Friday, March 29, 2013


As I am writing this I have just finished one of the worst weeks of my entire life.  Last Tuesday, March 19, 2013, I had to have my little sweetheart Lucy put to sleep.

I want to tell you the story of her life and the unconditional love she gave, despite an early life of abuse and neglect.

So you get the whole story, I have to go back to a time before I was born.  I was a change-of-life baby.  When I was born my sister was thirteen and my brother was ten.  My parents thought their family was complete.  Well, I came along one day and changed all that.  My parents knew that with all the attention a new baby required, that there could be some jealousy from the siblings, so my Dad brought a purebred beagle puppy home for my brother.  The dog's name was Bum.

He was wonderful dog, but my brother turned out to be terribly allergic to dog hair, so by default Bum became my dog.  He was like an older brother to me and I grew up alongside him.  Bum lived a good, long life, but finally went to the Rainbow Bridge in 1973 at the age of seventeen.  

Times were such then that getting another dog was not possible but I promised myself that at the first opportunity I would get another dog - and not just any dog - another beagle.  For any of you out there who are beagle lovers you know how they steal your heart with those big, soulful eyes.  I love all dogs, but my heart belongs to beagles.

As soon as I had bought my house, the first thing I did was to have the backyard fenced in so I could get a dog.  I wanted an adult - one that had been trained and was housebroken.  And so, on July 8, 1999 we welcomed Chance into our family:

His full name was Navaho Riverrun Not-By-Chance.  He had been a showdog, and had won all kinds of awards at dog shows in the Midwest.  His days on the dog show circuit came to an end when we got him - I wanted a pet not a showdog.

It did not take long for Chance to get us trained the way he wanted us to be.  In a short time he was running the household.  He and my Mother became especially close.  

Here's a photo of my mother and her sister - you see who got into the picture without being asked:

Here's my favorite photo of Chance doing what he did best - sniffing out food:

My Mother died in July of 2003.  Losing her was hard on all of us, but especially on Chance.  One day I looked at him only to see that all the fur on his chest was gone.  After a thorough checkup, the vet said that he was grieving for my mother.  What should I do?  "Get another dog" was the vet's wise answer.

By this time I was very familiar with the dog rescue organizations and I decided to go through Beagle Rescue to find a companion for Chance. After fulfilling their stringent requirements, they came to do a home visit/inspection.  They told me that they were bringing a dog along with them that had just come into the program and they thought might be a good match for us.  The day of their visit arrived and Chance and I were standing outside waiting for them.  I looked down the street and the woman from Beagle Rescue was followed by a skinny, scrawny little dog that they had named Coco. 

Coco had been abandoned by the side of the highway by her previous owners in Anna, Illinois.  They found out that she had heartworm and probably didn't want to pay for the treatments, so the just put her out of the car and drove off.  Luckily a state trooper saw some movement in the underbrush, stopped and found Coco.  She didn't like me at all, but she loved Chance, and he loved her, so the deal was made.  I couldn't keep her that day, but if approved I could get her in a week or two.  

Luckily for me, I passed the test and Coco was officially welcomed into our family on September 21, 2003. The first thing I did was change her name.  I don't know what her name was originally, and I knew that the rescue people assigned names at random, but I already had a name picked out for the first female dog in my life:  Lucy.  You see, like millions the world over, I have always Loved Lucy:

and so, on September 21, 2003 Coco became Lucy Craig.  

As I mentioned, she didn't particularly like me, but she and Chance got along famously:

They quickly became inseparable:

Once she realized how much I loved her, Lucy became my shadow. She was right by my side no matter what. 

 Here she is talking to me in the car:

For most of her life with us Lucy did not like riding in the car.  We would go a block or so and Lucy would start throwing up.  The vet explained that this was not carsickness, it was anxiety.  She had been put out of a car and abandoned once, and she was afraid it would happen again.  I used to tell her that she was stuck with us no matter what, and over time it got a little better, but unlike my other beagles, Lucy was never fond of car rides.

