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Robert G. Ingersoll quotation from “On Abraham Lincoln” (1894)
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Walking Tour Stop 10

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Home of Ebon Clark Ingersoll (brother), c. 1870-90
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Home of Ebon Clark Ingersoll (brother), c. 1870-90

Home of Ebon Clark Ingersoll at 1403 K Street, N.W. (not extant)

Currently this site is the Tower Office Building with the D.C. Coast Restaurant on the ground floor.

Here lived Ingersoll’s brother and law partner Ebon Clark. His elegant, 3-story stone house with a bay window was one of the six row houses of Franklin Terrace built c. 1875 by architect Adolf Cluss. It was razed in 1890, and the site is occupied today by the Tower Building, which houses offices. (Incidentally, the only major building in this area extant from Ingersoll’s days is the Franklin School at the east end of Franklin Square. Erected by Cluss in 1868, it won a number of international awards.)

On June 2, 1879, Ingersoll delivered the funeral oration for Ebon Clark before his coffin in the parlor of his home.

Site of Ebon Ingersoll’s Home
photo 32 enlarge
Site of Ebon Ingersoll’s Home

“The house was crowded almost to suffocating, nearly all the distinguished men in Washington being present,” reported the Chicago Inter Ocean. “The body lay in a velvet casket, and the casket sat upon two velvet pedestals in the center of the long saloon-parlor, the windows of which were darkened, and the chandeliers were blazing with light. The family and relatives sat about the casket, and Robert G. Ingersoll stood at the head while the lid was being screwed down. Then, drawing from his pocket a few pages of manuscript, he laid it upon the coffin lid and commenced to read. His voice trembled with emotion, and much that he said was scarcely audible. It was a touching tribute of brotherly affection ....”

Ingersoll included these famous lines in the eulogy of his beloved brother:

He believed that happiness is the only good, reason the only torch, justice the only worship, humanity the only religion, and love the only priest.

Ebon Clark was buried in Georgetown’s Oak Hill Cemetery, at 30th and R Streets, N.W. His honorary pall bearers included Senator Blaine, then Congressmen Garfield and Adlai Stevenson (1835-1914), who was Grover Cleveland’s V. P. (and grandfather of Adlai Stevenson III who famously lost his presidential bid to D. Eisenhower).

Walking Directions (printable version)

To walk to tour stop #11:

Cross 14th Street and go east one half block on K Street, alongside Franklin Park.

 
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