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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    Polk County Doughboy, Columbus

  • Type

    War Memorial

  • Subjects

    World War I

  • City


  • County


  • Description

    A uniformed World War I infantryman holds the barrel of his rifle with both hands in front of him. The butt of the rifle rests on the base. A knapsack is slung over his shoulder and a bayonet is attached to his belt. He leans on the stump of a white oak tree. The figure is mounted on a base of field and river stones that features an imbedded, inscribed, marble panel.

  • Inscription

    (On marble panel on front of base:) This monument marks / this highway that we / dedicate to the memory of / Levi Butler / Jessie Lewis / Willade Lankford / Zibo Wilson / Lawson Williams / Ralph Walker / Columbus Constant / who paid the supreme / sacrifice for their / home and country and / also all those who / served in the World / War from Polk County, North Carolina. / This monument was / erected by the school / children and patriotic / citizens of the county.

    (On lower panel on front of base:) This monument is the result / of untiring effort and / patriotic devotion of / W.A. Cannon - by his friends

  • Dedication Date

    1920s (?)

  • Decade


  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.251550 , -82.198970 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "Columbus Tables Plans for Courthouse Square Improvements," Tryon Daily Bulletin (Tryon, NC), August 29, 2008, (accessed June 26, 2014) Link

      "Doughboy Statue, Historic Trees Top Concerns Over Courthouse Square Plans," Tryon Daily Bulletin (Tryon, NC), July 18, 2008, (accessed June 26, 2014) Link

      "Historic Places,", (accessed June 25, 2014) Link

      "History of the Town of Columbus,", (accessed June 26, 2014) Link

      "Polk County Doughboy, (sculpture)," Smithsonian Art Inventories Catalog, #IAS NC000173, (accessed June 26, 2014) Link

      "Polk County World War Memorial -- Columbus, NC,", (accessed June 25, 2014) Link

      Bennett, D. William. Polk County, North Carolina History (Tyron, NC: The Association, 1983), 38

      Handmade in America. "Columbus, North Carolina Community Assessment Report." May 2013, (accessed June 26, 2014) Link

  • Public Site


  • Materials & Techniques

    Marble and stone

  • Sponsors

    W. A. Cannon

  • Subject Notes

    According to Polk County, North Carolina History, the year that W. A. Cannon completed his fund drive to establish the monument is unknown.

  • Controversies

    In 2008, the town of Columbus considered altering the traffic flow around the courthouse in order to maximize the number of parking spaces. Concerned citizens spoke out against the plan, which would have required moving the monument. The town decided to leave the monument in place.

  • Location

    The monument is oriented so that the soldier faces the White Oak Mountains on a small, triangular median at the corner of East Mills Street and the southwest corner of Courthouse Square. It is within walking distance of the Veterans Park, Stearns Park, and the House of Flags Museum, the only one of its kind in the United States.

  • Landscape

    The median in which the monument stands is landscaped with flowering plants, maintained by local garden clubs.

  • Post Dedication Use

    A farmers' market takes place on Saturdays on the street behind the monument. Once a year, the Columbus Farm Festival is held there as well.

Know anything else about this monument that isn't mentioned here? If you have additional information on this or any other monument in our collection fill out the form at the Contact Us link in the footer. Thank you.