Here was an assignment just made for the slower summer months, although these months have been full and the summer fleeting. Compile a list of all buildings and outdoor spaces on campus that are named for persons, with a brief bio of the persons named. And, where possible, identify the funding source for the building’s construction and the date of naming. Ignore buildings like 1599, 1762, and 1525, but please don’t forget the four named streams.
Eleven pages and some eighty names later, I have a good sense of the many ghosts and the few living souls who populate our campus landscape. Look for this list on the Emory history website by the end of the summer.
All of this was relatively easy to ferret out, but some facts took digging, and one name in particular proved a puzzle.
On the Oxford campus, in 1978, biology professor Curry T. Haynes Sr. carved out a nature trail on the west side of the campus, winding from Williams Gym past the soldiers’ cemetery and into the woods between the cemetery and the dining hall.
The trail was dedicated on May 7, 1978, and named in memory of Elizabeth Candler Hearn.
Hmmm. Who was this Ms. Hearn? She’s not mentioned in any of the Candler family histories I’ve looked into, and the only online search for her turns up an announcement in the Atlanta Georgian of her impending wedding to Howell Reid Hearn on December 27, 1906.
A call to my friend and colleague Joe Moon, dean of campus life at Oxford College, turned up two news clippings from the dedication.
Standing among the smiling family members shown in the old news photos are Elizabeth Candler Hearn II (Mrs. A.J. Bates) and three-year-old Elizabeth Candler Hearn III, wielding a scissors almost as large as she is as she cuts the ribbon on the trail. But no mention of the original Elizabeth Candler Hearn.
Thank goodness for genealogists. One of the websites catering to them is findagrave.com.
Elizabeth Candler Hearn appears to have been the daughter of Samuel Charles Candler Jr., who was the brother of Asa Candler of Coca-Cola fame and Warren Candler, Emory’s former president and first chancellor.
Elizabeth’s listing in findagrave.com shows her as Samuel’s daughter. But, oddly, his own listing does not show her as one of his children. The dates for each suggest the connection, however. He lived from 1855 to 1911, and she from 1883 to 1976. Her wedding in 1906 to Howell Reid Hearn would have occurred when she was 23. Her tombstone, shown in a photo on findagrave, notes that she was born in Villa Rica, which was also the hometown of Asa and the other children of Samuel Charles Candler Sr.
I’d love to have a photo of her or more information about her. Anyone out there know her?
2 thoughts on “The mystery woman on the nature trail”
Did Emory receive any grants to assist with the completion of the trail? Perhaps “following the money” would produce some new information?
On Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 4:44 PM, Emory Historians Blog wrote:
> emoryhistorian posted: “Here was an assignment just made for the slower > summer months, although these months have been full and the summer > fleeting. Compile a list of all buildings and outdoor spaces on campus > that are named for persons, with a brief bio of the persons named. A” >
I think that such contributions as there were were made by the family. One possibility is that that three-year-old little girl is now grown up and can tell me about her grandmother.