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Magnolia Cemetery (Mobile, Alabama)

Magnolia Cemetery (Mobile, Alabama)

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Magnolia Cemetery is a city cemetery located in Mobile
Mobile, Alabama
Mobile is the third most populous city in the Southern US state of Alabama and is the county seat of Mobile County. It is located on the Mobile River and the central Gulf Coast of the United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 during the 2010 census. It is the largest...

, Alabama, United States. The cemetery is situated on 120 acres (48.6 ha) and was established in 1836. From that time onward it served as Mobile's primary burial site during the 19th century. It is the final resting place for many of Mobile's 19th and early 20th century citizens. The cemetery is roughly bounded by Frye Street to the north, Gayle Street to the east, and Ann Street to the west. Virginia Street originally formed the southern border before the cemetery was expanded and now cuts east-west through the center of the cemetery. Magnolia contains more than 80,000 burials and remains an active, though very limited, burial site today.

History


Magnolia Cemetery was established by municipal ordinance on an initial 36 acres (14.6 ha) outside the city limits in 1836 as Mobile's New Burial Ground. The cemetery grew to its present size with the addition of the numerous new sections.

The Jewish Rest section, also known as the Old Hebrew Burial Ground, was deeded to Congregation Sha'arai Shomayim
Congregation Sha'arai Shomayim (Mobile, Alabama)
Congregation Sha'arai Shomayim is the oldest Jewish congregation in the state of Alabama and one of the oldest Reform Jewish congregations in the United States. Located in Mobile, the congregation was formally organized in 1844...

, the oldest Reform Jewish
Reform Judaism
Reform Judaism refers to various beliefs, practices and organizations associated with the Reform Jewish movement in North America, the United Kingdom and elsewhere. In general, it maintains that Judaism and Jewish traditions should be modernized and should be compatible with participation in the...

 congregation in the state of Alabama, by the City of Mobile on 22 June 1841. Jewish Rest is the oldest Jewish burial ground in Alabama. The Jewish Rest section was full after only a few decades and led to the establishment of two additional Jewish cemeteries in Mobile, the Sha'arai Shomayim Cemetery
Sha'arai Shomayim Cemetery
Sha'arai Shomayim Cemetery is a historic Jewish cemetery located in Mobile, Alabama, United States. It was established by Congregation Sha'arai Shomayim in 1876 after their previous cemetery, Jewish Rest in the adjacent Magnolia Cemetery, was filled to capacity. The cemetery is situated on and is...

 and the Ahavas Chesed Cemetery
Ahavas Chesed Cemetery
Ahavas Chesed Cemetery, is a historic Jewish cemetery located in Mobile, Alabama. It was established by the Ahavas Chesed congregation in 1898...

 for the Conservative Jewish
Conservative Judaism
Conservative Judaism is a modern stream of Judaism that arose out of intellectual currents in Germany in the mid-19th century and took institutional form in the United States in the early 1900s.Conservative Judaism has its roots in the school of thought known as Positive-Historical Judaism,...

 congregation.
In 1846 the city began to grant free burial plots within the cemetery to civic, labor, and religious organizations. The Coal Handlers Union, Colored Benevolent Institution Number One, Cotton Weighers Society, Draymens Relief Society, Homeless Seamen, Independent Ladies Mill and Timber Association, and the Protestant Orphan Asylum Society were among those organizations to take advantage of this policy until it was ended in 1873.

The Confederate Rest section was added on 25 November 1861 for Confederate
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

 soldiers. It was initially called Soldiers Rest. The Mobile National Cemetery
Mobile National Cemetery
Mobile National Cemetery is a United States National Cemetery located in the city of Mobile, Alabama. It encompasses 5.2 acres , and as of the end of 2005, had 5,326 interments. It is an annex to the larger Magnolia Cemetery...

 annex was established immediately after the war, on 11 May 1866, when the city donated 3 acres (1.2 ha) to the United States government for use as a National Cemetery.

The cemetery as a whole would be renamed Magnolia Cemetery on 15 January 1867. On 20 August 1868 the 7 acres (2.8 ha) Goldsmith and Frohlichstein section was added to the cemetery adjacent to Jewish Rest. The elevated and highly desirable plots in this section eventually became the resting place for both Jews and Gentile
Gentile
The term Gentile refers to non-Israelite peoples or nations in English translations of the Bible....

s with some of the more elaborate sculptures and mausolea in the entire cemetery. The cemetery was enclosed with a fence in 1883 and 1913 saw the addition of a set of monumental gates at the George Street entrance. Small additions continued to be made to the cemetery into the 1920s, adjoining the earlier Goldsmith and Frohlichstein section.

