On Sunday March 2, after some research and some guessing, Sarah V. and I went to Memorial Park Cemetery in Skokie, IL to visit the Vandercook graves.There was a lot of snow on the ground and the staff was very sure that we wouldn’t be able to find the markers, but we were insistent. So after turning 10s into trees and 20s into bushes (decoding a map), we dusted off some snow and tried to make rubbings. Unfortunately better rubbings (and better photos) will have to wait for a drier season.We were hoping there would be some indication of their contribution, but alas no tiny engraved press, no banner.If anyone wants detailed directions for the next time they’re a little north of Chicago and want to say “Thanks” to the Vandercooks, please contact me and I’ll be glad to pass on all that I learned this week. Including the fact that the falafel sandwiches with pickles are indeed much better than plain falafel sandwiches at Pita Inn.Our next Moxon/Vandercook inspired day trip will be to take photos of the old factories. We’re still researching some addresses though.-April Sheridan
In the Northwestern University graduating class of 1888, he was listed as Robert. So between the census of 1880 and 1888, he seems to have decided to use the more conventional given name of Robert.
I haven’t come across this information. If you’re interested in his biography I posted a profile of his life here: https://vandercookpress.info/vanderblog/2007/09/ro-vandercook/
Thank you for posting the photographs of the Vandercook tombstones. Can you tell me whether Robert O. ever officially changed his name from Roberts O.? The 1880 Census shows that he still went by the name Roberts. He was named for his uncle Roberts Vandercook, son of Michael S. Vandercook and Betsey Roberts (Pickett).
April was kind enough to send me a rubbing of R.O. Vandercook’s grave marker that arrived today. It has R.O.’s dates as 1866-1951, and his wife Lue Oatman as 1872-1958. The size is about 10″ x 30″, and the name Vandercook, if wood type, would be about a 16 line face. R.O. was E.O.’s father, and the one who founded the Vandercook Press that was to become Vandercook and Sons. As Paul has noted several times, R.O. was a staunch supporter of the business in the numerous trade magazine articles he wrote and extensive travels around the country while he promoted Vandercook presses. I have a number of company photos with R.O. in them at various trade fair shows where the presses were demonstrated.
I found these pictures (R.O.’s marker is another picture taken that day but not posted on the Vanderblog) to be rather sad, and I guess I imagined something a little more significant to mark these people’s lives. I have one of the original Vandercook 8×10 glossy prints at hand showing E.O. with microphone in hand at a long forgotten party, at about the same age I am now. And then to see the patch of snow and the granite marker that signals the end of a remarkable life.
Another grave marker I wonder about is that of F.W. Goudy. Apparently his grave was marked with a very simple stone and in the early 1950s there was an effort to raise money to place a more suitable marker on the Goudy grave site. I have yet to find in my Inland Printer readings if that goal was ever accomplished.
April, I admire your pluck to find the Vandercook graves. Since you’re searching out the old factories, you might drop Peter Kruty an email. Back in the early nineties I helped move a behemoth 32-28 in Memphis into a semi-trailer bound for Brooklyn. I recall him mentioning during his visit that as a boy growing up in Chicago he frequently walked by the Vandercook factory without giving it a thought. (Peter, if I have this story all wrong, please forgive me.) I don’t spot his or his partner’s names on the member roll so best consult http://www.peterkrutyeditions.com for an e-address.
And I would love your detailed directions. Maybe I can put them to use next time I’m back home visiting family.
Best of luck and kindest regards