Perched over the steel-gated doorway of a rough-hewn stone mausoleum, sits “Jack” Jasper Newton Smith. Smith, the son of William and Elizabeth Brady Smith, was born on a farm to a large family of ten boys and two girls in Walton County, Georgia, on December 29th, 1833. Jack married Rebecca Hawke in 1856—this union bore the couple six children. When the Civil War began, he joined the Tenth Georgia Cavalry but was forced to resign before the end of the War due to illness.
Smith, an eccentric and successful businessman, tried his hand at many pursuits including farming, brick manufacturing, and as proprietor of The Bachelors’ Domain, a forty-four room hotel, each room named after the states of the Union. He also built an unique structure that was pieced together from remnants of other buildings that became known as the “House that Jack Built.”
In 1906, at age 73, Smith, sitting upright in a upolstered chair holding a silk hat, posed for sculptor C.C. Crouch for the statue for his own mausoleum. As the story goes, Crouch sculpted Smith wearing a tie with his suit coat. Smith didn’t object to the thinning hair or the waddle under his chin, but he so hated wearing neck ties and ascots that he told Crouch that if the necktie wasn’t chisled out of the scupture, Smith would not pay him. Keeping with that theme Smith didn’t want any vines twinning up his sculpture for fear that the vine might look like neckwear!
Hence the lofty seat….
“wattle” under his chin