I took this photo in St. Adalbert Cemetery in Niles, Illinois. My husband has family buried in this cemetery, and we thought it might be interesting to wander a bit to see what else was here. This stone caught my eye, first because of the ceramic photograph of this man, but also because I was curious about what the stone said. In the Chicago area, there is a substantial Czech population, and this last name is one that is found in Chicago census records from this time period (although I did not find this particular man with these two dates, which does happen with census records), and there are current Vodvarka families in the Chicago area, as well.
I do not speak Czech, but I was able to do a bit of rough translation (thanks to Google) (and I wish my photo hadn’t cut off the last line): Loved one at rest/ Husband and Father / Frantisek Vodvarka / born 14 January 1871 / Winemaker, District in Vysoke / _____ Bohemia /Died 17 April 1903 / sleep tight husband and father / no tears ________ / My dear ditkyme milhene
As I said, this translation is my trying to make Google translate work — but I definitely get the impression that this man was loved by his family.
I’ve been curious about these kinds of photographs on ceramic — some cemeteries have quite a few, and some have none at all. I’ve done a bit of research and found that for some ethnic groups, this is fairly common on stones. I also found an interesting article here, on The History Channel’s site, which also mentions a book called Forgotten Faces: A Window Into Our Immigrant Past — my library doesn’t own this book, so I’m requesting it through interlibrary loan (can’t wait)!