27 June 2010

The Care of a City's Burying-Ground is a Pretty Fair Gauge of the Community's Civilization

Macon Telegraph
4 April 1919
(Viewed online at GenealogyBank.)


Going back to the greatly needed beautification and upkeep of Rose Hill cemetery, in which all Macon is interested, here is a communication to The Telegraph written in 1903 by the late Hugh V. Washington, not only a lover of the beautiful but pre-eminently a public-spirited citizen:

"The long, mild fall has made Rose Hill more than usually beautiful this season. Every rose bush is covered with beautiful blossoms -- red, white, yellow and pink -- and more perfect than spring blossoms. The forest trees also present a wide variety of colors and tints, and many have been the admiring visitors of late. Said a citizen after a stroll through the cemetery Sunday:

"Rose Hill is growing more beautiful all the time, more people visit it than ever, and some attention is being given lots by the lot-owners, and the sexton, and its general condition is better than for many years. But many lots show neglect because it is not required for the authorities to keep the lots in order. Every lot should be cared for out of the cemetery fund by the sexton, and this uniformity would make Rose Hill the most beautiful cemetery in America, as Henry Ward Beecher declared it was."

Some years ago the Southern railroad agreed to pay the city $2,000 annually for the privilege of going through the cemetery, and it is only right and fair that this money should be applied to the care of the cemetery. It is only a question of time before this will be done, and the sooner the better. The care of a city's burying-ground is a pretty fair gauge of the community's civilization."

Mr. Washington's article, written sixteen years ago, applies with equal force to the present condition of Rose Hill, plus the ravages of the elements on the roadways and walks, and the continued neglect on the part of lot-owners." [end transcription]

Hugh V. Washington, the writer of the 1903 communication to The Telegraph, is buried in the Central Avenue district of Rose Hill.

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