Posts Tagged ‘William Jenkins Worth’

A little-known grave near Madison Square Park

June 18, 2012

Hiding between Shake Shack and Eataly just outside Madison Square Park is one of only two military grave sites in the city.

It contains the remains of William Jenkins Worth.

A celebrated general, Worth’s military career started with the War of 1812 and was cut short after the Mexican-American War, when he contracted cholera in San Antonio in 1849.

After his death, city leaders decided to honor him with a memorial in what was then an elite residential neighborhood.

While his body was temporarily interred in Green-Wood Cemetery, a 51-foot granite obelisk went up, listing names of crucial battle sites of his career.

A bronze relief of Worth on a horse fronts the obelisk, and military regalia decorate the cast-iron fence surrounding it.

It’s a grand monument—but it’s easy to miss as you cross that tricky intersection of 25th Street, Broadway, and Fifth Avenue (a pocket park called Worth Square).

It’s even easier to disregard the fact that Worth’s body lies under the obelisk. He was reburied here in 1857 during a processional involving 6,500 soldiers and a speech from Mayor Fernando Wood.

Where’s the other military gravesite in Manhattan? Grant’s Tomb, 100 blocks northwest. General Worth is also the namesake of Worth Street, and we have him to thank for Fort Worth, Texas, and Lake Worth, Florida.