Robert Somers Brookings (1850-1932) Block 333, Lot 5759 Ethan Allen Hitchcock (1835-1909) Block 51, Lot 320
Samuel Clemens, at the age of 66, had never expected to see his hometown, Hannibal, Missouri or to see his child- hood friends again. However in the Spring of 1902 the University of Missouri awoke to the fact that Missouri had produced a world-renowned, distin- guished man of letters. Yale had pre- viously bestowed two degrees on the Missourian. The University invited him to come west to accept an honorary LL.D degree. Before traveling to Columbia, Missouri he spend five days in Hannibal. He was greeted by old boyhood friends and spoke in each church in town claiming that each one was responsible for his early Bible training, even the churches that were built after he had left town. He was greeted with enthusiasm on his arrival at the University. On June 4 he received his Doctor of Laws degree. He led the procession of graduating students and awarded the diplomas to them dressed in his Yale scholastic gown. He was introduced as "America's foremost author and best-loved citizen, Samuel Langhorne Clemens--Mark Twain". Twain appeared in doubt as to whether he should make a speech or just express his gratitude. Un- expectedly, the large audience rose as one and stood silent. He bowed but was unable to speak. The assembly began to chant and slowly spelled out the word M-I-S-S-O-U-R-I. Recovering from the deep-felt emotion he said he didn't know whether or not he was expected to speak. They cheered, demanding a speech and he gave them one. It was one of the speeches he made best; humorous, gentle, dramatic, using his typical quaint phrases and he ended it by telling one of his favorite stories, the watermelon speech, for its moral effect. If I am not called at least 'Doc' from now on, there will be a decided cool- ness. He was a proud Missourian. A dinner was given in his honor after the ceremony. Other Missourians honored with him that day were Robert S. Brookings, Ethan Allen Hitchcock, Beverly Galloway and the Secretary of Agricul- ture, James Wilson. Robert Brookings and Ethan Allen Hitchcock are both interred in Bellefontaine Cemetery. Robert Brookings was very successful in the woodenware business; his partner was Samuel Cupples. He retired at the age of 47 to devote his time to philan- thropy. He was a founder of the Brook- ings Institution in the District of Columbia which is devoted to public service through research and training in the social sciences. Among his many local philanthropic gifts, the one to which he was most devoted was Washington University. He was at one time its Chairman. An impressive building on the campus was named Brookings Hall, in his honor. On his tombstone in Belle- fontaine Cemetery is a bas-relief of its entrance. Ethan Allen Hitchcock was a political leader in the Midwest. He was a great- grandson of Ethan Allen, the famed leader of the Green Mountain Boys in the Revolutionary War. Hitchcock was appointed by President McKinley to be the first ambassador to Russia in 1897 and a year later he became the Secre- tary of Interior. He continued to serve in that capacity under President Theodore Roosevelt until 1907. Hitchcock prosecuted a vigorous program under Roosevelt by enlarging forest reserves and withholding mineral lands from exploitation. He removed incompetent or corrupt officials, uncovered frauds in administration of public lands and re- organized the administration of Indian Affairs. Ethan Allen Hitchcock is interred in Lot 320. It is near the grave of Julius Moulton and next to the family lot of John H. Dickey, for whom a steamboat was named. Sam Clemens was a cub pilot on the John H. Dickey which was owned by Dan Able.
The images' on this page are from Donald Sanders and used with his permission. The information that is on this page has been researched through genealogy links and the Bellefontaine Cemetery listings. This set is NOT linkware and is NOT to leave this site by any means. It is for my own personal use and NOT yours. If I find that any part of it is used somewhere else....I will turn you and your site over to MSN and there will be NO QUESTIONS ASKED!!! Thanks.....Fiddlinsue a.k.a. Suzanne ~January 2006~