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Belton: Confederate statue relocation conversation continues

Published: Jul. 20, 2020 at 8:03 PM CDT
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BELTON, Texas (KWTX) - After a more than eight hour special meeting of the Bell County Commissioners Court last week about a proposal to relocate the statue of a confederate soldier outside the court house, commissioners say they estimate the project would cost $150,000.

Commissioners say its estimate for relocation includes taking the statue down, transporting, storing, engineering a new platform and re-erecting the statue in a new location.

At Wednesday’s town hall, Mary Hardin-Baylor President Randy O’Rear pledged $10,000 for the statues removal.

Others who want to see it come down say they will work to raise all the money once they see an official estimate.

Many asked for the decision be put up to a vote, however, according to local government code, a non-binding resolution about county property would not be legal due to the population in Bell County.

Commissioner Bill Schumann says local representatives could introduce a bill that would allow the county a one time exception for a non-binding resolution election.

He says if that were to take place, the commissioners court would act based on the results of the election.

History of the statue:

The statue was donated by the Bell County chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy in October 1916.

According to newspaper articles from the Temple Daily Telegram that month, the DOC fund raised for years through fish fries and other events to raise more than $1,900 to purchase the monument.

In its October 21, 1916 edition, the Temple Daily Telegram writes about the dedication of the confederate soldier statue in Bell County, and the time capsule placed inside.
In its October 21, 1916 edition, the Temple Daily Telegram writes about the dedication of the confederate soldier statue in Bell County, and the time capsule placed inside.(TexasHistory.edu)

According to the October 21 and 22 articles, the statue is 19 feet tall and weighs 38,000 pounds.

At its dedication ceremony on the 22nd, the DOC, Bell County Commissioners and City of Belton put together a time capsule to go inside the second tier of the monument.

Inside, the Daughters of the Confederacy left records including a sketch of their organization and names and memorials of veterans of the confederacy who died at war.

The group also included a copy of the song "For South Land Loved" which was adopted as the state song of the Daughters.

A silk confederate flag was placed in the time capsule by a local veteran along with "all the Confederate records and other treasures" according to the 1916 article.

Commissioner W. P. Denman included a list of all county officers.

Belton City attorney, Captain James Boyd, put in a copy of city ordinances in effect as well as a list of city officers.

S. E. Jordan is said to be the contractor of the monument from a company out of Marietta, Georgia.

“The monument promises to be one of which the entire county may well be proud,” the article reads.

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