Centuries pass, yet children's gravestones evoke sadness
Daniel O’Donovan Eleanor O’Donovan
July 3, 1902 - January 2, 1905 April 11, 1901 - January 27, 1905
Death was a constant visitor to Baltimore homes and families with children.
The O’Donovan children's grave stone in New Cathedral Cemetery is one of the best representations of a children’s graves. The inscription reads: "Daniel O’Donovan, July 3, 1902 to January 2, 1905, and Eleanor O’Donovan, April 11, 1901 to January 27, 1905." The O’Donovan family lost two children in less than a month.
Historians say that In the year 1900, pneumonia and influenza, tuberculosis, and enteritis with diarrhea were the three leading causes of death in the United States. Children under 5 accounted for 40 percent of all deaths from these infections. Ten to twenty percent of the children born in 1900 did not live until age five.
Walking through any of Baltimore’s cemeteries will give you an idea of the tragedies that befell families. You will see grave stones adorned with lambs, dogs, likeness of children and decorated with toys. Today anonymous visitors frequently decorate the graves of Baltimore’s children.
by Richard Berglund