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Famous Residents

Oakland Cemetery is the final resting place of more than 70,000. Among its many residents are soldiers, mayors, governors, captains of industry, pioneers, authors, and trailblazers. Many of Oakland’s graves are etched with familiar names borne by Atlanta parks, streets, neighborhoods and businesses.

The celebrated and humble rest together at Oakland. For every lavish monument marking a prominent or wealthy family, there are hundreds of small, simple headstones. Not far from some of Atlanta’s best-known sons and daughters are paupers buried at public expense. Here, an ornate tomb is inscribed with flowery verse—there, a plain marker merely says “Infant.” Tycoon and pauper, Christian and Jew, black and white, powerful and meek, soldier and civilian—all are here.

Resident Spotlight

Resident Spotlight: Charles J. Haden’s Brush with Presidential History

It was November 1919, and future Oakland resident Charles J. Haden was presumably honored to be one of many prominent Atlantans about to hear the vice president speak. The venue was the Atlanta Auditorium, one of the city’s most impressive spaces with its arena seating…

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Notable Residents

Alfred Austell

1814-1881 | Burial: Austell Mausoleum, Block 374, Original Six Acres

Merchant, banker, financier, and railroad builder who organized the Atlanta National Bank (now a part of Wells Fargo Bank). Became one of the country’s largest cotton dealers and built railroads in several southern states. Namesake of Austell, GA.

Ivan Allen, Jr.

1911-2003 | Burial: Block 296, Lot 2, Grave 2, East Hill

Ivan Allen was a U.S. businessman and Democratic political figure noted for serving two terms (1962-1970) as Atlanta’s mayor during the turbulent Civil Rights Movement. He guided the city through the turbulent 1960s, and his political leadership helped to transform Atlanta into a progressive metropolis and international city.

Edwin P. Ansley

1865-1923 | Burial: Block 242, Lot 4, Grave 2, Original Six Acres

Developer of Ansley Park.

Joseph Emerson Brown

1821-1894 | Burial: Section 4, Block 99, Lots 3 & 4, Grave 23, Northwest corner of the cemetery

Governor of Georgia, 1857-65, during the Civil War; Chief Justice of Georgia, 1868-70; U.S. Senator, 1880-91; and president, Western & Atlantic Railroad, 1870-90.

Joseph M. Brown

1851-1932 | Burial: Block 99, Lot 3 & 4, Grave 18, Northwest corner of the cemetery

Governor of Georgia, 1901-13; known as “Little Joe” Brown.

Selena Sloan Butler

Circa 1872-1964 | Burial: Block 68, Lot 6, Grave 6, African American Grounds

Selena Sloan Butler founded the nation’s first parent-teacher association for African Americans in Atlanta in 1911. She established a statewide PTA in 1919 and the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers (NCCPT) in 1926. The NCCPT merged with its white counterpart in 1970, and Butler was named as a cofounder of the National Parent Teacher Association.

James M. Calhoun

1875-1911 | Burial: Lot 395, Grave 10, Original Six Acres

Pioneer Decatur and Atlanta lawyer. Relative of John C. Calhoun. Mayor of Atlanta, 1862-65. Surrendered Atlanta to Union troops, September 2, 1864.

Martha Lumpkin Compton

1827-1917 | Burial: Block 410, Original Six Acres

Daughter of Governor Wilson Lumpkin; Terminus (original Atlanta name, 1837-42) renamed Marthasville (1843-45, became Atlanta in 1846) in her honor.

Dr. Peter Paul Noel D’Alvigny

1800-1877 | Burial: Section 10, Block 130, Lot 1, Grave 6, Original Six Acres

Pioneer French-born physician; saved Atlanta Medical College (now known as the Emory University School of Medicine) from being burned by Union soldiers in 1864.

Jacob Elsas

1842-1932 | Burial: Elsas mausoleum, Jewish Hill

Philanthropist and owner of the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mills.

Moses W. Formwalt

1820-1852 | Burial: Block 31, Near the “Out in the Rain” fountain
Atlanta’s first mayor in 1848.

Captain William A. Fuller

1836-1905 | Burial: Block 72, Lot 1, Grave 16, Original Six Acres

After his “General” locomotive and first three cars were stolen in Kennesaw by Andrews Raiders in 1862, Fuller pursued the Raiders on foot, hand car, and the “Texas” locomotive before capturing the Raiders outside of Chattanooga.

Bishop Wesley John Gaines

1840-1912 | Burial: Block 65, Lot 1, Grave 2, African American Section

Bishop Wesley John Gaines was the sixteenth bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, the second pastor at Atlanta’s landmark Big Bethel A.M.E. Church and a founder of Morris Brown College.

Franklin Garrett

1906-2000 | Burial: Original Six Acres, Beside the Watch House

The only citizen to be named Atlanta’s Official Historian, Garrett authored Atlanta and Environs: A Chronicle of Its People and Events, a comprehensive reference source of Atlanta’s history that is used to this day.

General John B. Gordon

1832-1904 | Burial: Confederate Section

Lieutenant General, C.S.A.; U.S. senator, 1873-80, 1891-97; governor of Georgia, 1886-90.

