Robert Green Ingersoll, called "The Great Agnostic" and heralded as one of the greatest orators in American history, lived in Cazenovia as a youth. He was the son of Rev. John and Mary Livingston Ingersoll. His father was a Presbyterian and Congregational minister, pastor for a few years (1833-1836) at Cazenovia's Congregational Free Church. His father was a great abolitionist speaker and in fact, Robert Green Ingersoll was named for Rev. Beriah Green who would come to Cazenovia to speak at the famous 1850 Cazenovia Fugitive Slave Convention.
Robert Green Ingersoll, while intimately familiar with every word of the bible, the teachings of fellow abolitionists and thinkers of his day, was also deeply influenced by memories of his departed mother. She died when he was but two years old, and, despite his young age, his mother's death left a deep impression on his character: "Nearly forty-eight years ago, under the snow, in the little town of Cazenovia, my mother was buried. I was but two years old. I remember her as she looked in death. That sweet, cold face has kept my heart warm through all the changing years." ... "My mother died when I was but a child: and from that day -- the darkest of my life -- her memory has been within my heart a sacred thing, and I have felt, through all these years, her kisses on my lips."
Robert Green Ingersoll's dear departed mother lies buried in an unmarked
grave in Cazenovia's South
Cemetery. The only record of her place of interment being a note
found on a copy of the old cemetery plan: "It is supposed that Col.
Robert Ingersolls Mother is buried on the Myrick Lot No. 90"
While there are a number of Ingersoll's buried in the South Cemetery, I
am not sure how, or if, Robert Green Ingersoll is related to them.
The various other Ingersolls own Lots 25, 27, 50, and 106, and there are
several apparent unused spots within their plots, but other circumstances
might lead us to believe that Mrs. Ingersoll was indeed buried on the "Myrick
Lot No. 90": Luther Myrick, who owned Lot 90, and whose father
and son are buried thereon, was a prominent abolitionist minister in the
community, and was surely a close friend of the Rev. John Ingersoll and
his family. I am concluding, based on this information, that the
Ingersolls were not related to, or were otherwise distant from the Cazenovia
Ingersolls, and when Mary Livingston Ingersoll died in 1835, she was buried
in the plot of friend and colleague Luther Myrick.
Rather than provide a biography for Robert Green Ingersoll I will make
links to several excellent sources.
A Biographical Appreciation of Robert Green Ingersoll by Herman Kittredge
An Intimate View by I. Newton Baker.
the Pulpit" Staged readings of the ideas of Robert Green Ingersoll