Partner Orelia Key Bell, buried together
2533 Greenbriar Ln, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, Stati Uniti
Oakland Cemetery, 248 Oakland Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30312, Stati Uniti
Ida Jane Ash (April 9, 1874 - August 3, 1948) was the longtime friend of
Orelia Key Bell.
In 1895 Bell published Poems of Orelia Key Bell, and the volume
is dedicated, among others, to "Ida Ash, whose affection and encouragement
have been among the chief sources of my inspiration".
One poem, "Ida Ash", is under the section "The Heavenly Muse", and Ash
is also named in the poem "At Mount Enota's Laurel'd Base" under the
section "Melodies in Minor Key":
- HOW did she come to me ? -or was it I
- Who came to her? -or did we come together
- Of one accord? I know nor whence nor whither
- We twain were journeying was it yesterday,
- Or some dim preexistence? -Destiny,
- With iron tread -or Chance, blown like a feather-
- Or clash of wandering stars or freak of weather,
- That brought our hands to clasp in sympathy,
- Our eyes to meet in music, and our souls
- To leap en rapport? -Nay! as well divine
- Which of two intermelting dewdrops rolls
- First into the other. Whyfore seek a sign?
- I only know, 'twas night: a voice: a flash
- Of nereid eyes -then day- and Ida Ash.
Enota's Laurel'd Base
- AT Mount Enota's laurel'd base,
- Where Hiawassee's waters flash,
- 'Twas there I met a mountain grace,
- Beautiful Ida Ash.
- As o'er the rocks, nereidianly,
- She moved, with lissom step and proud,
- Her eyes gleam'd like the Gemini
- Beneath a shifting summer cloud.
- The east-wind left its mourning cave
- To nestle, dove-like, in her locks;
- Tamed by her step, each madcap wave
- Caress'd the conscious rocks.
- The skylarks left their aery thrones
- Amidst the serenading stars,
- To catch her accent's Orphean tones
- And beat its elegiac bars.
- Ah, I have sigh'd to rest me, sang
- She from II Trovatore; and thro'
- A poet's heart the echo rang,
- Ah, I have sigh'd to rest me, too.
- Sweet Ida Ash! life's hills are steep,
- And Art a glad toil at its best;
- Then rest thou in my heart, and I
- Sweetly in thine will rest.
- Teach me to sing as thou dost live,
- A simple life of love and duty;
- Then I at least to Art may give
- One song of everlasting beauty.
On October 12, 1895, at the closing session of the Professional Work of
Women National Council's Work, a selection of poems by Bell were recited
by Ash and by her pupils, Lucille Atkinson and Mamie Tolbert. A newspaper
noted that Bell's "popularity in the literary world was evident from the
representative number of literary people present who heard with deep
appreciation the delicate expressions of her poetic mind".
Orelia Key Bell never married and she lived with Ida Jane Ash (April 9,
1874 – August 3, 1948). Orelia Key Bell and Ida Ash, by the newspapers
tagged as lifelong friend and amanuensis, moved to Pasadena prior to World
War I and later lived at 2533 Greenbriar Lane, Costa Mesa, California.
Orelia Key Bell died on June 2, 1959, and is buried at Oakland Cemetery
(Atlanta) in the Bell family plot alongside Ida Jane Ash.
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