Yes, we’re still at Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon, Ga. I could write a book about this place and yes, some people already have. So let’s dive back in and visit some more graves.
“A Brave Little Fireman”
I often find myself drawn to the grave markers of the children and young people who left the Earth too soon. Rose Hill has quite a few. One that hit me square in the heart is this one for John B. Ross Juhan. I challenge anyone who sees it not to get choked up.
Like many little boys, John wanted to be a fireman. His fascination made him a frequent visitor to the Defiance Fire Company No. 5 in Macon, and they made him their unofficial mascot. I could find little about them, but I believe they were established around 1868.
Sadly, little John’s dream was not meant to be. He died on July 26, 1875 at the age of eight. In tribute to his love of firemen, this monument was made by stone carver John Artope (whom I talked about last week). The detail in the fireman’s uniform is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
I’m sure there wasn’t a dry eye at this little boy’s funeral.
Not far from John’s marker is an equally eye-catching monument for a little one. When you catch sight of the intricate marker for 10-year-old Anna Gertrude Powers, you will be drawn to it instantly.
“Angels Her Companions”
The daughter of Virgil and Anna Jenkins Powers, Anna Gertrude was born in 1848 in Washington County, Ga. At the time of her death, she was one of six Powers children. Her father was a railroad superintendent. According to an article in the April 12, 1859 edition of the Macon Telegraph, Anna Gertrude died of scarlet fever as many children did in those days.
Part of her obituary reads:
Possessed of a bright and sparkling intellect — quick and tender sensibilities — an affectionate disposition and winning manners, Anna won her way irresistibly to the hearts of all who knew her. — She was the pride of a fond father’s heart, the cherished object of a mother’s love — her teacher’s boast, and the dearest companion of her schoolmates. Now God is her Father and Teacher — angels her companions — and heaven resounds with her hallelujahs of joy.
The carving of Anna Gertrude born aloft by two angels is of so intricate, it was hard for me not to touch it. One feature that’s not easy to see is the little necklace with a cross encircling the child’s neck.
The history behind the Heartwell/Tarver plot is a bit complicated but thanks to Stephanie Lincecum at Southern Graves, I untangled it.
“In Christ She Sleeps”
Let’s start with this monument to Cinderella Crocker Solomon Tarver Heartwell. She was born on August 22, 1832 to William Solomon and Frances Crocker Solmon. At the age of 22 in 1853, she married Paul Tarver, son of General Hartwell Hill Tarver and Ann Wimberly Tarver. General Tarver was thought to be one of the largest slaveholders in Georgia at the time.
“She Was Indeed a Precious Bud”
In 1855, Cinderella and Paul had a daughter named Dollie, and another daughter, Rebecca, was born in 1857. Son Paul Henry Tarver was born on Nov. 23, 1858. On May 15, 1858, Rebecca died. Then on June 19, Cinderella’s husband, Paul Tarver, died. Both he and Rebecca were buried at Rose Hill Cemetery. Rebecca’s death is recorded in the June 8, 1858 edition of the Macon Telegraph:
Our heart bleeds in tender sympathy with the parents of the bright little being whose death we chronicle. She was indeed a precious bud, whose leaves had not yet opened to the day.
Apparently Paul knew his end was near and had his will drawn up accordingly. Without his knowledge, with her brother Henry’s help, Cinderella purchased Cypress Pond plantation next door to their 5,000 acre estate. After Paul’s death, she and Henry sold off her home and she moved into Cypress Pond with daughter Dolly.
Tragedy struck again on July 24, 1859, when son Paul died. He was buried in the Tarver plot with his sister and father.
After Paul’s passing, Cinderella married Dr. Charles P. “C.P.” Heartwell of Virginia in 1861. His first wife, Martha, had died in 1850. In 1863, Dr. Heartwell purchased the Cypress Pond under his name (from Henry Tarver as Paul’s executor) at auction. In 1864, he and Cinderella welcomed the birth of their son, Charles P. Heartwell, Jr.
For reasons unknown, Cinderella died on April 4, 1866 at the age of 33. Having endured the death of a husband and two of her children, along with surviving the Civil War, she had faced more tragedy that many young women her age.
The angel figure on Cinderella’s monument stands beside an open book, which may symbolize the Bible or another religious text, or the Book of Life, which refers to a biblical passage in Revelation proclaiming that only the dead whose names are contained within will receive entrance into heaven. The book is perched on top of a tree, indicating a life cut short.
The monument’s inscription reads:
Thou is gone, but we will not deplore thee,
Whose God was thy ransom, thy guardian and guide
He gave thee, He took thee and He will restore thee,
And death has no sting, for the Saviour has died.
Dr. Heartwell remained at Cypress Pond with Charles Jr. until he remarried to Mary Wimberly in 1872. He died on Feb. 9, 1890 in Albany, Ga., but his burial site is not listed on Find a Grave. I don’t know what happened to Cinderella’s daughter, Dollie, but a Georgia State Supreme Court case in 1870 involved some issues regarding her inheritance between Dr. Heartwell and her uncle, Henry Tarver. Charles P. Heartwell, Jr. lived a long life and I believe there is a C.P. Heartwell IV.
A Confederate Naval Hero
This double grave for two children has a hearbreaking story behind it.
The parents of these little ones were Confederate Naval hero John McIntosh “Luff” Kell and his wife, Julia Blanche Munroe Kell. Before marrying Blanche, Kell had already served in the Mexican War and was a member of the expedition of Commodore Matthew Perry to Japan in 1853, and Master of the flagship USS Mississippi on the cruise home.
Kell married Blanche in Macon on Oct. 15, 1856. Their first child, Nathan Munroe “Boysie” Kell was born on Dec. 6, 1857. Another son, Johnny, followed in 1859. Daughter Blanche “Dot” Kell was born on Dec. 9, 1860.
As a Navy man, Kell was often at sea, away from his family. By 1861, he had resigned from the Navy and joined the Confederate forces. He commanded the Georgia state gunboat CSS Savannah but received a Confederate States Navy commission as First Lieutenant the following month and was sent to New Orleans. He then served as executive officer of the CSS Sumter during the ship’s commerce raiding voyage from 1861 to 1862.
Far From Home
In Blanche’s journal, she wrote of her worries about her husband’s departure in May 1861:
“When my bright boy awoke, he asked for his father and I told him he had gone far away, but that he kissed him many times for “Goodbye” the night before. He then said, “My poor Papa, I’ll never see him again.”
Another three years and four months would pass before Kell saw Blanche again. Daughter Dot died at the age of two on Sept. 24, 1863. Firstborn Boysie died a few days later on Sept. 28, 1863 at the age of six. Only son Johnny was left alive. I don’t know the causes of their deaths.
First Lieutenant Kell was on CSS Alabama throughout her career and was present when she was sunk by USS Kearsarge in June 1864. He was rescued by the British yacht Dearhound and taken to England. When he finally got back to his family in August, it was a tragic homecoming.
Promoted to the rank of Commander, Kell commanded the ironclad CSS Richmond in the James River Squadron in 1865. After the end of the war, Kell returned home to Blanche and became a farmer. They had several more children, most living to adulthood.
In later years, the family settled in Spalding County, Ga., and Kell served as Adjutant General of Georgia. He died in 1900 at age 76 and Blanche passed away in 1917. They are both buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Griffin, Ga.
I have some loose ends to wrap up next week in Part IV, so I hope you’ll come back.