Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Drucks in:
 • Harleigh Cemetery
 • Camden
 • Camden County
 • New Jersey
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Dr Frances M Druck
Birth: unknown
Death: Nov. 12, 1885


Lancaster, Penn., Nov. 16 - The body of Dr. Frances Druck, a female physician of Roxborough, Philadelphia, arrived in this city at 2 o'clock this afternoon, and was taken at once to the Lancaster Crematorium for incineration. Mrs. Druck died on Thursday last of cancer. In her will she left directions to have her body cremated, firmly believing that the good of the living would be subserved by a universal adoption of this method of disposing of the dead. The cremation was entirely private. The ashes will be removed from the retort tomorrow and taken to Philadelphia, where they will be buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery. [Note: the ashes were apparently later moved, read on below.]

[Nov. 17, 1885, New York Times]

Her name, more exactly, was Mary Frances Druck, as she was christened in Germany as Maria Francisca Druck.

It was said during the Civil War that two soldiers died of disease for every one killed in battle. In those difficult times, a new way of raising funds for soldier relief (chiefly medicine and bandages) was the staging of "Sanitary Fairs" where public admission was charged to see donated items that had been put up for sale for the cause. Major cities measured their fundraising success against one another. In June 1864 at Logan Square, Philadelphia hosted one (the only one where Lincoln spoke), which tied with New York as the most successful, each raising over one million dollars. On the list of ladies serving on the Committee of Women was "Miss Frances Druck, northwest corner, Buttonwood and Sixth". Though it's unknown if she served again, many of the ladies on this committee were drafted once more for the great Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876, the first official World's Fair in the United States.

Dr. Druck, as an early advocate of cremation, was cremated at the first public crematorium (and second one built) in the United States. That place, the Lancaster Crematorium, was connected with the Funeral Reform Society, and was dedicated November 25, 1884, almost exactly a year before her need of it would arise. It was not a booming business - four months after its opening, the Philadelphia Inquirer would report that Lancaster had had its sixth cremation. This would change; by July 1889, Philadelphia had its own crematorium in Germantown, and in 1890 had 50 cremations in that year. Lancaster Crematorium, in Greenwood Cemetery on an elevated area south of the city of Lancaster, was established by a surgeon, Miles Davis, who went on to found crematoriums in other major cities. (The first U.S. crematorium was run by this gent, Dr. Lemoyne.)

The above New York Times article about her then-novel cremation refers to our subject as "Mrs. Druck" but the censuses do not suggest she was married. A November 1885 Philadelphia Inquirer article refers to her as "Miss Druck" and says she passed of "cancer in the breast". It goes on to say that her brother in law, who is not named, accompanied her remains to Lancaster, and through the process of cremation. Cemetery records show that Dr. Druck was interred at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia on November 17, 1885, in Section 14, West half of lot 4.

In April of 2013, FindAGrave administrator Russ Dodge attempted to fulfill a photo request for Frances Druck's resting place at Laurel Hill. In doing so, he got some news, which he shared: "I am a tour guide at Laurel Hill Cemetery and have access to all their burial records. The interment card for Frances Druck has a written notation on it stating she was removed from Laurel Hill to Harleigh in 1909." Thanks very much, Russ.

Subsequently, Harleigh Cemetery was contacted to get her new plot location, and a staff member searched the years 1908-1910, and denied that the cemetery has Dr. Druck's remains.

Assuming the removal happened, maybe the reason for this move will yet be found, but for now it is puzzling. Who requested the move, and why, 24 years after her death? She had no children (at least none yet found) and her sister and mother were left at Laurel Hill. Why her, and why then?

It appears her brother in law who accompanied her on the presumed final journey of her body to ashes was the husband of her sister, Dorothea, because the (then single) ladies appear together on the 1860 Philadelphia census, and later (1880) they live together again after Dorothea has married Henry Manger. It appears Dorothea and Henry married between the 1860 and 1870 censuses.

