Marshall Field family: Baby and Baby
At Graceland Cemetery, where many of Chicago’s most notable citizens are buried, these two tiny stones, one slightly tipped and more worn than the other, tell a sad story — but I don’t know what it is.
They’re found amid several generations of Marshall Fields and family. (The original Marshall Field founded the iconic Chicago store that is now a Macy’s.) I can’t say I’ve seen many, or maybe any, markers like them. Many infant markers have dates or a year and possibly a gender, if nothing else. These two, however, are “Baby.” Just “Baby.” Not even “Baby Girl” or “Baby Boy.” I have questions, many obvious. Someday I may dig for the answers.
- When were they born?
- When did they die?
- How did they die? Were they stillborn? Miscarriages? Tiny victims of birth defects or disease?
- What gender(s) were they?
- How are they related? Siblings? Cousins? Possibly twins?
- Who were the parents?
- Did the parents visit these minimalist markers?
- Finally, why did the parents or family leave such generic markers in a cemetery where vaults, obelisks, statues, and other hallmarks of fame and fortune abound?
While the Fields’ individual markers are fairly nondescript, their area is reigned over by this statue, behind a currently empty pool.
Who was “Baby”? And who was “Baby”?
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