Michael Von Kukumezey
reads in Latin the inscription on the monument erected over the grave
of Count Michael Von Kukumezey, 1807-1888. Translated into English
it means, "The peace denied to you in life, you find in the bosom
of the earth". Truly, little peace was granted Kukumezey in his life.
Michael Von Kukumezey was born in Hungary in the year of 1807. Deprived
of his high office and great estate for his participation in the Austria-Hungarian
Revolution, he became an exile and fled his native land. He came to
America and settled first in St. Louis, Missouri. Later, in 1848,
he left St Louis and came to Quincy.
At first he lived in the rear of 815 State Street
in an old shack. He worked for a short time as a paper box maker.
He soon retired from working and lived the life of a hermit, having
no friends, only his dog and pipes. Michael was forced to move when
the Reckmeyer Brothers removed the shack he was living in and built
a copper shop in its place. He moved to another old shack in the rear
of 930 Kentucky Street.
In the meantime, Emperor Franz Joseph offered Michael
restoration of his estates, but his decision was to decline the offer.
He was afraid of what would happen if he returned to his homeland.
Dr. Charles A. Zimmerman, Sr. treated him when he
became ill and one morning in 1888 he was found dead in his hovel
at 930 Kentucky. His inquest was held on May 26, 1888 with the cause
of death listed as heart failure. At the time the Adams County Coroner
made an examination of Michael and his home, it was said that piles
of gold coins wrapped in worn paper and many government bonds were
found. In his trunks were found court and judicial robes of silk,
satin and velvet trimmed in gold braid. He had many pipes with gold
and silver mountings given to him by nobility.
Dr. Zimmerman took the responsibility of being
the administrator of the property left by Michael. Dr. Zimmerman disposed
of the property and used the funds to purchase the monument that sits
on the grave today. This monument, of pure Italian marble, representing
"Meditation", is the work of Mr. Louis Rupp. Mr. Rupp has just cause
to be proud of his achievement as a sculptor. The figure is beautiful,
graceful and peaceful. The flowing drapery descending in graceful
folds, the thoughtful poise of the head, the rounded arm, the minor
details -- such as the girdle about the waist and the strap that crosses
the bosom -- are so skillfully executed.
Today this monument stands in the inner circle
of Circle C in the northeast corner of the cemetery. This is not the
original burial location of Count Von Kukumezey. At the time of his
death, Michael was buried in Block 2 and the monument was placed on
his grave. At a later date, when the Circle C area was made available,
Michael and his monument were moved to the inner circle.