Nott Family Plott in Mobile, Alabama

Established in 1836, Magnolia Cemetery is the final resting place of some 100,000 souls. Walking through the elaborate Victorian-era monuments is like getting a free entry into a sculpture museum. Then you come upon a monument with an Irish Setter watching over an intricately carved headstone with the words “our beloved children.” 

Behind this loyal canine sculpture lies a tragic backstory. Four of Dr. Josiah Nott’s eight children died of yellow fever in September of 1853. According to local lore, as the children lay ill in their beds, their faithful dog stayed at their sides. After the deaths of Sarah Alice, Emma, baby Allen and Edward, the eldest child, the dog is said to have mourned to death within the week. In his grief, Nott and his wife, Sally Deas Nott, erected two memorials: one to the children and one to their beloved guardian.

Nott’s writes he had moved his family to Mobile, Alabama “where the disease had never been. But in spite of all my prudence, the disease not only came to Mobile, but followed my family out to Spring Hill, where I lost four of my children in one week.” Today, the dog silently stands watch, a testament to his dedication in life. 

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