Tag Archives: John Walz

Bertha Wolff monument in Rose Hill Cemetery, Bibb County

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.

Davis Monument at Laurel Grove South

Full view of sculpture

There’s only one Victorian sculpture in Laurel Grove South Cemetery, the historic Black cemetery in Savannah. It happens to be a John Walz, of Gracie fame. I am unable to confirm much about John and Clara Davis. At one point, I read they were shopkeepers, but I cannot recall the source.

John Walz was a German-American sculptor who moved to Savannah after visiting to help install monuments his company made for the Telfair Museum. My understanding is that no one is certain how many monuments he made for cemeteries, but it’s well-above 80.