A Stroll Through Evergreen Cemetery

December 24, 2012 5 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Evergreen Cemetery is the oldest fully operating cemetery in Jacksonville, with the first burial occurring in 1881. The Evergreen Cemetery Association was organized in 1910 as a non-profit corporation by a number of people who had family or friends buried there.

The cemetery is comprised of 170 acres and over 70,000 burials. When the cemetery opened, remains were moved there from a downtown area near State Street and from the Old City Cemetery. At one time there was a train depot at Evergreen for visitors from the city and holding vaults nearby awaiting bodies for burial.

The tag on this tree identifies its type.

Over the years, as families brought plants and trees to plant graveside, a large assortment of non-native plants have accumulated throughout the cemetery. The University of Florida has tagged all of the different species of plants and the cemetery had plans to also become an arboretum, but it was discovered that an arboretum and a cemetery do not have the same tax status, so the idea was dropped. Despite not having an official designation, the wide assortment of plants remain and every tree on the property has a numbered marker. 


 Notable Graves


Cora Crane 1868 - 1910

Proprietress of a Jacksonville resort, Crane was the wife of American novelist, poet and journalist Stephen Crane. Arriving in Jacksonville in 1895, she bought a dilapidated buidling in LaVilla called Hotel de Dreme, converting it from a boarding house to an elegant nightclub. (Featured in: Houston Street, Jacksonville's Red Light District). 


Arthur G. Cummer (1894-1943)

Cummer was a prominent member of Jacksonville, active in the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce and as a director of the Children's Home Society of St. Luke's Hospital. The Cummer family was known for its community spirit, and the family’s art collection and gardens laid the foundation for the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens.


John Jackson Dickison  b. March 27, 1816  d. August 23, 1902


Civil War Confederate Army Officer. Known as the "Swamp Fox", in 1862, he personally raised Company H of the 2nd Florida Cavalry, and was named its Captain and commander. In May 1864, he and 50 of his cavalrymen captured the Union steamer "Columbine", a maneuver which resulted in not a single loss to the Confederates. Days later, at Palatka, Florida, he and 30 troops pushed an invading 280-man Union battalion six miles back to the St. John's River, with casualties amounting to 72.

Ossian Bingley Hart    b. January 17, 1821  d. March 18, 1874

Tenth governor of Florida, from January 7, 1873, to March 18, 1874. The first of Florida's governors to be born in the state, he was the son of a founder of Jacksonville. Although raised amid slaves on his father's St. Johns River plantation, Hart openly opposed secession and as a result endured many hardships during the Civil War. Hart took an active part in the reconstruction of both Jacksonville's and the state's government. Cause of death: pneumonia

 Henry J. Klutho 1873 - 1964


Henry Klutho was a nationally recognized architect for his incorpation and promotion of the Prairie School style of Architecture first promulgated by Frank Loyde Wright. He arrived in Jacksonville just after the 1901 fire because he saw a wonderful opportunity to rebuild a city. His "prarie style" buildings still attest to the longevity of the architecture, for some have been restored and are still occupied today; the St. James Building, which houses City Hall, and the Morocco Temple are two. 


Bessie Wicker Klutho - 1887 - 1966

Wife of Henry J. Klutho.


John Elie Mathews  1892 - 1955

 His legal and civic career in Jacksonville lead to Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida. His office was located in the Guaranty Trust and Savings Bank building at 101 East Bay Street (This building is on Metro Jacksonville's list of Most Endangered Historic Buildings). He promoted a bridge to Arlington from Jacksonville, which was named the Mathews Bridge. Built between 1951 and 1953, it was dedicated to Judge Mathews who had advocated for it since the 1930's. Before the bridge, the connection from Jacksonville to Arlington was accomplished by ferry.


 Sarah L. Talley - 1907 - 1919

Daughter of prominent architect W.B. Talley, Sarah was killed by an unseen train when her mother drove the automobile they were riding in into its path. The accident occurred on Old Orange Park Road, now Roosevelt Blvd, near Fishweir Creek. There were 5 children between the ages of 12 and 14 years old in the car, plus Mrs. Talley. All were killed instantly except Sarah, who died in the hospital the next day. Closed storm curtains on the automobile was determined to be the reason Mrs. Talley did not see the oncoming train. 

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