I also used to tell her, "I can't undo any of what happened to you before, but I can spoil you rotten for the rest of your life" - and I did.

Lucy quickly won the hearts of everyone she met.  My friend Denis was visiting us from Belgium, and he became so enamored with Lucy that I was afraid he was going to try to take her home with him.

Denis liked Chance, but he loved Lucy:


But he couldn't have her.

Life went on and Chance and Lucy and I were very happy together.

Chance had a good long life and he went to the Rainbow Bridge on August 16, 2011, just short of his fifteenth birthday.  Lucy and I were devastated.  Lucy had never been alone in all the years she had been with us, but I wasn't ready to get another dog right away.  I needed to mourn for Chance.  As the days went by I could see that being alone was not good for Lucy, so on December 20, 2011 Maggie came into our lives:

Lucy and Maggie quickly became fast friends:

Everything was going along fine until Wednesday March 13th - Lucy stopped eating.  The first day I let it go but when a beagle doesn't eat they are sick.  When she still wouldn't eat on Friday I tried tempting her with all her favorite foods, but with no success.  On Friday I called and made an appointment with the vet for Saturday, hoping and praying that we wouldn't need the appointment.  On Saturday she still wasn't eating. We went to the vet and after running some blood tests they told me that Lucy was a very sick dog.  They said she needed around-the-clock care, so I took her from the vet to the Animal 911 in Skokie.  We had been there years ago, but thankfully had not needed them recently. They got her on IV fluids and got her stabilized but they still couldn't get her to eat.  I left here there the rest of Saturday until Sunday evening, but I insisted in bringing her home Sunday evening.  Lucy never ate when she was nervous or upset, or if I wasn't around.  I felt that if I brought her home, then Maggie and I had a good chance of getting her to eat.  No luck.  I took her back to the vet for observation on Monday but insisted on bringing her home again on Monday night.  I stopped on the way and got her favorite - hamburgers from Bill's on Asbury in Evanston.  She seemed interested but I still couldn't get her to eat. Tuesday morning after a quiet night she actually took a piece of hamburger in her mouth but then spit it out.  As I was getting ready to take her back to the vet I could see that she was having trouble walking - her back legs were giving out.  I knew then that the prognosis was not good.  Maggie and I took her back to the vet, and they told me she was suffering from massive organ failure.  If we did nothing she would die soon, but would suffer in the meantime.  I could not stand to see her suffer, so I signed the papers and Lucy went to the Rainbow Bridge on St. Joseph's Day, March 19, 2013.

I can't say enough about the vets and staff at Riser Animal Hospital in Chicago and Animal 911 in Skokie.  They were knowledgeable and caring.  They all gave Lucy and me the best of care and compassion. Lucy deserved the best care and she got it.

I told them I wanted Lucy cremated and her ashes returned to me. They use All Paws Pet Cremation and Remembrance Services in West Dundee, Illinois.

Lucy was cremated the day she died, March 19th, and I picked up her ashes on Friday the 21st.  When I picked up her ashes they had a surprise for me - They had made a cast of one of Lucy's paw prints as a remembrance.  It is something I will always treasure.

Chance's ashes are with my mother, but I will keep Lucy's ashes to be buried with me sometime in the future.  I promised her I would always be with her and I will.

So that's the story of a little dog and all the love she brought to everyone she met.  We were blessed to have her as long as we did, and I will miss her every day for the rest of my life.

Maggie and I are bereft.  I mentioned to someone that the only good thing about losing one dog is that you can rescue another, and I'm sure we will, but not right away.  No other dog could ever take Lucy's place, just as Maggie did not take Chance's place.  Every dog has their own personality, and each one is unique in their own way.  No one will ever take their place, but another dog will have the chance to try to fill the void they left in our lives.

Lucy Craig, my sweetheart forever - until we meet again - Rest in Peace.

Over the years, my family has given me two signs that pretty well sum up how I feel.  The first sign is one in my front window that says:

"A Spoiled Dog Lives Here"

It should actually say that two spoiled dogs live here.

