Forest Lawn Cemetery - LINKS

Maria Love - LINKS

Maria Maltby Love
(pronounced mar-EYE ah)

By Patrick Kavanagh
History of Women in Forest Lawn Lawn Cemetery

Section F, Lot 67
Date of Death; 7/20/1931
(Social Activist; Humanitarian)

Born in Clarence, New York on January 26, 1840. She was a philanthropist and social visionary from an elite Buffalo family. Maria Love was a staunch Episcopalian and a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was one of the most prominent adherents to the "Social Gospel," a movement among late 19th century Protestants that were fervently humanitarian and interested in the solution to urban problems, especially poverty.

Her father, Judge Thomas C. Love, was a veteran of the War of 1812, where he was wounded and captured at the American sortie at Fort Erie on September 17, 1814, and later a prominent local abolitionist. He also was the defense attorney for the three Thayer brothers, who, in 1825, were hung together for the murder of Johnny Love of Boston, New York.

Her brother was George Maltby Love 35 , who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his capturing the South Carolina battle flag during the Civil War. After Brigadier General Daniel Bidwell was killed at the Battle of Cedar Creek, Love assumed command and captured the second South Carolina battle flag.

Living to age 91, Ms. Love founded the Fitch Crèche, and directed this early day nursery for 50 years, after a trip to France where she became aware of the plight of children of working mothers. [The Fitch Crèche was located at 159 Swan Street at the comer of Michigan Avenue. This was a dry goods store that was owned by Benjamin Fitch, a native Buffalonian who donated this building for use by the Crèche which formally opened January 6,1881. By 1881, Mr. Fitch was a wealthy New York City philanthropist. The building at 159 Swan Street has since been demolished.]

She worked with William Prior Letchworth to make arrangements for children from Buffalo orphanages to have two-week stays at this home at Glen Iris.

At age 84, Maria journeyed to Cuba, Panama, California, Honolulu, Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Canton, Java, Singapore, India, the Red Sea, Egypt, Italy, France, and Spain. She was a firm believer in travel as one of the best means of education.

Maria died in Buffalo on July 20, 1931.

Photos and their arrangement © 2005 Chuck LaChiusa
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