Although Thornrose Cemetery in Staunton, Virginia is a stunning cemetery to visit on its own, yesterday’s trip was focused on visiting the grave of Eva Howard Clark.
|The Cincinnati Enquirer, Oct 3, 1906.|
Yesterday’s trip to Thornrose Cemetery, which is an approximately 2 ½ hr. drive from my home, included one of our first hot summer-like days. It was gorgeous and sunny. It has trees but not necessarily the kind that offer much shade. Thornrose Cemetery was established in 1849 on 12 acres. The first burial in the cemetery was in 1853.
|The News Leader, Sep 14, 1923.|
Before meandering, I searched for Eva Howard Clark’s grave. She is located in section 10 with a road on the left of her grave, which made it somewhat easy to find.
In 1906, when the circus was touring through Staunton, Eva Clark was found in a circus tent with a bullet in her abdomen. She lived for just a month after that. Although the circus wanted to take Eva’s body home to be buried, authorities refused suspecting that the shooting had not been accidental and the body was evidence. Witnesses said her husband, Lum Clark, and a fellow trapeze performer named James Richards were present during the shooting. Clark was known to be a jealous husband and was suspected of the shooting his wife but it was unclear if it was an intentional or an accidental shot. No charges were ever filed.
|The Cincinnati Enquirer, Oct 5, 1906.|
Two women have been researching the life of Eva Howard Clark for a couple years now and note, “she was a big deal in the entertainment industry…” In the piece, Eva Howard grew up in the business and was an aerialist who could sing and dance and was known as "The Queen of the Air." Their goal is to tell the story of Clark’s life, not her death.