Angel of Death, Take Two

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Adam Edward Burkhardt

April 26, 1845 – November 1917

Emma Amanda Erkenbrecher Burkhardt

April 25, 1851 – September 23, 1916

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Adam Edward Burkhardt, emigrated from Bavaria to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he founded a company that manufactured furs. Burkhardt was a highly successful furrier and a prominent citizen of Cincinnati. His wife, Emma, was also from a leading family of the city. She was the daughter of Andrew Erkenbrecher, the founder of the Cincinnati Zoo.

According to Beauty in the Grove: Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum by Phil Nuxhall, 2009, Orange Frazer Press, page 44, the bronze statue marking the graves of the Burkhardt family, is referred to as the “Angel of Death.” The shrouded figure is kneeling, holding a wreath in one hand and palm leaves in the other. The palm represents victory over death as does the laurel wreath. The laurel wreath dates back to Roman times when soldiers wore them as triumphal signs of glory.

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Who is the sculptor?

I contacted Phil Nuxhall, through the Spring Grove Website, who wrote Beauty in the Grove: Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum, and he told me that the artist’s name that is carved into the statue is Clement Barnhorn, (January 8, 1957 – August 2, 1935), a noted Cincinnati artist well known during his lifetime for funerary works, statuary, and architectural sculpture.

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The Spirit of Achievement

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IN MEMORY OF

JESSE PARKER WILLIAMS

BORN IN WAYNE COUNTY

NORTH CAROLINA

DECEMBER 27, 1842

DIED IN ATLANTA GEORGIA

AUGUST 5, 1913

AND HIS WIFE

CORA BEST TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 14, 1860 – MARCH 22, 1924

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Jesse Parker Williams’s career can be best described as a Horatio Alger rags-to-riches story. After the Civil War, having served in the Confederate Army as a Captain, Williams was left penniless. He moved from job to job, first as a bookkeeper, before he acquired enough capital to set up his own business in the timber industry.

He then opened and successfully ran a large mercantile company in Port Harrelson, South Carolina, which he sold. He made a move to Georgia, where he built a large fortune building and operating the Florida, Georgia, and Alabama Railroad. Jesse Parker and his wife Cora were what we would call today a “power couple.” Upon his death, Cora, became President of the company and ran it successfully until her death in 1924.

The monument that was built to mark their graves was designed by famed architect Henry Bacon. The allegorical statue, titled “The Spirit of Achievement”, at the center of the memorial was sculpted by Daniel Chester French. A bas-relief of the couple adorns the upper right side of the white marble monument.

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The Williams’s Memorial in the Westview Cemetery at Atlanta, Georgia, was not the only collaboration by Bacon and French. Their most famous collaboration was the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Henry Bacon designed the building and Daniel Chester French designed the statue of President Abraham Lincoln, which was carved by the Piccirilli Brothers.

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Angel of Death

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Adam Edward Burkhardt

April 26, 1845 – November 1917

Emma Amanda Erkenbrecher Burkhardt

April 25, 1851 – September 23, 1916

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Adam Edward Burkhardt, emigrated from Bavaria to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he founded a company that manufactured furs. Burkhardt was a highly successful furrier and a prominent citizen of Cincinnati. His wife, Emma, was also from a leading family of the city. She was the daughter of Andrew Erkenbrecher, the founder of the Cincinnati Zoo.

According to Beauty in the Grove: Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum by Phil Nuxhall, 2009, Orange Frazer Press, page 44, the bronze statue marking the graves of the Burkhardt family, is referred to as the “Angel of Death.” The shrouded figure is kneeling, holding a wreath in one hand and palm leaves in the other. The palm represents victory over death as does the laurel wreath. The laurel wreath dates back to Roman times when soldiers wore them as triumphal signs of glory.

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Who is the sculptor?

Carved into the folds of the shroud draped over the step to the monument is the name of the sculptor and the date the statue was either cast or carved. I haven’t been able to find out anything about the sculptor. If any readers can offer information about the artist, I will add it to the description of the monument in an amended post.

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The Temple of Athena

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Many ancient classical designs are replicated in American graveyards, often in grand neoclassical mausoleums based on the designs of Greek and Roman temples.  The Greek temple, the Parthenon, is one such example that has been replicated. The temple atop the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, was built between 447 and 438 BC and dedicated to the patron goddess of the city—Athena. The Parthenon was named for the cult of Athena Parthenon—“Athena the Virgin”. The temple was directed by Pericles and built by the architects Ictinus and Callicrates.   The sculptor Phidias supervised the construction and also completed the gold and ivory statue that was the centerpiece of the interior.

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The Parthenon is an example of architecture in the Doric order, which is characterized by the fluted columns with no base resting directly on the stylobate, slightly curved and unadorned capital.  The architrave (stone panel that traces around the building just above the column) is truncated and plain, as is the frieze which is generally enhanced with triglyphs and bas-reliefs.

Two mausoleums, one in the Spring Grove Cemetery at Cincinnati, Ohio, and one in the Lakewood Cemetery at Minneapolis replicate the Doric-style design of the Parthenon.

