An oddly-shaped pearl

Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, Ohio

Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, Ohio

Jacob Burnett

February 22, 1770 – May 10, 1853

Rebecca Wallace Burnet

August 23, 1778 – January 3, 1867

Jacob Burnet was a prominent citizen and early leader in Ohio, serving in various elected and appointed posts including, serving on the Territorial Council in 1799, elected to the Ohio House of Representatives, appointed to the state’s Supreme Court, and appointed to fill the Senate seat William Henry Harrison vacated when he was elected President.  He also authored the state’s first constitution.

He and his wife Rebecca are buried in the highly ornate white Italian marble mausoleum in the Spring Grove Cemetery which was designed by Cincinnati architect Charles Rule.  The sweeping lines, the flowing architecture and the high ornamentation are examples of Baroque architecture which was popular in the late seventeenth Century.  “Baroque” was a Spanish term for pearls that were oddly shaped.  The term was commandeered to describe architecture that was designed to have a feeling of movement, almost as if it was undulating and lyrical.  Judge Burnet was originally buried in the Presbyterian churchyard but was moved in 1865 when the mausoleum his wife had designed and built was completed.


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