11Alive salutes historic South-View Cemetery, one of America's oldest African-American Cemeteries. Alonzo F. Herndon, who was the largest black property owner in Atlanta in the 1900's, is buried here.
Alonzo Franklin Herndon was born into slavery in Walton County, Georgia, Herndon was the son of his white slave holder, Frank Herndon, and an enslaved woman named Sophenie. In 1888, Herndon became the sole owner of a barbershop. He went on to own three, one of which was called "The Crystal Palace." Opened in 1902 at 66 Peachtree Street, "The Crystal Palace" was considered the most elegant barbershop in the country. Outfitted with gold fixtures, marble floors and crystal chandeliers, the barbershop catered to a distinguished population of white businessmen.
Herndon invested his barbering income in real estate, becoming by the early 1900's the largest black property owner in Atlanta. His most significant business venture was launched in 1905, when he acquired what would become Atlanta Life Insurance Company.