Thursday, November 6, 2014

Spring Hill Cemetery

African American Burials
Spring Hill Cemetery, Madison, Davidson County, Tennessee. 
At Spring Hill Cemetery, on Gallatin Pike in Madison, there is a large section, with only a few markers, in the southwest corner of the cemetery that was reserved for the burial of persons of African descent. On a plat of the cemetery, the section is marked, "H" single graves.

Section H

A large marker with the name Joe Browne, across the front, is the most prominent in this section.

Three footstones, identify the persons buried in the lot as; Joe Browne 1860-1917; Callie Browne 1858-1953; and Olive Lischey (sister of Joe Browne) 1864-1918.

It was the search for Joe Browne's grave that brought me to this area of Spring Hill Cemetery. I first learned of Joseph Browne from Dr. Bill McKee of Cumberland University. Dr. McKee asked for my help in a history of Northeast Nashville that he was putting together. The resulting book, North Edgefield Remembered, tells the story of Joseph Browne and his wife Callie. Browne, born into slavery in 1859, was reared in the home of Louis Lischy, a Nashville florist. It was alleged in a divorce proceeding brought by Lischy's wife that Joe was the son of Louis Lischy. The graves of the two men are separated in the cemetery by only a narrow lane. Joe Browne worked for many years for Louis Lischy, at Lischy's greenhouse in Northeast Nashville. At Lischy's death, Browne took over the florist business and was well known in Nashville.

Nashville Globe

For many years Joe, Callie and Daisy lived in a home on Lischey Avenue.  Around the time that Joe died Callie built a new home on Mile End Avenue, now Douglas Avenue. Both homes are still standing.

Home owned by Joseph Browne, 1311 Lischey Avenue.  He did not live here.

Home of Callie Browne, 501 Douglas Avenue

Callie's daughter and Joe's step-daughter, Daisy Turner Washington, was a great-grandmother of Julian Bond, Senator from Georgia and a leader in the civil rights movement.

I wrote this biographical sketch for Joseph Browne to add to the Find-A-Grave website.

Born into slavery on the farm of Louis C. Lischy, near Nashville, in Davidson County, Tennessee. His mother was named Octavia Lischy. She was also known as Toby. Octavia was a slave of Louis Lischy, who was reputedly the father of Joseph. Joseph Lischy is found in the household of Louis Lischy in 1870. By 1880 he had changed his name to Joseph Browne. Joe was a florist in East Nashville. He married Callie Turner in 1895 and became a step-father to her 12 year old daughter Daisy Agnes Turner (Washington). Daisy's great-grandson is Julian Bond, social activist and a leader in the American Civil Rights Movement. In 1953, after the death of his wife Callie, Fisk University received a gift of $130,000 from Joe's estate. Dr. Johnson, then President of Fisk, said this was the largest gift ever received by Fisk from a Negro and he believed this to be the largest gift ever received by any educational institution by a Negro.

Joe and Callie are buried at the northwest corner of section H, designated as the old slave section or the Negro lot on some interment records at Spring Hill.

Section H covers quite a large area, but contains only a few grave markers. Very few burials in this section are recorded in the cemetery record books. A grave marker for Samuel Harvey Vaughn 1854-1892 stands near a cemetery roadway. In 1870, Harvey Vaughn was living in the house of Hiram Vaughn, working as a domestic servant. Markers for Emma Love 1863-1888 and her sister Florence Love 1870-1894 are near the middle of this section. They were daughters of Thaddeus Love 1812-1890, who was found in the 1880 census as a next door neighbor to Robert E. Love. The family, likely lived on the Robert Love property and were former slaves of the Love family. Thaddeus and his wife Sallie, and Jenny Love and Mahaly Love are buried at Spring Hill, according to death records, but no grave marker has been found. A marker for Martha Wade who died in 1931 is at the back of section H. Through a search of records including death records for Davidson County and Nashville, documentation has been found of more than 50 burials of African-Americans at Spring Hill Cemetery. The size of section H, and the lack of mention of most of these burials in the interment records for Spring Hill Cemetery leads to the belief that there may have been many more burials of persons of color at Spring Hill Cemetery from it's beginning in 1785 until the early 1950's.

Emma Love

Florence Love

Martha Wade

Samuel Harvey Vaughn

Surname First Name Date of Death
Allen Matt F. 8/28/1889
Allen Josie 9/4/1889
Blaine Bessie W. 8/18/1910
Boddie Sallie after 1870
Bowman A. W. 7/6/1897
Boyd Mary 5/25/1893
Browne Joe 1/25/1917
Browne Callie 6/6/1953
Bush Minnie 2/2/1901
Carter Ellen Amanda 1/30/1902
Davis Lizzie 5/15/1898
Everett Samuel 3/10/1900
Fisher Jacob 5/11/1897
Hall Celia May 1/27/1903
Hopkins Hattie 4/30/1899
Johnson Infant of Mattie 1/6/1901
Knight James 1/7/1892
Langley Henry J. 12/20/1905
Lee Jos. 10/9/1897
Lewis Katie 11/13/1900
Lewis Jere 5/26/1901
Lewis Millie 8/4/1912
Lischey Olive 6/12/1918
Love Sallie 12/27/1900
Love Mahaly 3/10/1901
Love Thaddeus 2/3/1906
Love Emma T. 6/1/1888
Love Florence E. 2/16/1894
Love Jennie 1/7/1892
Lynch Anny 4/2/1881
Miller Emmerson 10/14/1897
Moore Alexander 4/18/1897
Phillips Kingston 1901
Ragland Samuel 3/28/1902
Sledge Paralee 1/7/1901
Sledge Walter 8/11/1896
Smith Amy 11/7/1896
Sprat Henry J. 1/26/1899
Stevenson Annie 10/21/1899
Thomas Bettie 9/5/1897
Turner Phillis 4/30/1893
Vaughn Andrew 12/15/1901
Vaughn John Fulton 1/10/1908
Vaughn Albert 1/4/1898
Vaughn Fannie 10/26/1892
Vaughn Samuel Harvey 1/7/1892
Wade Martha 3/6/1931
Walton Wm. 3/11/1893
Webb Manuel 10/20/1892
Williams J. W. 10/28/1898
Woodson Bud 5/29/1897

Nashville, Tennessee, Tue, May 1, 1906 

For more information on Spring Hill Cemetery - History of Spring Hill Cemetery
Haysborough and Spring Hill