Family Dog Mourns Children
At the Chippiannock Cemetery sits a gravesite that is sure to capture one's heart. It is the headstones belonging to two young children and a statue of the family's dog lying beside them.
In the fall of 1878 a diphtheria epidemic swept through Rock Island, Illinois and claimed many lives. On October 17 nine year old Josie, her five year old brother Eddie and the family's Newfoundland dog (who followed the children everywhere) went off to school. The following day the two children became ill from the outbreak and both died just a few days later on October 22.
After the death of the children, the grief-stricken dog came every day to the cemetery and laid next to their graves from dusk to dawn. After the dog's death, the children's parents, Otis and Harriet Dimick, wanted to bury the loyal pet next to the children. This was not permitted so instead they decided to place a life-sized statue of the dog, which was sculpted by a Chicago artist, next to them.
Though descendants of the Dimick family no longer live in Rock Island, flowers are often placed on the children's graves by strangers who learn about this heartwarming story.