And the other one says:

"This House Is Not Complete
Without the Pitter-Patter of Beagle Feet"

If you are a dog lover I think you will enjoy this:

"A Fable"

And God said to Adam and Eve, "I will create a companion for you that will be with you forever and who will be a reflection of My love for you, so that you will love Me even when you cannot see Me. Regardless of how selfish or childish or unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you as you are and will love you as I do, in spite of yourselves." 

And God created a new animal to be a companion for Adam and Eve. And it was a good animal. And God was pleased. 

And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam and Eve and he wagged his tail. 

And Adam said, "Lord, I have already named all the animals in the Kingdom and I cannot think of a name for this new animal." 

And God said, "Because I have created this new animal to be a reflection of my love for you, his name will be a reflection of my own name, and you will call him DOG." 

Friday, March 22, 2013

ACROSS THE MILES - William Benezet Bogert

In the old days people either stayed in the same general area where they were born, or they moved half way around the world looking for a better life.  These days it is much more common for people to move around.  Years ago, families bought large cemetery plots figuring that the family would all be buried together.  A perfect example is one of my relatives who bought ten graves in Rosehill Cemetery in 1938.  Four of the graves have been used, but, other than me, there is nobody left in Chicago.  The six remaining graves will probably never be used.  One of the attendants at Rosehill told me that a few years ago Rosehill went searching for heirs to repurchase and resell unused graves, but the task turned out to be almost impossible.

This week I will tell the story of a family, some of whom are buried here in Lake Forest, Illinois, and others in the same immediate family who are buried in Cismont, Virginia.

I have mentioned before that I often search ebay for items pertaining to Evanston, Illinois.  The other night I came upon an unusual item:

The listing said:

Antique Photo - William Benezet Bogert.  One of 77 photos from an album of members of the Class of 1882 of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.  I believe the photos were taken in 1878 when the class entered Brown.

William Benezet Bogert, Ph.B., Commission merchant, firm of Wright, Bogert & Co., Chicago, Ill.  Member of Chicago Board of Trade; Committee on Arbitration 1891-1892; Committee of Appeals 1893-1894; Board of Directors 1897-99; Chairman Executive Committee 1898-99.  Address:  1818 Sheridan Road, Evanston, Illinois.

Unfortunately where 1818 Sheridan Road stood is now a vacant lot that is part of Northwestern University:

1818-1820 Sheridan Road, Evanston, Illinois
I thought there would probably be an interesting story here and I was right.

William Benezet Bogert was born October 2, 1860 in Providence, Rhode Island.  He was one of four sons born to Theodore Parker Bogert (1830-1885) and his wife Sarah Bull Wilken (1833-1906).  His brothers are Francis Nelson (b. 1855), James (b. 1859) and Theodore Peacock (b. 1862).  William Bogert was a direct descendant of Captain William Jackson who fought in the Revolutionary War in Col. Clinton's New Windsor Regiment.

As we found out from the ebay listing William Bogert graduated from Brown University in 1882 with a Bachelor in Philosophy degree.  According to his obituary, after he graduated from Brown he was in the cotton manufacturing business for three years in Taftville, Connecticut.  In 1885 he relocated to Chicago as a member of the firm of Carington, Patten & Co.  On June 29, 1887, twenty-six year old William Benezet Bogert married twenty-five year old Ella Loomis in Evanston:

They were married at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Evanston by the rector, The Rev. Richard Haymans.

and by 1890 they were living in their home at 1818 Sheridan Road.

William and Ella had three children:  William Benezet Bogert, Jr. (1888-1930), Theodore Loomis Bogert (1889-1968) and Frances Hoyt Bogert (1892-1985).

Ella Loomis Bogert died on Christmas Day, 1909 in Evanston.

She died from exhaustion caused by empyemia.  Empyema may have a number of causes but is most frequently a complication of pneumonia.

