigrant, who along with his four brothers, came to the States from Kolenfeld, Germany. The five brothers founded the C. H. Starke Bridge and Dock Company, were involved in the Milwaukee Bridge Company, the Christopher Steamship Company, and the Sheriff Manufacturing Company.
William Starke was married to Louise Manegold Starke (1858 – 1939) who is buried next to him, as well as their 40-year old daughter, Meta Eleanor Starke Kieckhefer (1883 – 1923).