Family Stories

Temple of Love Memorial in Cave Hill Cemetery – Jefferson County

‘Temple of Love’ Satterwhite Memorial, Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky.

Today we visit Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, Jefferson County.  Cave Hill is a magnificent cemetery, the land was once part of an old farm that belonged to the Johnston family, which they called Cave Hill.  In 1846 Cave Hill, the cemetery, was started, and although they did not set out to make a garden cemetery, that is what it became.

The Courier Journal, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Monday, September 20, 1954

One of the more fantastic gravesites is the Satterwhite Memorial Temple, located in Section C.  When Preston Pope Satterwhite’s New York wife, Florence Brokaw Martin Satterwhite, died in 1927, he buried her in Cave Hill Cemetery.  Purchasing a half acre plot he built the ‘Temple of Love’ of pink Italian marble, which is a copy of Marie Antoinette’s ornate structure in her Petit Trianon garden at the Palace of Versailles in Paris.  In newspaper articles it is sometimes referred to as a copy of the Temple of Love in Athens, but this is not so according to the Cave Hill website.

Brooklyn Life and Activities of Long Island Society, New York, New York

Saturday, May 7, 1927

Satterwhite – Mrs. Preston Pope, in her sixty-second year, at the Hotel Plaza, May 1st.  Mrs. Satterwhite was the former Florence Brokaw, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Vail Brokaw.  In the winter the Satterwhites made their home at Casa Florencia, their Palm Beach villa, and at other season were at Martin Hall, their estate at Great Neck.

When Mrs. Satterwhite’s first husband, James E. Martin, Standard Oil executive, was killed in an automobile accident near Flushing in 1905, he left his widow an estate of several million dollars.  Three years later she married Dr. Satterwhite, whom she had met in Paris after summoning him from New York to attend her typhoid-stricken son, who died before Dr. Satterwhite’s arrival.

There are no children, but a brother, Clifford Brokaw, and a sister, Mrs. Lilla Dugmore, survive.

Florence Brokaw Satterwhite, November 1st 1857 – May 1st 1927.  ‘Her ways are ways of pleasantness and all her paths are peace.’

Dr. Satterwhite was born in Louisville, moved to New York in his early days and practiced surgery there for many years.  In 1908 he married Mrs. Florence Brokaw Martin, whose first husband, James E. Martin, was killed in an automobile accident in 1905.  In 1908 Florence’s only son, James Martin, contracted typhoid on a voyage to Paris.  Florence called for Dr. Satterwhite to attend her son, but he arrived too late.

The Courier Journal, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Tuesday, December 28, 1948

Dr. Satterwhite, Art Patron, Dies at 81

Pieces Given Speed Museum Among Finest

Dr. Preston Pope Satterwhite – who once said if somebody would build a new room for J. B. Speed Art Museum, he would fill it with art – died yesterday at Harkness Pavilion Medical Center, New York City.  He was 81.

He made good his word when he presented an entire Elizabethan room to the museum in 1944.  It was transplanted, paneling and all, from Devonshire, England.  His other gifts to the museum, in 1940, were a group of 15th and 16th Century French and Italian pieces.

Born in Louisville, Dr. Satterwhite moved to New York in his early 20’s, and practiced surgery there until 35 years ago.  He lived at Great Neck, Long Island.  A relative here said his estate, Preston Hall, was ‘quite a show place.’

Ancestors Were Pioneers

Dr. Satterwhite always spoke with pride of his ancestors, the Breckinridges and Prestons, early Kentucky settlers.  His father, Dr. Thomas P. Satterwhite, was graduated rom the University of Louisville Medical School in 1857.  His grandfather, Dr. Thomas P. Satterwhite of Lexington, was also a physician.

The Satterwhite family lived at Floyd and Gray for two or three generations.  The home still stands there.  Dr. Satterwhite’s mother was the former Miss Maria Rogers Pope.

Dr. Satterwhite was married in 1908 to Mrs. Florence Brokaw Martin of New York City.  She died in 1927, and is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery.

Services for Dr. Satterwhite will be in Great Neck Wednesday, and the body will be brought here for burial on Thursday.

The Satterwhite plot, measuring about half an acre in Cave Hill, has the most elaborate memorial in the city.  It is an exact copy of the Temple of Love in Athens, Greece, and one of two in this country.  The other is in California.  Of Tennessee marble, it is circular with a dome top, columns and broad steps.

Dr. Satterwhite last visited here in April.  He came almost yearly to visit his wife’s grave.

His gifts to the museum are considered the finest of their kind ever presented in Louisville.

They include a stone statue of St. George and the Dragon of the late 15th Century French period.  Part of the figure’s lance and the horse’s ears are missing.

The collection also includes two French choir stalls of the late 15th Century.  An exquisite flounce of bride’s-point lace, included in the collection, was given by Dr. Satterwhite’s sister, the late Miss Susan Barr Satterwhite.  This Louis XIV lace has been described as one of the finest of its kind in existence.  Of an elaborate tapestry of the same period an art expert said, ‘There is no choicer specimen in any museum or collection in the world.’

‘Louisville Is My Home.’

Dr. Satterwhite once said, ‘I’ve lived in New York City for 40 years now, but Louisville is my home.’  He said he didn’t know how much he had spent on art, but the amount is probably more than it ought to be.  But I do not regret a penny of it.  After a while it becomes an obsession with one.’  His favorite object among his gifts to Speed Museum was the Madonna by Donatello.

Dr. Satterwhite underwent an operation two weeks ago.  He is survived by a niece, Mrs. Sallie Satterwhite Miller; a first cousin, Mrs. John B. McFerran, and several other cousins, all of Louisville.

Preston Pope Satterwhite, September 28th 1867 – December 27th 1948.  ‘But thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’

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