This week, we're continuing our bi-weekly blog series "The Soul Behind the Name." We've partnered with the Historic Macon Foundation to give you the history behind the names of some of Macon's most iconic places and spaces.
Luther Williams Field
Luther Williams Field was name for the mayor on April 30, 1929 by the City Council. Mayor Luther Williams was instrumental in providing more "wholesome forms of entertainment" for the city, so they named the field for him shortly before it was completed.
Rose Hill Cemetery
Rose Hill Cemetery is named for prominent local businessman Simri Rose who proposed the idea for a city cemetery in 1839. The city established the cemetery in 1840. Based on the ideals a rural park-like cemetery such as Mount Auburn in Boston or Pierre le Chaise in Paris, France, Rose Hill Cemetery is a space for remembrance of those who have passed and for enjoyment by those of us alive today.
DT Walton Sr. Way
DT Walton Sr. Way is named for, you guessed it, Dr. D.T. Walton, Sr. Dr. Walton was a World War I veteran and Howard University-educated dentist. In 1936, he purchased the Walton Building on Cotton Avenue, the hub for African American businesses in Jim Crow Macon. The Walton Building housed his dental office in addition to several other businesses over time, including the offices of Dr. W.A. Davis, Dr. J.S. Williams, Sr., an insurance company, Ell's Wig Shop, Larry's Bakery, and American Friends of Service Committee. Dr. Walton was an influential leader in the Civil Rights Movement in Macon.
Ruth Hartley Mosley Women's Center
One of Macon's most influential women is Ruth Hartley Mosley. Born in Savannah as Ruth Price, she trained as a nurse in Concord, North Carolina and completed her clinical training at Providence Hospital in Chicago. Ruth returned to Georgia and served as head nurse of the "Colored Females Department" at the Georgia State Sanatorium. This title made her the first woman supervisor at the Sanatorium. Ruth moved to Macon in 1917 when she married Richard Hartley. Mr. Hartley opened a funeral home and during this time, Ruth became a licensed embalmer and mortician, one of the first women to hold this title. Six years after Richard Hartley's death, Ruth married Fisher Mosley of New York City. Ruth was prominent in the social scene of Macon. She traveled and was an avid bridge player. Additionally, she was also active in the Civil Rights Movement in Macon where she participated in sit-ins and Macon's NAACP chapter, and served as a founding board member of the Booker T. Washington Community Center.
You can learn about Ruth Hartley Moseley and her legacy at the Ruth Hartley Mosley Center at 626 Spring Street.
The area on Emery Highway that now houses Kroger and other establishments was once a park. In 1911, Macon's Senator Augustus O. Bacon granted 117 acres of land to the city of Macon to establish a park. Bacon explicitly stated that the park should remain segregated and could only be enjoyed by white citizens. However, in March 1963, Tattnall Square Park and Baconsfield Park were desegregated. In May, the Baconsfield Board of Managers sued the city for integrating the park. After the case went to the US Supreme Court, the park was returned to Senator Bacon's heirs because the court deemed integration would violate Bacon's trust. Investors purchased the park in 1972 for $1.5 million and the former park became home to the office park and other establishments that stand there today.