Manger, a sculptor from Odessa, was born in Russia to German and Austrian parents, and art-educated in Germany according to biographies. A figure he crafted of Schiller (1886) and (a companion piece, 1890) Johann Wolfgang von Goethe stands in west Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, just west of Belmont and Montgomery. The Drexel Fountain in Chicago's Drexel Square in South Park (1881) is his as well, paying homage to Philadelphia banker and Chicago property owner Francis M. Drexel. Dr. Hermann Alexander Müller"s "Biographical Encyclopedia of Artists" (1882) says his most notable works also included "the war memorial in Stargard (1874)" and "a colossal bust of Herbart in Oldenburg". The gardens of Strasbourg University in Germany display another bust of Goethe done by him. Records show that a statue of William Penn he executed is in the Pennsbury School District in Fallsington, PA, and that a bust of Lincoln he crafted was displayed in Philadelphia. An 1891 New York Times reports that in Norristown PA a monument to General Hartranft is to be unveiled for Decoration Day, featuring an ornamental "bronze medallion showing the General's head". An iron figure of Otto von Bismarck, sculpted by Manger in 1877 stands in Bad Kissingen in Bavaria Germany. This last work commemorated Bismark's luck in surviving an attempt on his life, and hearkened back to a speech he once made where he said "the unity of Germany can be affected only by blood and iron".

The sculptor was formally Heinrich Carl Johann Manger (or Carl Johann Heinrich Manger depending on the source) and he later went back to Germany and was active in Berlin. It is heartening that so busy and notable a man was willing to escort his sister in law through her last steps on earth.

A John E. Lafore handled her estate. Mr. Lafore was active in the French Benevolent Society, and appears to have had a business in the importation of notions, particularly human hair, perhaps for the wig-making trade.

In any case, interestingly, Dr. Druck ran a "fancy store" in her early years, and by the age of 45 was listed as a medical student. The censuses state she was born in Germany. Her middle initial of "M" was obtained from her death certificate. That initial also jives with christening data where the location of the christening matches the place Frances told a census taker she was born, Pfalz:

Name Maria Francisca Druck
Gender Female
Christening date 17 Aug 1820
Father name Michaelis Druck
Mother name Margaretae Dahm

Searching with her parents' names, we find the family was rich with daughters. Under variations of these parents' names (Georgii Michaelis and Maria/Mariae Margaritae/Margaretae/Margarethae Dahm/Damm) we discover Frances had the following siblings:

Maria Anna, christened 15 Jul 1811
Eva Barbara, christened 25 Jul 1813
Anna Maria, christened 29 Dec 1815
Catharina, christened 19 Jun 1818
Elisabetha, christened 26 Jan 1823
Dorothea, christened 25 Sep 1824
Margaretha, christened 13 Feb 1827
Josepha, christened 01 Jul 1830
Josepha, christened 27 Feb 1832

All of these daughters' information for christening place is identical (KATHOLISCH, INGENHEIM, PFALZ, BAVARIA) except for the eldest, Maria Anna, whose info is ROEMISCH-KATHOLISCHE, BILLIGHEIM, PFALZ, BAVARIA. And yes, there were indeed two daughters named Josepha, this is not a typo. Perhaps the first did not live long. The parents' marriage was recorded thusly:

Groom Georgium Michaelem Druck
Bride Mariam Margaritam Dahm
Marriage date 07 Aug 1810
Marriage place Roemisch-Katholische, Billigheim, Pfalz, Bavaria

Dr. Druck's sister with whom she lived in the United States, Dorothea Druck Manger would pass away before the turn of the century and was laid to rest in Laurel Hill so they were together until Frances was apparently moved.

Many thanks to White Light for sponsoring Frances Druck, her sister Dorothea and their mother. Plus, he also sponsored Dr. Lemoyne's memorial too. Amazing gracious kindness, wouldn't you say?

Family links: 
  Margaret Dahm Druck (____ - 1868)
  Dorothea Druck Manger (____ - 1899)*
  Frances M Druck (____ - 1885)
*Calculated relationship
Harleigh Cemetery
Camden County
New Jersey, USA
Plot: Cemetery does not have her record. Previous cemetery where she was interred has record of her being moved to Harleigh.
Created by: sr/ks
Record added: Mar 16, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 49829905
Dr Frances M Druck
Added by: sr/ks
Dr Frances M Druck
Added by: sr/ks
Dr Frances M Druck
Cemetery Photo
Added by: David G. Stuart
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

A woman a head of her time for her in view of cremation. Great research and history. Blessings to the Druck family.
- Cate
 Added: Aug. 26, 2015
A woman a head of her time for her in view of cremation. Great research and history. Blessings to the Druck family.
- Cate
 Added: Aug. 26, 2015

- Donna B.
 Added: May. 16, 2015
There are 304 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
This page is sponsored by: White Light

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service UPDATED