Catawba County War Memorial, Newton
The Catawba War Memorial consists of three large curved granite blocks with a three feet high bench built into the front forming an exedra. Bronze tablets are attached on the front and back of each block. Each section is six and one-half feet tall, five and one-half feet wide and sixteen inches thick. A long free-standing bench faces the memorial and a smaller bench is behind it. A flag pole on a granite base is to the left and the entire area is covered with stone pavers. When first dedicated in 1946, the only tablet present was that to World War One and World War Two and it was most likely attached to the wall of the American Legion building. This tablet is now set into the center stone along with an American Eagle with spread wings. The other two tablets on the front to Korean and Vietnam war dead are smaller but also inset with an American Eagle. The four tablets on the back are not inset into the stone. The center rear is to those who died in the Civil War and the only one marked with a sponsoring organization. Incised along the top of the granite blocks above the front plaques is CATAWBA COUNTY WAR MEMORIAL.
Images: Far-off view | Civil War plaque | Mexican and Spanish-American Wars plaques | WWI and WWII plaque | Korean conflict plaque | Vietnam War plaque | Middle East wars plaque
Front top: CATAWBA COUNTY WAR MEMORIAL
Front Center: “THAT FREEDOM AND JUSTICE MIGHT PREVAIL, THESE CATAWBANS DIED” / 1917-1918 1941 – WORLD WAR II – 1945 / [World War One column lists 31 names] / [Four World War Two columns list 146 names]
Front Left: KOREAN CONFLICT / 1950-1955 / [Two columns with 15 names]
Front Right: VIET NAM ERA / 1964 – 1975 / [Three columns with 33 total names]
Rear Center: THESE MEN FROM CATAWBA COUNTY / DIED IN THE SERVICE OF THEIR COUNTRY / 1861-1865 / [Eight columns with over 500 names] / PLACED BY CAPT. C.F. CONNER CAMP 849 SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS
Rear Right: MIDDLE EAST CONFLICTS / 1983 - / [7 names]
Rear Left, upper: MEXICAN WAR / 1846-1849 / PVT. ABSOLOM SHERRILL / PVT. WILLIAM L. SHERRILL
Rear Left, lower: SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR / 1848 / PVT. IVY WILLIAMS / PVT. MARTIN JAMES / PVT. HILLIARD C. BAUMGARNER / PVT. WILLIAM H. WILLIAMS, JR.
Catawba County Museum of History
Original dedication of World War One and World War Two Dead Tablet: August 16, 1946. Dedication date for Confederate Dead, Mexican, Spanish American, Middle East Plaques: August 8, 2005. Korean War and Vietnam tablets: Date unknown
35.662880 , -81.222350 View in Geobrowse
North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Department of Cultural Resources. "Newton Downtown Historic District," National Register of Historic Places, (accessed August 21, 2015), 14 Link
“Catawba County Courthouse Memorial – Newton, North Carolina,” Waymarking.com, (accessed December 18, 2015) Link
“Catawba County War Memorial To Be Dedicated,” ,” Asheville Citizen-Times (Asheville, NC), August 15, 1946
“Museum of History,” Historical Association of Catawba County, http://catawbahistory.org, (accessed December 17, 2015) Link
“Newton Will Dedicate War Center Tomorrow,” Asheville Citizen-Times (Asheville, NC), August 14, 1946
“Our Project,” Captain C.F. Connor, Camp 849, Sons of Confederate Veterans, http://www.catawbascv.org, (accessed December 17, 2015) Link
Confederate Dead, Mexican, Spanish American, Middle East: Captain C.F. Connor, Camp 849. Sons of Confederate Veterans and American Legion Post 48. 1946: American Legion
Governor R. Gregg Cherry was the principal speaker for the 1946 tablet dedication. NC Adjutant General J. Van B. Metts and Colonel John N. Houser, Sr. of Ft. Bragg, whose son’s name was on the tablet, were guest of honor. The dedication was a featured event of the 55th annual Old Soldiers reunion held in Newton.
Bronze plaques for Confederate Dead, Mexican, Spanish American, Middle East were created by the Statesville Mausoleum and Monument Company.
The memorial is located at the corner of N. Main Street and 17 East A Street in Newton on the grounds of the old 1924 Catawba County Courthouse. The lawn of the old courthouse also hosts the memorial To Men Massacred on General Rutherford's Forced March and the Catawba County Confederate Soldiers Monument. The courthouse is now the home of the Catawba County Museum of History Museum. The museum address is 30 N. College Avenue, Newton, NC.
The monument stands in a grassy area, under mature shady trees.
The World War One and World War Two dead tablet was first placed at the American Legion War Memorial building in 1946. It was moved to the courthouse grounds in the mid to late 1950’s and that is most likely when the memorial in its current form was built.