As a follow-up to my recent article on Ernie Banks’ final resting place, here is a piece detailing other sites within Graceland Cemetery of importance to Cubs history. Those wishing to pay respects to Ernie might consider adding these during their visit.
Graceland has literally hundreds of burial sites of note, and the major ones are contained in the guide and map available to all visitors at the cemetery office. This article seeks to list only those sites of importance from the Cubs perspective, and perhaps to illustrate some history and curiosities along the way.
There are 10 former major-league players interred at Graceland, seven of whom are former Cubs. Also included are a further five sites of people prominent in Cubs history. A map is below listing all these sites, and the following list can be used as a general guide in taking an efficient tour. In this article the team’s previous nicknames, White Stockings, Colts, and Orphans, are used where applicable.
An immediate caveat, and an unavoidable circumstance, well-known to all searchers of gravesites, ancestors, and history in general. Four of the seven Cubs player graves are unmarked. This happened frequently, especially in earlier times, and the reasons are as varied as are people. It is possible that some were marked, and are no longer visible, the stones sinking below ground level with time. We will include everyone, and leave it to the visitor to seek as they wish.
The GPS numbers are from fellow researchers, and were not obtained by me.
MAP: includes the twelve sites covered in this article; seven former Cubs players, and five people of historic importance, arranged in easy-walking sequence.
1: Robert Lewis, Cubs traveling secretary, 1927-59.
Section A, Lot 6.
Just inside the main entrance is Bob Lewis, popular and influential Cubs traveling secretary. Those of you familiar with the often humorous publicity shots of that era will recognize his handiwork. Lewis lived in the groundskeeper’s cottage after his retirement, and was the last individual to use that building as a residence.
2: George A. Flynn, Chicago Colts, 1896.
Section I, Lot 183. 41º 57.320’ / 87º 39.711’
Outfielder George Flynn played 21 games for the Colts in 1896, his only major league season. Also in the family plot is relative Edward J. (exact relationship undetermined), who played for the Cleveland Blues of the major league American Association in 1887.
3: Charles Guth, Chicago White Stockings, Sept. 30, 1880.
Section A, Lot 246. 41º 57.302’ / 87º 39.646’ (unmarked)
Charlie Guth was a White Stocking for a day, pitching the season’s final game, a 10-8 victory over the Buffalo Bisons. That was the team’s 67th win of the year, combined with 17 losses, for a still-standing NL record winning percentage of .798. Guth, a semi-pro pitcher, was solicited by Cap Anson to start the game when both Fred Goldsmith and Larry Corcoran were unavailable due to illness. Guth died in 1883, and his grave is unmarked.
4: Walter Kinzie, major leagues 1882, 1884, Chicago White Stockings, 1884.
Section A, Lot 367. 41º 57.318’ / 87º 39.596’
Walt Kinzie was a member of a pioneering Chicago clan, and is buried in the family plot. His grandfather, John Kinzie, one of Chicago’s founders, is also here, and is well worth a look, his head and foot stones are the oldest in Graceland, dating to the Fort Dearborn cemetery. Graceland is John’s fourth resting place.
Walter was a White Stocking for 19 games in 1884, batting .159. He also had brief appearances with the NL Detroit Wolverines and the AA St. Louis Brown Stockings. The two small graves between Walt and his wife Frances are those of their children who died young, a common sight in any older cemetery.
As you walk the road between Bob Lewis and Walt Kinzie, you will pass the Gall family plot on the right. They were monument makers in Chicago for generations, and one example of their work will feature prominently in this tour.
5: Arthur Wilson, major leagues 1908-21, Chicago Cubs 1916-17.
Section C, Lot 381. 41º 57.432’ / 87º 39.590’ (unmarked)
Immediately to the west of the historic Graceland Chapel is a lot devoted exclusively to interred cremains, and here is located catcher Dutch Wilson, the player at Graceland with the longest Cubs tenure except Ernie. His chief claim to fame as a Cub is that he was behind the plate for the Hippo Vaughn-Jim Toney “double-no-hitter” of May 2, 1917.
