Mary Clarke, Obituary/Death NoticePorter County obituaries and death notices . . . .

Mary Clarke

Lost on Lake Michigan and Buried in Pine Township.

Valparaiso Sun.
A lonely grave, over which the biting winds moan a requiem, marks the last resting place of a beautiful girl. Late one afternoon in the fall of 1877 a Mr. Crawford, of Pine township, was gathering wood along the shores of the lake. A few days before the elements had lashed the water into billows mountain high. The whitecaps had beat upon the desolate shore for two nights. The came a calm, and in the twilight of the evening the farmer was searching the beach for drift-wood. Darkness was coming on, and the old man was preparing to start for home, when he was startled to see upon the sands a dead body that proved to be that of a young lady of from 18 to 22 years of age. She was fair, with auburn hair and pearly teeth. Her golden tresses hung about a face that was wondrously beautiful. There was a gash upon the head and another upon the neck that seemed to indicate violence, and the only articles of clothing upon the body were shoes, stockings and garters. A Coroner's jury was summoned, and inquest held and a verdict rendered of death by drowning. The fact of the finding of the body was advertized in Chicago, but no one ever came to claim the remains. The following Sunday the fair young girl, who was beautiful even in death, slept calmly in her coffin, a smile of sadness wreathing her lips, as if her last prayer had been for one who had robbed her thus early of happiness and life. Mr. Crawford brooded over the girl's fate as though death had entered his home and broken the family circle, and the last years of his life were devoted to solving the mystery, but he passed away without having accomplished his mission. Fifteen years passed, but no one came to disturb the mound, and the unmarked grave in the waste of sand passed from memory. Yesterday an old gentleman reached this city, weary and footsore with travel. His is a strange story. If true, the mystery surrounding that fateful afternoon would be unraveled. Fifteen years ago pretty Mary Clarke left her home in New York to visit her aunt in the western states. She traveled part of the way by water, it being her intention to reach Chicago by steamer. Several days after departure Lake Michigan was storm-tossed, the steamer on which she had taken passage sprung leak and sunk with all on board. No one survived to assuage the grief of the bereaved friends that possibly their loved ones had escaped. Days afterward wreckage found its way to the shore, and late the body of Mary Clarke was uwashed upon the sand. Gloom and despair now settled over the humble home of Mary Clarke. The mother died of a broken heart, and the father aged ten years or more, and now, at the age of 70 years he knows the fate of his child. The discovery of a time worn copy of Chicago paper containing the notice of Farmer Crawford had, after fifteen years, accomplished the purpose.

Newspaper: The Tribune
Date of Publication: January 20, 1893
Volume Number: 9
Issue Number: 41
Page: 1
Column(s): 4

Key to Newspaper Publication Locations:
    Newspapers Published in Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana
                Chesterton Tribune
                The Tribune
                Westchester Tribune

    Newspapers Published in Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana
                Porter County Vidette
                Practical Observer
                Valparaiso Practical Observer
                Vidette and Republic
                Western Ranger

The obituaries and death notices appearing on this website have been transcribed exactly as they were originally published in the newspaper. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of obituaries and death notices appearing on this website.

Obituary/death notice transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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