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The Spring Grove Cemetery’s replica of the Parthenon was built by Charles Louis Fleischmann a yeast manufacturer. The Fleischmann Yeast Company became the world’s leading yeast producer. The company also produced vinegar and margarine. The mausoleum was constructed of 5,000 square feet of granite and designed by noted architects Samuel Hannaford and James K. Wilson.

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Lakewood Cemetery’s largest mausoleum was built for the Goodrich and the Lowry families. Dr. Calvin Gibson Goodrich, Sr. and his son, Dr. Calvin Goodrich, Jr., were both prominent doctors. Thomas Lowry was a prominent businessman who headed the Minneapolis Street Railway Company. Goodrich and Lowry co-founded the Lakewood Cemetery and were also connected by the marriage of Beatrice Goodrich to Thomas Lowry.

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Procter and Gamble

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William Procter

(Born December 7, 1801 at Herefordshire, Herefordshire, England – Died at Cincinnati, Ohio April 4, 1884)

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James Gamble

(Born April 3, 1803 at Enniskillen, Ireland – Died April 29, 1891, at Cincinnati, Ohio)

The names Procter and Gamble are forever linked because of the company William Procter and James Gamble founded in 1837 at Cincinnati, Ohio.

William Procter was a candle maker by trade and James Gamble made soap. They were married to sisters. William was married to Olivia Norris and James was married to Elizabeth Ann Norris. Besides both being good at what they did and being married to sisters, they had one other thing in common—a father-in-law named Alexander Norris who had a pretty good business head on his shoulders. Lye is a main ingredient in candles and soap. Alexander reasoned that if William and James went into business together, they would be able to purchase lye in greater quantities and be able to reduce their costs by buying in bulk and increasing their profits. It made sense and the rest, as they say, is business history.

And, history they made—Procter and Gamble was well on the way to being a large company with annual revenues over a million dollars when it was awarded a lucrative government contract to supply the Union Army with products. The contract and its brand marketing allowed Procter and Gamble to dominate the market.

One of the most famous P&G brands is Ivory soap which, and, according to company lore, both families had a hand in. In 1879, James Gamble’s son, James Norris Gamble, a chemist, devised the original formula for the company’s Ivory brand soap and William Procter’s son, Harley Procter, named it. Harley looked to the Biblical passage Psalm 45:8 for inspiration, “ivory palaces whereby they have made thee glad”. And so it was named.

As the brand grew and the product line became more diverse, the company began to advertise in many different forms of media including the fledgling new media called radio. In the 1920s and 1930s, radio became very popular including radio programs known as daytime dramas. P&G sponsored many of these radio which became known as “soap operas”.

Both of the founders are buried in the Spring Grove Cemetery at Cincinnati. William Procter is buried underneath a modest gray marble gravestone about two to three feet high.

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James Gamble, however, has a soaring light gray granite obelisk that marks where his family is buried.

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Spirits of the Dead

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Spirits of the Dead

By Edgar Allan Poe, 1827

Thy soul shall find itself alone

’Mid dark thoughts of the grey tomb-stone;

Not one, of all the crowd, to pry

Into thine hour of secrecy.

 

Be silent in that solitude,

Which is not loneliness — for then

The spirits of the dead, who stood

In life before thee, are again

In death around thee, and their will

Shall overshadow thee; be still.

 

The night, though clear, shall frown,

And the stars shall not look down

From their high thrones in the Heaven

With light like hope to mortals given,

But their red orbs, without beam,

To thy weariness shall seem

As a burning and a fever

Which would cling to thee for ever.

 

Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish,

Now are visions ne’er to vanish;

From thy spirit shall they pass

No more, like dew-drop from the grass.

 

The breeze, the breath of God, is still,

And the mist upon the hill

Shadowy, shadowy, yet unbroken,

Is a symbol and a token.

How it hangs upon the trees,

A mystery of mysteries!

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Hope in Granite and Bronze

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MARGARET L. GAFF 1829 – 1916

JOHN H. GAFF 1820 — 1879

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The two statues in this blog post found in the Spring Grove Cemetery at Cincinnati, Ohio, are atop rose-colored columns of soaring heights,  resting on square plinths.  They are stylistically similar, both dressed in classical robes, but made of different materials. They both are also representations of the allegorical figure of Hope.

Hope is most often portrayed as a standing woman, leaning against or holding an anchor.  In the example above, the allegorical figure of Hope, carved in a light gray granite, is holding the top of the anchor with one hand and clutches a wreath, the symbol of victory over death, in the other.

The anchor is an ancient Christian symbol that has been found in early catacomb burials.  The anchor was used by early Christians as a disguised cross.  The anchor also served as a symbol of Christ and his anchoring influence in the lives of Christians.  Just as an anchor does not let a moored boat drift, the anchoring influence of Christ does not allow the Christian life to drift.

The bronze statue below also holds the anchor with one hand, but with the other, she holds a sprig of roses, the symbol of romantic love.

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IN MEMORY OF

JAMES C. C. HOLENSHADE

BORN MAY 12, 1826

DIED JAN. 9, 1876

AGED 47 YEARS 6 MONTHS

THANKS BE UNTO GOD WHO GIVETH US THE

VICTORY THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

HANNAH AMELIA HOLENSHADE

BORN MAY 28, 1828

DIED SEPT. 18, 1892

I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE

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