Julia Collier Harris  

1885-1967 | Burial: Block 30, Lot 3, in the Rawson mausoleum across from the Visitors Center

Julia Collier Harris was the daughter of Charles Collier, a former Mayor of Atlanta. After a whirlwind courtship, she married Julian Harris, the son of Joel Chandler Harris, who wrote the famous Tales of Uncle Remus. Together, they owned and edited the Columbus (GA) Enquirer-Sun and eventually (in 1926) co-won the first Pulitzer Prize in 1920’s for a series of articles and editorials about the KKK and the Scopes Monkey Trial. It was the first Pulitzer Prize awarded to a Georgia newspaper. She was also a Georgia Woman of Achievement.

Joel Hurt, Jr.

1850-1926 | Burial: Block 237, Lot 1&2, Grave 11, Near Margaret Mitchell

Engineer, entrepreneur, developer of Inman Park, builder of the Hurt Building. Hurt Street bears his name.

Edward H. Inman

1881-1931 | Burial: Block 297, Lot 2, Grave 3, East Hill

Cotton merchant; Fulton County commissioner, 1930-31; original owner of the Swan House.

Samuel M. Inman

1843-1915 | Burial: Block 8, Bell Tower Ridge

Cotton merchant, banker, civic leader, known as “Atlanta’s First Citizen.” Inman Park bears his name.

Maynard Jackson

1938-2003 | Burial: Northwest corner of North Public Grounds

Maynard Jackson became Atlanta’s first African American mayor in 1974. In his three terms (1974-19–82; 1990-19–94), he was instrumental in bringing the 1996 Olympics to Atlanta and expanding the airport. His grave marker faces the downtown Atlanta skyline.

Dr. Joseph Jacobs

1859-1929 | Burial: Block 269, Lot 1, Jewish Section

Dr. Joseph Jacobs opened Jacobs’ Pharmaceutical Laboratory in Athens, GA in 1879. In 1884, he moved to Atlanta and opened Jacobs’ Pharmacy Company, which would eventually grow to 16 locations. Dr. Jacobs rented out his pharmacy’s soda fountain to Willis Venable. On May 8, 1886, Dr. Jacobs asked Mr. Venable to add water to a customer’s headache tonic. Instead of regular water, Mr. Venable added carbonated water, and the first Coca-Cola was served. Though he owned partial rights to the newfound tonic, Dr. Jacobs said he did not want to be “bothered with it,” and sold his rights to Coca-Cola to Asa Candler in exchange for a glass factory Mr. Candler owned.

Robert T. “Bobby” Jones

1902-1971 | Burial: Lot 518, near the southern wall, Bobby Jones Neighborhood

Bobby Jones is considered the greatest amateur golfer of all time. He is the only person to win the four major golfing titles in one year, 1930. After winning the Grand Slam, he retired from competitive play. He became an attorney in Atlanta and co-founder and co-designer of the Augusta National Golf Club, site of the annual Masters Tournament. Learn more.

Carrie Steele Logan

1829-1900 | Burial: Block 64, Lot 5, African American Grounds

Carrie Steele was born into slavery and orphaned as a young girl. After emancipation, she worked as a maid in the waiting rooms at Union Station, where she saw many children abandoned. She let the children play in a boxcar during the day while she worked, and at night she took them to her home at the intersection of Wheat Street and Auburn Avenue. Carrie Steele was eventually able to build a larger facility. The Carrie Steele-Pitts Home continues to serve abused, neglected and orphaned children today.

Margaret Mitchell

1900-1949 | Burial: Block 22, Lot 1N, Grave 6, Northwestern corner of the cemetery, west of Bell Tower Ridge

Margaret Mitchell earned world-wide fame as the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gone with the Wind, a best-seller that’s been translated into over 40 languages. The 1939 film Gone with the Wind is regarded as one of the greatest films of all time.

Jonathan Norcross

1808-1898 | Burial: Block 140, Lot 3, Grave 5, Greenhouse Valley

Mayor of Atlanta, 1851. Namesake of Norcross, GA.

Reverend Frank Quarles

1819-1882 | Burial: Section 18 Block 19 Lot 1N, African American Section

Pastor of Friendship Baptist Church from 1866-81. Instrumental in bringing the Augusta Institute (now Morehouse College) to Atlanta and in the founding of Spelman College.

Morris and Emanuel Rich

1847-1928 | Burial: Block 277, Lots 69 and 93, Jewish Hill

Founders of M. Rich Dry Goods, which became one of the largest retail department store chains in the South.
Pictured: Morris Rich

Kenny Rogers

1938-2020 | Burial: Lot 599, Bobby Jones Neighborhood

The Country Music Hall of Famer’s musical hits included “The Gambler;” “Lucille;” “Islands in the Stream,” a duet with Dolly Parton; and “Lady,” a duet with Lionel Richie.


James G. Woodward

1845-1922 | Burial: Block 410, Lot 7, Original Six Acres

Atlanta labor leader who served as mayor of Atlanta for four terms, 1899-1900, 1905-6, 1913-16.

Hoke Smith

1855-1931 | Burial: Block 303 Lot 3 & 4 Space 9, East Hill

Secretary of Interior during second Grover Cleveland administration, 1892-96; noted lawyer; governor of Georgia, 1907-09, 1911; United States senator, 1911-21.

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