Old Fashioned Love Story

This is the largest headstone in Laurel Grove South Cemetery, so you might think it is it is owned by one of the doctors buried here or maybe one of the land tycoons or big business owners.  This gorgeous marble headstone was carved by a famed German sculptor who moved to Savannah, John Walz. He’s probably best known for the Gracie Watson monument in Bonaventure. And who is buried under the lavishly carved monument? A hackman.

A hackman was what they called a cab driver in the late 1800s and early 1900s. John H. Davis (1875-1916) would have driven people around Savannah on a horse and carriage. His wife, Clara L Davis (1867-1914) was a seamstress. They didn’t have a ton of money, in fact they even took in a boarder.

So, what prompted John to created such a lavish headstone for his wife Clara, who died before him? In a word, love. She wrote in her will that she wanted “my body to be buried in a respectable manner,” and he delivered 10-fold. This is a mighty testament to his feelings toward Clara. 

Clara’s will

John and Clara didn’t have any children, so When John died he made three men his executors. And since he was in three different fraternal organizations, it’s safe to assume that each man was a fellow member and that he was giving the last of his money back to the Elks, Freemasons, and Knights of Pythias. 

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