Resting In Peace In Ohio

We had 4 hours to spare before we had to get to the airport for the flight home, so we decided to visit President James Garfield and a few others…..

Our first stop was Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland.   The address is 12316 Euclid Avenue.


While attending the Republican Convention in 1880, Garfield became the “dark horse” nominee on the 36th ballot. Winning the election by only 10,000 votes, President Garfield took the oath of office on March 4, 1881. On July 2, 1881, just four months after being sworn in as president, Garfield left for a holiday with his family. Walking through the train depot in Washington, DC, Garfield was shot by a disappointed officer seeker; he lingered for two months, then died on Sept. 19, 1881, two months short of his 50th birthday and having been President just 200 days, second only to William Henry Harrison for shortest term.









President James Garfield.





Lucretia Garfield (The First Lady).








The Memorial Hall, where President Garfield and his family lie in peace, includes rich, gold mosaics, beautifully colored marble, stained glass windows and deep- red granite columns. The stained glass windows and window like panes represent the original 13 colonies, plus the state of Ohio, along with panels depicting War and Peace. Standing in the main floor is a statue of the President sculpted by Alexander Doyle.

His mausoleum was completed in 1890 .  President Garfield’s casket, draped with an American Flag, is the only Presidential casket on full display. Mrs. Garfield’s casket is also located in the crypt. The remains of their daughter Mary (Molly), and her husband, Joseph Stanley Brown, are in the two urns located in front of the Garfields’ caskets.

President Garfield’s 181st birthday was on Monday and his great grandson assisted in President Garfield’s Wreath Laying Ceremony which was held on Saturday.









You can climb up a very steep, circular staircase to the top of Memorial Hall and see the entire cemetery and most of Cleveland.  It’s a very beautiful place.

Lake View Cemetery is also the final resting place of John D. Rockefeller, Eliot Ness, Marcus Alonzo Hanna and Raymond Johnson Chapman.

Marcus Alonzo Hanna was Republican United States Senator from Ohio and the friend and political manager of President William McKinley. Hanna had made millions as a businessman, and used his money and business skills to successfully manage McKinley’s presidential campaigns in 1896 and 1900.  There is a statue of Hanna in University Circle:




Marcus Alonzo Hanna.







The Hannah family crypt is set back just a bit into some trees; it wouldn’t be noticeable except that there is a welcome mat at the curb and then a cement walkway up the crypt.









Also at rest at Lake View is Eliot Ness, best known for his pursuit and eventual indictment of 1930s gangster, Al Capone, was Cleveland’s Director of Public Safety from 1935 to 1942. He also ran (unsuccessfully) for Cleveland mayor in 1947. Although he lived in Pennsylvania when he died in 1957, he wanted to be buried at Lake View Cemetery. Actually the stone is just a memorial to Ness. His ashes were sprinkled in one of the cemetery’s ponds by the Cleveland Police Department, as part of Ness’ final requests.





Before he left for New York, John D. Rockefeller was one of Cleveland’s favorite sons. The “richest man in the world” at the turn of the 20th century began his business career in Cleveland and made his fortune by founding the Standard Oil Company, based in the city. Rockefeller donated much to the city’s cultural institutions, including the land for Rockefeller Park.






When Rockefeller died in 1937 at the age of 98, he wished to be buried at Lake View Cemetery in the city he once called home. A 70-foot obelisk marks his grave. The structure, the tallest in the cemetery, was created by sculptor Joseph Carabelli.


Visitors to the gravesite often place dimes at the base of the stone, perhaps hoping that their money will increase as Rockefeller’s did.









Our final stop at Lake View was to see Raymond Johnson Chapman.  His story is your “Hmmmm, how about that….” story for today.

Raymond Johnson Chapman (January 15, 1891 – August 17, 1920) was an American baseball player, spending his entire career as a shortstop for Cleveland.

Chapman was hit in the head by a pitch thrown by Yankees pitcher Carl Mays, and died 12 hours later. He remains the only Major League Baseball player to have died from being hit by a pitch.

His death led Major League Baseball to establish a rule requiring umpires to replace the ball whenever it became dirty. His death was also one of the examples used to emphasize the need for wearing batting helmets (although the rule was not adopted until over 30 years later). His death was partially the reason MLB banned the spitball after the 1920 season.

Visitors have left baseballs and other baseball-related memorabilia at his grave. 


Hmmmm… about that.







So, we were done at Lake View and decided to move on to something a little less somber.

Did you know that the “Man of Steel” is from Cleveland??????  I didn’t.  The original creator and illustrator of Superman grew up in Cleveland!


Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster were high school friends back in 1932 when Jerry invented the Man of Steel and Joe drew him.

The house were Joe grew up is gone, but the lot is now fenced in and there are metal panels depicting the first cover of Action Comics Superman #1.  It was published in 1938.  The house is located on the corner of Armor Avenue and Parkwood Drive.









About 9 blocks away, at 10622 Kimberly Avenue, is the house where Superman was born!  Here is the childhood home of Jerry Siegel, the creator of Superman:












The historical marker for Superman is located at the intersection of E. 105th Street and St. Clair Avenue.