From the Chicago Daily Tribune of December 26, 1909:

BOGERT - Ella Loomis Bogert, wife of William Benezet Bogert, at Evanston, Dec. 25.  Illinois.  Funeral from her late residence, 1818 Sheridan road, Evanston, Tuesday, Dec. 28 at 1:30 p.m.  Interment private.
The family decided to buy a cemetery plot in the Lake Forest Cemetery overlooking Lake Michigan and buried Ella there:

Photo: Rommy Lopat

A little more than five years after the death of Ella Bogert, fifty-three year old William Bogert married forty-seven year old Caroline Wood of Louisville, Kentucky on January 7, 1914.  This was Miss Wood's first marriage.

William Bogert retired from his firm Bogert, Maltby & Co. in 1916.  He decided to go back east and he bought a farm on Keswick Road in Abermarle County, Virginia where he lived with his wife and son Theodore, a tobacco broker and daughter Frances, active in relief work during and after World War I.  William Bogert spent his retirement as a breeder of pure-bred Hereford cattle and half-bred hunters, some of which were Madison Square Garden winners.

On February 21, 1930 William Benezet Bogert, Jr died.  He alone of his immediate family still lived in the Midwest.  Since the family had purchased a large plot at Lake Forest Cemetery when Ella died in 1909, it was natural that William Jr. would want to be buried there as well, and he was.

 Photo: Rommy Lopat
Here is the order William Jr's wife put in for his military headstone:

And here is the finished product:

Photo: Rommy Lopat

After the death of William Benezet Bogert, Jr., there were no longer any members of the immediate family living in the Chicago area - they had all reloacted to Virginia.

The next person in the immediate family to die was William Benezet Bogert, Sr's second wife Caroline Wood Bogert, who died February 9, 1947 at the age of  80.  So what to do now? There were still unused graves in the Lake Forest Cemetery in Illinois where his first wife and son are buried, but Caroline had no connection to Illinois - she had been raised in Louisville, Kentucky.  Even though there was a large cemetery plot in Illinois it made no sense to bring Caroline back to Chicago for burial.  William Bogert, Sr. bought another large cemetery plot - this one in the picturesque and historic Grace Episcopal Church Cemetery in Cismont, Virginia. It was here that Caroline Wood Bogert was laid to rest:

Photo: Dylan and Ciana

Here is the plot that William Bogert, Sr. bought in Virginia:

Photo: Dylan and Ciana

The next family member to die was William Bogert, Sr.  He died in the afternoon of  February 21, 1948 at "Ben-Coolyn Farm", his home in Virginia.  He was 87.  His death merited notices both in the New York Times:

and the Chicago Daily Tribune:

Even though the family now owned two large cemetery plots - one in Lake Forest, Illinois and the other in Cismont, Virginia, I am sure they never seriously considered bringing William back to Illinois.  He was buried next to Caroline in the plot in Virginia: 

Photo:  Dylan and Ciana

William and Caroline Bogert were joined by his son Theodore in 1968:

Photo: Dylan and Ciana

Photo: Dylan and Ciana
and his daughter Francis in 1985:

Photo: Dylan and Ciana

So there you have it - a family whose burials are separated by almost 800 miles.  The Bogert family owns a large cemetery plot in Lake Forest, Illinois and at Grace Church, Cismont, Virginia.  It is interesting to note that the Grace Church Cemetery rules are that the ownership of any grave reverts to the church if unused for fifty years.  Secular cemeteries might want to add that to their charters as well.  

May William Benezet Bogert, the Illinois Bogerts, and the Virginia Bogerts, rest in peace.

Friday, March 15, 2013


As I have mentioned in previous entries, Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago is a beautiful place.  No matter the season, you can walk the curving roads and see magnificent works of funerary art, many over 100 years old.  If you wandered through Section D, one of the oldest sections of the cemetery, you would come across a beautiful old family mausoleum of yellow stone,

resembling in may ways the entrance of Rosehill itself. 

You would never guess from looking on this peaceful spot just how controversial this family mausoleum was when it was built, and how hard the Rosehill Cemetery Company fought to keep it from being completed.  This is the story which the Chicago Tribune called "Widow Hopkinson Defeats a Cemetery Company."

