Walter L. Von Schenck
August 9, 1877 – March 18, 1878 (aged 7 months)
Phebe M. Schenck*
I chose this grave because, though worn and almost unreadable, it is strikingly beautiful, it’s cross-and-crown symbol (representing suffering in life rewarded by eternal reward in heaven) looks as if it had some other aspect to it on the upper left and as it has melted and faded, it looks like a crown on fire. I’ve stopped to admire it many times, and taken pictures on more than one visit.
I spent a couple of hours digging around on ancestry.com and other places looking for information about the Von Schencks, but I think that Walter L.’s dates actually tell us the story of what this is. I found no information on an infant Walter L. and though I found many Anna Schencks, nothing was definitive. All the Phebe Schencks I found (though there were few) lived and are buried far away from Illinois.
Throwing my probable misread of Frank* into the mix led me onto a theory I honestly think still works whether Phebe or Frank is the third person here: I think all three of these names might be children’s names.
When searching for Frank, I found a young immigrant family from Bohemia with children of contemporary ages to Walter L., two of whom were named Anna and Frank. When searching for a family with parents the right age and in the right location, I found a couple who seemed to have no children who are buried in Forest Home.
Absolutely nothing definitive and very much speculation, leading us to yet another unsolved cemetery mystery, but we mourn all three, baby Walter, Anna, and Phebe.
RIP Von Schencks
*I think even though they spelled the family last name wrong, the person who added the Von Schencks to the findagrave.com website has this name correct; I thought it was Frank but they saw it with three years less wear on it and their guess seems more accurate.
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