With the expansion of Mobile and the establishment of large private cemeteries in the first half of the 20th century, Magnolia Cemetery began to decline. The Mobile National Cemetery was closed to burial in 1962 due to it being at capacity, like most of the cemetery. By 1970 nearly 60% of the cemetery was abandoned and it had become extremely overgrown. In 1984 the Historic Mobile Preservation Society formed the Friends of Magnolia Cemetery as a non-profit corporation. The goals of the new organization included the establishment of perpetual
Perpetual
Perpetual may refer to:*Perpetual bond, a bond which pays coupons forever*Perpetual curacy, a type of Christian priesthood*Perpetual virginity, a Christian doctrine concerning the Virgin Mary*Perpetual Entertainment, a software development company...

 care for the plots, cleaning up the cemetery and improving the existing plantings, improving maintenance, restoring historic monuments and ironwork, hiring of a superintendent for day to day operations, and surrounding the site with a contemporary iron fence conceived and designed by local architects Arch Winter and Thomas Karwinski. The efforts by the Friends of Magnolia Cemetery led to the cemetery being placed on the National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

 in 1986.

In 1997 local veterans requested that the Mobile National Cemetery section be reopened to burial with an expansion into the last city owned piece of property at the southeast corner of Ann and Virginia Streets. Upon investigation with ground-penetrating radar it was discovered that the proposed area of expansion was filled with over 4000 graves, most likely those of African Americans dating to the middle of the 19th century, making any further expansion impossible.

Notable monuments



The Pomeroy family mausoleum is one of two cast iron over brick mausoleums in the cemetery. The Rouse monument is a Neoclassical
Neoclassical architecture
Neoclassical architecture was an architectural style produced by the neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century, manifested both in its details as a reaction against the Rococo style of naturalistic ornament, and in its architectural formulas as an outgrowth of some classicizing...

 style monument with a classically robed mourning woman placed beneath a low profiled gable supported at the four corners by columns. The Confederate Rest section of the cemetery contains 1100 war dead and many large, elaborate monuments and includes an obelisk commemorating the men who died on the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley
H. L. Hunley (submarine)
H. L. Hunley was a submarine of the Confederate States of America that played a small part in the American Civil War, but a large role in the history of naval warfare. The Hunley demonstrated both the advantages and the dangers of undersea warfare...

. The Jewish Cemetery contains many simple styles with Hebrew inscriptions, in addition to some of the more elaborate plots within the cemetery. The Caldwell mausoleum is an example of a Gothic Revival style mausoleum. It contains a lifesize interior angel. The Wilson mausoleum, by contrast, is in an example of Egyptian Revival style and features an interior wall with stained glass. The LeBlanc memorial is dedicated to two sisters who died in infancy and whose grandmother commissioned the small Neo-Renaissance
Neo-Renaissance
Renaissance Revival is an all-encompassing designation that covers many 19th century architectural revival styles which were neither Grecian nor Gothic but which instead drew inspiration from a wide range of classicizing Italian modes...

 statuary of two putti leaning together over a stone marker. It is one the most photographed markers in the cemetery. The Bellingrath-Morse monument is a classical semicircular Doric
Doric order
The Doric order was one of the three orders or organizational systems of ancient Greek or classical architecture; the other two canonical orders were the Ionic and the Corinthian.-History:...

 colonnade and is one of the tallest monuments within the grounds. The National Cemetery annex includes a Second Empire-style gatehouse and a brick stable built in the 1880s. This annex contains over 5000 burials and a monument for the 76th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment. The monument was erected in 1892 by the Union survivors of the Battle of Fort Blakely
Battle of Fort Blakely
-Sources:**-External links:*...

. The National Cemetery annex also contains the graves of 13 Apache
Apache
Apache is the collective term for several culturally related groups of Native Americans in the United States originally from the Southwest United States. These indigenous peoples of North America speak a Southern Athabaskan language, which is related linguistically to the languages of Athabaskan...

s who were held as prisoners nearby between 1887 and 1894 by the Federal
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 government.

Notable interments


  • Arthur Pendleton Bagby
    Arthur P. Bagby
    Arthur Pendleton Bagby was the tenth Governor of the U.S. state of Alabama from 1837 to 1841. Born in Louisa County, Virginia in 1794, he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1819, practicing in Claiborne, Alabama...

    , served as Governor of Alabama
    Alabama
    Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

     from 1837 to 1841. U.S. Minister to Russia
    Russia
    Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

     from 1848 to 1849.
  • James Battle, established the Battle House Hotel.
  • Dr. Josiah C. Nott
    Josiah C. Nott
    Josiah Clark Nott was an American physician and surgeon. He was also an author of surgical, yellow fever, and race theories.-Biography:...