Charles Hopkinson was born c1826 in Lancashire, England.  On May 10, 1849 when he was twenty-three he came to the United States and settled in Wisconsin.  It was there that he met Mary Hughes, also from England, and they were married on November 4, 1857, in La Salle County, Illinois. 

Charles Hopkinson was a real estate agent.  Before the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, his office was at 128 W. Washington, after the fire, his offices were at 119 Dearborn.  The Hopkinson home was at 451 W. Washington.  By 1876, Hopkinson had made his fortune and retired to enjoy his home and family which consisted of Charles, Mary and their daughter Lillia (b. c1861 in Wisconsin).   

Charles and Mary had heard good things about the "new" Rosehill Cemetery (dedicated July, 1859) and had probably attended funerals there themselves.  To ensure that they would get a choice spot, Charles decided to purchase a lot ahead of need, so on September 5, 1863 Charles purchased Lots 135 and 136 in Section D.   The deed Charles received from Rosehill contained standard language to the effect that no above ground vault or monument could be erected without the prior approval of the Rosehill Cemetery Company. 

Charles Hopkinson died on January 7, 1883.  He was 57 years old.  Shortly after his funeral, his widow Mary appeared at the downtown Chicago office of Rosehill for the purpose of presenting her plans for a family mausoleum for approval.  The secretary referred her to Van H. Higgins as the appropriate officer.  He was, at that time, treasurer and owner of a majority of stock of the company.  After several interviews a time was agreed upon to go to the cemetery.  Higgins, one or two members of the board,  and a landscape gardener for the cemetery, a Mr. Cleveland, met Mrs. Hopkinson at the cemetery.  It was understood and agreed that the plans would be submitted to Mr. Cleveland and that his decision would be final and conclusive.  An examination was made, and Cleveland decided that the erection of a vault on the premises as proposed was unobjectionable.  Then Van H. Higgins, in the presence of several witnesses, told Mrs. Hopkinson that the matter was ended, and Mrs. Hopkinson immediately made arrangements to have construction of the mausoleum started.  The mausoleum itself was said to cost $5,000.00.  After construction had begun, Rosehill ordered it stopped immediately.  Rosehill now objected to the construction of the mausoleum not because of its design, but because of its location.  According to Rosehill, the lot on which Mrs. Hopkinson was proposing to construct the mausoleum was "almost directly opposite, and in sight of the gate (of the cemetery), and that (it) would obstruct the view from said entrance, and disfigure the grounds of said Cemetery." 

Now I am not an attorney, but a quick look at the map of Rosehill will show that it is a stretch to say that the Hopkinson plot was in sight of the gate, and in no way is directly opposite the gate. 

I suppose in 1883 you might have been able to make an argument that the mausoleum could be seen from the front gate, but all these years later, with mature landscaping and scores of monuments in the sightline, it does not stand out at all.

Here is a current view, standing at the Rosehill gate and looking toward the Hopkinson mausoleum:

If you look in the middle of the photo there are three red Xs that mark the Hopkinson mausoleum.  You can barely see it - and this is in winter, with all the leaves off the trees.  In the summer I'm sure you can't see the mausoleum at all.

According to Mrs. Hopkinson's suit, the cemetery's decision was arbitrary, and that there were, in fact, six other vaults near her lot, two of which were owned by Directors of the Rosehill Cemetery Company, and all six, in Mrs. Hopkinson's opinion, were inferior to hers.

Since construction of the mausoleum had been stopped, and in fact, Mrs. Hopkinson herself was barred from the cemetery, she felt her only recourse was in the Courts.  On May 31, 1883, Mrs. Hopkinson's attorney filed suit to force Rosehill to allow the construction of the mausoleum to be completed.  The case was decided in favor of Mrs. Hopkinson.  Rosehill appealed, and the Appellate Court ruled in favor of Mrs. Hopkinson.  Finally Rosehill appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court, who, through a decision rendered by Justice Alfred Craig (no relation) upheld the ruling in favor of Mrs. Hopkinson. 

