This fountain in Old Gray Cemetery was dedicated by A. J. Albers in 1890 in memory of his late wife Ella. The two-tiered cast iron and zinc fountain was surrounded by three statues of grieving women dressed in Grecian gowns. Though the fountain served as a landmark in the cemetery for many years, it was eventually removed. In 2018, a recreation of the Ella Albers Memorial Fountain was added to the cemetery.
Ella King Albers died of heart disease at the age of thirty-seven on April 10,
1889. She left behind her three surviving children and her husband A. J.
Albers. Ella was buried near two of her deceased children: Willie, who died at
age two in 1878, and Annie, who was less than a month old when she died that
same year. A. J. Albers then ordered the construction of this fountain in her
memory. Though he later remarried, when A. J. died in 1910, he was buried next
For years, many believed that the fountain had been donated in a World War
II scrap drive. However, a 1949 photo from Knoxville
Journal shows that the fountain was still standing. Though no one knows
exactly how or when the fountain disappeared from the cemetery, most accounts agree
that it was gone by 1960. All that was left was the circular marble base.
During Old Gray Cemetery’s “Trees, Trails, and Tradition” revitalization campaign
of 2018, $223,000 were set aside to replace the fountain. After looking at
pictures of the fountain and surviving pieces kept by the Albers’ descendants, Robinson
Iron Works began the process of recreating the fountain. After ten weeks of
work, Robinson and his team had completed a seventeen feet-tall cast iron fountain
and surrounding aluminum statues. The original fountain, which Robinson
believes was likely made in New York, allowed water to flow from the upper
basin into a ground pool. The modern fountain only lets water into its upper
basin, leaving the bottom level for landscaping.