    , renowned and controversial 19th century physician, surgeon
    Surgeon
    In medicine, a surgeon is a specialist in surgery. Surgery is a broad category of invasive medical treatment that involves the cutting of a body, whether human or animal, for a specific reason such as the removal of diseased tissue or to repair a tear or breakage...

    , and author.
  • Walter D. and Bessie Morse Bellingrath, founders of Bellingrath Gardens and Home
    Bellingrath Gardens and Home
    Bellingrath Gardens and Home is a botanical garden and mansion located on the Fowl River in Theodore, a suburb of Mobile, Alabama. The site was listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage on September 14, 1977 and on the National Register of Historic Places on October 19,...

    .
  • Braxton Bragg
    Braxton Bragg
    Braxton Bragg was a career United States Army officer, and then a general in the Confederate States Army—a principal commander in the Western Theater of the American Civil War and later the military adviser to Confederate President Jefferson Davis.Bragg, a native of North Carolina, was...

    , served as a Confederate
    Confederate States Army
    The Confederate States Army was the army of the Confederate States of America while the Confederacy existed during the American Civil War. On February 8, 1861, delegates from the seven Deep South states which had already declared their secession from the United States of America adopted the...

     General during the American Civil War
    American Civil War
    The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

    , also served the United States in the Seminole Wars
    Seminole Wars
    The Seminole Wars, also known as the Florida Wars, were three conflicts in Florida between the Seminole — the collective name given to the amalgamation of various groups of native Americans and Black people who settled in Florida in the early 18th century — and the United States Army...

     and the Mexican-American War.
  • John Bragg
    John Bragg (politician)
    John Bragg was a U.S. Representative from Alabama.Born near Warrenton, North Carolina, Bragg attended the local academy at Warrenton, and was graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1824....

    , appointed judge of the tenth Alabama judicial circuit in 1842 and served as a U.S. Representative
    United States House of Representatives
    The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

     for Alabama from 1851 to 1853. He also built the Bragg-Mitchell Mansion
    Bragg-Mitchell Mansion
    The Bragg-Mitchell Mansion, also known as the Bragg-Mitchell House, is a historic house museum in Mobile, Alabama. It was built in 1855 by Judge John Bragg and is one of the most photographed buildings in the city as well as one of the more popular tourist attractions. The house has been...

     in Mobile.
  • Frederick George Bromberg
    Frederick George Bromberg
    Frederick George Bromberg was a U.S. Representative from Alabama.Born in New York City, Bromberg moved with his parents to Mobile, Alabama, in February 1838. He attended the public schools and graduated from Harvard University in 1858...

    , served as an Alabama State Senator
    Alabama Senate
    The Alabama State Senate is the upper house of the Alabama Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Alabama. The body is composed of 35 members representing an equal amount of districts across the state, with each district containing at least 127,140 citizens...

     from 1868 to 1872 and then as a U.S. Representative for Alabama from 1873 to 1875.
  • Richard Henry Clarke
    Richard Henry Clarke
    Richard Henry Clarke was a U.S. Representative from Alabama.Born in Dayton, Alabama, Clarke attended Green Springs Academy and was graduated from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa in July 1861....

    , served as a U.S. Representative for Alabama from 1889 to 1897.
  • Kate Cumming, Scottish-born Confederate nurse during the American Civil War.
  • Edmund Strother Dargan
    Edmund Strother Dargan
    Edmund Strother Dargan was a U.S. Representative from Alabama, and then a representative to the Confederate States Congress during the American Civil War....

    , served as a U.S. Representative for Alabama from 1845 to 1847 and then as a Confederate Representative
    Congress of the Confederate States
    The Congress of the Confederate States was the legislative body of the Confederate States of America, existing during the American Civil War between 1861 and 1865...

     for Alabama from 1862 to 1864.
  • Thomas Cooper de Leon
    Thomas Cooper de Leon
    Thomas Cooper De Leon was an American journalist, author, and playwright.-Biography:Born in Columbia, South Carolina, his parents were Mordecai Hendricks De Leon and Rebecca Lopez. His older brother was the writer and Confederate diplomat and propagandist Edwin de Leon...

    , journalist, author, and playwright. After the American Civil War he was the editor for the Mobile Register.
  • Robert Desha
    Robert Desha
    Robert Desha was an American politician who represented Tennessee's 5th Congressional district in the United States House of Representatives. He was the brother of U.S. Representative and Kentucky governor Joseph Desha.-Biography:...