Here is the article from the Chicago Daily Tribune of May 6, 1884:

Widow Hopkinson Defeats a Cemetery Company

Judge Shepard yesterday decided the case of Mary Hopkinson, executrix of the estate of Charles Hopkinson, deceased, against the Rosehill Cemetery Company.  This was a bill to restrain the company from interfering with her in creating a handsome mausoleum to the memory of her late husband.  The latter died in January, 1883, leaving $2,500 to be devoted to erecting a family vault on his lot in Rosehill, and to this the widow added an equal amount.  He bought the lot in 1863, subject to the restrictions and provisions of the company's charter and all rules and regulations printed on the back of the deed to him.  One of these regulations provided that no vault should be built above ground without the consent of the Company; another that if any lot-owner should erect any structure on any lot which should be decided by a majority of the trustees to be offensive, or improper, or inconsistent with the surrounding lots they should have a right to remove it.

The Judge said the last edition of the rules and regulations was dated Dec, 20, 1880, and it was to be presumed that they were the ones now in force.  they contained, however, a provision requiring that the plan of the mausoleum should be submitted to the trustees, but omitted to forbid, in the case of a failure to submit the plans, the erection of the structure.  Mrs. Hopkinson had been given to understand that her plans were satisfactory, but the committee appointed to examine them reported to the trustees against them after she had commenced work.  It was a question whether a corporation of such ample powers should be allowed to exercise such an arbitrary discrimination in a case of this kind.  No other application had ever been refused, and it appeared the trustees had acted arbitrarily and exercised an unjust discrimination.  A decree, would, therefore, be rendered in Mrs. Hopkinson's favor granting her the injunction asked.

The mausoleum was completed, and Mr. Hopkinson was interred in 1885.

Mary Hopkinson joined her husband in the mausoleum in February of 1904.

But that was not the end of the story.  From the Chicago Daily Tribune of  March 7, 1905:

Relatives of Mrs. Mary Hopkinson Make Charges Against Mrs. Lilla Johnson.

The will of Mrs. Mary Hopkinson, disposing of an estate of $100,000 was attacked in a petition filed yesterday by eight claimants.  Those who signed the petition are Leslie Highes, John Hughes, Elizabeth Smith, Etta Cann, Thomas Hughes, Jane Swering, Sophia June, and Laura Evans, none of whom was mentioned in the will.

Mrs. Lilla Johnson, they say, was with Mrs. Hopkinson a great deal of the time, and a strong influence over her.

Several days after the execution of the will, it is alleged, Mrs. Johnson took the paper from Mrs. Hopkinson, and although Mrs. Hopkinson begged for its return that she might destroy it, and offered a reward for its recovery, she was refused.

The will mentioned Hannah Nims and Ann Jenkins for small amounts, and gave $1,000 to Charles Hess, leaving the remainder of the estate to Mrs. Johnson, in a codicil.

What the article does not mention, of course, is that Lilla Johnson was the daughter of Mary Hopkinson.

Interred in the Hopkinson mausoleum, along with Charles and Mary Hopkinson are two of Mary's siblings, R.E. Hughes and Sarah J. Hughes.  R(ichard) E. Hughes died September 3, 1864 at the age of twenty-one.  He served in the 88th Illinois Regiment.

Sarah J. Hughes, Mary's sister died August 22, 1900.

Also in the mausoleum are Charles and Mary's grandson Charles A. Johnson, Sr. (1892-1965) and his wife Gladys Anita Atkinson Johnson (1902-????).

Lastly, the Hopkinson mausoleum is said to be haunted.  The story is, that because of all the rigamarole over his mausoleum, that Charles Hopkinson, every year on the anniversary of his death, (January 7th) makes his displeasure known by a low moaning and the rattling of chains.  I have never been to the Hopkinson mausoleum on January 7th, but all the times I have been there, Charles, and all the rest of the family, are resting comfortably (and quietly).

This is a story of a woman who had the will (and the money) to fight a major corporation to see that her husband's final wishes were carried out.  I am glad she prevailed.

May Mary Hughes Hopkinson, her husband Charles, and those interred with them, rest in peace.