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Elmira, New York, Mark Twain - Samuel Clemens, grave and tombstone, Woodlawn Cemetery, photos

The grave and tombstone of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, Mark Twain, Woodlawn Cemetery, Elmira, New York.

The grave and tombstone of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Elmira, New York. Clemens was born on November 30, 1835 in the tiny settlement of Florida, Missouri. When Clemens was four years old, his father moved the family to nearby Hannibal, Missouri. The City of Hannibal is located in northeast Missouri on the Mississippi River and was the setting used in of two of his most well known books: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885). As an adult, Clemens made his home at Hartford, Connecticut but the family spent the summers at the home of his wife's sister in Elmira, New York. It was while living in Connecticut and New York that most of his books were written. On April 21, 1910, Samuel Clemens died of a heart attack at his home in Redding, Connecticut, at the age of 74. After his funeral, his remains were transported to Elmira, New York to be buried along his wife, children and other family members. See the additional photos below.

The grave and tombstone of Oliva Langdon Clemens, wife of Mark Twain, Woodlawn Cemetery, Elmira, New York.

The grave and tombstone of Olivia Langdon Clemens, the wife of Samuel Clemens. The text on the tombstone reads: “In This Grave Repose The Ashes of Olivia Langdon, The Beloved and Lamented Wife of Samuel L. Clemens, Who Reverently Raises This Stone To Her Memory. [born] Elmira, Nov. 27, 1845, [died] Florence, Italy, June 5, 1904.” Note: The term, ashes, is used here symbolically as she was buried here, not cremated. See the additional photos below.

The monument at the family burial plot of Samuel Clemens - Mark Twain, Elmira, New York.

The monument at the family burial plot of Samuel Clemens and his extended family. The two bronze plaques on the monument are of Mark Twain and his son-in-law, Ossip Grabilowitsch. The text at the foot of the monument reads: “Death is the starlit strip between the companionship of Yesterday and the Reunion of Tomorrow. To the loving memory of my Father and my Husband. C. C. G. 1937” [C. C. G. are the initials of the only surviving child of Samuel and Olivia Clemens: Clara Clemens Gabrilowitsch.]

The historical marker in Woodlawn Cemetery concerning Mark Twain - Samuel Clemens.

A photo of the historical marker in Woodlawn Cemetery concerning Mark Twain - Samuel Clemens. The three photos on the right edge are as follows: Top photo: “Mark Twain's body being removed from his home at Redding for burial in New York. Harper's Illustrated Weekly Magazine, March 7, 1910.” Center photo: “Bearing the coffin from the Brick Church, Fifth Avenue, New York, were the funeral services were held. Harper's Illustrated Weekly Magazine, March 7, 1910.” Bottom photo: “Reenactment of the burial of Samuel Clemens held on the 100th anniversary of his death, April, 24, 2010.”

The text of the historical marker reads as follows:

“On Thursday, April 21, 1910, Samuel Langhorne Clemens died at his home, Stormfield, in Redding, Connecticut. Beside him on his bed lay a beloved book - Carlyle's The French Revolution: A History - and near the book his glasses, pushed away a few hours before. He was in his seventy-fifth year. His daughter, Clara, and her husband, Ossip Gabrilowitsch, and the humorist's biographer, Albert Bigelow Paine, had been by the bed waiting for the end. The following day, Clemens' body was placed in a mahogany coffin where he lay overnight in the library at Stormfield. On Saturday, April 23, the hearse was brought to the Brick Church, where a simple service was offered by the Reverends Dr. Van Dyck and Dr. Twichell. Three or four thousand people passed in review. The coffin was then brought to Elmira by rail.” (from The New York Times, April 22, 1910).

“Under a tent on the grassy slope of the Langdon plot in Woodlawn Cemetery, with rain beating fiercely against the canvas cover, a little group of mourners silently watched as the body of Samuel L. Clemens was lowered into an evergreen-lined grave beside those of his wife and children. Rev. Samuel E. Eastman, pastor of the Park Church and a close friend of the dead humorist, conducted a brief but simple service, and Mark Twain's first pilgrimage was at an end. To-night he lies sleeping under a grave piled high with flowers, the tributes of loving friends from far and near.” (from the Elmira Advertiser, April 25, 1910).

Langdon Clemens (eighteen months) the first member of the Clemens family to be buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery, died of diphtheria. He rests near his grandmother and grandfather. Olivia Susan Clemens (24 years) first of three daughters, passed away unexpectedly of spinal meningitis while Clemens and Olivia were abroad. Of her death, Clemens wrote, “It is one of the mysteries of our nature that a man, all unprepared, can be struck by a thunder-stroke like that and live.” Olivia Louise Langdon, Clemens's wife (59 years) died in Florence, Italy. The reference to “ashes” on her stone is symbolic. Jane Lampton Clemens, called "Jean" (29 years) suffered from epilepsy from adolescence onward. She drowned in the bathtub on Christmas Eve morning. Clara Clemens Gabrilowitsch Samossoud, the only surviving child, married Ossip Grabilowitsch, a Russian pianist who became the Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Together, they had Clemens' only grandchild, Nina Gabrilowitsch. Ossip requested that he be buried at the feet of his father-in-law. Following Ossip's death (58 years) Clara married a French musician, Jacques Sammosoud. The grand-daughter, Nina (56) never married and died of a drug overdose in Hollywood, California. Other family members buried here include Charles Jervis Langdon, his family and descendants, and Susan and Theodore Crane. The large Westerly granite shaft depicting the images of Samuel Clemens and Ossip Grabilowitsch, erected by Clara Clemens and designed by Ernfred Anderson, weighs eight tons. The Langdon family monument, central to the plot, contains four religious symbols: Alpha and Omega; the symbol of the Trinity; the monogram meaning "In His Sign;" and a formee cross. Samuel Clemens chose the inscriptions on the stones of Susy, Jean, and Olivia.

View additional photos related to Mark Twain - Samuel Clemens:

The house where Samuel Clemens - Mark Twain was born, Florida, Missouri

The boyhood home of Samuel Clemens - Mark Twain in Hannibal, Missouri

The home of Samuel Clemens - Mark Twain in Hartford, Connecticut

The study where Samuel Clemens - Mark Twain wrote in Elmira, New York

Elmira is in Chemung County, New York.

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