Ellamae Ellis League was the fourth woman to become a registered architect in Georgia. League came from a family of architects. Her uncle, Charles Choate, a noted architect, encouraged her to pursue architecture. Unfortunately, the only place to get a degree in architecture was the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the school did not allow women at the time.
She was able to get an apprenticeship with a local Macon firm. She then took correspondence courses with the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design while working for the firm. After additional schooling with the Ecole des Beaux-Arts at Fontainebleau and passing the state licensure exam, League opened her own firm in 1933.
In 1940, League designed this home she lived in until her passing in 1991. The home is one of the earliest examples of a mid-century ranch in Georgia. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. The home is now owned by Historic Macon.
The East Macon United Methodist Church was built on land donated by the Cutter family, one of the first families in the Fort Hill/East Macon neighborhood. This is the second church built on the land after a storm damaged the first one before it was completed. This building was completed in 1880. It is a contributing property to the Fort Hill Historic District.
Bertha Wolff’s monument is the only inland John Walz I’ve found to date in the state of the Georgia. One interesting part of her monument is that there are no birth or death dates. I located her obituary where it shared she was married to William Wolff (which is the section where she is located in Rose Hill Cemetery). Her husband donated land to Beth-Israel congregation start the William Wolff Cemetery, which is located closer to Riverside Cemetery within Rose Hill.
An interesting piece about William Wolff is that he immigrated to the United States from Germany, too. In the 1870 census, he listed as a “seller of rags.” By the time his wife passed away unexpectedly, he was a very successful dry good salesman.
From the 1907 Macon Telegraph
BEAUTIFUL STATUE MRS. WM. WOLFF MAGNIFICENT PRODUCTION BY GERMAN SCULPTOR, JOHN WALZ. Upon a Grecian pedestal, embellished with symbolic ornaments, stands the statue of Mrs. William Wolff, in meek repose, holding a bunch of lilies, symbolic of purity, and dropping one with the right hand as if placing it on the grave, while in the freize below is to be seen the anthem, denoting the chorus of angels. And further down to the right and left are festoons of immortels and the beautiful flower poppy with buds and leaves symbolic of sleep.
The epitaph is chaste like the inscription on the monument. The name “Bertha” is in raised letters of German Type, with a beautiful sentiment expressed in the following words below: “The heart’s keen anguish only those can tell Who have bid the dearest and the loved farewell.”
The originator and sculptor of this magnificent piece had a difficult task to produce the statue never having seen Mrs. Wolff, and had only photos to give him an idea of facial contour and expression. But by comparing one with the other, the artist finally succeeded in getting the likeness. Macon has in this monument a work of art only equated by those in Savannah, where the sculptor placed the first one over the grave of Mrs. McMillan in Bonaventure cemetery, about two years ago.
This beautiful monument to Mrs. Wolff, in Wolff cemetery, is the work of Sculptor John Walz, of Savannah, Ga., 407-9 Liberty street East. He was a pupil of the great French master, Aime Millet, and Victor Tilgner, of Vienna, Austria. The monument was placed yesterday, and as a work of art has no superior in the burial grounds of this city.
“Little Martha” Ellis (1883-1896), the namesake of an Allman Brothers song, sits almost at the bottom of the hill and overlooks Rose Hill Cemetery from her vantage point. Whenever I visit, there is a new flower resting in the crook of her arm.