    , veteran of the War of 1812
    War of 1812
    The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

     and served as a U.S. Representative for Tennessee
    Tennessee
    Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

     from 1827 to 1831. He was also Alva Vanderbilt Belmont
    Alva Belmont
    Alva Erskine Belmont , née Alva Erskine Smith, also called Alva Vanderbilt from 1875 to 1896, was a prominent multi-millionaire American socialite and a major figure in the women's suffrage movement...

    's maternal grandfather.
  • John Forsyth, Jr., U.S. Minister to Mexico
    Mexico
    The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

     from 1856 to 1858 and later editor of the Mobile Register.
  • John Gayle, Governor of Alabama from 1831 to 1835.
  • Adley Hogan Gladden, served as a Confederate Brigadier General
    Brigadier General
    Brigadier general is a senior rank in the armed forces. It is the lowest ranking general officer in some countries, usually sitting between the ranks of colonel and major general. When appointed to a field command, a brigadier general is typically in command of a brigade consisting of around 4,000...

     during the American Civil War, also served the United States in the Seminole Wars
    Seminole Wars
    The Seminole Wars, also known as the Florida Wars, were three conflicts in Florida between the Seminole — the collective name given to the amalgamation of various groups of native Americans and Black people who settled in Florida in the early 18th century — and the United States Army...

     and the Mexican-American War.
  • Thomas H. Herndon
    Thomas H. Herndon
    Thomas Hord Herndon was a U.S. Representative from Alabama.Born in Erie, Greene County, Alabama, Herndon attended a private school.He graduated from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa in 1847....

    , served as a U.S. Representative for Alabama from 1879 to 1883.
  • Bettie Hunter
    Hunter House (Mobile, Alabama)
    The Bettie Hunter House is a historic African American residence in Mobile, Alabama, United States. It was the residence of Bettie Hunter, a former slave who grew wealthy from a successful hack and carriage business she operated in Mobile with her brother, Henry. The fall of New Orleans during the...

    , successful 19th century African American businesswoman.
  • John Herbert Kelley, served as a Confederate Brigadier General during the American Civil War.
  • Michael Krafft, founder of the Cowbellian de Rakin mystic society
    Mystic society
    A mystic society is a Carnival social organization, similar to a krewe in New Orleans, that presents parades and/or balls for the enjoyment of its members, guests, and the public. The term came to be used in this context in Mobile, Alabama. Mystic society membership is secret. The societies have...

    .
  • Danville Leadbetter
    Danville Leadbetter
    Danville Leadbetter was a career U.S. Army officer and later he served as a Confederate general during the American Civil War....

    , served as a Confederate Brigadier General during the American Civil War.
  • Percy Walker
    Percy Walker
    Percy Walker, , a Representative from Alabama; born in Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama, in December 1812; completed preparatory studies; was graduated from the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia in 1835; commenced the practice of medicine in Mobile, Alabama;...

    , served as a U.S. Representative for Alabama from 1855 to 1857.
  • Jones Mitchell Withers
    Jones M. Withers
    Jones Mitchell Withers was a United States Army officer who fought during the Mexican–American War and later served as a Confederate major general during the American Civil War...

    , served as a Confederate Major General
    Major General
    Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

     during the American Civil War.
  • Augusta Evans Wilson
    Augusta Jane Evans
    Augusta Jane Wilson, or Augusta Evans Wilson, was an American Southern author and one of the pillars of Southern literature. She wrote nine novels: Inez , Beulah , Macaria , St. Elmo , Vashti , Infelice , At the Mercy of Tiberius , A Speckled Bird , and Devota...

    , Civil War authoress.

See also

  • Ahavas Chesed Cemetery
    Ahavas Chesed Cemetery
    Ahavas Chesed Cemetery, is a historic Jewish cemetery located in Mobile, Alabama. It was established by the Ahavas Chesed congregation in 1898...

  • Church Street Graveyard
    Church Street Graveyard
    Church Street Graveyard is a historic city cemetery located in Mobile, Alabama. The cemetery is situated on and is surrounded by a brick wall that dates to 1830...

  • Old Catholic Cemetery
    Old Catholic Cemetery (Mobile, Alabama)
    Catholic Cemetery, formerly known as the Stone Street Cemetery, is a historic cemetery located in Mobile, Alabama, United States. It was established in 1848 by Michael Portier, a native of Montbrison, France and the first Roman Catholic Bishop of Mobile...

  • Sha'arai Shomayim Cemetery
    Sha'arai Shomayim Cemetery
    Sha'arai Shomayim Cemetery is a historic Jewish cemetery located in Mobile, Alabama, United States. It was established by Congregation Sha'arai Shomayim in 1876 after their previous cemetery, Jewish Rest in the adjacent Magnolia Cemetery, was filled to capacity. The cemetery is situated on and is...


External links