Judge Jacob Burnet was one of Ohio's leading citizens during the late 1790s and early 1800s. In 1799, he was appointed to the Territorial Council, the legislative assembly for the Northwest Territory. He served in this position until 1802. Burnet was a committed member of the Federalist Party. Burnet became a director and eventually president of the Cincinnati branch of the Second Bank of the United States. His most important contribution to Ohio during his Senate term was to make possible the construction of the Miami Canal from Dayton to Maumee. Although Burnet spent most of his adult years holding elected or appointed political offices, he also actively participated in converting Cincinnati from a frontier town into an important city. He served as president of Cincinnati's chapters of the Astronomical Society and the American Colonization Society. He also became president of the Medical College of Ohio. He died on May 10, 1853.
The Burnet mausoleum is an impressive structure. It was built of Italian marble following the design of French Second Empire style. This structure, amid the trees and water, sets up an ever-changing relationship of man-made and natural elements in the landscape reminiscent of the style of the English Garden that Adolph Strauch was so fond of.