Wilson County Memorial Fountain, Wilson
The monument is a symmetrical granite triptych. The massive rectangular center column and two smaller flanking columns are topped with pyramidal caps. The columns are separated from each other by short walls, and the entire structure rests on a base of the same material.
The center portion of the triptych is a relief sculpture of two unfurled flags, crossed at the center of each shaft. The flags are the Stars and Stripes and the flag of the Confederate States of America. Beneath the flags is the bronze plaque with an inscription. To either side of the center structure are two smaller tower-like structures, connected by a thin wall of granite. Each of the smaller towers were initially drinking fountains, but have since been replaced by small pyramid caps mirroring the one topping the largest tower. The center panel has remained unaltered.
Just a few feet behind the memorial and closer to the courthouse building, there is a bell. It was cast by the Meneely Bell Company of Troy, New York, one of the most famous foundries of 19th century.
Images (courtesy of Natasha Smith): Contemporary view of the memorial | Back side | Meneely Bell Co., Troy, N.Y. | Bell and the memorial | View of the courthouse building and the memorial | Far-off view of the courthouse building with the Memorial Fountain on its right
Front: “TO THE / VALOR / OF WILSON COUNTY / SOLDIERS”
Rear: Erected by / the John W. Dunham Chapter U.D.C. / and / the Thomas Hadley Chapter D.A.R. / November 11, 1926
November 11, 1926
35.725210 , -77.910230 View in Geobrowse
"Wilson County Civil War Memorial," The Historical Marker Database, HMdb.org, (accessed May 27, 2017) Link
"Wilson County Courthouse Memorial Drinking Fountain," in Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina Postcards (P077), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Link
Boykin, J. Robert. Historic Wilson in Vintage Postcards. (Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2003)
Butler, Douglas J. North Carolina Civil War Monuments: An Illustrated History (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2013).
Curtis, Sue J. "North Carolina Confederate Memorials," May 27, 2011, North Carolina United Daughters of the Confederacy, (accessed May 7, 2013) Link
North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, "North Carolina Civil War Monuments, Memorial Drinking Fountain," (accessed June 17, 2014) Link
Smith, Blanche Lucas. North Carolina's Confederate Monuments and Memorials, (Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, 1941)
The John W. Dunham Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (U.D.C.) and the Thomas Hadley Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.).
The speaker was Hon. H. G. Connor. The monument was accepted by Dr. E. G. Moore.
The memorial was a joint effort between the UDC and the DAR to honor Wilson’s veterans from both the Revolutionary and the Civil Wars. There is no mention of the Confederate States of America, other than the depiction of the Confederate Battle Flag. At its original creation, the monument was a water fountain located in front of the courthouse, with separate faucets for whites and blacks. In 1960, the fountains were removed, as were all traces of segregation from the monument itself. Since then, it is only a fountain in name.
The Courthouse itself was built in 1924 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
The John W. Dunham Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy was chartered in 1900.
The Thomas Hadley Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution was organized in 1922.
The monument stands at the southeast corner of the building, at the corner of Nash St. and Goldsboro St. The Wilson County Courthouse (115 Nash St. East, Wilson, NC) is within the Old Wilson Historic District. There are many small businesses and office buildings in the area.
There is a large brick plaza in front of the courthouse. The monument sits to the right of this plaza in front of a bed of ornamental landscaping. Behind the monument lays a small area landscaped with some small shrubs and trees.
However, this has not been the landscaping surrounding the monument the entirety of its existence. Early postcards and images show this area as having been covered in grass rather than the shrubs currently surrounding the monument.