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

    Captain W.T.R. Bell, Shelby

  • Type

    Obelisk

  • Subjects

    Historic Educational Figures

    Educational Institutions

    Local History

  • City

    Shelby

  • County

    Cleveland

  • Description

    The Captain Bell obelisk stands 25 to 30 feet tall. The lower of two base pieces is a double bevel style that narrows up to the upper base (plinth) which holds the inscriptions. The plinth has a single bevel at the top with several incision lines beneath that provide definition before transitioning to the obelisk proper.

    Images: Inscription | Far-off view

  • Inscription

    Front: BELL

    Rear: ERECTED A.D. 1923 / BY THE LOYAL / STUDENTS OF / CAPT. W.T. R. BELL / WHO WAS FOUNDER / AND PRINCIPAL OF / MILITARY HIGH / SCHOOLS CONDUCTED / AT KINGS MOUNTAIN, / SHELBY AND / RUTHERFORDTON, N.C.

  • Custodian

    City of Shelby

  • Dedication Date

    1923

  • Decade

    1920s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.292150 , -81.543100 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      “Erecting Capt. Bell Monument In Shelby,” The Cleveland Star (Shelby, NC), August 28, 1923

      “Sketches Of The Lives Of The Members Of The General Assembly,” The Albemarle Times (Windsor, NC), December 11, 1874

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Granite

  • Sponsors

    John F. Schenck, Bell Memorial Association

  • Subject Notes

    Although a Virginia native who served as an officer in the Army of Northern Virginia, Bell moved to North Carolina shortly after the Civil War ended. He became well known across the state as an educator, newspaper man, member of the General Assembly and speaker at reunions of Confederate Veterans. Although past the age limit he was still elected as Captain of Company B, 2nd NC Regiment, a volunteer company formed during the Spanish American War. As an educator he served from one end of the state to the other, first in Carteret County, later as Principal of Kings Mountain High School and founded the military institute located at different times in Kings Mountain, Shelby and Rutherfordton. As a newspaper man he worked at papers in Kinston, Winston Salem and as editor of the Rutherford Sun.

  • Location

    The obelisk is located on an empty lot in the 200 block of W. Marion Street (US Business 74) where the military institute once stood. It is on the right hand side of the street when traveling west from downtown Shelby.

  • Landscape

    The obelisk is very close to a large cedar tree with the tip of the obelisk obscured by branches. Behind the empty lot is a set of tennis courts.

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