About 25 miles south of Cleveland is the town of Twinsburg!

We stopped at the Locust Grove Cemetery because we found the town history interesting.  The address of the Locust Grove Cemetery is    East Aurora Road, Twinsburg, Ohio.

In 1817 a sixteen year old boy named Ethan Alling arrived in Township Five in the tenth range of the Connecticut Land Company, later to be known as Millsville. He was the first settler of the town that would later become Twinsburg. He eventually became the postmaster, stagecoach operator, merchant and hotel proprietor for the community.

In 1819, the Wilcox twins, a set of identical twins from Killingworth, Connecticut arrived and began selling small parcels of land for the Connecticut Land Company at low prices to attract other settlers. The Wilcox twins then offered six acres of land for a public square and $20.00 toward starting the first school if the residents would change the settlement’s name to Twinsburg.

Moses and Aaron Wilcox were reportedly so identical only their closest friends could tell them apart. They were lifelong business partners; held all their property in common; married sisters; had the same number of children; contracted the same fatal ailment; died within hours of each other and are buried in the same grave in Twinsburg’s Locust Grove Cemetery.



























Twinsburg is also home to The Twins Days Festival !It is the largest annual gathering of twins (& other multiples) in the world! Twins Days takes place on the first full weekend of August each year.  The Twins Days Festival is open to all multiples — identical, fraternal, young and old, twins, triplets, quads — and their families.  For more information on The Twins Days Fesitval, click here.    




The final stop of our trip to Ohio was in Seville. Nope, not the home of the barber.  This Seville is the home and final resting place of Captain M.V. Bates and his family.  The famed Ohio giants. 

Captain M.V. Bates and his wife, Anna Swan Bates are buried in Mound Hill Cemetery.   Mound Hill is located at 83 East Main Street in Seville.









Go in either entrance and look for this tombstone.  You can’t miss it.


The large statue is beautiful.  It marks the final resting place of Martin and Anna Bates and their infant son.   Captain M.V. Bates was 7’9” tall and 470 pounds.  Anna was 7’ 11” tall and 413 pounds.  Their infant son lived only 11 hours and was 30” long and 23.75 pounds at birth.

Each year, the town of Seville hosts Giant Fest. 


The ad for Giant Fest reads as follows:

Mission Statement

To provide an enlightening and affordable experience that showcases artifacts, artisans, craftsmen and historical documentation in ways that preserve and protect the uniqueness of the Giants of Seville and the village’s rich history.

To connect the public with the lives of Captain Martin Van Buren Bates and Anna Swan Bates and thus inspire new generations to carry on their legacy.

To enthusiastically generate awareness of Seville’s ongoing efforts to create life-sized sculptures of the giants in memory of their contributions and as ambassadors of goodwill.

Historical Perspective

Intimates of royalty, friends of celebrities and renowned in international medical circles, Captain Martin Van Buren Bates and Anna Swan Bates received more column inches of newspaper articles, books and brochures than any other couple in the history of Medina County.

A native of Kentucky, the captain stood 7-feet, 9 inches and weighed 470 pounds. Anna, who was born in Nova Scotia, was 7-feet, 11-inches tall and weighed 413 pounds.

Seville’s most famous residents moved to their adopted hometown, built a home with rooms and furniture commensurate for their huge stature, gave birth to the world’s largest-known human, died and were buried in Seville’s Mound Hill Cemetery. Their life stories are unique and worth preserving.

GiantFest is a “Giant of a Festival” with two local parks in downtown Seville, Ohio. This festival has been created to commemorate the world’s tallest couple, Captain Martin Van Buren Bates and his wife Anna Swan Bates.

GiantFest is being planned by a steering committee made up of local residents, the Seville Mayor’s Office, the Seville Chamber of Commerce, Seville and Medina County Historical societies and other county and nearby residents interested in preserving the memory of Seville’s most famous family.

Each park has a theme depicting different parts of the Bates’ lives and careers. The themes are: entertainment with a circus atmosphere, a talent show, games and contests; historical exhibits; and depiction of the Civil War era. The festival will take you back to an era of 19th Century dress and horse-drawn wagons that will shuttle visitors from park to park.

GiantFest is a great opportunity for members of the community to come together, for those attending to learn more about the Giants of Seville, for local organizations to have fundraisers during the festival and for everyone to have fun.

The festival is being supported by corporate contributions, grants, private donations and in-kind contributions. Proceeds will fund the life-sized statues of the giants to be displayed in Seville for the enjoyment of Medina County and the surrounding area.

The Bates were a unique and special couple, who led extraordinary lives. Through the creation of GiantFest, we can better publicize their life stories, both now and for years to come.

For more information on giant fest, click here .

And, this was the end of our whirlwind weekend in Ohio.  I hope you enjoyed traveling in and around Cleveland with us!

Coupongy note:  I got lots of research help finding these locations from Roadside America, and About Cleveland.  The actual photographs are all mine.  The other pictures are from Roadside America and About Cleveland.



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