Regiment lost during service 2 Enlisted men killed and 3 Officers and 271 Enlisted men by disease. Total 276.
Frank Hippach Sr's sojourn in Nebraska didn’t last long, because by the end of 1880 he was claiming to be permanently disabled as a result of the rheumatism he caught while in the Army. On May 25, 1884 he was admitted to the North-Western Branch of the National Home for Disabled Soldiers and granted a pension of $20.00 per month.
There are two interesting facts from Frank Hippach's records at the Home: his marital status was listed as "Married and Parted" and his religious affiliation is listed as "Catholic." This is the first mention of Catholicism for any member of the extended Hippach family.
The 1890 US Census is lost, but the 1900 US Census does reveal a few things. Frank, of course, is still in the National Home for Disabled Soldiers (where he will remain until his death). Lena (and Charles) are living with Emma (now Mrs. Charles West) at 4348 Grand Boulevard in Chicago. A trucking company occupies that plot today. Emma's husband is a dentist. Lena Hippach told the census taker that she was a "Widow", and further that she had given birth to only one child, and that one child was still alive in 1900 - although she was living with two of her children at the time. This is just another example of why I do not put too much trust in genealogy data taken from the census. People lied, or mis-stated the facts, to the census takers all the time. Charles Hippach lists his occupation as "Foreman."
Frank Hippach Sr died in the hospital at the National Home for Disabled Soldiers on February 29, 1908. The Cause of Death was listed as "Broncho Pneumonia with Acute Cardiac Dilatation." His body was released to S.F. Peacock & Sons Undertakers for shipment to Chicago. Frank Hippach's personal effects, including 95 cents in cash, was "shipped April 2, 1908 to Magdalena Hippach, 111 North Clinton Street, Chicago, Ills., widow."
Even though Frank Hippach had lived most of his adult life in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, the family decided to bring him back to Chicago for burial – but where to bury him? When two of Louis Hippach’s sons died tragically in the Iroquois Theater fire of 1903, the decision was made to bury them in Chicago’s Rosehill Cemetery, but ultimately the family decided to bury Frank in Forest Home Cemetery in suburban Forest Park. This was an unusual choice if Frank was a Catholic, because Chicago had a large and diverse number of Catholic cemeteries, but Forest Home was very popular with the German speaking population of Chicagoland. Perhaps Louis had already conceived of the idea to have a suitable memorial built at a later date after Lena’s death, and thought the burial at Forest Home would be temporary.
Her Death Record indicated that like her late husband, Lena Hippach would be buried at Forest Home Cemetery.
History does not record exactly when Louis Hippach decided to have a chapel built to honor his late parents. It could have been after his father died in 1908, or after his mother died in 1922, but the fact is that he did decide to have a chapel built in their memory. We know that Louis' two sons who died in the Iroquois Theater fire were buried at Rosehill Cemetery on Chicago's north side, as was his third son Howard who died in an auto accident in 1914. Perhaps when Louis was at Rosehill he had seen the magnificent chapel that Anna May had built there to honor her late husband Horatio N. May in 1899. You can read more about that here:
But Rosehill did not need another chapel, so Louis had to look around Chicagoland to see what would be a suitable spot for his parents' memorial chapel. Louis' wife Ida's parents (Fischer) were buried at Wunders Cemetery in Chicago. Wunder's Cemetery is too small for a free-standing chapel. Graceland also had one chapel and no room (or need) for another. If Louis' father Francis had been Catholic as indicated, Louis could have erected a chapel in one of Chicagoland's many Catholic Cemeteries but then it would have to be dedicated to a saint or other figure from religion - not Frank and Ida Hippach.
How about Forest Home Cemetery, where they had originally been buried? It certainly was big enough for a free-standing chapel, but perhaps Louis didn't like Forest Home - or Forest Home's management had not jumped at the idea of a memorial chapel. Soon Louis Hippach began to realize that he would have to go out of the city to find a suitable cemetery - maybe even outside of Cook County. After an extensive survey, he ended up with Green Ridge Cemetery in (then) unincorporated DuPage County, Illinois. Green Ridge had been started in the 1920s and at that time it's location was considered "way out in the country" although these days the city has caught up with it. It is now called Chapel Hill Gardens West Cemetery and is located at 17W201 Roosevelt Road in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. Chapel Hill Gardens West is now owned by Service Corporation International, but in the mid-1920s it was privately owned, and the owners could not have been more pleased that Louis chose to build his chapel at Green Ridge.