Wilson’s grave is unmarked, but is easily located, the picture illustrates his position within the lot.
6: William Hulbert, executive, owner, league president, 1871-82, Hall of Fame inductee 1995.
Section EF, Lot 216. 41º 57.506’ / 87º 39.641’
Until Ernie, this was undoubtedly the most famous baseball grave at Graceland. The Cubs/White Stockings/Colts/Orphans have a continuous history dating to 1870, when they were a semipro team. When they went fully pro in 1871, upon joining the new National Association, Hulbert, a wealthy Chicago merchant, began his involvement as one of their financiers. Hulbert was the primary founder of the National League in 1876, and served as its second president from 1877 to his sudden death in office in April, 1882. He maintained controlling interest in the White Stockings throughout.
His famous monument, provided by the league, is in the form of a white granite baseball, inscribed with his name, title, and the teams of the NL in 1882. Only two of those eight teams are still in existence, the Cubs and Braves (Boston on the stone). Note that the monument is signed by the makers, the Gall family firm.
7: John Augur Holabird, and
8: John Wellborn Root, jr, architects.
Holabird: Bellevue, Lot 424.
Root: Bellevue, Lot 22.
Many have claimed credit for the Wrigley Field renovations of 1937, which included the iconic bleachers and scoreboard. Bill Veeck is said (including by himself), to have had a large hand in it; and Otis Shepard is supposed to have had an influence. But the two men listed here signed the blueprints. They both were members of families of seminal importance in the history of modern architecture, and lie in large family plots alongside their forebears. Their firm still exists, but is now in non-family hands.
9: Ernie Banks, Chicago Cubs, 1953-71, Hall of Fame inductee 1977.
Willowmere, Lot 19-20. 41º 57.605 / 87º 39.620
The permanent marker is now in place.
10: Jonathan Ogden Armour, executive 1916-21.
Ridgeland, Lot 13. 41º 57.643 / 87º 39.670
Second-generation head of the meat-packing family, Armour was one of the minority owners of the Cubs that financed Charles Weeghman’s purchase in 1916. Armour is also credited with persuading his friend William Wrigley to invest in the team, having consequences no one could have foreseen.
Joa the Cub, the real-bear team mascot, (and retroactive “great-grandbear” of the current non-real bear mascot, Clark), was named after Armour’s monogram. Armour is perhaps best remembered today as the presumed model for the packing house executives portrayed in Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. Armour’s fortune was once accounted second only to Rockefeller’s, but the post-World War I depression depleted it up to a million dollars per day at the worst point.
11: Robert Caruthers, major leagues 1884-93, Chicago White Stockings, 1893.
Section N, Lot 217 41º 57.619 / 87º 39.750 (unmarked)
“Parisian Bob” is the most prominent major-leaguer at Graceland except for Ernie, and is often mentioned as a potential Hall of Famer by students of 19th-century baseball. Primarily a pitcher, he was 218-99 in his career, with one 30-game, and two 40-game winning seasons. His winning percentage of .688 is among the highest in history. He was a White Stocking, or Colt, depending on how you figure it, for one day in 1893, as an outfielder. His plot is unmarked, he lies with three other members of his family.
12: William Foley, major leagues 1875-84, Chicago White Stockings, 1875.
Section M, Lot 124 41º 57.587 / 87º 39.800 (unmarked)
Chicago native Will Foley was primarily a third baseman for five teams in three major leagues. He played three games for the White Stockings in their final NA season. His grave is unmarked.
And, in this time of great Cubs hope, and great Cubs fulfillment, we conclude with this example of the human condition. I came upon this resting place at Graceland by chance one day, several years ago, and have here obscured the name to preserve the privacy of all concerned (Photo 28). This has always been poignant for me personally, as the initial year matches my own, (I am, in fact, three days older than this gentleman).
So, if it has not been overstated at every opportunity, enjoy this ride for what it is, if for no other reason than for those who can’t.
Many thanks for all attention.