Documenting the American South

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

    Robert Lee Doughton, Sparta

  • Type



  • Subjects

    Historic Political Figures

  • City


  • County


  • Description

    The memorial is a bronze bust of Robert Lee Doughton on top of a square pedestal which is atop a square marble column about three feet tall. A small bronze plaque is attached to the pedestal and inscriptions are carved into the stone on the left and right sides.

    Images: Bust | Side view of the bust | Right side inscription | Left side inscription

  • Inscription

    Brass plaque inscription: ROBERT LEE / DOUGHTON / MEMBER OF CONGRESS / 1911 TO 1953

    Column, proper right side: DISTINGUISHED / AMERICAN / STATESMAN


  • Custodian

    Alleghany County

  • Dedication Date

    Circa 1960

  • Decade


  • Geographic Coordinates

    36.505700 , -81.120760 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      Gatton, Harry T. 1986. “Doughton, Robert Lee,”, (accessed July 5, 2017) Link

      Hunter, Elizabeth. “A Meditation on Doughton Park,” BlueRidge Country (Roanoke, VA), September 1, 2003,, (accessed July 12, 2017) Link

      “Doughton Memorial Dedication Set in Alleghany November 20,” Statesville Record and Landmark (Statesville, NC), November 12, 1964

      “Images for Alleghany County, North Carolina,”, (accessed July 7, 2017), Link

  • Public Site


  • Materials & Techniques

    Bronze, marble

  • Subject Notes

    Robert Lee Doughton, farmer, banker, congressman, and national Democratic Party leader, was born in 1863 at Laurel Springs in Alleghany County, NC. Known as "Farmer Bob" and "Muley Bob," Doughton found relaxation in farm work and was a farmer all of his life. His forty-two years of service in the U.S. House of Representatives began in March 1911 and ended with his voluntary retirement in March 1953, a period covering the terms of seven presidents. He rose through the ranks of the Ways and Means Committee, becoming chairman in 1933 with the ascendancy of the Democrats led by Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was a leader in passage of the Social Security Act in 1935 and later amendments. By the time of his retirement he was credited with the authorship of more tax bills than any man in United States history. Doughton was instrumental in the establishment and development of the Blue Ridge Parkway. He used his legislative expertise to ramrod a bill through Congress that placed parkway maintenance and jurisdiction under the U.S. Department of the Interior. What started as a Virginia/North Carolina road project in turn became the most visited unit in the National Park Service.

  • Location

    The monument stands on the front lawn to the right of the main entrance to the Alleghany County Courthouse, located at 12 North Main Street in Sparta, NC. To the left of the entrance is the Alleghany County Veterans Memorial. The Boone Trail Highway Marker #61 is attached to the base of the right column if facing the building.

  • Landscape

    The memorial stands on the courthouse lawn, with bushes behind it.

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