Now the next step - who to choose for an architect? Louis Hippach did not have to look too far to find someone suitable. He chose Arthur Woltersdorf, who he had previously chosen to design the Howard Hippach Memorial Field at the Abbott School in Maine as a memorial to his son who was tragically killed in an auto accident shortly after graduation in 1914. In addition, to provide sculptures for the chapel, Hippach hired Richard W. Bock, a one-time collaborator with Frank Lloyd Wright. Before we move on to the chapel itself, let's take a minute to take a quick look at the chapel's architect and sculptor.
Sculptor Richard W. Bock was born in Shloppen, West Prussia on July 16, 1865. At the age of 4, he emigrated to Chicago. Bock studied at the Mechanic's Institute of Chicago and privately with Frederick Almenraeder. Both, later, worked at North Western Terra Cotta. By 1885 he was with Herter Brothers in New York. Bock studied in Berlin at Kaiserliche, Konigliche Kunstgewerbe Museum, where he formed a lasting friendship with Karl Bitter. He continued to Paris 1890 where he studied in Falguire's Studio at the Ecole des Arts. Classmates included Bella Pratt, Hermon MacNeil, and John Flanagan. His career included work with Solon Beman at the Columbian Exposition; with Louis Sullivan at the Auditorium Theater and the Schiller Building; with Dwight Perkins at the Omaha Exposition and with Frank Lloyd Wright at Midway Gardens. He died on June 29, 1949 and is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California.
Now back to the chapel itself. Here is a description of the chapel and its adornments:
The chapel presents a plain high-pitched roof, the walls are of fitted various-sized blocks of sandstone, the windows are of Gothic design in leaded amber colored glass. The main feature is a square tower with a porte-cochere connecting it with the building at the main entrance. Here Bock placed a memorial urn, bronze, five and one half feet tall, which holds a record of the important world events of the 1920s, including eight panels showing man from the cradle to the grave and a row of portrait heads of the world's great philosophers and religious prophets.
Below the urn are three basins from which water flows in cascades from one to another representing the River of Life. According to Bock, it took over a year to complete this one sculpture alone.
The tower terminates at the top with over life sized figures resting their arms on the cornice - one depicting a bearded male philosopher, one a hooded female figure, one a shepherd, and one a young maiden.
On the interior, the exposed black walnut beams of the chapel terminate in corbels, four on each side, which are carved with figures holding shields to represent different ages. The ceiling and the wall over the altar are adorned with murals. Flanking the altar mural are bronze tablets depicting kneeling angels holding wreaths.
Here are some of Arthur Woltersdorf's original architectural drawings for the chapel:
At first I thought it was strange that Louis Hippach's parents, Frank and Lena Hippach, are not interred inside the chapel - they are buried in the ground in a plot behind the chapel. One writer noted that he almost lost his mind trying to find Frank and Lena's tombs inside the chapel. He recounted that as he looked around the inside, he did not see any sarcophagi, so he thought they may have been buried under the floor, as is sometimes done in churches in Europe. He went over the place with a fine-toothed comb to no avail, then almost literally stumbled over the graves as he was taking pictures around the outside of the chapel.
But as I was thinking about this, I realized that it was perhaps not strange at all. After all, Horatio and Anna May are not interred inside the May Chapel at Rosehill; their graves are in a plot of ground outside the east wall of the chapel.
As mentioned above, the Hippach Memorial Chapel is located in a cemetery now called Chapel Hill Gardens West in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, owned by SCI. They are justly proud of this beautiful work of art, and it features prominently in their advertisements. In 2007, the cemetery refurbished the chapel, restoring it to its former glory.
In addition, I understand that they have added several banks of cremation niches inside the chapel, so it is possible to have this magnificent chapel as the final resting place for you and your family. Whoever thought of that idea deserves a gold star! I wish Rosehill would do something similar with the May Chapel. I would love to be interred there, as I'm sure many others would as well.
So now you know the story of a son's gift to Chicagoland in appreciation of his parents. Thanks to the generosity of Louis Hippach, the magnificent work of art that is his memorial to his parents will be enjoyed by countless thousands for years to come.
May Frank and Lena Hippach rest in peace.